I sit here on Sunday, my voice gone, I actually do feel properly ill as well and my head full of things to move forward…
I’ve caught up on the UKGC12 flickr images and hashtag stream today (counting the number of hashtag violations and hashtag security risks – nods and smiles to Dave Briggs) and thought that i should capture my early thoughts…Dan Slee suggested 20 thoughts, so I’ll give that a try, although can’t promise on 20.
Fortunately for me the solo session (Reflective Practice aka the hangover quiet space) I pitched last minute on Saturday when hearing that room 12 would be empty all day provided me with much needed head space and good conversation with the likes of Dave, Jeremy Gould, Sarah Lay and a few others who dipped in and out throughout the day to share in our peacefulness and our snacks (carefully borrowed from the main snack table). I can’t remember them all but they included Martin Howitt, Harry Harold, Mary McKenna, Lloyd Davis…
So my first main reflections on UKGC12
1) I think local government loses out too often and as a sector we should replicate the process that the Government Digital Service is doing across local government in a way that makes sense and maintains local accountability.
2) Spending nearly 5 hours or more in a dark room at Microsoft HQ in London, with snacks, drinks and plenty of interesting and funny conversation reinforces my view that UKGC12 has provided me with not just connections but great friends who I adore and respect.
3) It is a pleasure to participate in an event which has contributed to so much across local and central government that I wish in some way we could provide a benefits map on UKGC across the years as I don’t believe anyone would have progressed as much without these events existing and breaking barriers around digital
4) You never get enough time to simply chat with folk about anything – the reflective practice session should be a standing item at all govcamps.
5) Never go out straight out after a govcamp without at least a backup plan to get food as you will suffer the next day for it.
6) Regardless of what some people may think public service people are great fun, innovative and most of all passionate
7) You don’t need to be in every session to gain value from the event – the time away from work and the space to reflect and be challenged is worth every second.
8) London is very noisy at night…if you are from a quieter part of the country take ear plugs for a better nights sleep.
9) I don’t really think a continental breakfast can be classed as a proper breakfast
10) I’m not sure we provide enough support for noobies who may not be confident to start conversations….maybe we should consider a buddy system simply for the first few sessions with the aim of helping these people meet new people.
11) Everyone praises Dave and Steph and rightly so, but what is more important is that they have ensured that the event doesn’t and can’t be taken over by a government department. The freedom and independence is a major strength.
12) I’m not sure if 2 days works but I did think the making stuff sessions did…so we should allow more flexibility in future events for people to pitch up in a room all day to build something amazing.
13) Attending on a Friday made UKGC12 feel different but I still can’t quite put my finger on how…something to do with the expectation on people to justify the time out of the office…also different people attend on Saturdays for different reasons…one to ponder more!!
14) Paying extra (all from my own pocket) to travel first class on the train is well worth it after a very tiring few days.
15) Finally, people are not aware of the dangers and challenges around hashtag vulnerability, hashtag penetration and hashtag optimisation…if you want to know more contact Dave ASAP.
More thoughts and reflections to come as well as a proper write up of my thoughts and views.