I had a great day on Saturday 23rd January at #ukgovcamp – the wonderful life affirming unconference of enthusiastic geekery bringing together approximately 200 politicians, civil servants, local government officers and technology suppliers.
Forty sessions were pitched and presented covering subjects as diverse as #blockchain, #dataprotection, #APIs, #OpenData, #agile etc etc the complete list can be found here.
Alongside the more technical focussed sessions it was great to see sessions on “How to bold”, building empathy in government and why we hate the voluntary sector (which was about how public sector can understand and then commission VCS more effectively).
In the penultimate session I found myself in a small group discussing “Will the revolution be digitised?”or how important and useful are digital services in the real world where budgets are being cut?
We discussed a real rural village in the North West which had been affected badly by flooding due to cuts to the promised flood defences. The community was now facing cuts to bus services and closure of its community centre.
We had a really fast paced and creative debate about how to turn round the apathy and the lack of insight that the collective and compound affect of such cuts on a rural community.
Digital can help in lots of ways and we decided that one option would be to encourage secondary school media studies pupils to interview older people and share their videos on youtube and promote those videos through facebook & twitter.
There are also digital resources such as https://medium.com/ that can be used to learn how to launch and run a really effective media campaign and https://www.neighbourly.com/ to connect good causes with individuals and businesses that want to help.
A brilliant session, and a brilliant day topped off with a very friendly and busy #beercamp at St George’s Tavern. Looking forward to 2017 already!