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Shropcamp - Harper’s first ‘un-conference’

Posted 20 April 2011

Delegates at Shropcamp

Around 70 people learnt how open data and social media can help them to deliver better services at a special ‘un-conference’ at Harper Adams University College yesterday.

The event, called ‘Shropcamp’, welcomed anyone that works to deliver local-level public services from across Shropshire, Staffordshire and beyond, to join together and discuss topical issues.

What makes Shropcamp different is that the agenda was devised on the day, with delegates controlling what to discuss and then choosing which seminars were of most interest to them.

Ben Proctor from Likeaword Consultancy helped to organise the event. He said: “These sorts of events began in America when IT specialists started informal conferences in bars called ‘barcamps’.

“The idea soon caught on in the UK and people interested in government started similar events called ‘govcamps’. This one is in Shropshire, so called Shropcamp.

“There is a great sense of enthusiasm at un-conferences because the delegates define what is covered so find them of great value. It gets people fired up.”

Shropcamp, as an event, is only the start of the discussion. Debates now continue on the internet through blogs, photographs and video.

Andy Corbett from UKITA (The UK IT Association), said: “Holding the event at Harper Adams has been a great way to get different expertise together and create a forum for them to share information.

“It has also great for networking and making new contacts.”

The event went ahead thanks to Harper Adams University College, UKITA and Likeaword Consultancy, and was sponsored by MoreOpen, Penval Project Support Services Ltd and Beyond Brilliance.

To find out more, visit shropcamp.tumblr.com

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