Committee Confessions – Chapter one: A Foreigner In a Strange Land

Hemingway once said that writing was his therapy; it was a way to digest and reflect on his thoughts. So when I woke up this morning with a message from Mili asking for a blog contribution; I, unlike Hemingway, decided it was too early for a drink and went for the therapeutic approach to distill my thoughts as a new member of the European BILT committee.

I have had the pleasure of being part of all RTC conferences last year – and also co-chairing the Building Content Summit. In fact, we had an amazing 2 day talk last week on the future of #BuildConSum last week (maybe that will be my therapy session for the next newsletter); all I’ll tease you with right now, is that we are becoming much more focused on the role of that conference; and I in all modesty say it is going to be outstanding.

This week though, I’ll focus on #BILTeur.  We received a record number of abstracts (and that is even when you take the gazillion submissions from Carl Storms out of the equation); and I was humbled by so many challenging, inspiring, innovative, game-changing ideas; and a shout out to all the ‘new’ individuals that submitted their abstracts; you play a vital part of refreshing the industry; and it takes guts to make a submission when you have no prior conference experience. You all have my utmost respect.

So what happens with all those abstracts? Do Silvia, Martin, Wes and I just get together and get our Hemingway cocktail binge on? Contrary to what you might think; that is not the case. Each submission is assigned to two of us for review and we then convene to do a rough qualification. For those of you that do not know me; I do not have an AEC background; in fact, I’ve been working with global strategy development for a Danish pump manufacturer for the past 7 years – and the world of BIM has been one of my passions for the past 2-3 years. So you might ask what kind of merit I have to review a hardcore Dynamo lab where the author obviously dreams in sourcecode? Honestly, yes, there are abstracts where I am not able to deduce if it’s technically cutting edge, but that is where Martin and Silvia complements (and Wes is never going to learn visual programming) me. I look for whether the abstract makes sense, has effort been put into making it to the point; I research the author; all of this gives me a pretty good idea of whether something has merit or not.

We started our rough ‘filtration’ on submissions last week; and personally I was glad to see that while the 4 of us read submissions very differently because we have different backgrounds; we don’t disagree when it comes to giving a submission its initial thumbs up or thumbs down.

Later this week, we will meet up in Aarhus (home of my notorious alter-ego @BIMViking); where the program begins to come together; and this is more than just arranging the submissions that have been given a thumbs-up; we will have to make hard cuts; also with the notion of BILT being an evolution from RTC – and I think you will be able to see that when the program is released.

Writing this page was actually quite therapeutic; so I added a Chapter One to the title. I want to keep sharing thoughts from the committee; maybe you have topics you’d like us to reflect on? Don’t be a stranger and let me hear from you.

Till next time – have a BIMtastic day!


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