All posts by Kate Williams

All About Pitching

The key aspect of an unconference that makes it so special is that there is no agenda. The whole day is created and led by those who turn up. The topics and ideas to be discussed are pitched by the attendees on the day to form a session grid.

Pitches can be about anything that interests you. What are you passionate about? What are you working on that you think others can learn from? If you’re stuck for ideas for pitching please check out this great blog from Ben Proctor http://govcampcymru.org/i-got-99-ideas-and-a-pitch-is-one/.

Pitches do not have to be formal. Unconferences are for everyone and we make it work together. So please pitch even if you’re new to GovCamp Cymru or unconferences in general. It is the diverse and interesting range of topics and ideas that brings such great value to the day. Pitches do not need to be rehearsed so if you have a moment of inspiration on the day please pitch away. The only things we would ask are:

  • Pitches should be short and to the point – ideally lasting less than 30 seconds
  • That the pitch should include 1 clear topic/question/idea/issue.

How are the sessions created?

At the beginning of the day everyone meets together in the main room to hear the pitches. Everyone who has a pitch to make lines up and has approximately 30 seconds to pitch their idea to the room. If you have a great pitch suggestion but don’t fancy standing up in front of everyone, then we will have a pitching station where volunteers are on hand to talk through your ideas and/or pitch on your behalf. When the pitches are made, people in the audience indicate if they’re interested in each topic, so that we can estimate what size of room will be needed for each session. The pitches are written on sticky notes and added to the session grid and that is the running order for the day. There are four session blocks, 2 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon with 5 parallel sessions running in each block lasting about an hour each, spread across 5 separate rooms .

What happens in a session?

Each session takes place in a meeting room. We have various sizes of room available. There will be chairs in a circle, and one of our volunteers will be there to take notes. The assumption is that everything happens in the open, so if you don’t want to be quoted in the notes please make sure you say that clearly. The session notes will be shared so that people who couldn’t be there can find out what was discussed.

We don’t provide any other equipment for sessions (except for a few post-its notes and biros), so if you want flipcharts or any other materials to support your pitch, you will need to bring those yourselves.

We have very few rules:

Good sessions tend to:

  • have someone who introduces the session and gets things going
  • have a clear topic
  • encourage discussion, with a chance for everyone to join
  • include a few minutes at the end to close the session down
  • generate ideas for things people can do after camp

If you’re considering pitching a session and have things to say yourself during the session, you could consider asking someone to act as a facilitator to keep things flowing and make sure everyone gets to speak who wants to. We’ll have a few volunteers on hand on the day who will be able to do this for you, or ask one of your friendly fellow govcampers who may be willing to help.

Still unsure about pitching? Check out these great videos from Barod:

Cheers to another great year

Wow! Weren’t you all a wonderful bunch!

Photo by W N Bishop (CC BY 2.0)
Photo by W N Bishop (CC BY 2.0)

Hands up if you had as great a time as we did!

We cannot thank all of you enough for being part of another successful event. Around a hundred of you gathered in Cardiff to talk about the services and communities you care about. There were many familiar faces in attendance and a great many new faces too. It was wonderful to see you all.

Our thanks go out again to our sponsors. The event wouldn’t have been possible without you.

To all our volunteers, our sincere gratitude. You were brilliant!

As with earlier years, the pitches were varied and covering a wide range of interesting topics. We were again spoilt for choice. The topics discussed can be found on the session grid. We were very fortunate to have an artist with us for the day who created amazing sketch notes depicting some of the topics for the day.

Our thanks to Helen Frost from @Frost_Creative.

Here is a sample of Helen’s excellent work:

discovery_3aforeign_policy_4dcompelling_case_1c

We were also lucky enough to have volunteers from a local journalism school with us who did an excellent job of gathering information on the day. To catch up on what was discussed please take a moment to read the session notes.

