Friday, 15 April 2011

Turning on a sixpence

Government, Local Authority & Third Sector 
IT Provision in Times of Austerity
Friday 10th June, Westminster Studios, Central London

The need has never been greater for public and third sector services to make the most of their existing IT infrastructures and systems, and harness the free and low cost options provided by the web. Options to procure new systems or expensive upgrades are now very much more limited due to fiscal pressures.

This 'open space' conference will offer you a unique and intensely interactive opportunityto investigate, develop and enhance your existing IT systems, and explore how web tools (such as dropbox, yammer and many other social media applications) can help you to achieve more with less.

The workshops will provide you with many opportunities to share, collaborate and devise shrewd strategies and deft innovations designed to make the most from the IT within your organisation and how you can harvest all that the net provides – often for free.

What is Open Space?

How many times have you been to an event and come away with two thoughts: the ‘break times were the most valuable’ and ‘how I wish we had talked about X subject’? How many events have you attended and discovered later that a colleague or contact was present but you never had the chance to sit and talk with them? How often have you wished to leave an elective workshop after the first few minutes and visit another, but felt compelled to stay?

Austere: IT’ has been designed with these experiences in mind: not only will you be able to create the agenda precisely around the issues that matter to you but also you will get to know all about what other discussions are going on as well. You will have the scope and flexibility to craft the day to exactly what you want it to be.

Or as Ken Eastwood of NOMADS ( has said “Having a conversational event around these issues will be most fascinating and helpful”

This event will identify critical ways in which existing central government, local government and third sector IT systems can be innovated to provide enhanced value for money with no or very minimal extra investment. As a consequence, the possible topics include:
  • Developing new ways in how to use low cost off the shelf packages, or free to use services on the web to deliver services to the public (such as, and
  • Using social media to ‘oil’ communication around public & third sector organisations (here is one example:
  • Redesigning the human processes to make more use of the IT systems 
  • Using unconferences, govcamps and other interactive means (face to face and web based) to create new applications with partners and users 
  • Making more flexible use of existing contracts with external suppliers to provide more for less 
  • Harnessing the insights, ideas and power of customers, users and other stakeholders 
  • Collaborating with neighbouring agencies and authorities 
  • Extending functionality to new areas and services 
  • Developing and adopting greater commercial leadership & ‘nous’ in negotiating with external providers
This is not just about making do, or even mending what we have (though those can help) – it is critically about harnessing all the resources at our disposal – which includes many low cost or free services already available

Register today and save £200 (All delegates registering by Friday 6th June will be entitled to a £200 discount. To register please follow this link.) If you have any questions regarding the event please email Katie Gilroy. (Account Manager- Local Government, Neil Stewart Associates. Direct Line: 020 7960 6852)

More information here


Brendan Harris - Interim Director of Knowledge and Innovation
Services Directorate Support Team Manager
Local Government Improvement and Development

will be giving an opening presentation

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