Merry Christmas everyone!
You've made 2014 a great one for LocalGov Digital so thank you - and here's what's to come in 2015.
How will LocalGov Digital continue to grow from small network to grassroots movement through thinking, doing and sharing in 2015?
2015 marks LocalGov Digital's third year and looks set to be a pivotal moment where the small network grows further into a grassroots movement through the activity and power of its members.
Current chair Carl Haggerty recently blogged about how we keep the momentum LocalGov Digital gained in 2014 going in the new year and this post is about the practical activities - the doing we're so keen on - we already have planned.
- Local Democracy for Everyone: We're Not in Westminster Anymore - Saturday 7 February 2015, Huddersfield. This event is for anyone who wants to change one small thing (or the whole system) to make democracy work better for us all. If you're interested in talking about rewiring local democracy ahead of the event join the LDBytes club on Knowledge Hub and if you're a thinker, doer or sharer get along to Huddersfield and help start the transformation.
- LocalGovCamp - we loved running this event so much in 2014 (and you all seemed to enjoy being part of it too) that we're doing it again this year! We're still finalising details of where it will be and what will make up the Fringe events this time round but keep September in mind for a date. If you'd like to sponsor or help us organise you can get in touch with us here.
- Change Academy - we continue to believe that capabilities and confidence need to be nurtured across the sector in new skills like service design, as well as more specific digital areas. Our chair Carl Haggerty will be piloting the Change Academy at Devon County Council and we'll be encouraging coaching and mentoring to be more widely adopted as a means to support ourselves as a sector.
- Pipeline - have you added your projects and plans to Pipeline yet? Get on it! We'll be developing the platform further and encouraging even more organisations to collaborate through it. We'll also be planning events around the platform itself and the plans you all share on there.
- Localo - a project to create by community consensus local government data and API specifications relating to the services and information provided by local government. Put simply, Localo will enable IT systems to talk to each other and councils and citizens to build services based on them.
- Open Data - this new area of focus for LocalGov Digital is going to pick up pace in 2015 and work on demystifying what is becoming a part of lots of people's jobs and has a role in transparency and democracy as well as collaboration and service delivery.
- Voice - we want to hear from more of you so make your New Year's resolution to start blogging (or to rekindle a neglected blog) and let us know so we can share your thoughts through Voice.
It's been said before but it's going to be more true in 2015 than ever before - we are all LocalGov Digital. If you've just been watching from the side now is the time to jump right in and get involved in what is happening either in the workstreams, in your region (or in both!).
If there isn't activity in your area then get something started. You don't need permission - you just need passion. And if you need support then those who are already involved will all be happy to hear your ideas, give you pointers or support you to get stuff going.
So - from LocalGov Digital - we wish you a merry Christmas and we look forward to thinking, doing and sharing with you in 2015.