Spreading the GovCamp love

A quick cross post of something Steph put up on the MoreOpen blog, highlighting the great events funded in part by UKGC11.

At the beginning of March, we announced a small grant scheme using sponsorship from the UKGovcamp in January 2011 to help seed-fund a batch of further such events around the country. We had some great applications, and here’s the list of who we’ve funded so far:

We Are What We Tweet
8 April 2011

As part of the Social Media as Practise course as MA students of Social Media at Birmingham City University, the class staged a one day event looking examining the context of social media use and how it can bring governments and citizens together.

Recipient: Chioma Agwuegbo
Received: £300

19 April 2011

Focused on communities and services. How can we use social media and open data to help service providers to work more effectively at a local level?

Recipient: Ben Proctor
Received: £600

12 May 2011

MailCamp is a free, one-off show & tell event on 12 May for people interested in how the public sector uses email marketing, newsletter and alerts to engage its audiences.

Recipient: Steph Gray
Received: £600

YouthWorkOnline unconference
21 May 2011

This one-day free open space event brings together practitioners from youth work, participation and voluntary youth projects with digital media developers and experts to share ideas and practice, to explore what the digital world means for young people’s lives, and for services seeking to support young people as they navigate growing up in a connected world.

Register at: http://cgen11.eventbrite.com/

Recipient: Tim Davies
Received: £600

18 June 2011

LocalGovCamp is coming back to its spiritual home, Birmingham, this June – and it’s going to be bigger and better than ever. 200 of the most innovative and creative people in the local government sector will be coming together on a Saturday to talk about making things better – sometimes with technology, sometimes not.

Register at: http://localgovcamp2011.eventbrite.com/

Recipient: Dave Briggs
Received: £1,000

13 July 2011

LearnPod aims to debate the use of technology and innovation in learning, predominantly in the post-16 education context.

Register at: http://learnpod11.eventbrite.com

Recipient: Kevin Campbell-Wright
Received: £500


July/August 2011 TBC

A one day pratical & sharing event for those who don’t quite fit in with central gov, are a long way from local gov and also don’t quite click with the events in higher education, museums or the charity sector. Reclaiming the word ‘quango’ for a positive, rather than a focus for scorn.

Recipient: Matt Jukes
Received: £400

September 2011, TBC

ScotGovCamp is a self organised unconference for people who work in and around government in Scotland.

Recipient: Lesley Thomson
Received: £500

North London LocalGovCamp

A North London localgovcamp event, inviting people who are involved with related projects, focusing on North London boroughs – Camden, Islington, Haringey, Barnet, etc.

Recipient: Anke Holst
Received: £300


Recipient: Dave Briggs
Received: £200

Ten spin-off projects ain’t bad going, touching maybe another 1000 people and keeping the govcamp buzz and optimism going through the year. Good luck – and thanks in advance – to the organisers above, and another big thank you to the original sponsors of UKGovcamp whose patronage helped all of these get off the ground via MoreOpen. An organiser of one of the events reported:

You were the first people to offer us sponsorship and that managed to convince other people to take us seriously. Without your help we probably wouldn’t have been able to deliver the event at all.

There’s a few quid left (really, not very much) so if you’re inspired to run your own event and would like a bit of help getting it off the ground, you know where to go.


Announcing moreopen micro-grants

Cross-posted from the new blog over on moreopen.org, here Steph announces some small-scale funding available for public sector-oriented digital events and projects:

As UKGovcamp 2011 fades into the memory, and exciting events such as ShropCamp (19 April) hove into view, it’s time to formally lift the veil on our mini grant scheme to help get more great public sector digital innovation off the ground.

