“When people lose sight of our common humanity, the unthinkable becomes thinkable,” Dr. Madeleine Albright observed during Wednesday’s Super Session, clarifying the root of many of the global issues we face today.

Dr. Albright, the first female U.S. Secretary of State, spoke at Synergy about the pressing challenges facing the world’s democracies. She pointed to the megatrend of globalization as the source of the current identity crisis, saying “if my identity hates your identity, then that creates nationalism and hypernationalism,” which we’re seeing in many forms, but perhaps most visibly in the war on immigration.

Nonetheless, she’s optimistic about the future and said that for change to happen, we need people who are willing to call out these behaviors and move beyond tolerance to actually understanding the motivations of the people with whom we disagree.

Diplomatic leaders are needed more than ever, she said, and there are a number of qualities she feels are required for these leaders to be effective. She shared her thoughts in a wide-ranging discussion with Tim Minahan, Citrix executive vice president, business strategy, and CMO:

  • People skills: “Diplomacy is basically people-to-people relations,” she said.
  • Partnership building: “We’re all problem solvers in some form or another,” Albright said. “Who is helping you to solve problems? There are few people who can solve problems or run an organization by themselves, so develop partnerships…The most important thing is trust, and the only way to develop trust is to know who you’re talking to and to work with them in a variety of ways.”

  • Patience: Albright also talked about the speed with which we receive and disseminate information these days, and the need for leaders not to rush to answers.

  • Pardoning behavior: She said she also admires leaders, like Nelson Mandela, who are able to forgive their oppressors.
  • Mindful phraseology: She also suggested that the vocabulary we choose to use can make all the difference, stressing the need for simple, accessible, inclusive language.

She also emphasized the need for gender equality—”not just because I’m a feminist, but because companies and societies are better when women are economically and politically empowered.” She encouraged women to take the lead by wholeheartedly supporting each other to rise.

Today’s Hot Sessions

Listening to Dr. Albright’s wisdom and watching her fantastic humor on-stage to discuss sobering issues was certainly the highlight of Synergy for me today, but the day’s learning didn’t stop there. I hope you were able to catch some of today’s top sessions:

  • SYN112: What’s new in Virtual Apps and Desktops with Adam Lotz and Jose Augustin
  • SYN241: Citrix SD-WAN: what I wish I knew when I started with Howard Weise and Glenn Williams
  • SYN128: App protection and Citrix Access Control: protect your application information from keyloggers and screen scraper malware with Arvind Sankarasubramanian and Vipin Borkar
  • SYN201: Performance Analytics for Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop with Sameer Mehta and Jitendra Deshpande
  • SYN237: Get end-to-end visibility into your network with Citrix Application Delivery Management with Neha Harit and Lena Yarovaya

Which breakouts did you attend, and which have been your favorites? Leave a comment below and remember, if you missed anything, you can watch them on-demand on Citrix Synergy TV after the conference

Best of Citrix Synergy 2019

It seems fitting that we’d start this day by talking about what makes an inspiring leader, since today was also the Best of Citrix Synergy 2019 Awards. Media partner TechTarget hosted the independent award program, which recognized the best products on display in the Solutions Expo. Awards were made in four categories, plus Best of Show:

Winner: Digital Workspace—ControlUp 7.4 & ControlUp Insights by ControlUp

Judges’ comments: The overall ease of use has made this monitoring platform a favorite for years. It now includes automated actions.

Finalist: eG Enterprise 6.3.7 by eG Innovations

Winner: Security—VeridiumID 1.6.1 by Veridium

Judges’ comments: This product brings increased security through biometrics and a unique liveness detection feature. Its integrations are vast and well-proven.

Winner: Infrastructure—Forward Enterprise 2.27 by Forward Networks

Judges’ comments: This interesting tool can help virtual desktop admins troubleshoot issues through analysis of router configurations and network paths.

Winner: New Technology—ezeep for Windows Virtual Desktop by ThinPrint

Judges’ comments: Printing has been a longtime sticking point, and this solution addresses it for Windows Virtual Desktop, with Azure Marketplace integration.

Best of Show—VeridiumID 1.6.1 by Veridium

In a little while, we’ll have a few other special winners—namely, a team of local high schoolers who are competing in today’s third annual Synergy Battle Bots competition. I’m headed there soon, and hope you’ll join me for this very fun event. I’ll be posting photos of the winners tomorrow, so add some great shots to Twitter using the #citrixsynergy hashtag.

