In case you participated at the last MCPC conference in San Francisco (Nov 2011), I believe you had, like me, a great conference experience. In fact, many of you already asked me about the next event.
Hence, I am really sorry to inform you that for personal and capacity reasons, we will be not able to organize and host the MCPC in 2013 at MIT.
Topping the great experience of MCPC 2011 in San Francisco would have been difficult and a lot of work, demanding capacity (time) that we as the original hosts and organizers do not have available any longer.
I am doing many exciting things in Europe and the U.S., but also have many commitments and responsibilities which do not give me the chance any longer to invest in the MCPC as I did in the past. The same holds true also for the core team of people at MIT and HKUST that were instrumental in doing this.
But I believe that this is not the end of the MCPC but just the beginning of more:
Mass customization now is at a transition point where we do not have to discuss it any longer, but just should practice it. This demands a different format of exchange in-between practitioners.
For this reason, we have established an exciting associate membership format for companies in the MIT Smart Customization Group at MIT Media Lab. We believe that such a consortium of trusted members, meeting 2-3 times a year at MIT or in a company, can provide a better way of exchanging experiences and learning from each other.
In case you are interested to join our MIT group, head here: http://scg.mit.edu/people/corporate-members
We will continue to have smaller events or seminars at MIT, and there are the established mini-conferences of the MCPC family and several upcoming special tracks in established conferences.
But I also strongly believe that a large MCPC-alike conference still makes sense!
Mitch Tseng and I are open for any research group that feels empowered and strong enough to do an academic-practice event similar to MCPC. I am happy to support this as far as I can (mainly with publicity), but be warned that this demands at least Euro 100K investment and about 1 person year full time capacity for preparations, the CfP, paper reviews and management, and event organizations (and we never made any profit with the MCPC as we wanted to keep this an affordable community event).
In case you have a realistic plan to host (and fully organize) this conference in the future, let us know – or just do it: We do not claim any ownership or exclusivity of mass customization events. In fact, it really should become more a community organized thing!
So even with a MCPC conference organized by my colleagues and me, I am looking forward to may exciting interactions and meetings.