UKGovcamp was a great event, and we managed to bring in enough sponsorship to cover costs, and set up a small fund to support follow up events. So far, four have been supported:

  • ShropCamp: how social media and open data can help service providers to work more effectively at a local level in and around Shropshire
  • Youth Work Online: the third national get-together of people interested in using the social web for youth engagement and participation
  • Localgovcamp: the national get-together of local government folk, held in Birmingham, to talk about digital stuff at a local level
  • MailCamp [working title]: a show-and-tell seminar event on how effective use of email can help public sector organisations reach audiences more cheaply and drive engagement at scale

But to cut a long story short, there’s still a bit of money in the pot, so we’re inviting applications from individuals and teams who have an idea for an event or project which ticks the following boxes:

  1. Is for people in, or interested in, the UK public sector
  2. Is about transparency, engagement or collaboration involving new technologies
  3. Doesn’t have much – if any – other funding or sponsors, and needs help to cover catering, venue or logistics costs
  4. Is run on a not-for-profit basis; ideally free to participants

So it might be that you want to run a weekend localgovcamp in your area. Or you might want to get together a group of people new to this stuff and run a pecha kucha evening. Or you might want to focus on something specific like film-making or consultation or using Facebook effectively in the public sector, and get people to show-and-tell their experiences.

The application process is really simple: use the application form on this site to tell us:

  • a little bit about who you are
  • what your event or project is about
  • what you need the money for

You can bid for any amount up to £1,000, but we expect most grants for small events to be around £250 or £500: enough to cover pizzas or a large room if you can’t find one for free.

The grant scheme will be run on a rolling basis, until the money runs out, so don’t delay in making your application. Having a bit of seed funding behind you will hopefully make you a stronger candidate for sponsorship by other organisations, so the idea is to help you get the ball rolling.


  1. Can you run the event for me?
    No, sorry. We just help with a bit of money. We’re still knackered from organising UKGovcamp.
  2. OK, but can you promote it for me?
    To an extent, we’d love to. We’ll tweet and blog about it here, and can set you up with a subsite on http://www.ukgovcamp.com if you want. In any case, we recommend you set up a group and get people talking about the event, to sound out interest and ideas for content.
  3. How big is the grant fund?
    Not very. A few grand altogether.
  4. I’ve got an idea but I’m not sure it’s what you’re looking for
    Drop us a line and let us know what you’re thinking about. There’s no harm in asking, and it’s a very informal process.


GovCamp 2011 update

So another 50 tickets were released for January’s Govcamp this morning, and they went within twenty minutes. Remarkable.

There is still space, but very limited. If you want to come along, please leave your name on the waiting list. There’s only the one list, so if you email me, all I’ll do is ask you to visit that link!

Don’t panic though, as there is often churn on the list, as with any free event, so you’ll probably be able to get a space.

Steph, my main man on the GovCamp organisation, has written up a post on sponsorship of the event, and how we are hoping to use this lolly to fund all the regional and local govcamps that happen during the rest of the year. Go and check it out, and if you have some marketing spend, please give it to us. Everyone will think you’re really cool if you do.

Steph writes:

The idea behind MoreOpen is frankly somewhat ill-defined, probably because Dave and I are the people behind it. But in our vagueness, we’ve got a plan that by using some of the platforms available including the January event, this online community, and the govcamp chat in social media, we can help commercial organisations large and small to get involved in supporting the community and showing us what they can offer, without turning UKGovcamp into a cheesy, sponsor-packed conference.

In return, we’re aiming to build up some cash that we can use to help self-organised local govcamps or thematic events which aim to promote public sector collaboration, participation or transparency. We’re aiming to be able to offer some seed funds to help these events get off the ground, pay for food, venues and AV stuff, as belts continue to tighten within public sector organisations.

To answer some questions: no, it’s not a for-profit enterprise (at the moment it’s nothing at all legally-speaking, so we’re collecting sponsorship monies for UKGC11 via my limited company). No, we don’t have cash to help you run events yet, but we hope to in the New Year. Yes, it does sound a bit dodge, doesn’t it – hence our plan to recruit a small independent Board of Advisors from the Govcamp community to keep an eye on it, and us. By all means leave a comment or question below and we’ll do our best to answer it.

This slidedeck (PDF warning) explains what is in it for sponsors.

Also, as with last year, Learning Pool will be hosting some drinks on the Friday night before the big day. More soon.