24 thoughts on “2013

  1. James Arthur Cattell

    My 10 #HousingCamp things

    1. Jon Foster is a born leader
    2. Thames Valley Housing Association have great offices
    3. There is a real need for further UK housing unconferences
    4. Universal Credit will impact rent arrears if we don’t start help tenants now
    5. Sounds like the Reflective Practice & Imaginarium sessions were, er, fascinating
    6. Lloyd Davies is great at setting the unconference scene for newbies
    7. Post-session drinks in a pub are a must
    8. I miss working in housing
    9. I’ve learnt so much
    10. I have so much to learn.

    See my online session grid via .

    Check out for more.

    Reply
  2. Jayne Hilditch

    My 10 #housingcamp things…

    (I can do this format – it stops me over thinking it and hence the post gets finished, instead of sitting in draft for a week).

    1. Housing. A new kind of ‘social’ is finding its groove in our sector. People are connecting like never before. This is adding a new connected layer to the ‘social’ in ‘social housing, its not replacing it.

    2. We’re moving along the social media maturity curve nicely now. We’re talking more about how to listen and engage on twitter, than simply talking about twitter. This is good.

    3. Its not just twitter. Its facebook, instagram, pinterest, prezi, slideshare, google-groups…..

    4. DIY camp tee-shirts on a budget work just as well professionally done ones.

    5. People are happy to help if you ask them. From sharing experiences, sharing data to tidying up at the end of the day.

    6. Open Data and Big Data is going to be huge in our sector. Those quiet folks that knock out our KPIs – bring them out from under their spreadsheets and ask them what they could tell us about our orgs.

    7. I need to add a a whistle to my facilitation kit.

    8. Its surprising how quickly you get used to a film crew. Especially when they’re nice, and Lloyd Davis leads the way by including them in our time together rather than trying to pretend they’re not there.

    9. Do more Asking than Telling.

    10. I think I’ve finally gotten over my “I’m a bit crap at networking and meeting new people” thing.

    and finally,

    11. My TVH colleagues are simply awesome.

    Reply
  3. Cassie Robinson

    I’m not sure I can do 10 but I will do a few!

    1) Jon Foster and Jayne Hilditch make a great team.
    2) Lily Ash Sakula from Bethnal Green Ventures came up with a stonking idea for a much needed service – it’s a tech innovation and I hope she does it!
    3) I learnt that the biggest reason people get in touch with their landlords and with housing associations was for repairs – so I think there is definitely an idea to be developed in linking housing associations up with Repair Cafes/ Fab Labs/ Maker spaces etc. Maybe people can get reduced rent if they do their own repairs. And they’d be building social connections if their was a physical hub.
    4) I regret not doing a session on data and mapping out what kinds of data housing associations have – if anyone is up for doing this still then let me know. As Jayne said.. people hiding away doing KPI’s ..please come out and talk. I’d love to connect with you.
    5) It was the best designed Camp/hack day I have been to in a long time. This was partly the organisation but it was also the fact that the majority of people there were from the housing sector and were coming to the camp with specific challenges to explore.
    6) I hope we can link up the Scottish people that were there, with Snook in Glasgow!
    7) And … thank you.

    Reply
  4. Anne McCrossan

    Oh go on then, my 10 #HousingCamp things..

    1. It’s a privilege and a pleasure to see how people bloom when they’re giving permission to just stand up and say or do their thing.

    2. There is an appetite for doing things differently in housing and the opportunity for the positive effects of that to reach far and wide.

    3. Everyone has a piece of the answer.

    4. Very cool T shirts can be made using spray paint and stencils.

    5. Good conversation and connections can trigger all sorts of things if we show up and let them happen.

    6. Corporate communications design is in need of a bit of an overhaul.

    7. Asynchronous ideas, random events and unstructured days have value.

    8. Time management and crowdsourcing can, and do, go together. Creating a whole day’s agenda across 5 rooms in a little over half an hour happened yesterday at housingcamp. we have proof.

    9. Natural born leaders are inspirational, and often in hiding but pretty much everywhere.

    10. I can’t wait til we do this with resident communities and community partners too – and the housing associations of today become housing ecosystems.

    Reply
  5. Rae Watson

    Hello, Rae Watson here (@raewatson_). I was social reporting at the event as @thebuzzbay. Here are my ten thoughts.

    1.) This was my fourth unconference and still felt like the first.

    2.) Conference organisers. We don’t always need the suits and the keynote speakers.

    3.) non structure is the future to share, learn and connect.

    4.) Tenant networking with housing staff is critically important. How about a housingcamp aimed at both rather one for either?

    5.) We can achieve so much more by sharing and collaborating.

    6.) it’s all about the knowledge sharing and that includes data.

    7.) My storify is here – http://sfy.co/eJ9P

    8.) check out this fun little picture video – http://animoto.com/play/cgmBeI8RFtDC6cKNmgbxqw

    9.) crowdfunding and crowd sourcing could be the next big thing.

