I’ve recently signed up to LocalGovCamp, an ‘unconference’ for local government. Taking place on 20 June 2009, at the Fazeley Studios in Birmingham.If there is the time and the interest, I am hoping to run a session on a major new initiative to bring new thinking about how good/best practice is developed and shared across the local government sector. Tired and dusty knowledge repositories have had their day. The new breed of social networking and social media tools offer more opportunities for connecting with peers and experts, and provide more dynamic, fresh and relevant ways to share knowledge and information.The working project title is the ‘Knowledge Hub’, and it is part of a major programme of work being managed by the IDeA and funded by the CLG.
The project is still at a very early stage, but conceptually it will combine elements of Communities of Practice with the benefits of mass collaboration and ‘peer review after publication’ offered by products such as Wikipedia. The Wikipedia model has rapidly matured over the past three years, becoming more trusted and relevant than the traditional (and much slower) authoritative publishing channels. It also offers a ‘lighter touch’ and less mediated option for dissemination of knowledge in an environment that is increasingly influenced by rapidly changing external events (the credit crunch and swine flu being two recent examples).The project is seeking help and support from councils and social innovators who would be willing to participate in prototyping solutions and helping to ‘pump prime’ the content for a ‘wikipedia-like’ system. Funding is available.I’d be interested in hearing from anyone who may have an interest in attending this session, or from local council representatives who might be willing to participate in the early prototyping work, or from anyone else who may have interest in helping to develop a new ‘Knowledge Ecology’ for local government.