Digital Day – Saturday 14 April

In my first blog post I mentioned that we had begun planning a Digital Day, and I now can share more information, including how you can attend.

Purpose of the day

We want to share with you our digital plans for the next few years, and get your feedback. We will share our digital strategy and roadmap, what we’ve been doing and our priorities, as well as getting you involved in what we do and how we work.

The day will be a mixture of presentations and workshops, intended to get you involved and contributing to our plans!

When and where

The Digital Day is being held on Saturday 14 April, from 9.30 until 5.00 at 65 Queen’s Gate (Baden-Powell House), London, SW7 5JS.

What you can expect on the day

In the morning, we will have a number of presentations from the Digital Team and a guest speaker. Presentations are yet to be finalised but are likely to include:

  • our digital plan for Scouting – the strategy and roadmap for delivery
  • guest speaker (details to be confirmed)
  • understanding our volunteers in Scouting – sharing our research
  • how we can apply technology in Scouting

There will be opportunities for questions and answers before lunch, when you will have an opportunity to meet the team and other attendees, as well as contribute to the work that we are doing.

In the afternoon, there will be a series of workshops from which you’ll be able to choose two. The workshops are still to be finalised and possibilities include:

  • Delivering digital skills to our young people (and adult volunteers!)
  • Key priorities: what do we really need from our website?
  • Emerging technology and its potential uses in Scouting
  • A new technology platform for Scouting – what do we need to think about?
  • Informing our digital strategy and roadmap
  • Evidence-based Scouting—practices for the whole Movement
  • Open data: using data to make decisions and keep informed
  • Your network: how Scouts share ideas, skills, and get help
  • After the first release: our vision for growth and how you are involved
  • Increasing participation: sharing across the Movement
  • Show and tell: how you use technology in Scouting now

Who can attend?

We have 100 places and they are open to all members. We want to ensure that we get a good mix of attendees across different Scouting roles, representation from across the nations, and a wide range of digital experience.

I’d like to attend, what do I need to do?

To ensure the balance of representation across Scouting, we are asking that if you are interested in attending, you complete the expression of interest form before Friday, 2 March. Formal invites will then be sent out the following week and we will maintain a waiting list in case of cancellations and keep you informed.

What if I don’t receive an invite?

We will let you know that did not manage to secure a place and we will ensure that we share lots of details after the event. We are looking at the best ways to do this, including recording the day itself and sharing the presentations on this blog.

Is there anything specific that you would like to hear about? Let us know in the comments!

Let us know you are interested in attending now!


  1. Avatar Baloo, 49th Greenwich 16/02/2018 / 3:33 pm

    No offence, but it would be appropriate for the Digital Team to post some kind of response to the OSM thread, which goes to the very heart of the administrative side of the digital agenda.
    Selfishly, I am re-posting my own two cents, as I think it’s a fair way of framing the question in a non-hostile way.

    It would seem there are at least 4 options on OSM that are limiting cooperation:
    1. TSA are open to just buying/contracting OSM, but can’t reach a commercial agreement. I imagine, though it is certainly value for money and Ed doesn’t seem like a Zuckerberg-wannabe, OSM must be making a bit of money now, and it may be difficult to get a number that both sides agree on.
    2. On principle, TSA don’t want to outsource collation of all this data to a third party they can’t control. If OSM commits some kind of data malfeasance, TSA feel they will be held accountable, morally and/or legally.
    3. On a different principle, TSA are trying to prevent the Scout admin system becoming a private monopoly. If Ed sells it to someone else so he can buy an island in Scotland, what’s to stop the new owner charging an arm and a leg? TSA may think they have to have a free-to-air alternative, even if it isn’t as good as OSM, and likely never will be.
    4. TSA genuinely thinks it can build something better than OSM.

    To me, the answers to three of these are pretty simple:
    1. Either pay up, or at least tell people that commercially you can’t come to terms. People may not like it, but they will get it. If TSA is bidding what they think is a market price, it stops them being seen as the bureaucratic villain the whole time.
    2. Suck it up. Lots of companies outsource data management to third parties. Worse reputational things happen…
    4. In this case, TSA would obviously just be plain wrong.
    The answer to 3 is more complicated. It’s also the easiest for TSA to explain as their reasoning.
    I get the impression that OSM was created by someone who loves Scouting, and some kind of contract could be arranged that would give TSA a decisive contractual say in pricing over a very long time horizon, which (though it would perhaps depress OSM’s sale value), the creator may be happy with if it got him a full TSA endorsement (and erased the risk, low that it is, that TSA build something to compete with part of OSM’s revenue base).
    Or maybe there is an option 5. Either way, TSA really need to explain WHY they have a continuing digital admin plan before they talk any more about WHAT it is.

    • Avatar Helen Murray 16/02/2018 / 5:40 pm

      Hi Baloo, thanks for your comment. We are still talking to Ed (of OSM) but we are not yet in a position to share anything further. As soon as we can update you and the movement, we will do so.