    10.) Right, who’s up for a Housingcamp in the North?

    Reply
  6. Lisa Jackson

    I’m not a blogger but it seems Jon has highlighted my absence of comment so I’ll give it a shot.

    It was great to see so many people with commitment enough to the cause to give up a weekend, and a great opportunity to meet more people facing the same issues.

    I was surprised at just how many sessions were proposed and how willing people were to discuss openly and honestly their challenges as well as their successes.

    Now for the controversial bit. This was my first unconference and I’m not sure I’m as sold on it as everyone else seems to be. The idea of providing a forum for open discussion and sharing ideas is great but for me I find some structure more conducive to achieving real outcomes.

    Some sessions clearly worked better than others and these seemed to be where the facilitator had a clear objective, drove the discussion and had a tangible set of actions at the end.

    Obviously even those sessions that were more informal discussions had their merits and may lead to change for the attendees, but I think if I were to try this kind of format I would perhaps ask that each session is produces something to provide a focus. For example each session could just be provided with a flip chart sheet/online form with a space to put session title, three key findings, and a contact for further queries. The three key findings could be entirely different depending on the session – eg. a session looking to improve a website might list the three main technical improvements but a session discussing welfare reform might list successful ideas implemented, strategies being piloted, etc.

    As well as giving a focus in the session it would also allow for people who chose to attend another session to gain some insight into what was discussed and to know where to go to get further info. I’m all for social media but I really found the reliance on twitter/storify/ etc. as a reference for what was discussed meant that people were distracted from the sessions and also that they don’t really contain a lot of practical information. They convey the spirit of the day but if I wanted to refer back to remember who said something or what system was in use somewhere, etc. I don’t think they lend themselves very well to this.

    Having a summary sheet from each session would not be too onerous for the facilitator but would provide an instant reference for everyone afterwards.

    Just a thought.

    Other observations:
    • Free booze – amazing, overnight stay next time? – a two day event might allow people to have the open discussions the first day and then tie down some actions the second day?
    • Demos and conversations with suppliers have already put wheels in motion for new projects for Orbit since the day
    • Eddie Ryce has promised to bring his best mate Tom Hardy along to the next one
    • Alana Avery makes good train chat
    • Paul Hornsby has a questionable diet
    • Matthew Long is looking to get a job with the Devon tourist board
    • The crew facilitating everything were great and had thought of everything
    • I think there might have been something in the free diet coke because I kept imagining seeing dragons and dinosaurs

    Reply
    1. Jon Foster

      Hi Lisa,
      Thanks so much for posting. Just wanted to double check you realised that the emails were automated, everyone saw their own name in the second paragraph – I’ve not been checking up on you all!

      Will reply to your comment properly when I have a bit more time!

      J.

      Reply
      1. John Baldwin

        I think these observations are spot on and can still be delivered in an un-conference format.

        Reply
      2. John Baldwin

        Housing Camp – 10 thoughts

        1. When ‘housing’ and ‘digital’ worlds collide it creates new conversations
        2. Changing the ground rules creates energy
        3. If you are looking to innovate, no one’s going to have the answers
        4. Collaborate, don’t dominate
        5. Idea transfer between contexts requires re-design
        6. Probably some of the most ‘engaged’ people in the sector
        7. Is social housing behind digitally because we don’t operate in a true market?
        8. Lets build on the ideas with a few outcomes
        9. I wonder what would happen if more random elements were added to the mix?
        10. When’s the next one?

        Reply
    2. Jayne Hilditch

      Good observations Lisa. Your post has thrown up a few thoughts from me. In no particular order…

      I think there’s room within the un-conference format for many different types of session – I love that diversity. Sometimes I have a particular problem to solve. Sometimes I have an expansive idea to explore.

      It might be useful addition to pitching though, if session-leads could say upfront what their *objectives* might be for the session, alongside the subject being pitched. Those objectives could range from making a connection with other people interested in a subject so they can follow up afterwards, through to getting an answer to a specific problem. Both equally valid, but would lead to quite different sessions. If campers know what direction the session-lead is aiming for, they make more informed decisions about which sessions to attend. Before deploying the rule of two-feet if its not what you’d thought :)

      I was interested to see how people would use “the kit” on the day itself. We weren’t sure what folks would want, so we laid out flipcharts and had the screens set up for laptops etc. I poked my head round the door of most sessions – we had some using the tech, some using the low-tech (flipcharts) and some simply talking. Brilliantly, no-one did death by powerpoint. Hurrah.

      I’ve head scratched for a while on good ways to round off the day. I’ve been to a few unconferences that kind of ‘peter out’ as the afternoon rolls on… so I quite like having a ‘wrap up’ session of sorts to end the day. Maybe as well as the word-association round-up, we could try a learning or actions one? What do folks think… ?

      Ultimately though, the best round up of the lot, is going to the pub. Which we did :) Next time you should deffo book a later train. Or a room. There was a late night curry that tipped me beyond the last train home!

      Reply
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