Imagine that you have an opportunity to help shape a huge conference designed for people with type 1 diabetes. What would you do? What would you want to see? What would you want to hear?
I attended my very first Children With Diabetes, Friends For Life conference last week. It was incredible, and has changed my life in many ways. Over the next few months I hope to explore a bunch of the experiences I had and things I learned.
The Friends For Life conference is really unique because it focuses strictly on type 1 diabetes. Every other conference I know about has to balance needs of people with both type 1 and type 2. That is fine and good, there’s plenty of need for them, and I’ve always been able to hone in on stuff that makes those conferences worth my time. I get a lot out of them. But there’s something really incredible about such a large conference designed just for type 1 diabetes.
I had a chance to thank Jeff & Laura for all of the work and dedication, and they asked for our help. They asked for the help of adults with type 1 diabetes. They’ve been doing these conferences for about 15 years, and the kids are all growing up. They will always need to keep focus on children with diabetes (that is who they are) but they want to find ways to make adults with type 1 part of the experience too. They need some feedback from us in order to design a track with sessions we’d be interested in.
We’ve just been handed our chance to help shape a huge conference designed for people with type 1 diabetes.
Our part of this is easy. We just need to answer a couple questions and share our thoughts.
- What are the challenges that life tosses at you most often? Do you have the resources to deal with those challenges? Do you need more? What would they be?
- In talking about these things, what is the best format? Someone leading a session? A panel of experts? A facilitated discussion?
- What topics would be important and interesting enough to draw sufficient people to be worth offering?
Jeff & Laura will be working hard on this for the 2011 Friends For Life conference, but they don’t have much time. Our deadline? Now. Comment now. Please.
I can’t imagine organizing a conference with 3500+ people, but thinking about it from that perspective I’m not surprised that they need to wrap things up real soon.
We also need to recognize that energizing an adults with type 1 track may take a few years to really build up steam. It is our responsibility to help them do that. We’ve always wanted something like this. Here’s our chance.