So what is the face-to-face meeting of the Pistoia Alliance Board and Operational Team that Michael referred to in his latest entries? It’s ironic—when we held the first such meeting in 2010, it garnered a meaty story in BioITWorld. We were flattered, but a bit perplexed about why that meeting is what put us on BioITWorld’s radar. To us, as a virtual organization, it seemed completely natural and incredibly important that our board and operational team officers get together face-to-face. Yes, all of us know each other and frequently meet up at conferences and other industry events. But the face-to-face offers a unique time for all of us to get in the same room, plan and strategize around Pistoia’s future delivery, and come to consensus.
What’s probably bigger news (are you listening, @BioITEditor?) is that these meetings have continued to happen. Last year, the face-to-face resulted in the board establishing a formal mission statement and several project plans that we showcased at our first Pistoia Conference and Members’ Meeting last April and pushed through to the Sequence Services Phase 2 and Sequence Squeeze workstreams that are completing now.
This year’s meeting had palpable energy and action. The ability to tack to the mission statement kept the discussion aligned and focused, and we are exploring a variety of new projects that have the potential to have an enormous impact on our two big aims: lowering barriers to innovation and enabling interoperable business processes. And everyone in the group agreed that they keep coming back because of the quality of the people at the table and what we can do together. The Alliance isn’t just one segment of the industry talking to itself—we have a mix of people offering different perspectives representing key components of the ecosystem. Most importantly, our sequence-oriented projects are proving that the Alliance is not another talking shop, and this action in turn gives us a real opportunity to effect change and bring other necessary core knowledge to the table for future projects.
I’m excited about what we have in the works. In particular, we’ve begun planning in earnest for the second annual Pistoia Alliance Conference, which will be held in Boston on April 24 before the BioITWorld Conference and Expo. Check out our tentative agenda. Registration is open as well, so we hope to see a good turnout in Boston.