We love to hear more from all of you about your experience. Many of you have already started to share your blogs and stories:

Neil Tamplin on Medium

https://neiltamplin.me/i-went-to-govcamp-cymru-and-48a01a8867ab#.3twctx2zp

WAO Pinterest Board

https://uk.pinterest.com/goodpracticewao/govcamp-cymru/?utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=SocialSignIn&utm_source=Twitter

Foreign Policy Session sketchnotes

https://twitter.com/PixyPirate/status/780391384331214848/photo/1

 

WAO Storify

https://storify.com/GoodPracticeWAO/govcamp-cymru-2016-57e140624b218b8c553f4f95?utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=SocialSignIn&utm_source=Twitter

Satori Lab blog post

http://thesatorilab.com/2016/09/proud-part-govcampcymru-2016/

Future Cities Catapult stand timelapse

youtu.be/-50ei0bH-jc

 

There are some amazing photos from the day that really help to capture the spirit of the event:

Nigel Flickr Set

https://www.flickr.com/photos/wnbishop/sets/72157674385122205

Mark Braggins Photos

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipOYM2TKB7zGWmWi6E2TCRwP8zswTE1NtU9lBqziCeR92ojQNis4Wn9YCt1XVMcH_A?key=bUtna09ubHhoZGFlOGphazZYaHdORUtsOHJyUD

The following links are ones that were mentioned during the sessions. Check them out as there is some very informative reading and knowledge to be discovered across the various links:

Open Data Aha

http://opendata-aha.net

Youtube Community Tab

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ar-k3AyfdsU

How Environment Agency revamped data management

https://theodi.org/blog/guest-blog-environment-agency-open-data-maturity-model

Double doughnut of democracy

http://localopolis.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/73-double-doughnut-of-democracy.html

Privacy Preservation in the age of Big Data – RAND

http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/working_papers/WR1100/WR1161/RAND_WR1161.pdf

The Listening Service by what’s the pont

https://whatsthepont.com/2014/07/20/the-listening-service-busting-jargon-including-people-and-improving-the-tweets/

Creating compelling cases for digital change – Neil Prior

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/creating-compelling-cases-digital-change-neil-prior?trk=hp-feed-article-title-publish

From arrogance to intimacy: handbook for active democracies

http://www.andywilliamson.com/new-book-arrogance-intimacy-handbook-active-democracies/

Using behaviour change to improve public services

https://goodpracticeexchange.wordpress.com/2016/09/20/govcamp-cymru-2016-using-behaviour-change-to-improve-public-services/

Notwestminster 2017

https://notinwestminster.wordpress.com/notwestminster-2017/

Reinventing Organisations

http://www.reinventingorganizations.com

Reflecting on how I learn and help others – Carl Haggerty

https://carlhaggerty.wordpress.com/2016/07/28/reflecting-on-how-i-learn-and-how-i-help-others/

Book: Turn the ship around

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Turn-Ship-Around-Building-Breaking/dp/1591846404

Global wind map visualisation

https://earth.nullschool.net

Data maturity in local government – Ben Proctor

http://benproctor.co.uk/data-maturity-in-local-government/

Open Data Camp

http://www.odcamp.org.uk (next one in Cardiff!)

Free eBook on responsible development data

https://responsibledata.io/ways-to-practise-responsible-development-data/

Making Things Work: Solving Complex Problems in a Complex World

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/109540.Making_Things_Work

We hope all of you that came enjoyed the event as much as we did. Please continue to share your thoughts and stories, especially about what you’re doing differently as a result of the event.

If there is anything that you can think of that would have made the GovCamp Cymru even better or anything that wasnt quite right, please let us know. Your feedback is important to us. Please take a moment to complete the feedback survey so that we can continue to develop the event and make next year event better.

The story doesnt end here. If you enjoyed GovCamp Cymru, keep an eye out for our Bara Brith Camps to keep the conversation, energy and ideas going until GovCamp Cymru 2017. The next one will be taking place in Swansea on Wednesday 23rd November. Places are free and can be booked via Eventbrite.

One last thank you to you all. Participants, volunteers and sponsors, you were all brilliant.

 

Countdown to Govcamp Cymru

Photo by Sasha Taylor (CC BY 20.0)

It’s only a few days until GovCamp Cymru returns to Cardiff for its third year.

