The myPublicServices conference is coming up next month here in London and I’m really looking forward to it.  Why?  For two reasons: 1. it’s a gift economy event, and 2. my gift is social reporting.

1. A Gift Economy Event

This is how the myPublicServices conference team explains their ideas about the gift economy:

The web has already transformed the way we book a holiday, buy a camera, and share the snaps. Whole sectors – media, music, finance, publishing – are being turned upside down. But where is the impact on our public services? Why (with a few notable exceptions) are they still so top-down, so inflexible, so hard-to-reach? In sum, so last century?

This conference is about how that can – and already is – changing. It is about how the traditional public sector values of fairness, solidarity and equality are meeting the new networked values of participation, transparency and usability to create new services or add to old ones.

The web has created a new digital gift economy in which everyone can be a contributor and new kinds of public service are becoming possible.

It won’t all be top-down any more (and neither will this conference). We won’t be defined any longer just by what we need from the services we rely on, but also by what we have to give, and how we each can contribute to making our public services better.

This conference is about all that and more. There will be plenty of new ideas – but also plenty of practical examples of how people are already using the extraordinary gift of the web to improve, extend or challenge our public services to be the best they can be.

I think this is a really interesting perspective to build into a conference, especially one about public sector and social services.  I’ll be curious (and will report back after the event) about the kinds of gifts others bring to the event, whether they are workshops, skills, etc.

2. Social Reporting

I’ll be at the conference and my gift is some social reporting!  Along with my Social by Social colleague David Wilcox, we’ll be helping coordinate a team of folks doing video, live-blogging, interviews, tweets, and more!  David and I are really looking forward to it and have already started talking to some interested social reporters.  Visit the myPublicServices blog for more information and to get in touch!

What do you think?

Have you participated in an event that leveraged the gift economy like this? What was your experience – did it work? If you haven’t, what do you think we should watch for, what questions do you have?

Gift Economy and Social Reporting at myPublicServices Conference
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