Picamp: Challenging and new conversations…

So what was PIcamp all about? Well the idea behind is pretty straightforward. It’s based on the understanding that meaningful change happens iteratively, in small steps and not through large scale revolutions. We began this year’s events in Edinburgh, because one of the things that Scotland and Northern Ireland share is a lack of capacity with parties and government to come up with new ideas to deal with new problems. The internet may not be able supply the answers to …

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#picamp – FOI and Data

There was a good discussion this morning at PI Camp around the conjoined issues of FOI and open data. The room had practitioners from both sides of the FOI fence – civil servants, journalists and bloggers. The idea for the session came out of my belief that FOI is often a crude tool that can produce more heat than light, and tends to encourage institutional obfuscation rather than a spirit of openness and sharing. So how best to use FOI …

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A few dark horses for tomorrow

It’s not unheard of for an unfancied novice to have a good race. Likewise, tomorrow we’ve had a lots of sessions suggested, but the best ones may be the ones that haven’t had too much take-up on the uservoice site. That voting mechanism is only advisory. Tomorrow, everyone will have the option to chip their ideas for a session in and see how many takers there are. Rooms are then allocated according to the interest in sessions and everyone should …

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Who’s coming to Slugger’s big day tomorrow?

We’re just shy of 90 registrations for tomorrow at the time of writing and there are still a few tickets left if you want one. You can suggest / rate ideas for sessions here. The one surprising nugget is that there are lots of political activists and people with a professional interest in participation / consultation / democracy, but there are almost no elected politicians registered. Yet. Here’s the snapshot from Eventbrite’s reporting page. The eagle-eyed among you will spot …

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Political Innovation: Prepping the conversation…

As I noted last night, Saturday’s Political Innovation event at NICVA is about developing ideas. There will be a few set piece session throughout the day, but the rest of the agenda will be decided on the morning. Our new user voice site proved a real boon in Edinburgh teasing out what subjects had popular support before the main event itself. For Belfast we have a lot of votes for inventing a ‘new non sectarian left’ project (in two different …

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What to expect at Saturday’s Slugger event

We had over eighty people along for the Political Innovation event in Edinburgh on Saturday. Slugger’s write up is here, and Bruno Panara has pulled together a good timeline using Storify here. And there are five ideas that are going forward towards action. So, what’s going to happen on Saturday at NICVA’s HQ? Well, firstly, the subject matter is largely in your hands. We’ll have a panel session of the great, the good (and the slightly wicked) straight after lunch …

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Political Innovation, Edinburgh and ‘disciplined crankery’?

At Saturday’s Political Innovation event (you can see the full commentary on the #picamp hashtag on Twitter), we asked a panel of speakers if there is some social good that can come out of our interactive alternative to the mainstream media. Political Innovation plenary session from Robert Stewart on Vimeo. Pat Kane (Hue & Cry frontman and author of The Play Ethic) urged the participants to ‘embrace your inner and outer crank’, and in doing so, underscored one of the …

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Political Innovation in Belfast: New ideas for old problems

This Saturday we have over 80 people booked up to come to the Political Innovation event in Edinburgh at the weekend, with the topics of conversation being shaped up at our uservoice site. The week afterwards (20th November) we’re convening at NICVA for the Belfast event (book your place here). In both cases the political context is similar. There are important elections coming in May for the Assembly and the local councils. At the moment the top three conversations for …

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Launching the ‘Political Innovation’ project

When bloggers meet, I often find that old allegiances (be they left right, or Unionist/Republican) often dissolve into a different political spilt. Those of us who imagine that we ‘get’ the read-write web against the political colleagues that we have who, we believe, fail to foresee the possibilities or the threats. I’ve occasionally witnessed left-right-and-centrist bloggers in (non) violent agreement with each other – not about political direction, but about what is possible in harnessing the power of the web. …

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Barcamp on Saturday…

Paul Evans and I will be at Barcamp Belfast on Saturday, mostly because there are a couple of political themes (hyperlocal Belfast and Freedom of Information for bloggers) already being discussed there, and we thought it would be a good opportunity to kick around some ideas for the next PICamp (that’s political innovation camp), which we hope to organise in Scotland later in the Summer. We’re planning to host a conversation on crowdsourcing for journalism. Hope to see some of …

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