GovCamp North logo
2021 in large text


Welcome to the second GovCamp North! The first event in 2020 was a big success attracting over 120 people. The plans were put in place in early 2020 for an event somewhere in the North but by the middle of summer it was obvious that we needed to pivot and move the event to an online platform. This year we’ve taken the learnings from GovCamp North 2020 and UK GovCamp 2021 and look forward to welcoming you to, what we hope, is going to be a fantastic online event.

The GovCamp North 2021 Team


The theme of GovCamp North 2021 is ‘legacy’. We had a fantastic event last year, with some wonderful conversations. This year, we’d love to see the impact of those conversations extend beyond the day.

To give people the opportunity to plan the next steps of their collaboration, there will be an official GovCamp North board for people to post topics they would like to keep discussing. GovCamp North will provide the platform and arrange the first session for these conversations to continue. We’d really love for the GovCamp North community to blossom, and we see this as an exciting and dynamic way to do this.

The note documents for each session will also have a ‘continue the conversation’ section. Please put your name down, if you’d like to see ongoing collaboration around that topic.

Code of Conduct

We will not tolerate any of these behaviours: offensive verbal comments, deliberate intimidation, bullying, harassment, screenshots or recording of the event (selfies at home are okay), unwelcome sexual attention or physical sexual images and other inappropriate images in public spaces, sustained disruption of talks/sessions.

How to report an incident
You will be able to contact stewards in the main room, if there are any violations. There should also be facilitators in each breakout session that can help.

If you believe you’re experiencing unacceptable behaviour that will not be tolerated as outlined above, or, if you observe someone in distress, or violations of these guidelines, we are here to help. If a participant engages in behaviour that violates this code of conduct, the organisers will take action they deem appropriate, including (but not limited to) removing the participant from GCN21 and banning them from future events. Govcamp North belongs to everyone.

Thank you for helping make this a welcoming, inclusive and friendly event for all.

Most important

Please do not share the links for the event or note documents further. As organisers, we pride ourselves on working in the open and reducing barriers to entry, but we will take more precautions this year in what we share publicly to make sure we don’t have any unwanted visitors.


09:30Arrival and tech checkMain Room
10:00Opening CeremonyMain Room
11:00Session 1Session Rooms
12:00Session 2Session Rooms
12:45LunchMain Room
13:15Sponsor SessionsSession Rooms
14:15Session 3Session Room
15:15Session 4Session Room
16:00Closing CeremonyMain Room

What to expect

GovCamp North is an unconference (in the tradition of the long running UKGovCamp events). They give everyone a chance to share their ideas, thoughts, plans and experiences, and to find others to provide feedback and support for them.

Whether you’ve been to an unconference before or not, try to approach the day with an open mind and sense of possibility. It’s important to remember a few guiding unconference principles:

#1: Whoever shows up are the right people
#2: Whatever discussions happen are fine
#3: Whenever it starts is the right time
#4: It is over when it’s over

The rule of two feet
Everyone at an un-conference is encouraged to practice the rule of two feet. The rule of two feet says that if you become uninterested at any point, you are encouraged to leave and join another session. In an unconference you are also invited to take breaks at any time, with the idea that it is sometimes in the breaks that the ‘A-ha’ moments arrive.


Pitching for the GCN21 has been ongoing over the past week. Thank you to all those that participated in the chat on Slack and those who pitched sessions. You will see the sessions being added to the grid in the next day or so. Check out the grid ( to help you decide which sessions you want to attend on the day.

On the day pitching
We want to provide opportunities for on-the-day serendipity. Therefore, you will have the opportunity to pitch something via the EasyRetro board during the opening ceremony of GCN21.

Unconferences are all about participation and being able to express yourself in a safe environment. Please bring your ideas, interests and don’t be afraid to pitch something.

Which pitches will be selected?
If we have capacity, all pitches will run on GCN21. However, if we have limited space, we will have to go with the pitches that are most popular with the audience. We will decide popularity by the number of votes each pitch receives.


In the great spirit of an unconference, sessions do not need to be pre-planned and can be run by any of the attendees. This makes it a great opportunity for you to find people who are tackling the same issues as you and learn from each other through sharing your thoughts and experiences.

Running a session
If your pitch is selected to run on GCN21, we expect you to attend the session. It is also helpful if you can provide a bit of context at the start of a session to kick it off. If you do not feel comfortable doing this, please post on the #gcn21-session-pitches channel on Slack. The GovCamp community are very supportive and someone will be more than happy to help you.

Joining instructions

Important: Your work equipment may only allow access to your organisation's preferred video platform. This is usually for security reasons. For this event, you will need to use a device that can access Zoom meetings and Google docs. This may mean you have to use a personal device.

We are hosting this event on QiqoChat. You will need to sign-up with QiqoChat the first time you use it. You can do that via the link: Homepage | GovCamp North on QiqoChat

Under the GovCamp North "home" area, the events will be listed on the right; you will have to register for GovCamp North 2021 session once you're logged in.

It would be very helpful if you could add a profile picture and your name, so that we can see who you are. It's more welcoming for other participants if they don't see empty silhouettes as avatars when they consider joining breakout rooms.

What is QiqoChat?

QiqoChat is a platform that acts as a visual wrapper for Zoom meetings and Google docs. The licences are included which makes it much less complicated than running a conference with a large number of accounts. Rather than share several links in the chat, we thought it would be easier for attendees to click visual buttons to enter breakout rooms and access notes.
As with any platform it is worth taking a look around before the sessions, to familiarise yourself with how it works. We suggest you register early and log in to the event 10 minutes before.