      Regarding the digital plan, it is broader that our membership system and OSM, as we are looking at our whole digital offering for Scouting. The intention of the digital day is to talk through this and also get input and feedback, so that we can ensure that we are focused on the right priorities. We are keenly aware that our membership systems and our relationship with OSM are high up on the list and we do want to hear peoples thoughts.

      I take your point about the lack of response to the high volume of OSM comments and I will look to get an update post on the blog in the next week or so explaining where we are at.

  2. Avatar Graham Harrop 16/02/2018 / 4:37 pm

    I am interested in how the new Digital strategy will be moving forward and how this will benefit my district However, it would not be a good use of time to travel from Doncaster to attend this event. I would like to be part of any sharing please

  3. Avatar Peter Day 16/02/2018 / 5:02 pm

    It would have been interesting to attending but I am scouting that weekend for the WSJ. Will there be any output from the day for those of us who can’t attend?

    • Avatar Helen Murray 16/02/2018 / 5:20 pm

      Hi Peter, sorry to hear that you can’t make it. We’ll ensure that we share presentations and outputs afterwards and will do so through this blog and also through Scouting+ and some of our other channels. Thanks for commenting!

      • Avatar bob kitchen 18/02/2018 / 4:52 pm

        Don’t want to be negative at such an early stage but surely any output from your work should be accessible in one place only!! Scouting + would be a good location. Blogs, Scouting+ and “some of our other channels” seems like an accident waiting to happen. One source of information prevents confusion, mixed access and the inevitable – “I think I saw it somewhere” syndrome.

        • Avatar Helen Murray 20/02/2018 / 12:40 pm

          Hi Bob, thanks for your comment. We are looking to reach as many people as possible with information about what we are doing so whilst the messages and content will be the same, we will be looking to communicate in more than one place. We are working with the Communications team here to do that in the best way possible.

          • Avatar Graham Harrop 20/02/2018 / 12:47 pm

            That sounds good Helen

  4. Avatar Ian Turton 16/02/2018 / 6:27 pm

    My big question would be around finance and related accounting systems. Online. CAF now charge a lot. But their “offering” looks good. I have a large group (three Beaver, 2 cub and three Scout sections) and I’d like to have that all with one provider, with an associated saving account paying a “reasonable” return for the reserves, with suitable dual (online) signature etc. That would (hopefully) readily give me he ability to look at all accounts – online. So I get a near real time financial position. And it NOT cost us ~£500/year. !!! Why are all we Groups/Districts etc doing our own thing? Surely the SA can cut a better deal for us all with ONE provider? .

    Leads to Accounting systems – can we do a deal with (say?) Sage…

  5. Avatar Richard Green 16/02/2018 / 9:20 pm

    Sadly, I am not available to attend this. Will there be recordings of any of the sessions to view online later and more importantly, where can I see a copy of the roadmap without being at the event.

    • Avatar Helen Murray 20/02/2018 / 12:53 pm

      Hi Richard, we will be recording the event and we will share details of the presentations and the day itself after the event.

  6. Avatar Kay 16/02/2018 / 11:26 pm

    I would really like to attend but am already committed to an Area event. I would be interested in any i formation available after the meeting.

  7. Avatar Alison j Jacobs 16/02/2018 / 11:32 pm

    I’ve made my application to attend. This is one of the most exciting things I’ve seen happening in scouting as a whole, outside of my fabulous cub Scout pack of course, and I would love to be part of it!

  8. Avatar Neil Bleakley 18/02/2018 / 10:26 am

    I am very interested to see how the digital strategy will support Scouting in my district. The last huge leap in technology resulted in Compass which has created more work not less. I would very much like to attend

  9. Avatar Derren Phillips 19/02/2018 / 12:29 pm

    Would love to attend but sadly, a one day trip to the capital is out of the question at the moment.

    Tell me; as part of this new Digital strategy, have you considered digital badges (eg. at all? Sounds to me like a match made in heaven.

  10. Avatar Martin Sweet 22/02/2018 / 8:30 am

    I am on another scouting training weekend but am interested in watching the presentations online afterwards. Please keep me on the mailing list for updates.

  11. Avatar Geoff Soord 24/02/2018 / 6:48 am

    Interested in learning more. Unlikely to be able to attend due to other commitments. has some great material that is free to use. Aside from being a Scout Leader I run a CodeClub.

