Brown bagging it..

brown-bag-lunchThe idea of a ‘brown bag’ talk/seminar seems like a particularly American thing – I mean we don’t really ‘brown bag’ it here in the UK, its all about the ‘packed lunch’🙂 Nonetheless from US academia via startups and global web companies the idea has even reached the dark corner of the Civil Service in south east Wales!

Part of my role is to help build a digital culture within the organisation and to get people excited about the possibilities digital offer but also realistic about what can be achieved.

I noticed that ODI have been doing weekly Friday talks, something that the Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol have been doing most Fridays for a while as well.

I like the idea of a regular slot where guest speakers come in to inform and hopefully inspire. I don’t want to get too prescriptive about the kind of people – the category will be interesting digital stuff – whether that be other Gov, the media, charities, start-ups, independent web studios or data hackers. Anything cool🙂

I don’t have the resource for doing it weekly and given all I can offer is expenses and the fact I’ll buy the speaker a pint (or equivalent beverage) as a thankyou after I’m not even sure whether people would be interested in coming along. I’m going to aim for once a month on a Friday lunchtime and reckon between 30 and 50 people will come along each time – the structure will follow the ODI sessions – including breaks for school holidays maybe.

Some of the topics I have in mind are;

– infographics
– user experience
– ebooks
– responsive and or mobile
– geo/mapping
– analytics
– data journalism
– social media
– open (linked) data
– Wikipedia
– Mozilla

With some of it I’d like to build some ‘surgery’ type activity in around the talk learning from the BIS digital days.

So as you can probably imagine a few of you reading this are likely to get a DM at some point – I am going to stick to people I know or are at least known to me for a while – I have concern about something like this being over-run by people trying to pimp their wares. That would be a bad day!