The reason for the event is well explained here but put simply it was about how government can work better together. It’s no mean feat trying to get government departments to collaborate. The team managed to draw funding from across different government departments which was a great way to signal the intention and lay important foundations. As I was on the periphery of the organising committee I also know how hard the team worked at ensuring there was a balance of policy folk, digital folk, and that every department was represented.
What we can learn
It’s great that people are doing this in government and it could be happening elsewhere. What about One Team Foundations (#oneteamfoundations)? or One Team Social Justice (#oneteamsocialJ)?. They haven’t got quite the same ring to them but they are needed. In 2013 the Point People put in a proposal to a group of different foundations in the UK about facilitating a collective impact approach with them as a group. After some initial conversations it seems there wasn’t the appetite for it. However, this kind of coordinated effort, with multiple organisations operating more like a whole team, has the potential to achieve much greater impact.
In January I set up a group for organisations working in the tech for good field. We meet every month and I’m hoping we’re growing to be a team, something bigger than any one of our individual organisations, able to do much more together. I’d love to hear from people who have examples of where else this is happening and can point to other efforts that are trying to change the system in some kind of coordinated direction.