Previewing Reboot Britain in the park

Tomorrow sees the launch in London of Reboot Britain – first as “an extraordinary one-day event which will take a totally different look at the challenges we face as a country and the new possibilities that – uniquely – this generation has to overcome them”. Then lots of follow-up conversations, events and who-knows-what (except that it will certainly be creative, innovation and no doubt fun as well).

Last week’s Tuttle Club in the park gave me a chance to meet up with Roland Harwood of NESTA, who are the main promoters of the event.  As you will hear, Roland is keen that Reboot starts to reach people  beyond the social media crowd. Over the past year we have done a lot to promote new ways of doing and thinking … but I believe that Twitter and the many social media meetups have led to a lot of talking among “people like us” who “get it”. The emergence of ideas like FailCamp, and Roland’s advocacy of a wider reach, show a welcome shift. Unless ideas and practices around open, collaborative innovation move into the mainstream, what’s the point? As Clay Shirky says, in effect, it isn’t until we get bored with talking about the tools that we’ll properly concentrate on their social benefits.

I’ll be doing a bit of social reporting at Reboot, as well as helping launch Social by Social, a handbook and website funded by NESTA to help people use social technology for social benefit. Andy Gibson, Amy Sample Ward and I will be running the Social by Social game – on the lines of the session in Edinburgh recently – with expert assistance from the game co-designer Drew Mackie. Andy has put a huge amount of effort into the final edit of the book, which will be available here online and as a download tomorrow.

I was also able to talk to Toby Moores, Joanna Jacobs and Steve Lawson about the way they are planning to help everyone at Reboot be a social reporter using Twitter, blogging and any other means to create a cloud of online conversations to complement the live streaming that will be provided by Richard Jolly and Diarmaid Lynch. There should be more soon on that linked from the official site – but meanwhile keep up with everything Reboot through the Twitter tag #rebootbritain. Toby and friends are using techniques developed through Amplified09, so you can be sure there will be plenty going on, with some good analysis afterwards. The creative force behind the event is Steve Moore, who curated 2gether08 and morphed the 2gether09 plans into Reboot. The event is produced by my friends Jess Tyrell, Lizzie Ostrom and the team at  Germination … so when I say in the usual way that I’m looking forward to tomorrow I really mean it. No tickets left, but plenty to follow online.

Update: aggregated newsdesk, Twitter, live streaming and live blogging will all be linked from here


  • July 5, 2009 - 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Reboot britain is a brilliant concept and full of great ideas that will work. The main problem which must not be forgotten is the 90% land mass of the UK that can’t get enough bandwidth to take part in digitalbritain. There is no point in trying to engage people (40% of the people in the country live in 90% of the land mass) who are in an area of ADSL market failure. Until this is put right (2017 by govt figures) the work done here will be negated. I am looking forward to joining in remotely tomorrow if my connection isn’t oversubscribed by others on the network and if the host network can keep up with demand. I know at least 100 properties near me who won’t be able to live stream and will be relegated to twitter. They can’t even load facebook on their connections unless they set it off 10 minutes before they want it running. Reboot Britain is a decade ahead of its time for rural areas…

  • Lizzie
    July 5, 2009 - 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Hi Cyberdoyle,
    just spotted your comment and yes it’s a really important one. Hoping you’re able to join with the connection and wanted to flag up a session for you – fibrecamp – which is happening at 11.30.

    We’ll try and get one of the amplified team to cover/livecast it. Session focus is on rural broadband access in UK. just thinking, if we can get amplified in there you could add into conversation via twitter or do a blog in response and we’ll flag it up.

  • July 5, 2009 - 10:41 pm | Permalink

    yep, Daniel doing fibrecamp isn’t he? Look forward to joining in if at all possible. If someone could do tiny chat it would help, otherwise i tend to bore the socks off my other twitter followers once i get in a rant. 😉

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