LocalGovCamp passed without a hitch, and indeed it went pretty well. I’m sure it’s the best one so far. In the style pioneered by Dan Slee, here’s my list of takeaways:
- New people! Every time we run the event, there’s a churn in attendees. New people means new ideas and perspectives. It’s great.
- For some reason running this year’s event was the most stressful yet. Even on Saturday morning I was panicking that something disastrous would happen. Maybe nobody would turn up! But they did, and it was fine, like it always is.
- I still believe strongly in LocalGovCamp’s lack of objectives. People need an opportunity to get in a room and talk without the burden of some predefined higher cause. Outcomes do come, of course, but the fact this isn’t a requirement frees people up I think.
- The conversation has definitely moved on now. Nobody talked about how great Instragram is, for instance. It was all about delivery, and transformation, not tools.
- As well as new people attending, newer people are coming to the fore too. Some of those leading sessions this year were hanging around at the back last time. Again, this is good.
- Haggerty, Griggs, Mabbett, Beeman, Popham, O’Dea, Campbell-Wright, Kidney and co were much missed. But it’s a strength of the movement that this wasn’t terminal.
- Nobody makes me laugh as much as Nick Hill does
- Dan Slee purchases terrible post it notes, but he is a great facilitator of group conversations. Asks the right questions, prods the right people at the right time. Excellent!
- I still think more could be made of the fact that we have (often small) suppliers and local government types together in a room talking about problems and solutions. Space for some creative collaboration? I should think so.
- I can’t think of anyone better than Jon Foster to be your taxi driver around Birmingham. Book him now. Dom’s got himself a star there, I think.
- All councils should be making more use of open space and networky conversations in their processes. Dom Chessum started it the other week with the #digitalday at Breckland Council. Serious meetings don’t need to be boring.
- We need to find a free venue for next year, or at least a significantly cheaper one.
- One day, I’d really like to work in local government again.
You can see what content others have been producing about the day here on the coverage page of the LocalGovCamp site.