Sakai (and me) in Europe

The upcoming Sakai Conference in Paris will be the second year in a row in which a Sakai Community conference has been held in Europe. In part we’re trying to make it easier for the existing European and African Sakai community to attend the conference (which of course makes it harder for North Americans to come and no easier, really, for Australians). But we’re also trying to reach out to those who haven’t attended Sakai Conferences or recently looked at our software. The Sakai Conferences really drive home the value of the software and the community and are a great outreach event. And we want to continue the momentum built by the success of the Amsterdam Conference last year. So I’m really looking forward to the event in Paris, where 50% of the current registrants are from outside of North America (as compared to only 20% in Newport Beach).

In other news regarding Sakai in Europe, I’ve been presented with a personal opportunity to spend much of the next academic year in France. As you may know, my wife is faculty at UC Berkeley and has earned a sabbatical and has been invited to spend time Université Paris 8. So we’ll be relocating the whole family to Paris for awhile. We’ve found a housing exchange (a French professor visiting Berkeley), believe it or not, right next to the Université Pierre et Marie Curie where the conference is being hosted. It’s an amazing coincidence. And we’ve got our long stay visas (it was easy…don’t believe what they say about the French bureaucracy).

So, I’ll be taking advantage of this to spend as much time as I can with the Sakai community in Europe. I’ll also take advantage of the fact that South Africa is a lot closer and make a trip there, likely in February. I’ll of course be coming back to the US regularly. I’ll be back for Educause in October, of course, but we’re also working on both West Coast and East Coast Sakai meetings, probably in November. These won’t be as big a production as our community conferences and will have more time dedicated to getting work done rather than attending/giving presentations. We should have more news on these by the time the Paris conference rolls around.

So if you’re reading this and are in Europe, the Middle East or Africa (EMEA, as North American companies dub the region) and are interested in having me visit then please send me a note.

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