Reflections from spending a few days meeting with the best brains in identity world
Last week was again one full of LIGHTest work, as the project met in Helsinki for the 5th General Meeting of the Consortium. The project is now at month 25 out of 36 in total, hence we are already seeing more tangible results, which is obviously great. This is the time when we will see expectations start to be fulfilled – and of course to some extent probably also some details that won’t (yet?) be fulfilled. (Expectation not being met can of course either be a result of objectives not being met, but can also reflect expectations or goals that were not clearly expressed or broadly understood. But that is not on the agenda now, anyways, so I hope we can skip that subject completely.) So, as we move forward to the last third of the LIGHTest project, we will certainly see results from the pilots and reactions from many successful demonstrations. And – as we go forward – we should generally see many of these demonstrations and also the pilots coming to life. Hence generally more exposure of the results of the work. So it will hopefully be a time of many happy faces and “wow” effects heard among those who get to see and participate in the interaction.
An important next level of experience
But as we step towards those next exciting phases of the LIGHTest project, I’d like to bring forward and emphasise one important aspect of the co-operation, which has not been touched in the previous blogs or articles around LIGHTest. During the Helsinki meetings I again strongly experienced how important and great it is to have an Advisory Board with its valuable members backing-up the project, by adding more viewpoints and years of experience to the Consortium. As an entrepreneur and with the experience of creating and then running a few startups, I see it as being somewhat comparable to having a good Board of Directors or Advisory Board to work within a startup company framework. They work and support in parallel but on a somewhat different level, compared to where the work and focus is in the operational organisation and in the management team.
In the case of the LIGHTest Advisory Board, we have the great advantage of having long and deep experience in the Advisory Board team. Also, we have quite a good geographical extension in our Board, which otherwise obviously being an European Horizon 2020 project, would be a very (and not so surprisingly), European consortium. Nothing bad in that as such, as Europe in itself is already a fairly diverse community, but still, if it would happen and remain only in Europe, it would also stay only in Europe with less impact as a result. And that is not good if the scope is on a much wider audience and user base. In the LIGHTest consortium we actually have representation from nine different countries, so that is already a fairly broad interface to a potential target scope. But through the Advisory Board we get even more global touchpoints and exposure. This is a really important aspect, as despite being a joint European effort, it is of course an effort which also has more global expectations.
So in the LIGHTest case, this means that with the consortium and Advisory Board working together, we basically cover “any” aspect of the identity space; and we can expect that there is experience or contact points on some level in the Advisory Board or in the Consortium. The LIGHTest Advisory Board members typically ask those questions that otherwise would not have been asked. Or they can raise new issues to be covered that otherwise might not be observed and addressed properly.
The networking aspect: a big important bonus – or is it really the core of everything?
Personally, I had many rewarding discussions again during these two and a half days; and I know as a fact, so did also many other project members similarly. This is actually a very important part of the project work: along with the planned, dedicated and focused hands-on work also comes many opportunities to connect and interact with many knowledgeable people in the industry. I believe that this is also one of the aspects why these EU-programs are a good long-term investment for Europe. They ensure and trigger ideas and innovation to grow and continue. Sometimes when taking a step back, one can even get a feeling that this is actually perhaps eventually where the biggest beef is: to trigger key people and brains coming together and ensuring a continues evolutionary flow of ideas. So thank you, Andre’, Tim and Mike + the other AB members that could not participate this time.