2023 Grok Conference Returns with Great Success
For the first time since 2020, Greenville’s tech talent converged in full force for the annual Grok Conference.
The event – named for the word “grok” meaning “to understand intuitively or by empathy” – began in 2011 and brings together creatives from in and around the tech world for three days of speakers, breakout sessions and networking. While Grok was disrupted by the global pandemic in recent years, organizers were thrilled to bring back what has become a favorite event in the Greenville tech community.
Conference organizers Matthew Cook and Chris Merritt, co-founders of the Atlas Local coworking space, said it felt good to see Grok back.
“I think this year was great!” said Merritt “We were able to reboot post COVID and kept the same inspirational and intimate vibes of years past!"
Cook added that he was thrilled with this year’s conference, which he hopes carries a meaningful impact to all who attend.
“I want it to be something attendees and speakers talk about and remember,” Cook said. “I want the conversations people started to turn into friendships, businesses, colleagues, or life decisions. I want it to be part of what shapes their personal and professional decisions. We'll hear more of that in the future. For now, the feedback we're getting is along those lines and I couldn't be happier.”
This year’s event has 125 attendees to see an impressive slate of five speakers from around the tech world. The first day events included speakers Matt D. Smith, a designer and entrepreneur from Athens, GA, and Jamie Kosoy, head of web presence at Notion. The day was rounded out with remarks from Liz Rutledge, senior designer at the Walt Disney Company.
Grok’s second day boasted two more guest speakers: Stefania Druga, a principal research at the Center of Applied AI research at the University of Chicago, as well as Gary M. Shiffman, a behavioural economist from right here in Greenville, SC.
In addition to the speakers, the conference also included several social and networking opportunities, as well as 10/20 sessions, a chance for conference attendees to address fellow conference goers. Each participant, who can sign-up the day of the conference, can use their 10-minute slot however they choose. Some pitched project ideas, sought career advice, or spoke of a non-tech related subject that was close to them.
The sessions helped foster a collaborative atmosphere that has become a hallmark of the conference.
The 2023 GROK conference was sponsored by the City of Greenville, VisitGreenvIillSC, Atlas Local, Pathwright, SendCutSend, ChiroHD and Build Carolina.