My second day at this year's Autodesk University started with another lovely sunrise.After breakfast I spent an hour or so writing my Day 1 blog post in the Community Zone before I realised a queue was forming to enter the general session. I wandered over and joined it - quite near the front - and chatted with a number of people who were clearly very excited about listening to the day's guest speaker.
I found a single seat free in the third row behind the VIP section. Score!
After a brief speech, our COO Steve Blum introduced our CMO Dara Treseder, who interviewed some of our customers close to where we were sitting.The Steve introduced the special guest, Ryan Reynolds.Steve then spoke with Ryan for about 45 minutes, and I have to say it was riveting. Ryan was everything you’d have hoped for: funny, humble and inspiring. You couldn’t help but come away loving this amazing, talented man.
One thing that resonated with me was when Ryan talked about being a storyteller who amplifies the work of interesting, intelligent people. I feel exactly that way about my work, too. I’m not comparing myself with Ryan Reynolds, of course, but it was interesting to hear him say something that I’ve often thought about myself.
After the keynote ended I headed across to the expo for a bit before going to lunch at the APS Certified Partner Lunch with Mike Haley. Afterwards I had the chance to catch up with Jim Quanci, who is attending what may well be his last AU (given his upcoming retirement). I still have a lot of trouble coming to terms with this idea, but I'm reassured by the fact Jim says he'll be visiting us regularly in Switzerland once he has the time. He'd better!
Back in the expo, I spent some time chatting with a visitor from 2029 (Elliott Montgomery from our Strategic Foresight team). It was a blast!
... but also donned our data capture helmets to capture the human experience of the AU 2023 Expo. Having this experiential data will be hugely valuable when considering how to improve the AU exhibit hall - and architectural spaces, thinking more broadly - in the future.