Guess Who’s (Sorta, Kinda) Coming to Dinner?

In about 48 hours, Pope Francis is going to be at my door. OK, maybe he won’t quite make it to my front step, but he’ll be only a few blocks away from my house in downtown Philadelphia, which is close enough in my book.

While I have no specific vested interest in his visit, it’s been fascinating to see everything come together in recent months. It’s been an extraordinary, once-in-a-decade preparation. Some of my neighbors are up in arms at the inconveniences Pope Francis’ visit is causing them – road closures, school closures, etc. – while others are eagerly anticipating his visit to see exactly what this is going to bring to our city.

They are saying there will be 1 million-plus people flooding in on Sunday, and maybe half of that on Saturday for the public party on the Ben Franklin Parkway. Obviously, accommodating that many people takes a lot of planning and a lot of creativity. There have been many hiccups leading up to the event regarding communication to the public, but my hope is that, in the end, everyone will agree that, “You know what? That actually went pretty well and was pretty fun.”

In a much, much smaller way, it’s the same way that Derek and I approach CMEpalooza (for those of you wondering “How the heck is he going from the Pope to CMEpalooza?” there you go). We start planning months in advance, crossing our fingers that the CME community will allow us to intrude on their days to help us develop and deliver what we hope are fascinating events. It’s a little less that a month until CMEpalooza Fall on Wednesday, October 21, and we are both once again amazed with all of the creative ways our panels are working on their sessions.

You’ll be hearing more in coming weeks about a session that is entirely case based and another entirely driven by questions from learners. We’ll be trying out a flipped classroom session and another that uses a pecha kucha model. We guarantee that you won’t be bored, and we’re hoping for another “You know what? That actually went pretty well and was pretty fun” kind of event.

If it can happen for the pope, it can happen for us, right?


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