A national conference about citizen engagement with public services online

What’s it all about?

The web has already transformed the way we book a holiday, buy a camera, and share the snaps. Whole sectors – media, music, finance, publishing – are being turned upside down. But where is the impact on our public services? Why (with a few notable exceptions) are they still so top-down, so inflexible, so hard-to-reach? In sum, so last century?

This conference is about how that can – and already is – changing. It is about how the traditional public sector values of fairness, solidarity and equality are meeting the new networked values of participation, transparency and usability to create new services or add to old ones.

The web has created a new digital gift economy in which everyone can be a contributor and new kinds of public service are becoming possible.

It won’t all be top-down any more (and neither will this conference). We won’t be defined any longer just by what we need from the services we rely on, but also by what we have to give, and how we each can contribute to making our public services better.

This conference is about all that and more. There will be plenty of new ideas – but also plenty of practical examples of how people are already using the extraordinary gift of the web to improve, extend or challenge our public services to be the best they can be.