The venue is the historic Pierhead Building in the heart of Cardiff Bay. This majestic building has stood proud for over 113 years and now forms a space that reflects the culture of the Bay and provides the perfect venue for live discussion and debate.

What is the agenda for the day?

That’s one of the perfect things about Govcamp Cymru, there is no agenda. Govcamp Cymru is an unconference which means there is no pre-defined agenda, and attendees ‘pitch’ session ideas on the things they want to talk about.

The pitches are  then written on post-it notes, which are assigned to vacant slots on a session grid, and that becomes the schedule for the day.

 

What do you need to know?

Doors open at 10am for coffee and registration. When you register you will be given  a lanyard that will provide you with a little more info about the event and it has a space on the front for you to write your name and your Twitter handle. Lanyards will be in three different colours, yellow for the ‘Please do not photograph me’ attendees so that our photographers know not to point the camera in your direction,  black for the Welsh speakers so fellow Welsh speakers know to look out for you; and for everyone else, purple lanyards.

Once registration is complete and you’ve all had a chance to grab a coffee, the main event will begin at 10:30am with  a word from our organisers, Satori Lab, and our main sponsors, PA Consulting. Session pitching will begin shortly afterwards.

There will be two sessions before lunch. Huge thank you goes out to National Assembly for Wales for not only providing the venue but also laying on the wonderful lunch. There will be another two sessions after lunch before the wrap up session at 4:40pm. The event closes at 5pm when we will move the conversation on to the #beercamp #afterparty venue, which for the second year will be the World of Boats (CF10 4GA).

If you need any help on the day, look out for our volunteers in green t-shirts and they will be happy to assist.

We do have one law that governs Govcamp Cymru and that is the law of two feet.

two-feet

If at any point during a session you feel that you’re not gaining from or contributing to the conversation, get up, use your two feet and go to a different session. No one will find this rude. You are in charge of your own interactions and we want you to be engaged and interested #zeroboredom

We also have five key principles that we all respect:

  • Whoever comes is the right people……
  • Whenever it starts is the right time……
  • Wherever it is, is the right place……
  • Whatever happens is the only thing that could have, be prepared to be surprised!
  • When it’s over, it’s over (within this session)……

Much love to our sponsors…..

Govcamp Cymru is free to attend. This wouldn’t be possible without our wonderful sponsors. Please have a look at the list on our Sponsors page. We’re hugely grateful to all of them. We’d like to give particular thanks to our platinum sponsor, PA Consulting.

If you’re attending Govcamp Cymru, we look forward to seeing you there and hope that you will share your experience via the Twitter hashtag: #gccy16.

 

Has Wales got what it takes to be an innovation nation? – From our sponsors PA Consulting

Author: Karen Cherrett, Local Government Specialist at PA Consulting Group

Wales has ambition to be an ‘innovation nation’ – to be a country where new ideas emerge, take shape and change the world. It undoubtedly has pockets of talent like Baglan Bay’s renewables centre, the National Software Academy and the life sciences sector. And it has inspirational ideas and true leadership – within business, community and the public sector.

What’s stopping us?

Much of the country is consumed by the challenges of a tight fiscal climate, the decline of traditional industries and the challenges of being a small-nation economy which is a net beneficiary from Europe. That makes it difficult to find time, let alone capacity, for cross-sector discussion or developing a cohesive nationwide innovation strategy.

It doesn’t help that we’re an intrinsically self-effacing nation. We love to back the outsider –remember the Euros this year? But we’re quick to knock them whether they win or lose – witness the roller-coaster of emotions around our rugby team’s international fortunes.

And it doesn’t help that ‘Innovation’ is an over-used and poorly understood term. Its use rarely excites or inspires; instead it confuses or generates scorn. We need to create a common language and pride in innovation, if it is to take its place in the Welsh economy and act as a spark for growth and jobs. Without this it is difficult to engage business and public leaders so that they empower those who can and want to innovate.

We know that schemes that are practically based and pragmatically applied are far more effective than grants that offer funds but without the mentoring and ‘been there, done that’ support to turn ideas into action and then into industry.

What stops innovation?

