you want sprinkles with that govcamp?

Just made some more tickets available for Scotgovcamp 2013:

Whether you’re coming or not, would welcome your thoughts about how the day should go…

ScotGovCamp 2013

UKGovcamp supremo, Mr Steph Gray has hung up his govcamp clipboard* and hoodie. Sad, but understandable. It’s quite a lot of work, you know, un- organising unconferences?!

The news has prompted a bit of discussion about how UKGovcamp can be improved for 2014. If, indeed, it can be improved. Lloyd Davis (master of ceremonies at UKGovcamp in recent years) has a brilliant post on his blog. And regular govcamper, Stefan Czerniawski, has also written a great post. The discussion continues on the Google Group set up by James Cattell.

I’ve been watching with interest – not least to see if we can pinch any of the good ideas they come up with ;). One of the great things about unconferences is that you can tinker with the format right up to the last minute. Another great thing about unconferences is that no-one ‘owns’ them, so everyone can help improve them! Scotgovcamp 2013 is still very ‘tinkerable’.

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Back and better than ever

Early bird tickets all snapped up! There will be further releases in the coming weeks, so if you’ve missed out, get on the waiting list!

ScotGovCamp 2013

And we’re back. ScotGovCamp 2013 is set to knock your socks off with involvement from people in more disciplines and discussions happening in a climate of real excitement about developing digital public services.

Save the date and book your ticket: Saturday September 14th at Informatics, University of Edinburgh. Keep your eyes on this blog for all the updates and news.


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Sync Announces Its 2013 GEEKS IN RESIDENCE

A fantastic programme and something for public sector folk to keep an eye on. How can we replicate this? Should local government look at a geeks in residence programme?

The Scottish Games Network

sync logoSync is a project which supports cultural organisations in Scotland, learn more about technology, come to love it, then take it back to the office/theatre/museum/loft space and do many interesting and exciting new things with it.

As part of this remit, for the last several years Sync has placed a number of developers or technical designers within different arts organisations in Scotland, in a programme they’ve named Geeks In Residence.

Sync has just announced the geeks – and organisations – they’ve placed together in 2013…

bodysurfScotland_logo_green-600Alasdair Campbell (@ach_campbell) – hosted by Bodysurf Scotland

Alasdair is a Glasgow-based software and hardware developer. He recently completed an honours degree in Computing Science at Glasgow University.

His final year project at university involved developing autonomous optical tracking software for motion-controlled cameras, in order to develop the potential of routine live streaming from theatres. Alasdair is also a performing musician and has…

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ScotGovCamp returns

For a wee while now I’ve been pondering dragging ScotGovCamp down out of the attic.

I wasn’t convinced there would be enough interest though. We had 100 people at the first ScotGovCamp in Edinburgh in 2010, but despite the hard work of Ian Watt, there wasn’t the turnout at the second in Aberdeen in 2011 that we’d have liked. We then had a govcamp that wasn’t a govcamp, but let’s not go into that here ;).

I also wondered if we prefer to be ‘doing’ rather than ‘talking’ this side of the border – and it’s been great to see so many hack and jam events in Scotland recently.

But – and nicely illustrating why it is important sometimes to ‘just’ talk – conversations with some lovely people (most recently, the one woman force of nature that is Leah Lockhart) have convinced me that, actually, there is interest.

people talking at ScotGovCamp 2010

people talking at ScotGovCamp 2010 – photo courtesy of Mr James @prettysimple Coltham

So, ScotGovCamp 2013 is well and truely on!  And thanks to Mr Ewan Klein we’ll be returning to where it all began back in 2010, the awesome space that is Informatics at the University of Edinburgh.

So, pop 14 September in your diary and watch this space (or #scotgc13 on Twitter) for updates and ticket availability.

One final thing. I subscribe to the Steph Gray and Dave Briggs school of thought on running govcamps – ie don’t mess with a winning formula – so this will be a govcamp, and only a govcamp. If anyone wants to organise related/fringe/concurrent events (hacks, jams, whatever) they are very welcome to do so.

Oh, one final, final thing. As with all govcamps, this one will be free to attend. Which means it will be funded by lovely sponsors. There’s some money in the kitty already, but we could always do with more. And, of course, offers of other kinds of help and support also gratefully received!

Local Space

Public wifi zone at Edinburgh Council HQ

Public wifi zone at Edinburgh Council HQ

A partnership between Scottish Government, Scottish Futures Trust, Edinburgh Council, Fife Council and Improvement Service has given birth to the (very softly launched) Local Space scheme. Local Space is ‘in response to a need to help change and improve office working practices within the public sector’ and allows public sector people to book space at two locations in Fife and one in Edinburgh- all public sector buildings.

I’ve booked space at Edinburgh’s Waverley Court building quite a few times now and apart for some confusion with the switchboard staff and reception staff the whole process is smooth. Spaces are booked through the Facilities Management team and when you turn up at reception on the day it’s an easy process to get in and find your desk. Alternatively (and this is what I have been doing lately) you can just park yourself in their cafe or courtyard meeting areas and use the wifi. Brilliant. You use your own machine or device so issues about security are mostly on you. The wifi and internet connections provided are off the council’s own network but presumably secure.

I’ve booked in to have a meeting with a colleague from a different public sector organisation at Waverley Court later this month so it’s handy for meeting people in Edinburgh in a city centre area that is right next to the train station.

Have a go and see what you think. I don’t know what future plans are but I would hope the Local Space team would like to hear from other councils or public sector organisations who would like to open up their buildings for use.

TeaCamp next week!

After the previous post garnered some interest, I’ve gone ahead and done it! The inaugural Glasgow TeaCamp is next Thursday (9th May) in CitizenM!

I’ve got us a lovely space in one of the Living Rooms, it’s near the canteen so we can have tea, coffee or food as desired. The space will be reserved for us from 2pm til 4:30pm and it’s got a mixture of sofas and stools with tables and a big TV! Also iMacs and free wi-fi access 🙂

60 Renfrew Street, (corner of Hope Street)
Glasgow, Scotland, G2 3BW

RSVP below so I can have a rough idea of the numbers…

Suggestions for a topic of discussion or should we leave this until the day?