GTFS Speakers 2021


SPEAKERS for the 13th Annual GIVE THANKS FOR SCRUM event (2021)


Session Topic: Delivering Value With Scrum

Dr. Jeff Sutherland:
This is an individual that needs no introduction, but let’s take a shot at it.  Jeff is a former US Air Force “Top Gun” and the co-creator of the Scrum framework. This model, developed in 1993 and formalized in 1995 with Ken Schwaber, has since been adopted by the vast majority of software development companies around the world.  Jeff is a leading expert on how the framework has evolved to meet the needs of today’s business. Realizing its benefits are not limited to software development, he has adapted this strategy to several other industries including finance, healthcare, education and telecom.  Scrum and Scrum@Scale are now widely adopted and create hyper-productive development teams.  As founder and Chairman of Scrum Inc., creator of Scrum@Scale, Senior Advisor and Agile Coach to OpenView Venture Partners, Jeff trains executives and shares agile best practices with organizations around the globe.





Session Topic: IN THE PURSUIT OF VALUE WORK: The unfortunate reality for many Scrum Teams

It seems an odd point to highlight, but Scrum Teams’ purpose is to deliver value. The Product Goal, Sprint Goal, Increment focus the team on that pursuit. Success is delivering that value often in spite of the complexity of the world around them.  But then why do we find so many Scrum Teams Product Backlogs describing work? Why is the customer missing from Sprint Reviews? Why is it always so hard to describe the Sprint Goal? Many Scrum Teams are not aligned to customers in pursuit of value which ultimately reduces their contribution, motivation, and opportunity to innovate.
In this presentation, Dave West, CEO, Elena Chong, and Rishi Markenday of McKinsey discuss their research and initial findings. They describe how value can be incrementally added to how teams work and what it means to organizations, teams, and individuals.
DAVE WEST is the CEO of He is a frequent keynote speaker and is a widely published author of articles. He also is the co-author of two books, The Nexus Framework For Scaling Scrum and Head First Object-Oriented Analysis and Design. He led the development of the Rational Unified Process (RUP) and then worked with Ivar Jacobson running the North American business for IJI. Then managed the software delivery practice at Forrester research where he was VP and research director. Prior to joining he was Chief Product Officer at Tasktop where he was responsible for product management, engineering and architecture.



ELENA CHONG is an Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company, based in London. She is a member of McKinsey’s Organisation practice and has served clients across a wide range of industries and in the public sector. She advises companies on strategic and organizational transformations, with a focus on enterprise agility. Elena was featured as one of Management Today’s 35 Women under 35 in British business in 2021. Elena has an MBA from Harvard Business School and an MChem from Oxford University.


RISHI MARKENDAY is a Professional Scrum Master with a passion for helping people find purpose in their work. He has either been writing code or teaching software developers the ethical importance of professional software development for the past fifteen years. As a specialist with McKinsey, he advises organizations on the importance of agility, DevOps, and value streams.



Session Topic: ORDER FOR FREE (Because All Systems Are Self-Organizing)

Harrison Owen convened the First International Symposium on Organization Transformation. He is the original discoverer of what has come to be called “Open Space Technology.”

As a consultant, HARRISON OWEN’s focus has been to assist organizations as they negotiate a transforming world. In some cases his role has been little more than holding the hands of the anxious. In other situations his function was more overt, assisting organizations in the sometimes painful process of self-understanding and renewal. In all situations the organizational mythology and culture was the focal point, and the power of self-organization the ultimate driver.

A partial list of consulting clients includes: Owens/Corning Fiberglas, Procter and Gamble, Dupont, Eastern Virginia Medical Authority, Shell/Netherlands, Shell Tankers (Dutch), Shell/Canada, The French Ministry of Telecommunications (PTT), The US Forest Service, The US Internal Revenue Service, Jonathan Corporation, The US Army, Ikea (Sweden), Statoil (Norway), SAS Airlines, Young Presidents Organization, City University Business School (London), Gronigen University Business School (Holland), Taj Hotel Group (India), Congresso De Desarrollo Organizacional (Mexico), PepsiCola (Venezuela), National Education Association, Toronto-Dominion Bank (Canada), American Management Systems, American Society of Training and Development, Scott Paper, TELCEL/Venezuela, The American Society of Association Executives, and many more.



