James Governor's Monkchips

Monki Gras 2018: what happened?

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We came, we saw, we celebrated craft jeans. I am really proud of the work we did this year. Well… apart from the sound proof curtains. Spoiler alert- they don’t work.

From the perspective of a curator I always hope to see resonances between talks, shadow and light and interplay between different ideas, emergent themes and unexpected allusions. We got all of that. We got all of that and a lot more. While I believe we attract stellar speakers every year, many regular attendees commented on the particular excellence of the 2018 lineup. This also happened to be a year where women speakers outnumbered men. This post by Tracy Miranda – Women speakers pass the tipping point at Monkigras, and why this matters for tech – was super pleasing in that respect.

“My normal status quo these days is to be all-too keenly aware of the gender of tech speakers. Probably because I am constantly being reminded I am a women-in-tech whether I want to be or not. But somehow with a dozen or so women speaking at Monkigras that simply didn’t happen; somehow I forgot to tune into the gender of the speakers at the time.

In hindsight it was a great snapshot of terrific women working in tech, women who are so confident in what they do and comfortable sharing this knowledge with the audience.”

Writing summaries of events is hard, well unless you’re Dave Letorey apparently. His notes are amazingly thorough, and completely on point.

Monki Gras 2018 notes Thursday Morning

Monki Gras 2018 notes Thursday Afternoon

Monki Gras 2018 notes Friday Morning

Seriously. Amazing. Notes. Just a snapshot, here are 5 points made by Joni Saylor on (sustaining) IBM Design Culture.


  1. Don’t be an “other.” Embed designers + craft into teams.
  2. Fall in love with your medium and domains as soon as possible.
  3. Decentralize leadership and ownership of Craft.
  4. Design thinking paves the way for craft to thrive.
    1. Observe, Reflect, Make
  5. Create spaces that enable craft and nurture makers.
  6. Best practice evolves but craft stays constant

We like to introduce people to new things at Monki Gras. A great example this year was mead – we had Jamie Dey in from Gosnells. There is archeological evidence of mead in Northern China dating back to 9000 BC. Maybe not so new then. Sample comment: “This is the first alcoholic drink other than cocktails I actually like the taste of”.

I don’t need to link to all the Monki Gras write ups because Rachel has already done that. Suffice to say they are really great, and I am thankful to all the authors.

Talking of thanks, it’s always important to say thanks to folks that made a conference successful.

Our team – led by Saffron Governor (production), Jack James (design, schwag and branding), Rob Lowe (beverages) and Samantha Burke (diversity and inclusion).

Our speakers – Aneel Lhakani, Dormain Drewitz, Catherine Dixon, Chas Emerick, Lars Trieloff, David Scott, Jessica Rose, Charity Majors, Luis Vila, Theo Schlossnagle, Pia Mancini, Mazz Mosley, Mandy Whaley, Ricardo J Mendez, Joni Saylor, Olivia Pinnock, Kresse Wesling, David Giusti, Oliver Wyman, Luke Marsden, Linda Peng, Dr Lucy Rogers.

Our sponsors – Pivotal, Red Hat, Digital Ocean, Weaveworks, Honeycomb.io, The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), Adobe, Snyk, Cisco, Algolia and Moo.

Out featured breweries – the aforementioned Gosnells, Gipsy Hill (Doyen, its collaboration with Fullers is an incredible beer) and Toast Ale.

Out typeface, which we used as the basis for all design at the event. Justin Howes and Greg Fleming – Railway Sans.

Our lovely attendees – thanks so much for coming everyone.

The videos will start to drop shortly.



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