Our Business as Unusual campaign focusing on the theme “Innovation is a Culture that starts at the top,” highlighted that many organisations are too risk averse to invest boldly in ground-breaking ideas. Innovation dies because:

  • It’s considered too risky: why add costs to the business when it is doing okay? (It could be doing brilliantly!)
  • It’s easy to say and not so easy to do: it takes focus and energy and the day-to-day pull of priorities often burns out the energy of an idea
  • Making ideas pay takes time and relies on commercial skills many organisations (and especially SMEs) don’t have in-depth: you can’t expect a start-up of one person to be legal, financial and commercial expert alongside having the passion and technical brilliance of the idea
  • It’s hard to measure: the bigger issue is knowing when as well as what to measure. Setting traditional measures and targets too early simply stifles the momentum
  • It requires a balance of creative, cautious and curious resources: getting buy-in to a nebulous and intangible idea is difficult until we can see and touch its potential – by then it’s often too late.

What do you think?

We want to know what will create the right environment for Wales to be a hub for innovation – and one the world knows about. Before you come along to the GovCamp event we’d like you to take part in a short survey so we can report back to you on the next steps for innovation in Wales. We’ll send a free copy of the report to anyone who registers for the event and takes part in the survey.

Finally, we are not just talking about innovation, as an innovation provider ourselves and our clients, at PA we are confident that we know how to inspire and drive an innovation culture to facilitate delivery of commercial opportunity. That’s why we’re delighted to sponsor GovCamp 2016. It celebrates what we do and supports what we know: innovation drives and sustains economic prosperity and keeps a business – or a country – ahead of the competition. We look forward to meeting you there.

Travel from England and beyond

If you are travelling to GovCamp Cymru from outside of Wales, please be aware that the Severn Tunnel will be closed which may cause delays when travelling by trains. Trains will still be running and replacement bus services will be in place but your journey will take a little longer. Be sure to plan ahead and check your timings when booking your travel.

The good news is that Flybe (other reputable companies are available) are currently advertising reasonably priced flights between London and Cardiff during that time. Flights can be found from around £85 return on the camp weekend which is comparable to train ticket prices. Here is a link for Flybe https://www.flybe.com/web-app/index.html. Early booking is advisable.

We appreciate everyone who is making the journey to join us in beautiful Wales this September. We are certain that your slightly extended journey will certainly be worthwhile and if nothing else, it will give you a little more time to prepare your pitch to make it even more brilliant!

When you plan your journey, remember you are welcome to join us at the pre-GovCamp meet-up on the Friday so why not start your weekend, and your conversations, early.

If you need more information about travelling to GovCamp Cymru, please visit our Venue page.

What is GovCamp Cymru – By Barod

Gov Camp Cymru is a day for people who want to make Wales a better place.

We do this by:

  • meeting up for a day
  • creating new ideas together
  • going away and using the new ideas

Gov Camp Cymru is always on a Saturday. This means people come in their free time.

This year it is on Saturday 24th September. It is at the Pierhead in Cardiff Bay.

It is free but you need a ticket. You can get a ticket from http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/gov-camp-cymru-16-tickets-25860692026

Anyone can come. (yes, anyone – if you have a ticket!)

Everyone is equal at a Gov Camp. No-one is more important. No-one is unimportant.

Last year, 150 people came. Some were:

  • public service managers
  • computer coders
  • members of the public
  • from community groups
  • from charities and businesses
  • from Welsh Government

We even have some people who came from London and Europe!

We all went because we wanted to meet other people who want to make Wales a better place.

Who runs Gov Camp Cymru?

It is run by a team of 12 volunteers (so far! Still time for more people to volunteer, and they probably will). Anyone can volunteer to help organise Gov Camp Cymru.

First timer?

Here’s what it will be like on the day.

We meet from 9:30am at the Pierhead, Cardiff.

We sign in and get our packs.  The packs tell you:

  • What time we start
  • What time we have lunch and breaks
  • What time we finish
  • Where we are going for drinks afterwards

Then we go into the main hall to get a drink and meet the other people who have come.  The room will have some stalls you can look at too.

There will be people taking photos and people tweeting about the day. You can take photos and tweet too.

