There have already been a number of inspiring blogs written about last weekend’s LocalGovCamp in Birmingham – you can read Sarah Jennings’ account of events here. And if you keep an eye on the @LocalGovDigital Twitter stream and the LocalGovDigital website you’ll see links to blogs by many of the ‘Campers’.
One exciting addition to this year’s LocalGovCamp were two fringe meetings held on Friday (the day before the main event). The first brought together leaders – political and managerial – to hear inspiring examples of how digital can create positive change. The second brought together talented techies to work on some specific digital projects during the day. The aim of the game at the end of the day was ‘a meeting of minds’ – bringing together leaders and influencers with digital practitioners to understand the real potential of some of these digital projects and how they might be taken forward.
The events were a great success and there was genuinely a joint will to move the digital agenda forward and lead the change, there was also a feeling that there’s still a huge job to do. As Cllr Jason Kitcat from Brighton and Hove Council pointed out – the people in the room can’t change the rest by themselves. It’s true that local government needs more digital leaders in the senior ranks. People who genuinely understand how digital can help shape and change public service delivery for the better. People who understand which barriers need to be lifted in order to make some of the aspirations a reality. People who are ready to lead the revolution.
Paul Matthews, Chief Executive of Monmouthshire County Council, is one such leader. For Paul, digital is not about which tools you can and can’t use, it’s about how you reach and animate local communities in a place. The basis of the council’s digital approach is to enable and empower staff in a high trust environment and give them the conditions to achieve the right outcomes for the communities of Monmouthshire.
If you’re looking for some inspiration, or want to understand more about what digital can achieve, check out all the Leaders' Summit Lightning Talks here. And if you want to be part of the LocalGov Digital movement, join the LocalGov Digital Network group here – and tweet ‘I’m in’ to @LocalGovDigital.