This year when the APWA Congress opens up in Chicago the week of August 25th, there will be a new type of session offered to attendees called a Public Works Camp. This event is held in an unconference style where the “presenters” serve more as hosts and the “attendees” create and drive the session. Because our local branch, the APWA Fox Valley Branch, has been holding similar events over the last few years, members of the branch’s education committee, myself included, will help serve as hosts. We look forward to participating in this type of session at the Congress and hope other attendees discover the same value we have found in offering this type of educational experience. And we encourage everyone attending the Congress to stop by the camp on Monday and/or Tuesday from 10 am to 10:50 am to check it out and participate!
For those who are not familiar with a camp or unconference style session, here is some background information:
Specifically tailored for the public works community, the Public Works Camp is an unconference focused on exploring ideas, lessons learned, best practices, industry standards, regulations, and patterns that can be implemented within and shared across the profession.
The camp has several primary goals:
- To bring together people from the public and private sector who are either interested in or working in the public works field to share perspectives, insights, ideas about the public works profession and industry.
- To share best practices, particularly those focused on increasing sustainability, effectiveness, and efficiency.
- To foster communities of practice and advocacy on the role of our profession in our world.
- To offer educational opportunities that are innovative, fun, and effective and build on more traditional methods.
- To create outcomes that participants will act upon after the event is over.
The format allows for a more informal atmosphere in which people can bring up the issues or ideas that matter most to them. They can also obtain feedback or information from other professionals who share those same concerns. The end result is a more intense educational experience than is usually found in more traditional presentations.