As we’re ramping up the organization of Agile Tour 2019 in Zurich, we’d like to share how we organize and operate during this process. Self-organization to be one example and financial transparency another.


In this piece I’d like to mainly touch upon how we aspire to organize and operate financially and how we will give back to the community after we create financial transparency of the whole process.


We’re inspired by Tobias Meyer who started many community practices that encouraged scrum masters, agile coaches globally to foster agile communities. I had the honor to attend some of Tobias Scrum Master clinics where all participants share the cost of the venue and each clinic is hosted by volunteer scrum masters to hold the space and share experiences. Another occasion where I got a lot of aspiration was during the 3rd Reimagine Work conference in London last year. During a conversation with Tobias we explored the benefit of mindfulness practice for agile teams. I was encouraged to host a session in the Reimagine Work conference. This was my start to learn valuable ideas from Tobias, which we can apply in our communities of practice.


The Reimagine Work conference was hosted purely in a “by community for community” principle. All paid an upfront fee to make this event happen. Due to the high cost of venue in London, everyone (including speakers) was asked to share the financial burden. If in the end the conference made a plus, which was the case for last year’s conference, the speakers were the first to be refunded.


For the Agile Tour 2019 in Zurich, we as the organizing team would like to apply “by community for community” principle. This would translate to the following ideas


  • All co-organizer work on this project at a voluntary basis, no financial gain. This has always been the principle of Agile Tours around the world
  • After the conference, we’ll publish the financial details of the organization
  • All participants will contribute to the event via tickets.
  • In the case of breakeven or plus in financial gains, we’ll first refund the travel cost of speakers; then refund participants an equal part of their ticket cost.
  • Speakers will be selected from the paper call stream, we’ll publish another blog on selection criteria. Sponsors will not be automatically selected as speakers


As in any self-organized team, transparency is really important. So we thrive to make our working principle as transparent as we can technically manage. During a discussion on refunding part of ticket cost, we realize there we still need to investigate how best to manage it so that the co-organizers will easily manage our workload.


I feel so grateful that I get to experience Tobias Meyer’s pioneering approach to communities, really happy that some of such approaches are being experimented elsewhere.


In the upcoming weeks, the co-organizers will share more details of topic selection, highlights of the organization etc. If you’re curious about it. Follow us on meetup group.


If you’re interested in giving a talk, please submit your topic here.