Brewcamping

Full coffee cup with a heart shaped into the top of the drinkI went to #Brewcamp in Birmingham yesterday (6 October). It was cracking.

I’ve been reading about the #Teacamp movement on Twitter and online for a while now, and wanted to see for myself just how it works.

About 15 local gov types pitched up in their own time to share ideas and listen to three interesting speakers. Add hot coffee and what’s not to like?

We heard from Nicky Getgood about issues her residents’ association has faced in trying to connect with the council, Stu Lester about open source mapping and the potential it has to save money and build community ties, and from Si Whitehouse about the freshly-launched Birmingham Civic Dashboard.

It was a eclectic mix of subjects but they were all relevant and thought-provoking in different ways. Everyone was passionate about their subject, making each talk really grab you. I gained more from two hours sitting in a coffee shop than I reckon I would in many an expensive training session (of which there seem to be so many for social media).

West Midlands public services are using social media in positive and open ways and have organised lots of ways of getting together to do and share. It’s hugely impressive and something that other areas can learn a lot from.

A huge thank you to Dan Slee and everyone else for making me feel so welcome and giving me lots of food for thought. Hopefully see you all again in the future!

Creative commons: Cafe D’atre Latte Art Cropped by I Need Coffee / Coffee Lover on Flickr

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