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Doing the simple stuff well: Why we got involved in CityCamp Brighton

By February 15, 2011One Comment

A quick reflection on why we wanted to get involved in CityCamp…

This is a cross-post with the CityCamp blog. You’ll find the corresponding post here.

CityCamp brings together a number of things that we at Public-i feel very strongly about. We believe that you need to build co-productive relationships throughout communities – and you need to include business as well as the public sector with the community.  We also believe that things are achieved by the people that turn up – and that you need to provide space for this to happen.  And that if you can’t make a contribution to the community you are based in then you can’t tell other people how to do it.

We wanted to help organise CityCamp for all these reasons and also because we think we can offer a practical set of skills to make sure it works (this has been referred to as a ruthless pragmatism, but who can say…).
I have attended some fantastic events, but at the end of it that’s what its been – an event.  What we want to build with citycamp brighton is a network – a group of people who not only come together at the March event but continue to meet and work together after that.  The Aldridge Foundation funding gives us chance to make this happen – as does the fantastic support from the Council and other groups in the City.
Real stuff, real people
One of the biggest challenges of an event like CityCamp is to make sure that it’s not purely digital – that it reaches out to the community as well and is not hijacked by the digerati who, with very good will, will take things off in a shiny new technological direction. We want to make the community the focus of the event and to build connections between some of the incredibly talented technologists and creatives we have in the City and the people who need their help.
We believe that technology will almost always help bring people together and reduce barriers – but that doesn’t mean it has to be complicated or even cutting edge – it just needs to be useful. So, the focus for us at CityCamp will be on making connections and building things that the real-world community finds useful. Put like that it doesn’t sound all that exciting does it?  But it’s getting this simple stuff right that we hope makes all the difference to how you get different groups and communities working together with and, over time, build a common vision of where they live.

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