Following on from Lou’s earlier post about Social Innovation Camp, I was intrigued by their proposition of ‘an experiment in using social technology for social change. I submitted an idea, which didn’t quite cut the mustard but did lead to my being invited along to help out. So on the weekend of 5th & 6th April I trotted off to join in on an event bringing together great ideas, a multitude of skill sets and an all pervading enthusiasm to prove that the web can be used as a force for good in the world.
With increasing hysteria around the dangers posed to the young, the vulnerable and anyone else you can think of by our increasingly networked world, it was truly inspirational to see 100 disparate people form cohesive groups so quickly around the initial set of six social ideas. These ideas all have at their heart the identification of a social need and the understanding that networked technology can help answer that need.
Over the course of two days people were introduced, ideas were explored and prototypes created. The quality of the output produced proves the validity of the ‘-camp’ model – one borrowed from hackdays, barcamps and the unconference and now seemingly working its way into the more traditional business and marketing conference world too. This model relies on active participation from all – something core to the evolving internet landscape – and attractive for it’s sense of collaboration, the working-together-ness of it all to get something real said and done.
SICamp felt like a rejection of the Silicon Valley, dot com, money focussed start up environment. Instead, this gathering of a group of committed people in a focussed (and competitive) atmosphere showed how quickly and easily real projects that change something for the better can be got off the ground. For me, it was a liberating experience that showed how we can all use what we know to help shape the society around us. More please!