By the way, there are still opportunities to volunteer with Simply Serve @ Synergy if you’re interested in giving back while you’re here. Come by Synergy Park tomorrow between 2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.  to help assemble STEM kits designed to get students more engaged in science and math. Our goal is to hand 1,500 STEM kits over to the United Way of Greater Atlanta at the end of the conference, and any time you’re able to give will make a difference.

Get to the Heart of Synergy

Speaking of Synergy Park… what do you think of our great cityscape? There’s so much to explore and do:

  • Interactive sessions. Cozy up with a small group of attendees for a Fireside Chat with Citrix experts, customers, CUGC members and CTPs each afternoon from 2:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.; attend a Meet the Experts Theater presentation between 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to hear how industry thought leaders are transforming their environments and maximizing their companies’ success using Citrix technology; or build out your competencies by engaging in a 90-minute on-demand Self-paced Learning Lab, which will be available from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. tomorrow.
  • Lunch Table Tech Chats, which take place every day at the midday break and provide a valuable networking opportunity as each table discusses innovative approaches to a different IT challenge while everyone eats.

  • Social Hub and Community Hub, which offers a casual space with super comfy chairs (which I wish I could bring home) to kick back with fellow attendees, meet local user group leaders from around the world, get your head shot taken, pick up your MiniMe, connect through Citrix social channels, check out the GameOn! leaderboard and #citrixsynergy livestream, recharge your phone, and more. While you’re there, check out the Atlanta skyline created out of Lego bricks—see if you can pick out the Citrix building. There’s also a video booth to record your Synergy insights on camera—can’t wait to see what you share!

Also, we hope you didn’t miss out on The Compatibility Game inside the Social Hub. It was like your favorite old game show, but better because it was about making connections with Citrix partners.

  • Event Connection Lounge, where you can reserve a quiet space to meet with others while at the conference.
  • Citrix Shop, which has a great selection of Citrix branded merchandise for you to take home.

The popular Match.Geek program has also been running strong in Synergy Park the last two days, and our geeks have already helped dozens of people figure out creative solutions to their IT challenges. At this point, there aren’t any remaining appointments available, but there is a chance that someone who registered may not show. If you weren’t able to grab an appointment before they filled up, you’re welcome to visit Match.Geek at 3:00 p.m. tomorrow and fly standby.

Tomorrow’s Agenda

First up tomorrow, be sure to attend Erik Weihenmayer’s Super Session at 9:00 a.m., where you’ll hear his remarkable story as the first blind adventurer to summit Mount Everest as well as the thrilling tale of kayaking down the Grand Canyon, and more. Through it all, you’ll learn how great challenge can spur extraordinary accomplishment and get a unique perspective into what’s truly possible through the power of teamwork.

In addition, you’ll have an opportunity to meet Erik up close and in person in the Solutions Expo from noon to 1:30 p.m., when he’ll be giving away a signed copy of his book, No Barriers: A Blind Man’s Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon.

After lunch, head to the Thomas B. Murphy (Level 5) Ballroom for Diversity in Technology: Leap Into the Future of Work with Citrix EVP & Chief People Officer Donna Kimmel, Inclusion Institute founder Lisa Kepinski, and Scott Ballina, Citrix senior director of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging. In this highly informative session, you’ll not only gain an appreciation of how virtual and remote work is impacting our workplaces, but also learn practical tools to create connection, foster collaboration, and mitigate unconscious bias on your teams and within your organization.

Citrix is sponsoring a related research study with the Inclusion Institute and D&I Strategy & Solutions on The State of Remote Working. This study explores the experience of remote working in organizations and how to create an inclusive workplace that fully embraces all staff, and we’d love for you to participate by taking this survey.

By the way, did you take your free Citrix certification exam yet? Tomorrow is your last chance to take advantage of this great perk, so be sure to head to the Certification Center sometime between 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

That’s a wrap for today. Remember that Citrix will donate $1 for every tweet and Facebook and Instagram post that uses the ‪#citrixsynergy hashtag, up to $50,000, so keep posting and follow the latest updates on Twitter: @merisummers. Have a great evening exploring Atlanta — tonight is at leisure — and I’ll see you tomorrow!