To get a quick look at what the QiqoChat will look like, check out this 2-minute youtube overview

Session grid
If Qiqochat is not accessible for you, you can find the links for this unconference in this document:

Getting green for GCN21

Trees for Life logo

We gave attendees the option to plant a tree instead of receiving merchandise for GCN21. We are pleased to say more than 65% of attendees took us up on our offer. Each attendee will have a tree planted in the Scottish Highlands on their behalf. We are adding to the UK GovCamp grove via the Trees for Life initiative.

You can donate here to make the event carbon positive:

Facilitation Techniques

To help you with the sessions we have put together a few facilitation techniques that you may find useful.
Please download the PDF and try them out. Maybe you can use them in your own meetings.

Our sponsors

Events like GovCamp North cannot take place without the support of organisations who understand the great value in building strong communities of people who want to make public services better. This year’s fabulous sponsors are:

dxw logo

dxw is a leading employee-owned digital agency that works with the public and third sectors. We're proud, long-time supporters of the GovCamp community.
Since 2008, we’ve worked in partnership with public sector teams to design, build, and operate digital public services. We support organisations to build their own digital capability and take an iterative user-centred approach to service design.
dxw has a rich mix of experience from consultancy for digital transformation, to the technical expertise to build and run large scale digital services. We're WordPress experts, we host and support websites across central and local government and the charity sector.
We recently became employee owned because we want everyone who works at dxw to have a stake in our success and a part in shaping how we do things.
Take a look at our website to find out more about us, or get in touch for a chat.

Lean and Agile Logo

We offer software and training to help our customers improve their processes. Widely used in Holland by over 100 Public Sector bodies and private sector companies (such as Schiphol Airport and Bavaria Beer), our first year in the UK has seen us work with 40+ Local Authorities/ public sector bodies.

Our software creates fully costed process models live in a workshop, engaging stakeholders by giving them ownership over the improvements, thereby gaining buy-in and easing implementation of changes. The product supports a continuous improvement culture and real savings are shown by comparing your ‘As Is’ and ‘To Be’ processes. As well as improving engagement, this is a timesaving tool for your analysts, making business improvement 20-40% faster.

If you need to improve your processes, improve compliance, or speed of delivery (and even all three) contact us for a demo, free trial or to buy

Made Tech logo

Made Tech's mission is to help the public sector deliver world-class technology, digital and data services that make life better for everyone.

We help the public sector:

build successful digital services more quickly
transform legacy technology and ways of working
make smarter decisions, backed up by data
build the digital skills needed for successful future delivery

Founded in 2012, we started out by helping startups build products faster using lean and agile ways of working. Since 2016, we've been helping the public sector adopt these skills and approaches to deliver better outcomes for everyone.

Find out more about what we do, or check out our blog and our podcast, Making Tech Better, at

Nexer Group logo

Nexer Digital is a design and development agency with a focus on digital inclusion and social impact. We research, create and test products and services with people, rather than for them.

We design digital products and services that help people to live and work better.

We believe that putting people at the heart of our approach delivers better products to a happier audience.

We have chosen to work in sectors where we can help people to live and work better, from health and education to the UK charity community. We help clients with user research, prototyping, content strategy, interaction and service design through to full software development and support services.

Open Innovation logo

We're an independent, non-profit, non-partisan company that, since our creation, has welcomed over 20 sponsors, hosted over 1000 innovation events and delivered 70 open data projects that have helped to make an impact upon people's lives.

We work with companies, governments and individuals to build an open, trustworthy data ecosystem.

We advocate for and support practices that increase trust and trustworthiness: building ethical considerations into how data is collected, managed and used; ensuring equity around who can access and use data; engaging widely with affected people and organisations.

We help people identify and address how open data can be used effectively in their sector to improve decision making and processes, deliver more efficient and effective services and products, and fuel economic growth and productivity.

We connect, equip and inspire people around the world to innovate with data.

QiqoChat logo

QiqoChat is a platform for well-designed online meetings, workshops, conferences, or events. Qiqo provides a social wrapper around platforms like Zoom or Teams so that participants can move themselves in & out of parallel meetings. This creates a vibrant & empowering online experience which replicates the freedom of movement that participants have at in-person events.

Qiqo is perfect for hosting online conferences, workshops, job fairs, and trade shows where there are multiple presentations, conversations, and activities happening at the same time in up to 100 breakout spaces. The power of Qiqo is that you can create all the meeting spaces for your event and configure them with colors, styles, & collaborative tools before the event begins. Exhibitors and sponsors can have their own spaces to display information about their organization and space to engage participants through audio & video.

TPXImpact logo

TPXimpact exists to transform the organisations, services and systems that underpin society. We apply strategic and creative thinking, technology, innovative design and user-centred approaches to multiply the impact of change and put people and communities at the heart of every transformation. This is transformation that matters.

UKGovCamp logo

UKGovcamp is the free, annual ‘unconference’ for people interested in how the public sector does digital stuff. Run in January every year by a wonderful group of volunteer organisers, they promote inclusivity and collaboration in the public sector.

You can support UK GovCamp by sponsoring:

Individuals can donate here to support the event:

Unboxed logo

We are a service design and digital product development agency.

We create digital products and services that solve complex problems and have a positive impact on people’s lives.

What we offer
Our multidisciplinary teams deliver end-to-end digital products and services through agile, user-centred approaches, integrated service design and development, open source technology (Ruby on Rails) and cross-team collaboration.

Useful Links