Local by Social: My Best Bits

I thought that, rather than provide a long account of yesterday’s Local by Social event in London, I would just note down the things that caught my eye.

For a full account of the proceedings, you could do no better than to visit the live blogs that were produced by Dave Briggs and FutureGov (thanks, Lauren).
See also Paul Clarke’s photos from the day on Flickr.

So, here’s what I found interesting / remarkable / worth highlighting:

  • Dominic Campbell got the ball rolling. I was pleased to hear him reference the Personal Democracy Forum and Social Innovator websites. He also mentioned a couple of great books – “The Power of Social Innovation“, by Stephen Goldsmith et. al. and “Connected: The Surprising Power of Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives“, by Christakis and Fowler.
    Dominic also recommended a shift from “eGov” to “WeGov”, which I think many will sympathise with.
  • One of the major points I took away from Andy Gibson’s talk was that we should stop talking about Social Media as we currently do and start to consider it ‘infrastructure’. Personally, I think this is a very good way forward as it concentrates on the facility and less on the specific tools and products. It is also, I would imagine, less daunting for local government to consider ‘infrastructure changes’ over ‘new technology’, though that is just my notion – not backed up by any findings.
    Also from Andy, and something which is very close to my heart, was the suggestion that local government should be implementing agile procurement procedures. I know that changing local government is like trying to steer an oil tanker but I would consider this one of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce waste (money) and streamline spending.
  • A special mention has to go out to Katherine Hui from Do the Green Thing for lightening the whole room by playing one of their WalkCast  promotional videos.
  • Hugh Flouch (Networked Neighbourhoods) gave an excellent presentation – I’ll update here with a link to the slides when I find them. The audience were privy to new findings that showed that citizens’ perception of councillors, officers and police was improved by citizens’ involvement in hyperlocal websites. Again, the slides (will) tell the story.

So, there you go. A great afternoon for me, as I came away with lots to think about and also different ways of thinking. Apologies to those speakers who didn’t get a mention above – all presentations were excellent and I just wanted to capture those little points that really grabbed my attention. The live blogs, listed above, cover the event in far more detail and I encourage you to visit them in order to put what you find here in context.



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