Recapping our first Global Technology Unconference

Tech employees across Thomson Reuters (TR), recently came together for our first virtual TR Global Technology Unconference. Over the two-day conference, employees have the option to participate in 110+ sessions, keynotes, panel discussions, challenges, and games!

What is an “Unconference”?

An unconference is an umbrella term for a “bottom up” attendee-led, participatory conference. It differs from a traditional conference in that the content, and the majority of the agenda, is crowd-sourced by the attendees. A group of volunteer organisers facilitate and plan logistics, but they take a back seat in directing conference programming.

Photo of our Global Technology Unconference planning committee.

How was this year’s unconference different?

Previously, Thomson Reuters hosted regional unconferences in our Toronto, Hyderabad, Manila, Minneapolis, and London offices.  

This year, we hosted the event through a virtual forum, enabling employees across all regional offices to connect and share their knowledge and passion for technology. We also welcomed our vendor partners, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, and Microsoft to share their latest innovations with our tech teams.  

Up for a challenge?

This year, we included a non-fungible token (NFT) Digital Experience Challenge. The challenge was to create a digital experience using Thomson Reuters’ version of NFTs. The exciting challenge encouraged colleagues to share their ideas and inspirations, demonstrating how each employee incorporates our mindsets and behaviours principals in their daily lives.. These principals include being customer obsessed, challenging the status quo and committing to results, and embracing a growth mindset.

We asked employees who participated in the unconference and our NFT Digital Experience Challenge about their experiences, this is what they had to say:

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“I was excited to be part of our global TR Tech Unconference 2021.  I  learned a lot from the sessions and  saw the NFT Digital Experience Challenge. I had heard the word ‘NFT’ before but never really knew what it meant or how it's different from other tokens. I spent some time researching how and why NFT came into existence and how it's transforming the digital asset space, and I immediately created my NFT submissions. It was a privilege to be part of the NFT Digital Experience Challenge. The challenge itself was fun and I learned new things along the way, which is what makes this challenge unique. Kudos to the event organizers and makers behind the NFT Digital Experience Challenge- it was top-notch!”

– Gauthem, Technical Lead, Technology - Product Engineer - Content Platform

“When creating my NFT submissions, I kept reflecting on adopting a growth mindset.. At Thomson Reuters, we value continuous learning – how can we do our work more efficiently, engage with others better, gain wider perspective. For my submission, I tied in the creation of our project community at Thomson Reuters to support all our project leaders in their journey.  Our Learning Pathways, training, and presentations help people find ways to build their skills and knowledge quickly to reach their goals.”

 – Brenda, Director, Portfolio Management & Analytics

“I participated in the NFT Challenge because the developer of the challenge website (Tony, Sr. Software Engineer, Full Stack & Blockchain) got me interested in the challenge. He walked me through the application he was building, and he explained the concept behind NFT (about which I was previously unaware). I was excited to challenge myself and expand my skillset. I also attended a previous talk he gave on Blockchain which was similarly informative and interesting. The NFTs I created reflect the diversity of our workforce at Thomson Reuters, and serve as an apt reminder for us at TR to continue prioritizing our wellbeing, and creating an environment of inclusion and belonging” 

– Rahul, Sr. Software Engineer, Front End Technology @ TR Labs

Want to be part of Thomson Reuters’ future #TRTechUnconference? Learn more about #WorkingAtTR and explore technology careers on our site