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SCIP 2010 Meskerem: A Mopping Good Time

Following the first full day at the SCIP 2010 Conference, a large group of us competitive intelligence managers enjoyed an Ethiopian dinner at Meskerem which was organized through our Intelligence Collaborative group. For the uninitiated, you mop up your food by wrapping the spongy bread around the food you want to eat. So the bread replaces all eating utensils. So no worries about bad manners. We were all eating Neanderthals! My favorite foods are the vegetables, although I seemed to eat everything that was put in front of me: chicken, lamb and egg. It’s communal dining at its finest as our large plate was shared by 4 of us, and we each had our own piece of flatbread for mopping!

Lest you think we’re a stuffy bunch check this out. 14 of us firmly RSVP’ed at the Intelligence Collaborative event site, so I figured 25 would be about right…and we had 37 diners! This is very #intelcollab, as we don’t want too much structure lest we be mistaken for anything that resembles bureaucracy! In the spirit of cooperative intelligence, here are some of the cool people that were there!

I sat with my new friends from Tokyo, most notably Masaaki Hasegawa who has been a SCIP member since 2001! His colleague, Yoshihito knew one of my best friends, Masa Asai, Professor Emeritus from Nihon University’s psychology department. The world continues to shrink: Nihon University is Japan’s largest and the odds of these men knowing each other is pretty remote! This story reminds me how you always keep reaching and stretching in life since you never know the connections you will make!



Here is a picture of August Jackson who is our leader at SCIP 2010! He also recommended the Meskerem, right on August!

August Jackson

Below is Max Nelson and a lovely lady, whose name I forget!

Max and friend

So we wound up our dinner and some of us headed over to the Bossa Bistrot & Lounge as recommended by Eric Garland. I was asking Arik Johnson where Eric was hiding out as he was nowhere to be seen at our table. Unbeknown to me, he was the lead guitarist in the band! Way to go Eric!

Eric at play!

So tonight there are more festivities related to our SCIP Conference. I’ll be joining the Fellows in welcoming our 2010 Award winners: Martha Matteo, Jonathan Calof and David Gibson over dinner at Café Paradiso. There will also be a fun party at the Marriott Wardman Park in DC hosted by Aurora WDC which celebrates its 15th birthday and the promotions of its key officers, Derek Johnson as CEO and Arik Johnson as Chairman. Congratulations guys!


One Response

  1. Great writeup Ellen – it was fun hanging out with everybody and the Meskerem was cool too; twice as many people as planned camping out on big cushions eating with our fingers is truly in the spirit of the Intel Collab 😉 Thanks also for the congrats on the party and Derek’s taking over as CEO – we’re looking to continue to shake things up over the next 15 years to come.


    – Arik

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