Most large organizations are successful. That is how they became large. As a company grows, people develop rules, policies, and procedures that help them deliver work every day. This bureaucracy is expected, and serves a purpose. It also slows down the delivery of value. In a stable world and market, that may be OK. But as the pace of change and volatility in the world increases, and as complexity grows, these rules can become liabilities.

This session will outline an approach with real examples of using “a volunteer army” operating separate from the hierarchy that can increase engagement and reduce dependencies, to improve the speed of value delivery to the customers.

DAN LEFEBVRE is a Principal Consultant at SCRUMINC. Dan is THE first Certified Enterprise Coach in New England. He’s worked with both Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland since bringing Scrum into organizations since 2007. Dan is a Scrum.Inc Trainer Fellow, and a Scrum@Scale Trainer. Dan has worked with dozens of organizations across various industries for over 15 years including technology, finance, manufacturing, automotive, and publishing companies.

Dan’s personal philosophy is to help businesses achieve a state of freestanding agility, meaning they do not need external coaching to maintain their agility and focus on continuous improvement.




Session Topic: PATTERNS OF INTERACTION for Predictable, Reliable Value Delivery 

Explicit Agreements. Interaction Protocols. Boundary Management. Clarity of Authorization.  All very high-functioning patterns of interaction…

…Legitimate Scrum encourages and in fact *enables* these patterns of interaction.

Display these patterns, and your Scrum can begin to deliver genuine value, predictably and reliably.

Refrain from these patterns, and your Scrum becomes…not Scrum.

We explore those dynamics in this session.

Everyone exits this session with tools and resources in PDF format.

Those who want to get the most from this session can prepare here:


DANIEL MEZICK is an expert on business agility and an author of three books on organizational change. A frequent keynote speaker at industry conferences, Daniel’s list of clients include Capital One, INTUIT, Adobe, CIGNA, Pitney Bowes, SIEMENS Healthcare, Harvard, and dozens of smaller enterprises.

His books include  THE CULTURE GAME , which describes 16 specific patterns that extend Agile ideas across the organization, beyond software; the OPEN SPACE AGILITY HANDBOOK , which pioneered the Open Engagement Models concept for agile and digital transformations; and  INVITING LEADERSHIP: Invitation-Based Change in the New World or Work™, which introduced the concept of Invitation-Based Change and introduced the domain of Authority Studies. INVITING LEADERSHIP published in 2018 and upon publication it reached #1 on the Amazon bestseller list in the Organizational Learning category.

Daniel’s enterprise consulting practice is built upon the core concepts found inside these books. He conducts workshops based on these books, and also offers enterprise Agile coaching, Agile training programs for teams, and management consulting. You can learn more and contact him at


ANTONIO MK SINGLETON is an Agile coach based in Indianapolis, Indiana, who is passionate about enterprise Agile coaching. Antonio’s career includes roles in software engineering, engineering project management, and a stint in the US Army.
For the last 10 years, he’s worked as a Scrum Master and Agile coach across diverse industries, including healthcare, technology, shipping, and regulated utilities. Antonio’s management experience includes implementing government compliance, including 508 compliance and Sarbanes-Oxley. Antonio holds a Masters in Computer Science, A-CSM, CSPO, and CAL certifications from Scrum Alliance, the Large Scale Scrum Practitioner certificate from The LeSS Company, and credentials in OpenSpace Agility and OST IN ORGANIZATIONS from the Open Leadership Network. Antonio is also a Prosci-certified ADKAR® Change Model Practitioner.

Reach Antonio Mk Singleton on LinkedIN




Session Topic: coming soon !

PETER FISCHBACH is an executive coach and Scrum trainer located in Berlin, Germany. He has co-delivered Scrum education with Scrum co-creator Jeff Sutherland over 30 times across Germany and the European Union. Peter worked more than ten years as stage actor and acting coach. He has trained hundreds of actors how to discover their most vibrant personality onstage. As an executive coach specializing in Scrum, he now helps other coaches to develop their presence and have more impact. Within the Scrum Events network, Peter is a co-chair of SCRUM DAY, Germany’s oldest and largest Scrum conference. Scrum Events established eduScrum Germany in 2016, where Peter is an active team member.





