#senedd2011 – democracy in our networked age

It’s not often that I talk about my actual, paid, 9-5 everyday job on here, as this is usually reserved for my extra-curricular activities. However, today at work months of preparation finally paid off in an event called ‘#senedd2011 – democracy in our networked age’

My bread and butter, as it were, are earned by working for the National Assembly for Wales as the web editor there (that’s right, all the books and the community art are done in my spare time. No, I don’t sleep much). A few months ago, with a view to improving the Assembly’s engagement with digital communities, I approached a couple of acquaintances of mine who run a consultancy called NativeHQ.

Here’s what they say about themselves: “Based in Cardiff, providing web presence and social media strategy, open networked websites, web tools and training. Your bridge to the new web.”

The Assembly started talks with Native last summer, with a view to running some kind of online engagement – initially we thought about an outreach project to try and educate people in Wales about the impact of the referendum, but it soon became much bigger than that – a behemoth of an event, inviting bloggers and those who are active online to come and talk to a selection of panellists who also gave talks.

The speakers did a wonderful job – you can watch Dr Andy Williamson from Hansard kick ass talking about things like how governments should do away with copyright completely (which got my friend Carl very excited indeed) below

#senedd2011: Dr Andy Williamson, Hansard – Part One / Rhan Un from Assembly Wales / Cynulliad Cymru on Vimeo.

#senedd2011: Dr Andy Williamson, Hansard – Part Two / Rhan Dau from Assembly Wales / Cynulliad Cymru on Vimeo.

Other speakers were Alison Preston from Ofcom, freelance journalist Marc Webber, and Iwan Williams from the National Assembly. You can see all sorts of other stuff that happened at the event on the Vote2011 wordpress.

It was pretty stressful putting the whole thing together – hence my radio silence on this blog for such a long time. But ultimately it was a really worthwhile experience. I just hope that after the Assembly election on the 5 May, the new Assembly Members pay attention to the direction that their representatives want democracy to move into.

2 thoughts on “#senedd2011 – democracy in our networked age

  1. Nice one Helia – all your work on this was definitely worth it – a good event, with really good speakers. Great work getting the Assembly seriously thinking about the issues.

  2. The prospect of having parliamentary materials, videos, papers, record of proceedings and data without copyright restrictions is a very interesting one – for any parliament. I think ultimately it could only help the work of a parliament and provide better resources for the outworking of democracy. On a world scale it’s an amazing PR move as well. Something well worth looking at…

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