This week's portion: blameless
Pop!Tech / Mindshifts / Daniel Goleman

Two very different conferences

It's possible I'm wrong about this, but I'm guessing that I'm the only person who's planning to attend both Pop!Tech 2009 in Maine, and then the first ever JStreet conference in Washington DC, which happen back-to-back this weekend and early next week.

I attended Pop!Tech once before, back in 2004. It was Ethan's first time speaking there, and I came along for the ride. It was a fabulous conference: smart, interesting, thoughtful people having wild conversations about thought-provoking things. This time Ethan and I will be liveblogging the conference together: on Friday and Saturday we'll take turns sharing the sessions as they unfold. Pop!Tech's theme this year is "America Reimagined," and though most of the speakers aren't yet known to me, I'm guessing they'll impress and inspire. I'm looking forward to that, and also to visiting coastal Maine -- one of my very favorite places to be.

Driving Change, Securing Peace will be JStreet's first conference, and I'm incredibly excited to be there and to be a part of it. With sessions like "How Jews, Christians and Muslims Can Work Together For Peace" and "How We Stop Talking to Ourselves: Innovative Ways to Broaden the Conversation," it's clear to me that this conference is right up my alley. I'm eager to learn from the sessions, and also to meet the other people there; as at the Rabbis for Human Rights conference I attended last December, I'm guessing that most of the people who choose to attend the JStreet conference will be people who care about some of the same things I do.

If you're going to be at either conference, please come and find me! Pop!Tech is limited to 700 people (which still feels pretty big to me); the JStreet conference will apparently be attended by 1,200 people, which kind of blows my mind. One way or another, I'm pretty easy to recognize -- visibly pregnant, laptop, sometimes a rainbow kippah.

For those who are curious: here's the Pop!Tech schedule, and here's the JStreet schedule. Expect a deluge of blog posts over the weekend and into the middle of next week...