Happy Melly conferences: #DARE to be the change you want to see

poster-dare-v4-w500We are faced with questions every day: how to discover the right actions to solve a problem, how to motivate people, how… We search for understanding and learning because we want to evolve, we want to be confident and happy about our work. Conferences are the new universities, places where people get together to explore, learn and discover. I’m am back from #DARE13, and this conference challenges you to take one step further and be the change you want to see. As one participant put it: “stop complaining, be the leaders you want to see!” Well, I say: challenge accepted!

The DARE13 conference was a community event that Happy Melly supported directly. When thinking about Happy Melly’s vision it was clear that events like DARE13 would be a part of it, so we took the challenge and joined forces with the Belgium-based Agile/Lean community to organize DARE13.

Some of the trends at DARE13

  • Happiness at work: Both Jurgen Appelo and Laurence Vanhee’s keynotes focused on Happiness at work and delivered inspiring thoughts as well as a direction to try and change our business. Many other sessions touched on the topic of what drives (or doesn’t) happiness at work.
  • Scale your business, stay agile: Dean Leffingwell’s keynote focused on how it is possible to bring Agile thinking and processes to very large businesses, his ideas come from his work with many companies and are described in his latest book: Agile Software Requirements.
  • Experimentation: The participants in DARE13 had many questions, and many ideas for solutions. A clear trend was the concept of experimenting and learning from our actions. Lean Startup with it’s Build-Measure-Learn cycle as well as Deming (PDCA) and the scientific method got several mentions. I’m glad to see this trend because I believe we need experimentation to evolve as businesses and as a society. Jimmy Janlen’s keynote about how Spotify scales Agile to a large organization focused on describing how they continuously evolve their way of working through many experiments.
  • Data and Experience sharing: With a full track on Case Studies we had several sessions that focused on showing the data resulting from different experiments. This data is a welcome part of experience sharing as it allows others to reason about the results of the experiments we heard about. Steve Tendon took the data-focused trend up a notch in his keynote about using throughput accounting to base your decisions on data, but not just any data: data that matters.

The key message of the DARE13 organizers was: dare to do something about the problems you see, and this thought leads me to the final keynote for the event. In this keynote Stefan Haas introduced the audience to a completely new format for experimenting at work: Business Culture Hacking. Stefan challenged the audience to investigate the world around them (including their organizations) through the prism of the Hacker-philosophy: discover the assumptions in anything (software, organizations, culture), change them and observe the results. I believe we will hear more about this approach in the near future.

DARE13 in the blogosphere

You can find more information about DARE13 in the blogosphere:

  • Angel Medinilla’s sketchnotes
    • Jurgen Appelo’s keynote on how to build a tribal and happy business
    • Laurence Vanhee’s keynote on “Happiness at work, why and how”
    • Stefan Haas keynote on Culture Hacking
    • Jimmy Janlen’s keynote on how Spotify scales agile to a fast-paced large (and growing) organization
  • Sami Lilja’s experiences at #DARE13: Day 1 and Day 2
  • A visual and verbal collection of what was created at #DARE13
  • The Twitter search

The DARE conference series started with a big success, now it is your turn! Interested in organizing a DARE event near you? Let us know, and join the discussion on our Google group.

One more thing…

latte_artThis blog post would not be complete without a mention of the awesome coffee we were served at the conference. Having a barista with proper coffee being served during the whole conference should be a must for all future #DARE events! 🙂


The DARE organization and the Happy Melly Business Network are no longer affiliated with each other. We wish our friends at DARE good luck. Please contact them directly if you have any questions.Blog Footer


  1. Thanks for the nice summary and the exciting #dare13.

    Some of my impressions are available at http://goo.gl/j10Ar 😉

    Comment by Sebastian Radics on June 20, 2013 at 6:20 AM

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This article is written by Vasco Duarte on June 17th 2013.

You can connect with Vasco Duarte in Google+.