Sunday, June 07, 2009

OPEN Forum 2009, A Program Worth Attending

In Pakistan Eidgahs, the places where Eid prayers are offered have their own unique culture. Eidgah is a place of hustle and bustle, where a small group of people is very serious about offering its religious duties the most solemn way, and where most others are present to show off their new clothes, meet people they normally meet on Eid days i.e., once or twice a year, and to have a good time. Every Eidgah starts coming more and more alive as the prayer time gets closer, the venue initially hums with low-scale chatter, becomes dead quiet when the prayers are offered, and springs into revelry as the prayers end. If its keynote speech can be equated with the Eid prayer then the annual OPEN (Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs of North America) Forum venue is indeed the Eidgah Pakistanis living in the Bay Area flock to, quite religiously. There got to be some people who attend that program to learn new things, or to hear the distinguished keynote and other speakers the program features, but for this scribe and for many of his friends OPEN Forum is an opportunity to meet people you normally meet once in a while, and to have a good time on a summer Saturday. The most noticeable activity at the OPEN Forum is the exchange of business cards—in between the panel discussions and speaking sessions, everywhere you look you would see people shaking hands and trading contact information. At OPEN Fora entrepreneurs-at-heart look for opportunities to start new businesses, to either become a part of the team they have always dreamt of becoming a part of, or to assemble the right talent to put together the dream team. It is an event to see and to be seen at. If this correspondent is in town, he never misses the opportunity to attend an OPEN Forum. He thoroughly enjoyed the Forum when Imran Khan was the keynote speaker. His report on that event is here:
Then last year, OPEN Forum 2008 had a whole bunch of inspirational speakers, from Mike Moritz to Howard Dean. His report on that program is here:
And video highlights are here:
And this year, the OPEN organizers—all of them are volunteers, very hardworking indeed--are promising the program to be another memorable gala. Read about the OPEN Forum 2009 here:
At the OPEN Forum 2009 you will learn the real deal behind the buzz phrases: from Cloud Computing to Genentech to Social Networking software, and you would hear from very knowledgeable speakers including former Congressman Tom Campbell.

Don’t miss the most celebrated Pakistani event of the San Francisco Bay Area; be there at the OPEN Forum 2009, on Saturday, June 13, at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.

[Image courtesy of OPEN Silicon Valley.]