On Feb 21 (Open Data Day) and Feb 22 we were in Hampshire at Open Data Camp, helping with the organising, delivering and participating in a few of the unconference sessions, mainly to do with data and charities, and engaging community groups with data and open data, the latter referring to our work at RAWM with community groups to support the development of the Birmingham Skills and Data Hub aka Birmingham Data Factory.
Fast forward to today and, in my role as Policy Associate (Information and Communications) for RAWM, I’m searching for events to put on the RAWM website to share with the voluntary and community sector in the West Midlands region. I see that, on March 30th, SEWM will be running a members event which will include Tim Edwards, Group Head of Regeneration The Aspire Group discussing Buy Social, the national social enterprise directory.
This is the year when, as I’ve said a few times on Twitter, I’m finding my #worldscolliding and this is another one. What’s the connection?
Well, as part of Open Data Day, new data from the Buy Social Directory was made available to Open Data Camp participants. This joint open data initiative between Social Enterprise UK, Spend Network and the Cabinet Office was made to ensure that, for the first time, there was the opportunity to track all spend with social enterprises by local authorities and central government. This is to increase accountability and identify new opportunities for investment in social enterprise
So, as members of SEWM via RnR Organisation, we’re looking forward to being at the SEWM members event on March 30th and seeing whether this data release on Open Data Day might also be of use to some of our fellow SEWM members, as well as giving us an opportunity to bring members up to date with the work we’ve been doing at RAWM on the use of data and open data by and for the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector.
This could be the start of a whole new set of relationships!