Please tell us if you do not want your photo taken.

Please ask before you tweet someone’s name.

At 10:00am, someone will call us all together and say ‘welcome’ to us all.

The day starts with saying who we all are.

Then someone explains the rules and thanks the people who have paid for everything.

Next, we all agree an agenda. Here’s how we do it:

  • Anyone who wants to run a workshop or lead a discussion gets in a queue.
  • When it is your turn, you have 30 seconds to say what you want to do. This is called a ‘Pitch’. Someone will write down what you want to do on a post-it.
  • There is a big board with times and names of rooms.
  • Your post-it will be put next to a time and a room.

Everyone is welcome to ‘pitch’.  But no-one will try to make you!

Some people have great ideas. But they have never seen a ‘pitch’. So they don’t feel confident to join in. If that sounds like you, talk to us! We can help you think how to do a ‘pitch’.

When people have finished ‘pitching’, you need to:

  • look at the board
  • choose which workshop or discussion you want to go to
  • check which room it is in

Someone will stand by the board to help if you get stuck.

You need to follow the signs to the room. If you get lost, just ask a volunteer.

When you get to the room, the person who ‘pitched’ will welcome you. Then it’s time to join in the discussion or workshop.

If you change your mind, you can get up and go to another room. No-one will think you are rude. It is polite to do this at Gov Camp Cymru.

Your pack will tell you what time each workshop finishes, and what time the next workshop starts.

You do not have to go to every workshop. Some people get tired and want a longer break.

You might want to miss a workshop so you can:

  • sit quietly
  • think
  • talk to someone they have met
  • go for a walk to get some fresh air

At the end of the day, we all go out for drinks. Usually, the first drink is free

What are the workshops about?

We don’t know! Anyone who comes can ‘pitch’ their idea for a workshop.

There are always a lot of pitches about digital.

Digital is jargon for:

  • The internet
  • Apps on phones and tablets
  • Websites that let you do stuff (like fill in forms)
  • Things like Facebook and Twitter
  • Any electronic information (like a digital clock or radio)

Some people at Gov Camp Cymru can make apps and write computer programmes.

Everyone at Gov Camp Cymru is interested in digital – some of us use it a lot, and some of us are a bit scared of it!

Last year the pitches were about:

  • ‘open data’.

‘open’ means anyone can have it and use it.

‘data’ means the information that someone has collected (like how many people use the website GOV.UK, or answers people give to a questionnaire about Social Services)

  • Ideas for how government, politicians and public services can use ‘digital’ to do things better
  • Citizens having more power
  • Ways for public services and members of the public to work together
  • Using ‘digital’ to get involved in politics

What are your GovCamp Cymru highlights?

With the third GovCamp Cymru quickly approaching, conversations will be starting around potential pitches. Hopefully you’re all bursting with ideas, conversations and problems that you’re raring to pitch. If not, a good starting point for ideas is to explore the topics that have been discussed in previous years.

Previous pitches and session notes can be viewed here : https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/11DlmGEAjjI6qh7uispj6Q2hH0M8G6HmKWfNohBaViuQ/edit#gid=11

Click on the individual session note links to view the conversations from the day. Hopefully they will inspire you. Please also take a look at the pinterest board and storify from the lovely @DyfrigWilliams and the Good Practice Exchange for further inspiration.

As we approach the third year, we’d love to hear from all of our previous attendees about what their own personal highlights are from either #gccy14 or #gccy15. This could be the sessions you attended, the great conversation you had over coffee in the break or the new connection that you made. Whatever it is, we want to hear about it so please share on Twitter with the hashtag #gccy16 and the hashtag for the year that you’re referring to.

I’m sure the legendary 2015 blockchain game session will go down in history as one of the most memorable sessions of all time (those who were part of it, please share your story).

Blockchain 1blockchain 2

As will the session that had unexpected members of the public join in. With the wife saying about the husband “Don’t get him started!”, we had no choice but to do exactly that which resulted in enlightening and amusing perspectives. All sessions should have unexpected attendees and refreshing perspectives!

We look forward to hearing more of your stories and to seeing you all at #gccy16