The mixture of attendees – government folk, suppliers, activists and the merely curious – and the relaxed atmosphere seem to create an environment that enables conversations to flow, and ideas to be exchanged.
Every year there is much talk about what happens next. Where are the outcomes? What are the measurable outputs of the event? What projects happened that wouldn’t have done if we hadn’t all met up?
Usually my answer is simply that I don’t care. It’s not about what happens next, it’s about what happens on the day and that’s it – what follows is up to individuals and self organised groups, if they want to. There should be any pressure to actually do anything. Seriously!
But often times, people do want to know what’s next. They enjoy GovCamp and want work to be like it all the time! I don’t blame them.
Of course, how you get open, collaborative working practices going within a large organisation is jolly tricky and the answers probably won’t be found in a blog post. However, start small and you can achieve great things. So, the most obvious thing to do, I think, is to run your own GovCamp.
It doesn’t have to be big or too wide ranging. It could just be your team or department. Or open things up a bit more by running a place based event that brings together public servants with businesses, civil sector organisations and individuals. The important thing is not to feel you have to replicate GovCamp, but to run an appropriately scaled event that meets the needs and culture of your organisation and of course your resources too.
Shropcamp back in 2011 was a lovely example of this, or the regular Hyperlocal West Midlands event, or Brewcamp. Different scales for different sets of requirements, but always open and collaborative.
So if you wish your boss ‘got’ GovCamp, or even came along now and again, don’t delay. Bring it to them. Show them the magic.