Wednesday 9 May 2012

PRESS RELEASE: #IslandGovCamp - 25-27 May 2012 - Orkney (and on the internet)

PRESS RELEASE – for immediate use

The Orkney ICT Forum is hosting #IslandGovCamp over the weekend of 25-27 May 2012 at Orkney College UHI in Kirkwall, Orkney (and on the internet).

#IslandGovCamp (alternative twitter hashtag #IsleGC12 ) aims to raise the profile of digital participation in island communities, including collaborative effort towards the aspirations set out in the Scottish Government's Digital Charter, and to enable greater participation by those in Scotland’s island communities in the digital participation agenda. We also aim to facilitate collaboration amongst themselves of people within the various island communities of Scotland and elsewhere.

On Friday 25 May, Fran Flett Hollinrake (Orkney tour guide, storyteller and cathedral custodian) will lead a guided tour of the Orkney mainland by public transport (as a bit of an experiment), which will include visits to Maeshowe, Stromness, Kirkwall and The Italian Chapel.

The main govcamp sessions will take place at Orkney College UHI, on Saturday 26 May 2012 between noon and 5.30pm, and on Sunday 27 May 2012 between 10.00am and 1:00pm. So far approximately 40 people from Orkney, the rest of Scotland and other parts of the British isles (as well as one or 2 from further afield, including The Netherlands and Iceland) have registered to participate inperson in Kirkwall. About 15 others (from Orkney and the rest of the world) have registered to participate remotely over the internet.

Ideas for IslandGovCamp sessions are being submitted by all of these participants using an online Ideascale community: those wishing to to participate in IslandGovCamp are encouraged to have a look at the site, suggest their own ideas, and comment and vote on the ideas of others. This is how the agenda for IslandGovCamp will come into being.

In summary, some of the main themes for IslandGovCamp to emerge so far include:

  • digital participation,
  • e-health, telemedicine and smart care
  • diversifying the internet economy in Orkney, other islands and beyond,
  • citizen-centric digital architecture
  • archaeology, tourism and heritage,
  • remote attendance and webcasting of events
In making the arrangements for IslandGovCamp 2012 we are trying to use lessons learned from the experience and outcomes of previous similar events (including UKGovCamp events, ScotGovCamp 2010 and 2011, GovcampScotland 2011, Blue Light Camp 2012, and many others). We hope to make apply some innovations, including attempting (as far as is feasible) to ensure that participants attending remotely over the internet (from Orkney, other Scottish island groups, elsewhere in the British isles, and from other parts of the world) have as valuable experience and outcomes as those attending physically in Orkney. It is hoped that technologies, practices and experiences of IslandGovCamp in providing remote attendance at events might be picked up by others offering govcamps, conferences, training and other styles of events, as they begin to offer those facilities to possible participators across Scotland and elsewhere.

IslandGovCamp can be followed on twitter and Facebook. We are particularly satisfied to have attracted interest and support from 4 Scottish Digital Participation Action Group members: CISCO, Mydex CIC, 02 and the Scottish Government. We very grateful for offers of financial sponsorship from UKGovCamp, and Orkney Islands Council. We are equally grateful to have received sponsorship in the form of technical, professional and administrative expertise and staff time from Orkney Islands Council, the University of the Highlands and Islands, John Popham and CISCO; also from Orkney-based businesses Dragon History and Magnetic North Films. Socitm Scotland, as well as individuals within Hi-Arts and other organisations, have lent their support to the concept of IslandGovCamp and have helped raise awareness of the event.

We have interest in participating in the event (and covering the proceedings and outcomes) from various local, national, regional and trade media outlets. The individuals registering to attend and participate in IslandGovCamp (or otherwise expressing interest or support) are associated with a wide range of organisations, many of which having undertakings in Scottish island communities: these include the Northern Constabulary and other blue light services and their partners, various services within Orkney Islands Council and other local authorities, HiArts, Highlands and Islands Enterprise Orkney area, Orkney College and other academic partners within the University of the Highlands and islands, owners of SMEs in Orkney and other island communities, Orkney Islands Councillors and other politicians, and NHS Orkney and other health and social care undertakings. The full list of those registered to attend can be found on the Eventbrite page. (As is normal at govcamps, no-one on the list should be assumed to be formally representing any organisation, or participating for any reason other than for personal and professional development, unless they expressely indicate that they are doing so.)

Among those expected to be represented in person are Bureau Walburg (seeking potential partners for a possible future EU/Interreg North Sea Region project on the theme of smartC4RE), Northern Constabulary, Orkney Library and Archive (shortlisted recently with 4 or 5 others for The Bookseller Best UK Library service award), Orkney Islands Council Marine Services (interested in the marketing of their services including services to cruise liners and tallships), young people’s services in Orkney (to consider how further to use digital technology to develop the Duke of Edinburgh’s award scheme in Orkney), and NHS Orkney (to consider issues around the use of social media, and of digital technology recently provided to non-executive directors and senior managers).

1. Attendance at IslandGovCamp Saturday and Sunday sessions is open to all. Register here for inperson or remote attendance:

2. Places on the Friday Tour of the Orkney Mainland by Public Transport  MUST be booked in advance, as numbers are limited, at . Places will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis, with the timestamp on votes for the idea in Ideascale being used to determine the order of allocation of places.

3. GovCamps grew out of the bar camp movement, and take the form of self-organised unconferences.

4. Pictures, photo opportunities and interviews with participants can be provided (before, during or after the event) if required, please use the contact details below.

For enquiries relating to IslandGovCamp or the OrkneyICTForum, please contact:
Sweyn Hunter, @sweynh,, 07796952788

Further Information:
If the information you require may be available on one of the following websites:
- IslandGovCamp (hashtags on twitter are #IsleGC12 and #IslandGovCamp)
- Orkney ICT Forum (hashtag on twitter is #OrkneyICTForum )

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