The openness to leverage the empiricism delivers value fast giving allowance to fail fast and fail forward pivoting from what is not working!

The session will focus on how implementing Scrum has added value to our learners and the Learntor as a business with valuable lessons.

Additionally speaking on challenges mitigating the adoption and benefit of Scrum in Nigeria to increase productivity and high performing team

Scrum is founded on empiricism and lean thinking. Empiricism asserts that knowledge comes from experience and making decisions based on what is observed. Lean thinking reduces waste and focuses on the essentials.   —Scrum guide

MERCY GEORGE-IGBAFE is an educator, agile champion, data enthusiast, facilitator and mentor with 15+ years of expertise within the information technology sector and a track record of helping individual and businesses achieve their goals leveraging the agile mindset. A skilled facilitator in agile digital transformation, to drive business change and increase productivity and performance. Adept at facilitating, training, coaching, mentoring, and developing the capacity to accomplish efficiency whilst considering all stakeholders. She champions agile best practices and principles for continuous improvement and team’s efficiency to drive customer engagement maximizing customer-centricity and growth hacking.

She is the founder of Learntor an agile digital consulting company focused on learning and business development; helping individuals and businesses transition from the traditional way of working to the adoption of the agile mindset to increase efficiency, productivity for local and the global market.

She has a growing community of over 2,000 professionals and entrepreneurs with the burden to develop capacity and motivated on educating, informing and championing the benefit of Agility. An executive board member of Women in Agile (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion), leading women in Agile Africa and the host of Learntor meetup focused on educating, championing agile best practices and leading awareness of data analytics. A passionate Toastmasters and a Junior Chamber International Senator. She is on lifelong learning to continuously develop and upskill. An accredited Professional Scrum Master, Certified Kanban System Design, a Microsoft Certified Trainer, Data Analyst Associate and a Professional Digital Marketing with expertise in Business Analysis

She is  driven by “True greatness is not in being great but in the ability to make others great” – Mercy George-Igbafe




One year ago, our book the “Zombie Scrum Survival Guide”, hit the bookshelves. In this book, we dive deep into the symptoms and causes of Zombie Scrum. During this session, we’ll offer you a fresh perspective on Zombie Scrum, share key insights from the book, and discuss our latest findings on the relentless ongoing research. To give you a good start to fix Zombie Scrum in your organization, we’ll share some of the most powerful experiments. So join the session, and let’s fight Zombie Scrum, together!

CHRISTIAAN VERWIJS aims to unleash organizational superpowers. He is co-founder of The Liberators, an experienced Scrum Master, developer, Professional Scrum Trainer (PST) and Steward of the Professional Scrum Master II course at He has spoken at Scrum Day Europe (2013-2018), XP Days 2017, and Liberating Structures Global Gathering 2018. Verwijs founded the Dutch Liberating Structures User Group (900+ members) and Liberators Network Meetup (250+ members).

JOHANNES SCHARTAU is an Agile Coach, consultant, and facilitator who helps humans fight boredom and mindlessness on all scales, from individual to team to enterprise. He is Founder of the Liberating Structures User Group Hamburg (1,300+ members), as well as organizer and facilitator at numerous Liberating Structures Immersion Workshops. He writes at, and co-authored Liberating Strategy: Surprise and Serendipity Put to Work with Liberating Structures co-developer Keith McCandless.

BARRY OVERSEEM  specializes in liberating organizations from outdated modes of working and learning. He is co-founder of The Liberators, experienced Scrum Master and facilitator, Professional Scrum Trainer (PST) and Steward of the Professional Scrum Master II course at He has spoken at Scrum Day Europe (2013-2018), XP Days (2014-2018), and Agile/Scrum events in Spain, Ireland, London, Germany, Prague, Turkey, and elsewhere. He writes at and, founded the Dutch Liberating Structures User Group and Liberators Network Meetup, and has run many Liberating Structures Immersion Workshops.


We have an absolutely great lineup of topics and speakers for the 13th Annual GIVE THANKS FOR SCRUM event on November 23.

All participants receive access to a kit of take-away tools you can use at work the next day.


2020 speaker photos