Whilst I'm on the topic of upcoming conferences and events, two days before I'll be exploring how various speakers think we should keep young people safe online, I should be at BarCampUKGovWeb – an altogether different sort of event.
A BarCamp “an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos, and interaction from attendees.” Participants are encouraged to contribute short sessions to the event – and I've just been thinking about the sorts of sessions I could present.
The BarCampUKGovWeb focus is on:
…creating a shared understanding and commitment to the vision for UK government web activity and helping establish the UK government Digital Network to bring together the community of webbies within central government and the wider public sector.
Quite a few projects I worked on over the last year have linked with UK Government web activity in one way or another. It's ranged from trying to provide youth-focussed content for government websites, pulling data out of Local Direct Gov or capturing video interviews with civil servants. And as the focus of most of my work is around young people's participation – I thought I would sketch out four possible mini-sessions linking 'young people, government and web 2.0' for the BarCampUKGov audience. You can see my four ideas pasted in below.
If you've got any other suggestions for topics – or want to suggest developments to any of the below – do get in touch using the comments below.
From an e-mail to the Google Group
1. Protection and provision
Exploring issues around making sure under 18's are included, not excluded from the online civic space.
A bit theoretical – but with big practical implications.
2. Local names and national services
Using a case study of the Youth Opportunity Fund – a national programme, with a unique name (chosen by young people) in each local authority area – but for which we were trying to run a national publicity campaign working with (the then) DfES and DirectGov. Touches on technical issues linked to Local DirectGov – and organisational issues about policies for where content is hosted.
A very practical case study.
3. Working in partnership with government to consult and promote new policy
A couple of case studies of small scale projects for government (predominantly DfES) delivered by The National Youth Agency consulting with young people, or leading discussions and information-sharing about new policy with the field – incorporating the use of social media. Looking at how the social media element mostly 'just happened' – with logistical and policy issues being resolved along the way… and looking at whether this can be replicated – was the product of right people, right place, right time – or was enabled at the cost of
having a lesser impact.
4. Young people, online identity and the database state
I'm aware of at least one local authority building their own Social Networking website linked to the local Connexions database (holding personal information about young people). What happens when young people's online interaction comes within the ambit of the database state? Could we see social networks being linked to ContactPoint and other child protection databases? What about for over 18s?
Probably a bit of a theoretical discussion starter at the moment (unless I can work something up a little more in time for the BarCamp)
If I get chance to put together a full presentation for the BarCamp then I will, of course, share it here. And I'll aim to at least blog at/after the event on any discussions arising from the sessions I'm in.