LocalGovCamp 14

Being the newest dxwer it was my first visit to LocalGovCamp, and indeed my first unconference. The whole event was a blast, you could not wish for a nicer bunch of friendly and passionate people. It was also a good chance to put faces to many of the regulars in my twitter feed, including our man in the field, Dave Briggs.

There was a great opportunity to get the inside perspective from the localgov staff in attendance. Hearing about the challenges they face and then trying to offer ways to overcome the objections they can face within their teams. The session that our head of service design, Lily facilitated around agile projects was a particularly good chance to explain the benefits of agile and how it can be applied to a variety of projects, digital or otherwise.

On the subject of digital, there was the Luddite Camp session, in which Ben proposed the idea of a LocalGovCamp for non-digital people. There were some interesting discussions both during the session and in blog posts following it. I think my takeaway is that it seems unnecessary to fragment the localgov community. Digital is already a part of localgov and has the potential to feature even more prominently in future. There were sessions that had no connection to digital and, as we were reminded at the beginning of the day, the rule of two feet applies at all times. Attendees are invited to pitch sessions on any subject of interest so the “agenda” should annually evolve along with the interests of those in attendance.

My experience at LeedsGovJam a few weeks prior showed me there are some really great ideas out there. Sometimes all it takes is bringing together like minded people and giving them a space to experiment. It’s not about being digital or being a luddite, it’s about solving problems. That was the feeling I left LocalGovCamp with and I look forward to helping localgov with problem solving in future.