About

A national conference about citizen engagement with public services online

The conference is sold out – but you can get on the standby list.

What’s it all about?

The web has already transformed the way we book a holiday, buy a camera, and share the snaps. Whole sectors – media, music, finance, publishing – are being turned upside down. But where is the impact on our public services? Why (with a few notable exceptions) are they still so top-down, so inflexible, so hard-to-reach? In sum, so last century?

This conference is about how that can – and already is – changing. It is about how the traditional public sector values of fairness, solidarity and equality are meeting the new networked values of participation, transparency and usability to create new services or add to old ones.

The web has created a new digital gift economy in which everyone can be a contributor and new kinds of public service are becoming possible.

It won’t all be top-down any more (and neither will this conference). We won’t be defined any longer just by what we need from the services we rely on, but also by what we have to give, and how we each can contribute to making our public services better.

This conference is about all that and more. There will be plenty of new ideas – but also plenty of practical examples of how people are already using the extraordinary gift of the web to improve, extend or challenge our public services to be the best they can be.

Is it really free?

Yes, the tickets are free – but it’s a gift economy. In return we want you to bring something to give.

What could you bring? Maybe a presentation or workshop, some free consultancy, or something for the conference goodie bag. Perhaps you could bake a cake.

We’ll have one or two special gifts for you on the day, too.

Who should come?

If any of the following sound like you, you should definitely come along:

  • you are running, building, or just thinking about building an online service which enables people to improve or get more from their public services
  • you commission, manage or provide a public service and you’d like to see what the web can do for you
  • you use or care about a public service and you have a great idea about how it could do something better on the web
  • you are a policymaker or politician and you are trying to work out where the online world is going
  • you are any combination of the above

Who shouldn’t come?

Anyone who thinks the web is just for buying things, illegal downloading, or running user surveys probably shouldn’t bother.

Who else will be there?

The attendance list is on our event page. There will be a pile of people behind some of the most interesting and innovative online sites and services around, such as Headshift, myPolice, Enabled by Design, On Road Media , FutureGov, thinkPublic and (cough) Patient Opinion.

How can I contribute?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Come along!
  • Spread the word: blog, tweet, digg, or whatever it is you do
  • Bring your gift – personal, digital or physical?
  • Run a workshop session
  • Offer a lunchtime sideshow
  • Or you could even sponsor us!

Whatever you think you can offer, we’d like to hear from you. Once you book your ticket, please get in touch. We need you more than you know.

How can I stay informed?

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