I've been bursting to tell this news since yesterday evening and now I finally can. It still seems somewhat unreal.
At the Agile 2005 conference, the Agile Alliance inaugurated its first major award. Created by Brian Marick, the purpose of this award is to encourage the growth of future leaders in the agile community.
The award is called the Gordon Pask award after a prominent British cyberneticist. The cyberneticians were doing very cool and interesting things that were truly groundbreaking, just as we in the agile movement are. It involved organic and iterative evolution of systems, so you can see the connection. One of them--maybe Gordon Pask--was even hired by the government of Chile to help run their economy. We'll never know how that turned out because there was a coup.
You've probably never heard of Gordon Pask or much about cybernetics and there's a reason for that. There were four leading cyberneticians--Gordon Pask was one of them--and when they faded from the scene, so did cybernetics.
Brian is insistent that this not happen to the agile movement, so he convinced the Agile Alliance board to fund (to the tune of $thousands) the Gordon Pask award to help the formation of future leaders.
The award was given based on two criteria: contributions to the local agile community and for contributions that benefit the agile community as a whole. They mentioned some stuff when they were reading out my name, but my heart was pounding too hard for me to really hear. Some stuff about an inspiring experience report two years ago ("Change Your Organization... For Peons"), this blog, devotion above and beyond the call of duty in shepherding an experience report, "the way the faces of agile leaders in his town lit up when we mentioned his name." (Cool, huh.) Also in a large part for my work on the Fit Specification and "being the guy who stays after the party to help clean up while everyone else is going on to the next party."
I'm sure there will be a better explanation posted on the agile website at some point. I'm not so humble that I won't tell you all about it when it's up. :-)
In my excitement, I mustn't neglect to mention that there were two winners. J.B. Rainsberger also won, for his work on the XP Day conference on the east coast and his thoughtful posts to the XP mailing list ("44% as productive as Ron Jeffries"). I think. I have to admit, it's all a blur.
Updated 29 July--fixed name of Gordon Pask