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Dries Keynote

Driving Innovation in Drupal: Reflections from DrupalCon North America 2023

At DrupalCon North America 2023, held in Pittsburgh, over 1,500 Drupal enthusiasts gathered to explore new ideas, share knowledge, and strengthen the community. As the CEO of Seed EM, I had the privilege of attending and would like to share some key insights on innovation and the impact of this event on the Drupal community.

I. Innovation as the Path to Success:

A highlight of every DrupalCon is the Dries Note. Dries Buytaert, the founder of Drupal, always endeavors to deliver a "state of Drupal" to community members, and this year he emphasized the importance of continuous innovation in the tech world. In Drupal, evolution and innovation are crucial to stay ahead and meet the changing demands of our users and clients. As Dries said, "the drop is always moving." If we stop progressing, we risk falling behind. The keynote can be viewed at this link:

II. Encouraging Collaboration and a Shared Vision:

One of the most inspiring parts of DrupalCon North America 2023 was a Q&A session moderated by Dries, featuring Tim Doyle, CEO of the Drupal Association, and Baddý Breidert, president of the Board of the Drupal Association. They discussed the strategic goals of the association and the actions taken to drive product innovation. This collaboration between leaders and community members is fundamental to building a shared vision and working together towards a more innovative future.

III. Jumping Innovation Curves:

Dries also spoke about the importance of jumping the "S curves" in innovation. Drupal has demonstrated its ability to adapt and lead, moving from one growth curve to another over the years. This has been possible thanks to our clear vision and purpose, community collaboration, a supportive environment, and the time allotted for ideas to thrive. At DrupalCon North America, we could see how this approach has led to innovative and exciting projects, like Decoupled Layout Builders, JSON data, schemas FTW, and Drupal API Client, among others.

IV. Recognizing Innovation in Action:

A highlight of the event, and really a new model set to give back and sponsor innovative project contributors, was the Pitch-burgh contest, in which participants presented their innovative Drupal ideas. It was interesting to see how five standout projects were selected to receive funding and bring their ideas to fruition. These projects, such as Using Drupal Gutenberg for easier enterprise CMS use and Contributing and Mentoring, represent the Drupal community's willingness and dedication to drive innovative solutions and continually improve the platform.

V. Strengthening DrupalCon as an Event:

As DrupalCon North America continues to evolve and grow, it has become a central event for the Drupal community. This year's enthusiastic and massive attendance is clear evidence of how the event has strengthened over time. With each edition, it has become more diverse and global, attracting professionals from different countries and cultures. Additionally, the focus on innovation and collaboration has driven the quality and relevance of talks, workshops, and presentations. The Drupal community gathers to exchange ideas, share experiences, and establish meaningful connections, leading to exponential growth in networking and collaboration opportunities.

VI. Celebrating the Beauty of Pittsburgh and Inclusive Social Events:

The beauty of the host city, Pittsburgh, with its rich industrial history and booming art scene, provided an inspiring backdrop for innovation and idea exchange at the event. Attendees had the opportunity to marvel at the iconic bridges spanning the Ohio, Monongahela, and Allegheny rivers and explore the diverse neighborhoods and parks that make Pittsburgh a vibrant city.

Parallel to the conference programming, DrupalCon North America 2023 also offered a series of inclusive social events. Parties organized by leading companies in the Drupal ecosystem, such as Acquia and Pantheon, provided attendees with a chance to relax and socialize in a welcoming and festive atmosphere. These events were key moments to establish new connections, strengthen existing relationships, and share experiences with colleagues from around the world. The integration and camaraderie at these parties reflected the collaborative and community spirit of Drupal.

Furthermore, a highlight of DrupalCon North America 2023 was the exclusive dinner for CEOs of Drupal agencies. This event brought together leaders from recognized agencies in the Drupal community, providing a platform to share ideas, discuss common challenges, and establish strategic collaborations. The dinner allowed for valuable exchanges of perspectives and experiences, fostering growth and synergy within the Drupal agency ecosystem.

Participantes Drupal Con Pittsburg

It's always a pleasure to share DrupalCon experiences and equally important to share what we learn with our clients and partners. At SeeD, we are increasingly supporting the growth of the community and continuously honing our skills.

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