Virtual meeting scheme set to spread good practice

Public sector digital professionals are being encouraged to meet online with strangers through a new scheme to encourage the sharing of good practice.

A local government digital practitioner network LocalGov Digital has launched a new initiative called “UnMentoring” aimed at giving public sector ICT workers a new perspective on their work.

The scheme, which will launch in March, will randomly put participants in touch with each other for monthly chats to swap ideas on digital development.

In a blog post, Carl Haggerty, Digital Communications Manager at Devon County Council and LocalGov Digital chair, said: “It is an experiment we want to try and we want to test the assumption – connecting people even randomly will help challenge your thinking.

“This has been tested offline already in events like localgovcamp, UKGovCamp and any unconference so we know the benefits exist, we want to know whether an online model exists.”

UnMentoring participants are asked to share their name, phone number and email. Once matched with a random partner, contact will be made via Skype or a Google Hangout.Conversations don’t have to relate directly to work, although it is anticipated that chats will have direct beneficial impacts on projects, according to LocalGov Digital.

At the end of the conversations, the learning is shared via a tweet or blog post. New matches will be made each month in order to provide a broad range of perspectives.

UnMentoring is open to anyone who is interested in building and improving local public services. It is also open to those working outside the sector, although there is a “no sales pitches” rule for participation.

You can sign up for the scheme at

Colin Marrs

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