As the Maemo Summit came to a close on Saturday afternoon, I was sitting down at the front of the rmeeting room, looking for an outlet to charge my Internet Tablet. An unexpected and oddly stirring session on where we were going had ended abruptly, and now the microphone had passed from the audience back to the stage. The last words of these eventful two days were being issued by the same keep-things-moving ringmaster who had enforced the five-minutes-and-not-one-second-more lightning talks, and in the same keep-things-moving tone.
And I found myself calling loudly for the microphone, interrupting things simply to prevent the benediction from being pronounced on our assembly.
Some three hundred people were about to leave the Maemo Summit, having experienced an extraordinary feeling of optimism and gratitude. Happiness, you might even say.
Achieving that result was no small accomplishment.
I didn’t particularly have anything to say. But if there was one thing I knew, it was that there was a more fitting tone to close on than merely reminding everyone of the last item on the day’s agenda.
So when the microphone was hurriedly passed to me — What? We’re ending now! — I just spoke about what I was feeling: gratitude. And that gratitude was most focused on the ringmaster standing in front of us then. Because of course the person most responsible for the Summit’s having taken place and had such remarkable results was Nokia’s Quim Gil.
I don’t know if I would say Quim has a thankless job, but surely in his role of interfacing with the Maemo Community and, as he says, “promoting intelligence at maemo.org,” he has to field more of our negativity and dissatisfaction than anyone else at Nokia.
Quim is forceful and optimistic and more tolerant of benighted foolishness than anyone has a right to expect. (Anyone expressing that foolishness, that is.) I know this from my own dealings with him, in which I have evinced rather more than usual of my benighted and dimwitted side.
From the initial notion of a Maemo conclave — which he suggested spontaneously if not off-handedly during a cab ride — to organizing the schedule and then orchestrating its execution, every part of the Summit bore his fingerprints.
In no small measure, the remarkable vibrations we experienced resulted from Quim’s efforts, his passion, his optimism and tolerance and forcefulness.
We have a lot to thank him for — and others too, but let’s focus on one thing at a time.
I hope that our thanks for all Quim did to bring this Summit into existence and make it so eventful will help balance against the manifestations he experiences of our less gracious side the rest of the time.
At least we can say that we — people here and everywhere who make up the Maemo Community — are consistent in our behavior: we are always going to hold someone responsible for something that just happened.
In this case, it’s you, Quim. This has been a great experience for all of us. Thank you.
Well, that’s what I was trying to say, when I said whatever it was I actually said. I kept it short and didn’t mention any of the traits of the magnificent I’ve identified here, but I figure Quim needs much more of our gratitude expressed than he usually hears, so I have permitted myself to add the unexpressed subtext of that verbal thanks here.
Plus I don’t work behind the scenes, so I don’t know who the unsung heroes of our Maemo Summit are. Our gratitude extends to them as well, of course, but for today, Quim will have to stand in for everyone’s contributions. He’ll need to apportion our thanks to the deserving others on his own.
Note: Part I: What I didn’t say and Part II: What someone else said are in progress.