My UK GovCamp 2011
It was fabulous.
Essentially, it’s a get-together of people who care about how the public sector can benefit from technology. And it was inspiring to see Microsoft’s big auditorium in Victoria packed to the rafters early on a Saturday morning. I think the actual numbers were higher than the 200 free invites officially distributed.
It was a damp, drizzly start to the day. But from the very first person I met, the weather was pushed to one side, and it was clear that the day was going to be marvellous.
To see so many people give up half of their weekend to something that, for most, is closely coupled with their jobs, was powerful. After brief introductions from all 200+ of us, the blank agenda was filled by people who wanted to talk about something, or those who wanted help with a specific issue.
For me, Chris Chant, the government’s interim CEO of digital, kicked off the meat of the day, describing how he believed the impending ICT strategy might support the evolution of government over the coming years. It was a popular session.
During the rest of the day, I thoroughly enjoyed a talk by Michele Ide-Smith on Agile project management (and learnt a lot!), hopefully helped Hadley Beeman crack the social side of distributed data editing, and was fascinated by Lloyd Davis’ social experiments.
The sessions were great. But the people made the event. The passion, the fervour, the huge levels of interest in what the vast majority outside the intersect of public sector and technology would find mind-numbingly dull. People struck up corridor conversations with people they’d never met, and it all felt rather fabulous. (I even started talking to Luke Harvey, a guy I’ve never met from the DWP, who informed me that he read my blog. At last, the reader has been found!)
I met some lovely folk, talked about some cool things, learnt a heap about what’s going on and how it’s being done, and look forward to building on those relationships.