LocalGovCamp 2014 - the day LocalGov Digital grew up

I don't want you to think me patronising with my choice of blog title. I've been a proud member of LocalGov Digital since the beginning when we were an underground movement, bigging ourselves up, running on passion and with plenty of smoke & mirrors thrown in to get noticed. 
There are going to be lots of blog posts (and rightly so) about LocalGovCamp so what I really want to talk about (briefly) is what it meant for the LocalGov Digital movement (and I don't use the word 'movement' lightly.) 
For me, it all started on the Friday when, at the Leaders' Summit, (a LocalGovCamp fringe which I'll be blogging about with video footage soon) I heard a lightening talk from change.org and was then subsequently involved in a conversation with some excellent Cllrs about who is actually leading the digital transformation agenda for local government. All big topics and important questions. 
On the Saturday, three things happened:
  • We had an open LocalGov Digital steering group meeting
  • Glen Ocsko ran a session on private/public sector, breaking down barriers
  • I had a conversation with someone I'd never met which went a bit like this. Me: 'Are you thinking about getting involved with LocalGov Digital?'  Him: 'but I thought I already was.' (Evidence our idea of growing a network really does exist)
So, what does this mean in practical terms:
  • There was a realisation that we just need to get on and do it, not to seek permission or approval from the big boys & players.
  • We can't wait for a committee to meet, a paper to be published or some minutes to be approved. Digital transformation is here & now.
  • This 'bunch of practitioners' are seizing the day. 
It helps that amongst the crew we have some incredibly talented people who are connected, can build a website, run a comms machine, organise an event, engage democratically, crowd source, raise money and much more. If we could bottle that talent & sell it we would (actually now there's a thought...)
And here's the thing. It doesn't matter who you are (Cllrs are already responding to the battle cry), what your job is or which sector you're from. LocalGov Digital welcomes everyone. You simply need to be inclusive, open to ideas and believe in improving local services for everyone.
I'd heard that LocalGovCamp was something magical. This year I witnessed it for the first time. If this is the place of revolutions and revelations like the mobilisation experienced on Saturday then, game on, I'm hooked. In it for the long haul & a self confessed (future) unconference junkie.
  1. To actively support LocalGov Digital, tweet 'I'm in' to @LocalGovDigital
  2. To help organise next year's LocalGovCamp (hopefully at the Eden Project) tweet 'I'm in' to @LocalGovCamp (there's only one Sarah Lay & she needs your help. She's too precious to us all to go crazy having to single handedly organise another one if these - brilliant as she is!)
  3. To catch up with this year's LocalGovCamp posts, search #localgovcamp on twitter & follow @LocalgovDigital
Alternative blog title: 'The day LGD grew a pair' (homage to Glen & Carl) 

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Liz Copeland 8 Years Ago
Thanks for this Sarah. I agree. This weekend it felt like LocalGov Digital became a real movement that can drive the digital agenda. A movement with the influence, strength and conviction to lobby government, challenge the status quo and break down barriers. I'm really proud of what LocalGov Digital has already achieved, but I'm excited by what it will achieve from now on. I'd encourage all digital champions across Knowledge Hub to take up Sarah's call to action - we want you to be involved.
Ian Watt 8 Years Ago
Sarah Nice post. It looked like a great weekend. You might want to use Eventifier as I did for CodeTheCity which I co-ran over the weekend. See http://www.eventifier.com/event/codethecity/popular It's a great way to summarise the conversations, photos, blogs etc around an event. Highly recommended! Ian
Wendy Pain 8 Years Ago
Gutted I couldn't be there, last weekend. It sounds like I missed a great event and fabulous blog talking about the event and Localgovdigital. Wow, sounds really positive and you have SO much to be proud about as you say, you were there from the beginning :-) I need a good few hours to catch up on all the blogs, tweets and and and.... Wendy
Sarah Jennings 8 Years Ago
We missed you too Wendy! Not only blogs and tweets but video too...coming soon!! Good news is that there's a real commitment to do it all again next year :-) Thanks Ian for the tip about 'Eventifier' - I'll have to take a look. Might be useful for our forthcoming series of Digital Leaders NW events (next one in Liverpool on 2 July - all welcome, sign up now!)