Transformed By You event – become a facilitator

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“Transformed by You” is a one-day innovation event, run by Kent County Council (KCC) and Medway Council, taking place on 20 March 2010 at Innovation Centre Medway in Rochester.

The event is about bringing local innovators together for a day to develop prototypes of online tools that tackle challenges about accessing local public sector services online – basically looking to make local residents’ lives easier through better online tools. And the things the event creates should be easily reused in other local areas throughout the UK.

To explain a bit more here’s an extract from the background paper for the event, produced by the most excellent guys and girls at KCC’s innovation team:

Why are we doing this?

Public sector organisations face growing pressures to deliver bigger and better services with far less money. For local authorities, like Kent and Medway, the changes needed to make this happen do not necessarily require more funding, but tapping into creative ways of thinking and delivering our services.

Digital technologies are effective at doing just this. More people are talking and sharing ideas online in ways that weren’t possible before. Digital technologies also provide opportunities for individuals, businesses and other groups to create innovative models to meet these new demands.

Examples of this include Enabled By Design and School of Everything. These haven’t just created new ways of delivering services that didn’t exist before, they’ve exploited the power of the web to create approaches that offer micro public services.

What do we want to achieve?

We need to create an environment that allows innovators to develop and take these models to scale. We need to join up people with the skills – the innovators – with the people with the influence to make innovation happen – the service providers. We want to enable those groups to come together on specific challenges, and we believe that this is one of the most effective ways of achieving this need.

Kent and Medway Councils want to enable people within the community to benefit from our resources to develop innovative solutions to common problems. We understand that there is always a risk when encouraging change and experimentation, but without it there is no way for councils, businesses, communities or users to move forward and improve.

How are going to organise this?

That’s why we want to bring people together to develop their ideas into prototypes of online services in our one day. We believe that doing it within 24 hours will help to ease the risk of change and experimentation. You may find it surprising that such online services can be created in a day, but Enabled By Design, Good Gym and MyCouncilTax were all developed in similar types of workshops.

Organising “Transformed by You” would highlight which bright ideas are worth fast tracking and would provide us with an opportunity to showcase the expertise of local innovators. This will hopefully stimulate greater engagement between our organisations and the wider community. Finally, this concept can bring benefits to the community itself as the tools created over the day would tackle common challenges.

Who do we want to involve?

We are reaching out to people whose experiences, expertise and enthusiasm will really benefit the event – not just those taking part, but also people who can facilitate the activities during the day. There will be around 30 people taking part of all ages and sexes split into 5/6 groups.

We want facilitators who can create the glue with participants as well as facilitate the activities within the group and make sure groups can complete the actions on time.

As well as facilitators, we will also invite “critical friends” to drop in and out of groups, who can provide advice if needed on how the ideas could work in real life and we will invite people who can provide general support on the day.

What does the analysis show us?

The success of this day will be based as much on the quality of relationships that are formed, as it is on the event itself. To incentivise people to achieve something, we want to let people experience and test out different ways they can get involved. The organisers will seed facilitators to lead discussions that captivate people.

There are different ways of organising “innovation camps” – from informal meetups like at Teacamps, all day events like at 2gether08 to weekends like at SI Camp. Whatever type of activity is chosen, there needs to be a balance between centrally coordinated and self-organising activities.

Bottom-up activities are very popular but they’re also very new to people, so we want facilitators to make it as comfortable as possible for people to self-organise, or if it senses people are finding difficult to do that, then playing a more “supporting” role by suggesting ways forward.

We’ll be advertising the event itself very soon, but for now we’re looking to recruit some help with facilitation from someone who knows how make an event like this tick. If you think this is something you can help us with, read on.

We’re looking for a short submission response detailing how you will provide the above requirements and any other inclusions as your feel are appropriate.

The submission must include:-

  1. Your background including any previous work in this area
  2. Costing including VAT
  3. Any ideas and feedback you have on the approach to facilitation and organisation of the day
  4. Your name and contact details

All responses to be returned by 4th February 2010 at 5pm to innovation@kent.gov.uk

The submissions will be evaluated based on previous experience, understanding of the requirements, cost and the best value offered to Kent County Council.

The successful applicant will be contacted by 10th February 2010. It is anticipated that an initial detailed meeting with the organisers of the event from Kent and Medway Councils will take place within the following 5 days.

For any further details please contact Noel Hatch (07515992174, noel.hatch2@kent.gov.uk, @noelito) or Adam Fox (01622 694532, adam.fox@kent.gov.uk)

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