How do you decide how to structure your event? First, you really ought to decide what you are trying to achieve.

I spent a few days in Amsterdam the other week, attending a meeting of the Cross Innovation project that is being led by Birmingham City University. The project has 11 cities taking part and they are looking into policies that can help the creative industries influence other types of business, especially in more traditional areas of the economy.


One of the ways the project is going to attempt this is by looking at brokerage, which they define as being “services offered by agencies that facilitate connections between sectors and individual firms where none previously existed”. The brokerage services that the project has looked into are often events.

It made me think how different events I have hosted and attended are constructed. Also, I thought about how much or little they focus on outcomes.Continue reading

I’m lucky enough to be involved in a number of events this month.

Chamberlain Forum logoOn the 15th November I’ll be going along, and probably talking, at the Chamberlain Forum‘s round table discussion on how open data and communication can help support a Co-operative Council. I’ve been involved in some work on open education data that I’ll be using as an example for that discussion.

The following Monday is our third HyperWM event. HyperWM is an unconference for local government in the West Midlands. As I write this there are still some tickets remaining but they might not be there for long. This year our hosts and sponsors are Sandwell Borough Council and we will be spending the afternoon at The Public in West Bromwich talking about how digital technologies can help us do things better in local government.

HyperWM logo

I really enjoy the spontaneous feel of an unconference, which is where the participants decide the agenda and pitch to run the sessions at the start of the event. It leads to a lot more enthusiasm about the subject matter and support for other people and their work. It proves that working life isn’t all about Apprentice-like competition, but is far more productive (and fun) when you work in collaboration with others.

Hello Culture logoLater that week I’ll be spending a couple of days attending Hello Culture. It’s one thing I’ve continued to be involved in since leaving Digital Birmingham, mainly because I’ve enjoyed the previous events so much. I also need to be there because I’ll be chairing the panel on digital and cultural collaborations. Come along and watch me ramble….

Also there at Hello Culture will be IC tomorrow, a Technology Strategy Board programme that “….stimulates innovation and economic growth in the digital sector, by breaking down barriers and opening doors for a new generation of entrepreneurs.”

There is an opportunity for 10 businesses to present at their ‘Meet The Innovators 3′ session which will be held on Wednesday November 21. It’s a chance to pitch an idea to a group of cultural organisations and also in front of the people running the IC Tomorrow programme. IC tomorrow Logo

Pitchers will also get to meet other people doing interesting digital work within culture and the arts. One organisation will also get a £5000 award to trial their idea with an organisation that IC Tomorrow will match them with.

Thursday 15th November ~ Chamberlain Forum Co-operative Councils ~ venue tbc
Monday 19th November ~ HyperWM ~ The Public, West Bromwich
Thursday 22nd November – Friday 23rd November ~ Hello Culture ~ Custard Factory