Scottish Open Government Action Plan: launch event #OpenGovScot #OpenGovScotLAUNCH #OpenGov

I’ve been a mostly-quiet member of the Open Government Network Scotland for about two years. I’ve not done much, just quietly supported the idea that if we have access to facts and ideas, we can make more informed, and hence better, decisions. However, in December I spent a weekend proofreading a late draft of the new Open Government Action Plan, so I was delighted to be invited to this morning’s launch of the finished document.

As ever, this post is to consolidate and review my thinking and learning, as well as to share it. So errors and omissions in this account are mine.

Here is the agenda for the day. My tweets, thoughts and write-up follow it.

9:30 Official Launch (Livestreamed): Welcome speeches by, then Q&As with, co-chairs of Open Government Steering Group:

  • Cabinet Secretary for Government Business and Constitutional Relations, Michael Russell
  • Member of the Open Government Partnership International Steering Committee, Lucy McTernan
  • COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) – Cllr Graham Houston, Vice President
10:30 Break
10:50 Workshop: Delivering the Action Plan in partnership and beyond

Group discussion questions: How do we work in partnership?
How do you want to be involved? How can government and civil society/third
sector work collaboratively together? How might this work? How do we take
this forward?
Table 1: financial transparency
Table 2: participation and public involvement
Table 3: access to information
Table 4: being more accountable
Table 5: transparency on Brexit

12:15 Closing remarks – Stephen Gallagher, Director of Local Government
12:30 Lunch and networking

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Write Now! (Again.)

(copied, with sincere thanks, from Frances Ryan’s blog post, then edited slightly)

Three years after Write Now! was launched, it’s back! This time around I’m the project lead, because I benefited from many of the sessions during the first year and so I was keen to get it going again. My colleague Frances Ryan has joined in on the project bit to add her expertise and experience, and to assist in setting up the writing sessions each week.

Write Now! is a series of writing sessions supported by Edinburgh Napier University’s Research and Innovation Office. The sessions are held at our Merchiston campus in the Triangle Café to re-create the experience of writing in a coffee shop.

The sessions are held on Wednesdays from 2.30-4.30 pm. There is no obligation to join us every Wednesday. However the sessions are held at the same time each week so that participants can add the on-going events to their calendars. This will essentially block time out in advance so that they can protect this valuable time slot from being taken over by other meetings. It’s a great way to prioritise writing time.

Write Now! is for research students and academic staff who want time for concentrated writing. This time can be used to work on thesis chapters, journal or conference submissions, research grants, or other academic writing.

The sessions are self-led and participants manage their own writing processes. On arrival, participants are given a voucher for a drink and snack before they start writing. At the end of the session, they are asked to fill out brief (anonymous) progress cards noting what their writing goal was (and whether they met that goal) and the approximate number of words they wrote during the session.

Join us every Wednesday through May (and maybe into June)!
Triangle Café (downstairs at Merchiston)
2.30-4.30 pm
Free drinks and snacks
And don’t forget your laptop (or pen and paper if you’re Old Skool like that!)

System down in Sao Paulo

I’m not sure why but AppleMail on my slaptop keeps crashing. Email on my phone is so far unaffected. Email on my main Mac in Edinburgh also appears to be unaffected. (Pause to worship Teamviewer.) Accessing email via webmail or my university’s VPN also works, but these are rather slow.

So if you need to send me any files to work on, please let me know first so I can find wifi then log into webmail.