“I don’t need to tell you there are people starving every day. I don’t need to tell you there are child soldiers fighting wars. I don’t need to tell you that just a little contribution could make a massive difference.
I don’t need to tell you this.
We are about to go to a conference and spend a small fortune on fees, food, hotels and travel. What if you took a small portion of what you are going to spend on TechEd and made some contribution to help someone break out of poverty?”
I can’t speak for SAP, and its expenses, and I must admit I am a fan of the company’s T&E for bloggers program, so I am a bit conflicted here, but Nigel and Dennis make great points.
So what about small things: anything we can do?
I moderated a track at a great architecture and software development conference earlier in the year called QCon. Thoughtworks, which is popping up everywhere at the moment… was the main sponsor. I was particularly taken with its approach: instead of giving presenters a crappy bag full of corporate schwag nobody actually wants, they offered to make a contribution to one of five charities chosen by the presenter themselves. The approach made a real impression on me.
So can more vendors running events please do something similar? Just a few dollars, pounds or euros can make a big difference to people’s lives. Please not another bag or set of binoculars or ethernet cable or mouse.
I can’t guarantee that we won’t have some schwag at SAP TechEd RedMonk track at the community day, but I will make this undertaking – for every delegate that attends we’ll donate $2 to charity. If only a few people show up we’ll bump that that up to $5. A small thing perhaps, but hopefully we can make a difference. I am pretty sure Cote and Stephen will have some good ideas for charities we might support.
One thing i really don’t need- another big vendor advertisement on a backpack.