Last year I kicked myself after Govcamp because I tended to talk to the people I already knew.
This year I decided that I would make the effort to be sociable and talk to ten new people – my ten new people challenge!
Here is the list:
1) Phil McAllister from Ofqual communications team who I sat next to right at the begining of the first day. We had a quick chat about publishing in education.
2) Layla Davidson from Southwalk Council. We were sitting on the top of a cabinet in a break-out room discussing data visualisation in local government. I took a picture of the mini cake she was eating. She also mentioned that she had a number of ex-NAO staff working with her.
3) Lydia Tar who was pressing one of the buttons to open the doors to let us out into a corridor. Lydia was a temp whose ‘day job’ is as a personal trainer with people in the expensive parts of London. She had just come back from Cuba hence the nice tan.
5) Helen Olsen the managing director at UKAuthority TV. I cannot say I had heard of this company before so it was useful to find out more from Helen.
6) Ross Lyon @ly0nsd3n from the Scottish Government. We had a great chat over lunch about various bits and pieces. I was particularly fascinated by his description of how they used Yammer – extensively
7) Stuart Bruce and independent consultant who had worked in the past on a couple of Sure Start digital projects.
8) Lauren Lucas from the Local Government Unit – a colleague of Rob Dale. Lauren used to work in local government in east London and we spoke about how councillors wanted to control stuff especially social media.
9) Liane Farrer a strategic communications adviser in the Cabinet Office. Liane new people I knew such as Robin Riley who she used to work with at the Mod.
10) Ade Oshineye from Google+. We had a fascinating chat about how Google+ works, some current developments and of course about the fact the NAO had an account.
I was really pleased because at the end of the day (no the real end of the day not the cliche) I had managed to get to know ten new people, some new stuff and felt slightly smug.
It turned out to be a pretty good icebreaker to say to people ‘I said I would talk to ten new people today – tell me about yourself’
So if I can do it pretty well anyone can.