A self organised unconference for anyone with an interest in services in islands, wherever they may be (including the big one with Cardiff, Edinburgh, and London on it); and for anyone with connections to islands, however tenuous. Also (in May 2012 and May 2015), an opportunity for visitors to Orkney to see puffins!

IslandGovCamp #IsleGC15 : Saturday and Sunday 30-31 May 2015
Kirkwall Grammar School, Orkney (and online)

(There will also be an island visit, and/or bus tour in Orkney on Friday 29 May 2015, for govcampers travelling to Orkney who can arrive a day or 2 early.)

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Welcome to #IslandGovCamp 2012

Orkney College UHI, Kirkwall, Orkney
Friday 25 - Sunday 27 May 2012

Book your place at IslandGovCamp (courtesy of Eventbrite):

Some of this information (and lots of links and other material) can be found on the Facebook page and twitter feed below.

What is IslandGovCamp?
A self organised unconference for people who work in and around government in islands, wherever they may be (including the big one with Cardiff, Edinburgh, and London on it); and for anyone with connections to islands, however tenuous. Also, an opportunity for visitors to Orkney to see puffins!

(Picture: Puffin Swarm, by Frederique Harmsze (under Creative Commons license)

How can I find out more?
Read the rest of this blog post! Queries? Raise them in a comment below, or by twitter or Facebook. Please also feel free to email me with queries, suggestions, offers of sponsorship or other observations at: sweyn.hunter at hotmail dot com

What will happen at IslandGovCamp?
That will depend on who participates! Roughly speaking, though, this is the suggested timetable:

Thursday 24 May 2012: Visitors to Orkney (if not already here, searching for puffins) might start to arrive (possibly on the Aberdeen to Kirkwall ferry, on the Scrabster to Stromness ferry, the Gills Bay to St Margaret's Hope ferry, the John O'Groats to Burwick ferry, or by Flybe/Loganair flight from most Scottish airports.)

(Picture: Sweyn Hunter (under Creative Commons license)

Friday 25 May 2012: Those who wish to might spend the day discussing possible GovCamp topics, as we tour around the Orkney mainland, possibly taking in Scara Brae, the Ring of Brodgar (and other UNESCO-designated Heart of Neolithic Orkney sites) and the Italian Chapel. Probably some Orkney residents will have to work on this day, and some visitors will just be arriving from Shetland or south, but those who wish to can interact online with these touring discussions, and join in in-person when they can. In the evening, perhaps we can spend some time in the pub, for example Helgi's, the Bothy Bar or The Auld Motorhoose.

Saturday 26 May 2012: Probably some visitors will still just be arriving, but in the morning we can do more discussing and touring. At 12:00 we will gather at the Orkney College UHI in Kirkwall, and use an hour or so to decide what sessions there are going to be, and in what order (a standard GovCamp process), and then those sessions can run until about 17:30. In the evening, we will surely find something musical, theatrical or educational to do.

Sunday 27 May 2012: At 10:00 (or thereabouts) we will gather again at the College, and have more GovCamp sessions and/or some sort of wrap-up process until about 13:00. From then on, those who have to travel home get get on their way, and those who live in Orkney can attempt to recover before work on Monday!

Attendance will be free, and it is hoped that lunch on Saturday and Sunday can be provided: if the search for sponsors is successful, perhaps more can be paid for (HINT: if you can think of possible sponsors, please get in touch!). Unfortunately, it does not seem likely that assistance with travel and accommodation will be possible - but as the event includes a Saturday night, perhaps the cost of getting here will not be too prohibitive. For non-Orkney-residents (or residents of Orkney's smaller islands) who cannot travel to IslandGovCamp, there will be the option of participation by internet audio/video streaming (with some form of interactivity, either via twitter and Facebook, or in some other way).

Further advice on travel options, and on finding accommodation, will appear here soon.

Where did the idea for IslandGovCamp come from?
It was inspired by ScotGovCamp in Aberdeen (and TechMeetUp in Aberdeen, and SOCITM Scotland in Edinburgh) in September 2012. GovCamps have been held all over the world in recent years, as indicated in this incomplete wiki list. Govcamps grew out of the concept of BarCamps, and tend to have a focus (if that is the right word!) on the pragmatic use of social media and technology to improve public services (and sometimes on puffins), but the important thing about this style of event is that the agenda is set by those attending, with a bit of prior discussion and debate online. It is also the latest in a string of Orkney technology-related events organised (if that is the correct word) by members of the Orkney ICT Forum (website under construction).

Who can attend IslandGovCamp?
Anyone! There will soon be a link to an online booking form, and it will be first come, first served. (The only limit will the maximum number of attendees we are able to accommodate at Orkney College UHI.) It doesn't matter if you are a technical expert, a front-line public sector worker, a manager, support staff, a contractor, a private citizen, a service user or anybody else - if you have an interest in discussing service improvements with likeminded people, IslandGovCamp is for you! It is hoped that a good mix of Orkney residents, and other islanders (even from that big one with Edinburgh, London and Cardiff on it) and others with an interest in island life will be able to take part.

Why is the IslandGovCamp page hosted on the Northern Blethers blog?
Because it was quick and easy to put the information here. If time permits, there will be a dedicated IslandGovCamp blog in due course. This is perhaps the place to stress that IslandGovCamp is not being organised as part of my employment with Orkney Islands Council, although I have had moral (and some practical) support from individuals within the Council's management, and also from one or 2 elected members. There is also interest in being involved in IslandGovCamp from individuals employed by NHS Orkney, although (in a way which is appropriate for the spirit of a GovCamp), everyone's participation should be assumed to be on personal basis, and not necessarily as a representative of their organisation.

Book your place at IslandGovCamp (courtesy of Eventbrite):

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