First stab at the programme

We’ve taken all your great ideas and lovely offers for what you might do at myPublicServices and, with a little bit of pushing and shoving, turned them into a programme for the day. Have a look and see what you think.

Obviously it’s a little bit sketchy at this stage, but we wanted to get something out there for you to look at.

You’ll see we’ve made a few key decisions on your behalf:

  1. We thought most people would want to be active rather than passive, so most of the day is workshops and little of the day is talks from the front.
  2. We think (fingers crossed) we can get 6 parallel streams into the building. Everyone breathe in.
  3. Looking at all the offers, we felt they fell into two major themes: extending and improving the old, and building the new. We know it’s not hard and fast, but it helped us to organise things. You can move from any stream to any other whenever you want.
  4. We’ve taken a few liberties in giving people titles for sessions, and putting people together who wanted to present in similar areas. Bear with us – if you’re on the programme we’ll be in touch in the next few days to sort out the details and make sure you’re happy with what you’re doing.

The programme is sure to evolve a little (but not a lot, we hope) before the day – so give us your feedback.


Improving what is and building what isn’t (yet…

So, 829 sticky notes later we *may* have come up with a nice framework for the day. As we’ve sifted through all your offers for sessions and discussions, one distinction started to emerge: some people are focused on improving what already is, while others want to build something new from scratch. This is helping us see how we might put streams of sessions together. With all the great sponsorship (thank you!), we think we can run 5 or 6 streams of sessions in parallel, and allow you to move between streams (if you want) after each 45 minute session. Other themes are emerging too: in the “improving what is” branch, key themes seem to be around democracy, localism, and service design. In the “building something new” branch, the issues are values, support and experience. We’ll put a draft kind of plan on the blog in the next day or two, and we’d be glad to hear what you think.

21st Century Councillor sponsors myPublicServices

21st century councillorWe’re pleased as can be that 21st Century Councillor is very kindly sponsoring a room at myPublicServices. Marvellous!

And, looking at our blur of sticky notes and scribbles, I think there will be a strong current of local democracy and hyperlocal-ness running through the day. Nice!

Patients Know Best sponsors myPublicServices

We asked you to help out, and you’ve really come through.

This time, we’re giving thanks for the generosity and support of Mohammad Al-Ubaydli, CEO of Patients Know Best, whose sponsorship enables us to add an extra room – and therefore an extra helping of sharing, learning and debate – to the conference.

Patients Know Best
Thanks Mohammad!

Shaping the myPublicServices programme

We have now turned our attention to the next major task (apart from raising enough sponsorship!) – to create a programme as impressive and interesting as the attendee list, which by the looks of it is going to be no easy task.

I’ve spent the last few weeks working through all your incredible offers in a small paper vortex in my corner at Patient Opinion HQ and think its time to begin throwing out some ideas on how the day might be shaped. I was lucky enough to meet up with a few conference contributors last week who all had some fantastic ideas about how they thought the conference might shape up.

So, with a little pondering we’ve come up with an initial idea of everyone being able to choose between taking part in a variety of 45 minute sessions or alternatively, being part of a larger 90 minute workshop of sorts. We are hoping to have 5 or 6 running in parallel throughout the day in both the morning and the afternoon in order to have as many people contributing as possible in areas they want to get involved in.

This is, of course, not set in stone- we want this blog to be packed with your suggestions and opinions on how we can make the ideal programme, and ultimately the ideal day- full of different workshops, sessions, sounding boards, debates, cakes and pretty much anything else you can think of!

The buzz that has surrounded the event has been great, and we couldn’t be more excited, but we need to keep our values in focus: bottom-up and participant-led. So stay in touch, get commenting and let us know how you would like the programme to look.

Social reporting at myPublicServices

As you might have gathered by now, we don’t know a whole lot about organising a kick-ass webby conference. Luckily, we know people who know people who do.

Social By SocialOne such is David Wilcox who knows all about social reporting – which is something to do with bottom-up videoing, interviewing, blogging and tweeting before, during and after the event. David knows his stuff and, together with colleague Amy Sample Ward, contributed to the team that brought you Social By Social.

David and Amy have very generously agreed to donate some time (it’s a gift economy remember?) to co-ordinating a team of social reporters before and at the conference. Are we pleased and incredibly grateful? Yes we are.

Who are these social reporters? Well, I might be one. You might be one too. The core competencies are curiosity and an ability to ask a good question and listen to the answer. You might even have a phone that can video, or a Flip camera or similar gizmo that you could bring along. It’s not vital.

David and Amy will get in touch with you if you want to have a go at this, organise who’s doing what on the day, upload stuff to the event blog, and be full of practical advice and guidance. If you want us to put you in touch, let us know.

Checking out the venue

The Abbey Centre

The Abbey Centre

Last week we went along to the Abbey Centre for a look around. We’re expecting about 150 people for myPublicServices, and we wondered whether we might have overdone it a bit.

Luckily it’s a great place, just round the corner from Westminster Abbey and Parliament Square, yet clearly rooted in the local community. It’s light and airy, with friendly staff.

But looking at all the people coming, and the offers of really interesting workshops, we’re thinking we need to be able to run 5 or 6 sessions in parallel for most of the morning and most of the afternoon. Even then, that’s over 20 people in each session. And at the moment, we have the main hall and two extra rooms booked – maybe enough for 4 parallel sessions.

Really, we need a bit more space.

So here’s the ask: are you able to sponsor an extra room for the conference? We need about £300 for each extra room we can get. Can you – maybe with someone else – chip in? If so, let us know ASAP – we need your help!