GovCamp is part of the international BarCamp movement of informal events where discussions, demos and interactions are driven by the attendees. Anyone with something to contribute or with the desire to learn is welcome and invited to participate.
These events are typically held on a weekend, allowing for greater flexibility in attendance and to create an informal atmosphere. Attendance is free and open, with participants collaboratively setting the agenda at the beginning of the day into 20-30 minute segments in a series of parallel streams. Segment proposers may have pre-prepared content they wish to discuss, or simply choose to gather a small group to brainstorm a particular subject.
Participation is open and fluid, and is generally accompanied by a high level of social media activity (Twitter commentary, uploading of Flickr photos etc). This can also result in comments and feedback from interested parties who are not physically attending the event, but following the discussions virtually.
In order to make the event as open and participatory as possible, there are simple, basic groundrules for making a GovCamp work.
A format for open contribution
GovCampers can expect the day to include:
- Active discussions throughout the day about big picture issues as well as practical approaches to innovation, change-making or new thinking.
- A few short talks by invited special guests at the beginning and end of the day
- Opportunities to volunteer for 25-30 minute sessions on selected themes, where participants can share a case study, idea, or experience.
New case studies, ideas and issues are welcomed from all spheres of government and also from the broader community engaged in innovation initiatives as well as Gov 2.0 & Open Government projects.