This is #MyOneTeamGov

One Team Gov Canada is hosting an unconference in Ottawa on December 17, 2019 — I’ll be there. Here’s why

Steph Percival
Nov 21 · 3 min read
Photo from June 2019 OneTeamGov Unconference. Unconference details listed on pink & orange panel to the right of the image.
Photo from June 2019 OneTeamGov Unconference. Unconference details listed on pink & orange panel to the right of the image.
The OneTeamGov Canada Unconference on December 17 in Ottawa is open to open to anyone regardless of position or sector, who wants to improve public services or public sector ways of working through practical action. (Graphic credit: Amanda Bernardo. Photo credit: Mars Romer Photography)

Do you know what you’re doing on December 17, 2019? I do.

In summer 2017 I was part of a three-woman team plotting a grand future for the (yet-to-be-launched) Policy Community for Canada’s federal public servants.

An important part of this plotting included deep conversations about our values — those we wanted our team to both encourage and embody.

At around the same time, in the UK, One Team Gov was gaining momentum. We become immediate fangirls of the movement and Kit Collingwood, the OG OneTeamGov’r.

Left: 7 OneTeamGov Principles on pink background. Right: photo from June 2019 Unconference participant writing in a notebook.
Left: 7 OneTeamGov Principles on pink background. Right: photo from June 2019 Unconference participant writing in a notebook.
The 7 One Team Gov Principles (Graphic credit: Amanda Bernardo. Photo credit: Mars Romer Photography)

We were initially met with some skepticism. We were building a Policy Community, not a whole of government movement! But in reality, we believed that to do policy better, we needed to work better together across functions, departments, and levels of government.

Thankfully our Co-Champions also opened up to this vision, giving us the scope to put multidisciplinary collaboration at the forefront of the Policy Community and agreeing to let us feature the One Team Gov movement at our 2018 conference.

Gaining advocates

Neil Bouwer, Policy Community Co-Champion and Vice President of the Canada School of Public Service, has since become one of OneTeamGov’s biggest advocates, championing the Canadian chapter:

The appeal to me of One Team Gov is people working together in the best interest of citizens — it’s about people over processes, and outcomes over bureaucracy.

Even so, prior to attending his first unconference in Victoria, Neil was unsure.

For many people, attending a conference without an agenda can raise questions about value. Why commit to something if you don’t know what the agenda will look like?

But here’s what Neil had to say about his first unconference experience:

“Attending the unconference in Victoria connected me to like-minded public servants who wanted to see meaningful change in how government operates. I like the unconference format because it empowers attendees to identify and self-select the topics they contribute to.”

He enjoyed his experience so much that before it even ended he asked “when are we doing one in Ottawa?”

Common Goals

There are a lot of movements in the public service. It can be hard to identify why you should participate in any one over the other. Each one plays a crucial role in creating space for people to network, learn, and share.

But I truly believe that at the heart of all these movements we have common goals. And the One Team Gov principles really are core to what we all want to see: a more inclusive, connected public service that’s passionate about optimizing their work for Canadians.

So that’s why I’m excited about being part of December’s One Team Gov Canada Unconference.

I’m excited to show up as me — not as a Free Agent, not as an employee at the Digital Academy, not as (insert classification here); to co-create an agenda full of topics that give me FOMO, and participate in conversations that make me see my work and the world in new ways.

Mostly, I’m excited to meet other people and build new relationships that will live long past the conference.

Will I meet you there?

Sign up for Ottawa unconference tickets using the link below:

A picture of two post-it notes that say “tell us a story about… an approach that is achieving impact somewhere in the world” . This photo was taken at One Team Gov Global unconference in London 2017

OneTeamGov

UK policymakers, service designers, digital professionals and others working out how we can make government more effective. #oneteamgov

Steph Percival

Written by

Baby Mama. GoC Free Agent. Positive Disruptor. Ponderer. Storyteller. Bona fide book nerd sniffing out the next great read.

OneTeamGov

UK policymakers, service designers, digital professionals and others working out how we can make government more effective. #oneteamgov

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