The Learning Revolution Begins…

In five weeks, mostly during August 2009, we put together a bespoke site, built using Ruby on Rails, that communicated the client’s key messages, linked into their existing web presence, allowed users to submit events and for those events to be moderated, allowed organisations with lots of data to import it en masse, and — crucially — allowed ordinary users to enter their postcode and get a list of events, either on a calendar or on a map, happening near them. It was a busy month!

In March 2009, the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills launched a white paper setting out their policy on Informal Adult Learning — which is any kind of learning that doesn’t end in a qualification (like Yoga). Part of their policy was to promote existing informal adult learning events, which they did by running the Learning Revolution Festival, in October 2009.

The web and policy teams at BIS had a bold vision for the kind of website they wanted. Not just another dry campaign site, but something more engaging and useful. They approached at the end of July 2009 with the idea of creating a site where users could submit their events for publication, and could search for events in their area.

We thought this was a great idea. We built and launched the site during August, and it ran for the length of the festival.

At the end of October the festival came to a close, and so the site is no longer running under its Directgov URL — but you can check out our demo version here.

Update: We’re now in the process of turning this site into an open source product that people can download and reuse for their own campaigns. Watch this space…