The sort of events I enjoy most are ones that unfold organically, with minimal structure and maximum opportunity for people to share ideas, discuss challenges and come up with solutions together – even better if we can max out social media to engage with people before, during and after the event itself.
For me this approach is based on an assumption that the answers are in the room, and the stimulus of bringing people together in a way which enables them to be resourceful, helps innovations to emerge. It works particularly well when focusing on digital innovation because if reflects the messiness, the haphazardness and the gems of connections that digital spaces routinely afford.
I recently went to an event which was entire opposite of this. Even though it was about digital innovation in healthcare – panel of ‘experts’ with a passive audience speaking through the chair – I was bored within moments. I couldn’t even bring myself to tweet from it.
The idea for this event came from a chance meeting with Charlie Young, whose company Transform has been working with the Department of Health on the Digital First agenda. I like the fact that the event has also emerged from a haphazard connection and a synergy of interest and enthusiasm.
Cue our digital innovation in mental health event on 20 June in London – I envisage it being everything about the former experience and nothing of the latter – bringing a diverse group of people together with common interests and a common goal: sharing questions, ideas and experiences about how digital can support people in their recovery and to live well with mental health difficulties. I hope we get a fantastic mix of people with their own lived experience, carers, mental health practitioners, managers, commissioners, policy makers and strategists, researchers and the digital community. Just think what conversations will emerge!
We will be using an open space approach on the day which enables maximum participation, self management and focus with minimal presentations and formality. It is a structured day, but done in such a way that allows people to be creative and focus on the things which matter most to them.
You can book HERE
If you have any questions, suggestions or would like to attend and need more information or support to do so, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with either me or co-organiser Charlie