I went to UKGovCamp 2017

UKGovCamp 2017 logo

I participated in UKGovCamp 2017, held at the National Audit Office on Saturday 21 January 2017.

The unconference was split into eight parallel streams, with five sessions in each timeslot.

The sessions I attended where:

  • Digital campaigns in government – this session, led by Lily Dart from the Department for International Trade, looked at improving government campaigns in the department through seeking advise from those in other areas
  • Research and development in government – this session asked should the civil service carry out research and development, one of the proposals was that their should be a central R&D function centrally (eg in GDS), along with R&D groups in each department
  • Making government open by design and in operation – Clare Moriarty, from DEFRA, led the session which asked the group, split up into smaller groups of about six, how could the department develop implementable policy on openness
  • Archiving digital government – a fascinating session, led by John Sheridan from The National Archives, looked at what should be recorded for archiving purposes needs to be thought about entirely differently in the digital age
  • Writing content for users – this session, led by Lizi Standing, gathered ideas for improving content for users in local government

The brilliant day concluded with a number of drinks being consumed at a nearby local hostelry!

Many thanks to the organisers and sponsors for enabling another fantastic UKGovCamp.

I went to the Green Man Festival 2016

Christina, Des and myself attended the Green Man Festival 2016, held at Glanusk Estate, Powys, Wales.

We’ve been to the festival every year since 2011, and since 2013, have stayed for seven days as Green Man Settlers.

Once we had got to the site on Monday 15 August, we went to the nearby Settlers Bar to sample the new Growler bitter IPA, specially brewed for the festival.

Going to the bar before pitching our tents was not a brilliant idea – the tents were assembled in various states, with Christina’s tent not achieving anywhere near an erect state!

Des and Tony at Green Man

Before the start of the actual festival, we enjoyed the entertainment laid on for settlers, and also visited nearby Crickhowell, making sure we went to both the Bridge End Inn and the Britannia Inn.

On Wednesday we went to the Brecon Mountain Railway for a fantastic ride which mainly circumnavigates around the Ponsticill Reservoir.

Christina and Tony and steam train

Amongst the acts we saw we particularly enjoyed Floating Points (Live) in the Far Out tent, and Charlotte Church‘s Night Pop Dungeon, a fantastic disco themed act, whilst sampling the real ciders in the new Walled Garden pub.

Charlotte Church at the Walled Garden

I must also note that Christina and myself went on the Ferris Wheel three times during the festival!

On Sunday evening we saw the traditional burning of the Green Man, in the new location central in the upper area behind the Mountain Stage.

On the Monday we split up – Des returning to London, whilst Christina and myself stayed at the Park Farm Camp Site for the last night.

Christina managed to carry out wild swimming three times in the River Usk over the period of the holiday!

Another fantastic vacation in South Wales – we’re already looking forward to Green Man 2017 – the fifteenth anniversary party!

Rainbow at Green Man

WPUK Unconference York UK 2016 has been postponed

Due to unforeseen logistical issues WPUK Unconference York UK 2016 (working title), planned to take place on the weekend of 10-11 September 2016, has been postponed.

I went to the Ealing Beer Festival 2016

I attended the excellent Ealing Beer Festival on Wednesday 6 July with Des.

Ben Building

Another fantastic documentary by Jonathan Meades – Ben Building: Mussolini, Monuments and Modernism.

The future of Labour: open

Fabulous post by James Darling on open Labour.

Unfortunately, this vision is unlikely to be implemented under the current Labour leadership.

WPUK Unconference York UK 2016 announced

WPUK Unconference York UK 2016 (working title) will take place on the weekend of 10-11 September 2016.

The event will be held in the Priory Street Centre, 15 Priory Street, York YO1 6ET.

Details of the structure of the weekend, along with how to propose a presentation, have been posted.

An application for WordCamp status has been made for this event.

The weekend is the follow-up to WordCamp Birmingham UK 2015.

The training of programs

In one of the most interesting posts I’ve read in a long time, Wired investigates artificial intelligence, machine learning, programming, science and biology.