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.
To actively support LocalGov Digital, tweet 'I'm in' to @LocalGovDigital
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!)
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)