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Jo Brown
Jan. 25, 2018

A Whole New World

whole new world

My introduction to a world I know nothing about and quite frankly didn’t know existed has been kinda awesome. My only dip into this kind of world would be a two-year AVCE in ICT some twelve years ago when the IT recruitment drive died a death and I promptly buggered off to work in a nursery instead (this lasted less than a year). Prior to jumping on board with Difrent back in November, I could quite honestly say that I thought the digital world — outside of Silicon Valley — was FULL of dull guys who go home and play World of Warcraft in their spare time…so judgemental!

Thing is, I legit love it when people prove me wrong on my initial crappy assumptions. So far, all the people that I have come into contact with have been awesome people in their own right. I’m fascinated by people and Rach thought it would be a riot to throw me straight into a UK Gov Camp situation. Urgh, people talking tech…I’m going to b̶e̶ ̶b̶o̶r̶e̶d̶ fucking love it!

Janet Hughes’ presence is infectious and kicked off the day in a way that you can’t help but feel excited on how the rest of the day is going to unfold. I loved the encouragement to get involved, have a voice, and that leaving a room was not a sign of disrespect. This was not a stationary, shut the fuck up and listen kind of vibe. The fact that they allowed Rach and I to give our pitch from Difrent in the style of Love Actually, I have a lot of respect. 90% of the pitches meant absolutely nothing to me but I still found sessions I could sit in on and even participate in. Shock horror, there was even a clash! The whole process of pitching was welcoming as hell. At one point I thought I’d blink and randomly find myself up there trying to pitch who knows what. I think it’ll be an aim of mine for when the next one swings around.

Session one was loosely based on the NHS and health. Straight away my mind is confronted with a wholly inaccurate sentence on their website ‘muscle weighs more than fat’. NOPE!!! An accuracy such as that offensive line, and yes, I am offended by it, means I’m not taking Government guidelines seriously. I once heard a teacher come out with that line…facepalm. A lot of people look to the internet, searching for information. It is worrying that there are so many that look to the guidelines given out for health and wellbeing and are pretty much given a ‘one size fits all’. The internet is an incredible, far-reaching resource for EVERYTHING but that means it’s also bloody overwhelming. Just like the current parliament, it could do with a diversity workshop — I’m a twin and I go nuts on sugar whereas she doesn’t. We share the same DNA and quite clearly one size does in fact not fit all, because, ya know, DNA and shit. However, I’m not naive enough to think that all things can be changed in a day, far from it. But, it would be nice to be reassured that what works for one may not work for another and that’s okay.

Session two got me heading to a discussion on social media..fascinated by it, be a bit weird if I wasn’t considering my roles. I don’t remember names but some of the stuff coming out of there got me excited, especially the term ‘authentic responsibility’. I’m all over spending time exploring what that means but one theme I felt ran through the entire discussion was intention — what is your genuine intention when hitting your social media channels? Also, could there really be a concept for online resiliency? Just the data, the stories…I’ve got to calm myself down, breathe, and not run off exploring all this. ‘Ooooh shiny’ springs to mind.

I hopped into the third session on agile or procurement, or it could have been agile procurement. Anyway, I felt as my boss pitched this one along with Harry Metcalfe, support should be shown. Perhaps with more time, I’ll have a fully informed opinion but for now, all I’ll say is those questions being read out need more clarity! If you’re a layman like me that is.

Being around so many people for that amount of time is tiring as hell but I came away excited. The non-judgemental collaborative atmosphere was a welcoming one. Days later, I’m still excited by this concept of ‘unconference’. Why aren’t we doing this elsewhere? I’m a recent sports psych graduate and in all four years NEVER came across it. Would people even get it? Would it work? If Janet Hughes (I’m a fan it seems) is up front, I’d say yes every time. UK Gov Camp are successful and I have to put it down to the Campers and their tireless efforts to bring people together, start conversations, and engage even after the last sponsored sticker and mug has walked off home.

I may never fully grasp digital but maybe this whole new world won’t be boring after all, the diverse people in it fascinate me and that’s enough. I should have really known that this world isn’t lame considering my boss is Rachel Murphy but then work/life personalities can be super different. I look forward to AgileP1.0 on the 5th March when I get to see more fascinating people talk and collaborate over stuff I don’t know…I’m not even using sarcasm.

Well done UK Gov Camp, well done.

Written by Jo Brown

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