I’ve been involved in digital in some way or another for 19 years now…as a user, as a consumer, as a creator, as a worker…but I’ve never been to a hack day.
I’ve watched with interest as hackathons unfold on Twitter, especially those like Rewired State or Hack the Government. I have nothing but admiration for those who can within a few short hours re-imagine and prototype the everyday.
I’m not a coder…not really…not in any serious or competent way. It’s something I’m working on slowly but isn’t really my forte. Maybe if it was I would have taken the plunge and headed to a hack day before now.
But in just over two months I’ll get to be in the room while those who can, do. Because when LocalGov Digital took on the running of LocalGovCamp we felt strongly we should create a Fringe of events representing the network’s main areas of work.
So on Friday 20 June we’ll be holding the LocalGov Digital Makers hack day, partnered by Nesta. Phil Rumens has been doing most of the organising on this one – I’ve been really pleased to see a big interest building up of those wanting to get together and work on solving problems across local government.
And pleased too that it’s not just coders who are needed for this but service managers, frontliners, communicators, interaction and other sorts of designer, planners, directors, collaborators from outside the sector and, of course, people (we all have a stake in local government as service users and tax payers afterall). It means that I can see what part I could usefully play in the day more clearly than I have before.
I’m excited too that as we’ll be running a Digital Leaders event at the same time we’ll be bringing in councillors and senior officers to see the presentations at the end of the hack day and providing an opportunity for everyone from both streams to network. My own hope for this is that the light will go on for some of those with influence within their organisations to see digital not as boxes and wires but creative, innovative, collaborative people, a group much broader than coders alone, who together can help to transform services and the sector.
Held at The Bond Company in central Birmingham the event is free, parterned by Nesta, and tickets will be released in two batches. Follow @lgmakers for information on how to get yours and feed your ideas about what the day could tackle. Information will also be posted on the LocalGov Digital website.
The next batch of tickets (all free) for LocalGovCamp (an unconference to be held at The Bond Company, Birmingham on Saturday 21 June) will be released in the next fortnight. Follow @localgovcamp and check the LocalGov Digital website for information.