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What is GovCamp Cymru,
and how does an unconference work?

A govcamp is an event, also known as an unconference, where the attendees lead the programme – there is a theme, or overarching question, but there is no detailed agenda until the start of the day when people make suggestions for what they’d like to talk about.

Check out this video from the team at Barod CIC made for GovCamp Cymru 2017 about how the day works

Who is it for?

The event is free to attend and open to anyone who wants to be there: public/private/whatever sector, for work or if you’re just passionate about public services in Wales, and how they affect our lives.

What happens on the day?

The nuts and bolts of how we run this unconference is following Open Space principles, so people wander in and out of sessions, and many tweet, blog and take photos to record and share their learning with the outside world.


At the beginning of the day the whole group will gather together and be guided through creating the agenda. Everyone there has the opportunity to put forward sessions for the agenda, and all sessions are welcome.


Every delegate will have the opportunity to propose a session; then based on the level of interest gauged, the session will be allocated an appropriate room (i.e. the more interest the bigger the room) and a spot on the agenda. This continues until all spots are full.


The sessions will no doubt range in style: some are formal pre-prepared thinking reflecting on years of research… some are new ideas that would be great to chat through with some peers… some involve the hatching of ideas there and then on the day. All are welcomed!

Some advice…

  • If you are hosting a session, your role is not to have all the answers, it is simply to invite people into a conversation.

  • There is no such thing as failure at an unconference, everyone wants the sessions to work.

  • Go with the flow.

  • The “move to where you can make a difference” applies: go to the sessions that interest you, and when you have learnt as much as you want, or feel you have contributed as much as you can, use your two feet, move on, and go find another session.

  • Take responsibility for your own learning. You’ll get out of it what you put in. If the topic you want to discuss isn’t on the agenda at first, then you need to put it on there.

  • Have fun!

Sound like your kind of THING?

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