Policy Unplugged goes to Parliament

phil willis paul clark
john warder chris mole

The Policy Unplugged gang were invited to Parliament this week to meet politicians and policy makers at a Technology Demonstration Morning at Portcullis House and to talk about their radical brand of events – what Steve Moore is now calling “social conferences” (much more descriptive I think than ‘unconference’, though the concept is similar).

I’m doing more and more work with them, mostly of the social media reportage variety and this was no exception – I spent the morning running around the room either carrying my laptop, camcorder or minidisc player around and (gently of course) butting into people’s conversations in order to get them to talk about what they were getting out of the day. David Wilcox was there too, keeping it in the family by making the most of his son Daniel’s whizz multimedia skills: they’ve put together a Drupal community site for Policy Unplugged where you’ll find more stuff about the day from me, David and Dan.

This includes the quartet of politicians you see above (click on their sweet faces to see them in action). They are, clockwise from top left: Phil Willis MP for Harrogate & Knaresborough, Paul Clark MP for Gillingham & Rainham, Chris Mole MP for Ipswich, and John Warder, Deputy Leader of Chiltern District Council. 10 points for correctly identifying each of their political affiliations [hint – two of them come from the same party]. Bonus marks for spotting which of them might be considered most powerful and why.

All this…and brains too!

Debbie DaviesOK – so the first of my new projects to see the light of day (your luminescence may vary) is called “All this…and brains too!” and you can find it down at: http://www.perfectpath.co.uk/atab2 for the time being.

Euan said, in response to the shampoo/shower extravaganza, “Lloyd Davis is either a genius or a nutter. I’m not sure myself which…” well my life is all about finding that out but I doubt I’ll reach any final conclusion (except the obvious final conclusion that comes to us all)

All this… is just a little bit more evidence to help you to make your own minds up. Genius or nutter??? You decide.

I’m joined in this new enterprise by Debbie Davies, multi-talented TV producer/actress/writer/interviewer/erstwhile international arms-dealer and all-round laugh-and-a-half.

Debbie’s working with me on the commercial video-based projects I’ve got cooking, but we decided that we needed to do something a bit lighter too (is this light enough for ya?!).

For regular subscribers to Perfect Path here’s the first episode for your podcatching delight. In future, please point your equipment in the direction of http://feeds.feedburner.com/Allthisandbrainstoo

Oh yeah – and there’s a Paypal tip jar button – please use it, however humbly you may appreciate our little offerings. No contribution too small (although having said that, as small as 37p might only just cover the Paypal fees!)

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Too busy?

I saw people say “I’m too busy to blog” in the past and scoffed.

How can you be too busy to blog?!?! Well I have been – even too busy to answer my e-mail properly or even respond to text messages from dear friends. So what’s going on?

Well, it started at Les Blogs II. In a low-blood sugar stupor something clicked inside me and I thought “Why are we spending so much time, talking about sooooooo little?” Sadly I didn’t get much further than this and spent most of December not blogging or doing much at all – hibernating while it all got sorted out in my head. And then I went to the Girl Geek Dinner and got my podcasting trousers on again and something started to shift.

I can only articulate this now in retrospect, but what I think I realised was that I was spending way too much energy talking about what we have done with social media and what we might be able to do with it and not nearly enough time really developing those ideas and actually doing it.

What I remembered from the great podcast explosion back in ‘ought-five is that this stuff is fun to give and fun to receive. People like what I do – so I’m going to do more. Ironically of course, because I’ve been doing so much chatting, plotting and scribbling in notebooks that I’ve neglected the writing here on Perfect Path.

Well it’s the path that’s perfect, not the baldy git who’s walking it.

So I started talking to other people about the projects that have been formulating in my imagination over the last little while. Projects that have made me giggle with anticipation when I think about them just before going off to sleep. I’m going to be revealing more about these projects over the next days and weeks but I can assure regular readers/listeners/viewers that if you liked the podwalks, conference blogging and the G-room videoblog from last year, you’re going to love what’s coming up…

Hasta la vista, babies!

Cool Event Corner – Working Together 2

wt-soho-017Last Tuesday I had the honour and pleasure of helping out at a dinner to get people together to talk about Working Together 2, an initiative to help the public sector to work more intelligently with digital entrepreneurs and innovators when using technology to support service reform, rather than always plumping for the “safe” option of one of the big boys. The idea of the evening was to start off a process of co-creation through conversation and collaboration.

In the Soho House bar beforehand, I chatted with people to see what they’d come expecting to put in and take away from the evening.

I think what drew everyone together was a shared frustration with how things are, that it’s just too difficult at the moment for those letting contracts and those bidding for them and a feeling that public service reform is being held back because too many change projects are seen by civil servants as IT projects and therefore risky and therefore not to be touched with a bargepole if you can help it.

The people behind the event are Creative London who are being helped out by Prospect, NMK and PolicyUnplugged – a Working Together site is going up right now and we’ll be making the most of collaboration software to keep this conversation going through the summer.

Photos from the evening are on flickr tagged working2gether

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Blogs & Social Media Forum – May 2006



Groovy event corner: look out for the Blogs & Social Media Forum organised by VNU in London on May 17th.

Check out the programme and you’ll see the reason I’m talking about it. I’m facilitating an Open Space session with m’colleague Johnnie Moore during the day as an antidote to powerpoint pain and panel proliferation. But of course there’ll be interesting things going on as well. Booom! Booom!

The whole thing will be masterfully chaired by the newly liberated Euan Semple and we’re going to try as hard as possible to make this event stand out from the crowd and not be another dreary procession of the usual suspects.

Sign up via the booking form on the site.

Disclosure: as well as running the session, I am on the advisory panel for the conference.

See you there!

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