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Unleashing the Power of Collaboration: Join the Program Committee for PASS Data Community Summit

January 29, 2024

By Ben Weissman

In the fast-paced world of data and technology, staying ahead of the curve is not just an advantage – it’s a necessity. One way to keep your skills up-to-date and grow your personal and professional network is to attend events like PASS Data Community Summit, one of the most impactful events our Data Platform ecosystem has to offer. 

From a content perspective, every event’s success rises and falls with its schedule and agenda – which are based on the submitted and selected sessions. This is where the Program Committee comes into play!

As a member of the Program Committee, you become an integral part of shaping the Summit’s agenda. This involvement allows you to curate sessions that resonate with the community, ensuring that the content is not only relevant but also diverse and inclusive.

Being on the Program Committee is not only about reviewing proposals; it’s a chance to refine your skills. Evaluating session submissions, providing constructive feedback, and participating in committee discussions hone your critical thinking and analytical abilities. Additionally, exposure to a diverse range of topics and speakers broadens your knowledge base, transforming you into a well-rounded professional with a deep understanding of various facets of the data landscape.

Being part of the Program Committee isn’t just about advancing your career—it’s an opportunity for personal growth and leadership development. Collaborating with diverse individuals, managing timelines, and making strategic decisions all contribute to your leadership skill set. The sense of accomplishment derived from successfully contributing to Summit’s success adds a fulfilling dimension to your professional journey.

What do you actually do as a Committee member?

The content at PASS Data Community Summit is organized into multiple themes or tracks. Every track will have a lead and multiple reviewers. In a first step, while the Call for Speakers is open, start thinking about the content, sessions and maybe also speakers you would like to see at Summit and encourage them to submit their proposals.

Once the Call for Speakers closes, the submitted sessions will be made available in an anonymized way to the entire team with the goal of every team member reviewing and rating every single submitted session. The effort for this varies vastly between the different tracks from a few hours up to multiple days (just my track last year had more than 400 submissions for example).

After the sessions have been reviewed by the entire team, it is up to the team lead to pick the top sessions to be recommended for the agenda. While they should heavily rely on the team’s vote, this process has the speaker’s names visible so this is also where avoiding the same speaker having 5 sessions and diversity come into play. It’s up to the team lead to decide if this is done in a collaborative way with other track leads, with their own team, or just by themselves.

That sounds like a lot of work.  Why did I do it?

If we call it a ‘Community Summit’, the community part must be more than just a fancy label. I want the community to be well represented – meaning that most sessions should be by community speakers. But I also want the content to be shaped by the community, and that can’t be done without someone putting in all this work behind the scenes.

While the Program Committee for PASS Data Community Summit offers a unique and enriching experience, I understand that it may not be the perfect fit for everyone.

Thankfully, the volunteering landscape is vast, offering numerous opportunities to give back to the community and make a meaningful impact. If you want to volunteer for this year’s Summit but in a different capacity, watch this space for more upcoming opportunities! You might also like to read this blog post from Musab Umair about his experience volunteering at Summit 2023.

Want to join us on the Committee?

The Call for Program Committee volunteers goes out at the end of February or early March this year so keep an eye out – otherwise, please reach out to

The only real restriction you need to be aware of is that you can’t vote on a track that you intend to submit your own session ideas for! All selected team members need to sign an NDA, and in exchange for your time, you will be given one non-transferrable ticket to the 2024 Pass Data Community Summit 2024.

Do you have any questions?

Please reach out to me:

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