  12. Avatar Graham Mountain 25/02/2018 / 8:54 pm

    I would love to be able to attend but I’m assessing dofe that weekend if there is links to content and or any digital streaming like skype or other interaction into meeting I would be interested in hearing / seeing the views on where scouting thinks it is going digitaly both in program opertunitys and in trying to ensure scouting neaver ends up with the issues that the failed compass project corsed in waste of leader’s time and waste of money for that product but that is the past and I’m really most I interested in tools like osm and how to comuicate with membership digitaly my way has osm Facebook WhatsApp mobile text messages email and just talking to the explorer they are also on Snapchat and Instagram
    Some of which leader’s have control of and most we don’t

    How can we get ideas of what platform to use for what and how to keep member safe and informed while using all the technology in there pockets

    I would also be Inerested I jota/joti and how this fits in that any strategy as this always bring a focus the technology

  13. Avatar Trevor Yeoman 26/02/2018 / 1:34 pm

    I’m unable to attend this event unfortunately, so I would like to add also that live streaming of the key aspects of the event such as any presentations/keynote etc. would be fantastic. Many thanks.

  14. Avatar Steve Brownless 26/02/2018 / 2:01 pm

    Interesting in helping with this project but already comitted to helping another group with their digital strategy on that day,

  15. Avatar Ben Plimley 26/02/2018 / 7:04 pm

    Hi, I’m involved with managing and creating my Explorer group’s social media, online presence, digital publicity, and digital content. Me and another member or two of our publicity team would love to attend the digital day, to learn as well as share our knowledge on content creation, publicity management and youthled scouting; but as we are youth members we don’t have the membership numbers that the sign up form requires.

    Can you help?
    p.s. As other people have mentioned I’m very interested in getting involved with JOTI, I wonder whether you could involve this in the digital day?

    • Avatar Kirsten Lawton 08/03/2018 / 11:44 am

      Hi Ben, thank you for your interest — I have emailed you directly.

  16. Avatar Alan Sharkey 27/02/2018 / 10:03 am

    I cannot make the digital day, bit could I leave a question here to be discussed? [I will assume I can].
    Scout ‘rules’ say “that personal data should not be transmitted outside the European Economic Area (EEA) without consent from the data subject” (see,55,400 if you want to check). This is the 8th principle as lad down by the EU/ICO. However, this is NOT what they say now.

    What the EU says is “Under the eighth data protection principle organisations that want to transfer personal data outside the EU must assess whether that country ensures an adequate level of protection for individuals. ” – and the EU has assessed that we can transfer data to the USA under the Pirvacy Shield agreement.

    I am thinking of emails in particular. If we abide by the Scout rule above, then, in theiry we are not allowed to transmit personal data to anyone who has an email address ending in “yahoo” or “aol” or “hotmail” or “gmail” as we know that their servers reside outside the EU. However, this is the majority of non-scouting parents – so we cannot transmit any personal data to parents (for example). And, by personal data, it’s not just names, addresses etc. – it could also be (for example) a password to allow a parent to access OSM data.

    So – can we get some clarity on what the Scout rules are going forward. How do we resolve this issue?



  17. Avatar Jonathan Elliott 01/03/2018 / 7:59 am

    I’ve been looking through your blog and I’m impressed that your team are engaging with members. From the comments on the blog (and also personal experience) I know there are many members with technical expertise that would be more than happy to contribute to the project but are not currently being utilised. My question is therefore as follows: have the digital team given serious consideration to developing some of their tools / applications as open source? This would open up a vast untapped resource and give more people a chance to contribute. I would be interested to hear your views.

    • Avatar Helen Murray 19/03/2018 / 4:54 pm

      Hi Jonathan, thanks for your comment. We are definitely considering developing future applications as open source and one of our key digital principles is that we will be open by default. We will be sharing more on this in the coming weeks.

  18. Avatar Ben Plimley 01/03/2018 / 4:31 pm

    Hi Helen, I’d love to be able to attend and learn/share about how digital is helping us, but as i’m a youth member i don’t have a membership number, which the signup form is requesting. Is this event not designed for youth members or could we sort something out?


  19. Avatar Carlo 06/03/2018 / 4:39 pm

    Would it not be possible to live-stream the event and take interaction online, so that lots more people could participate ? It’s pretty cheap to do that kind of thing nowadays.

  20. Avatar Paul Connon 13/03/2018 / 7:48 pm

    This looks like at least a start in the right direction except that it’s based in London and limited to only 100 people hardly open and inclusive. I understand the need to limit number to have a chance of having a productive day but I would have thought that a digital team would have been able to present an event that could use technology to open it up to interested parties across the country.

    I look forward to the outcomes being shared but as has been mentioned previously if they are shared across different mediums the message will be diluted if not lost as this is the first time I have come across the digital team I think there is some work to do with raising your profile.

  21. Avatar Kevin 13/03/2018 / 7:50 pm

    Also interested in helping but already committed to an M&S training course on 14th and getting on one is like hens teeth. I manage digital presence for group and district, website (wordpress), Office 365 Nonprofit Business Essentials, OSM and Compass as an LTM. The LTM functionality in Compass is the real area I have an issue with, as it feels like the requirement capture was done late on a Friday afternoon after a long week.

  22. Avatar mroanalytics 13/03/2018 / 8:25 pm

    A day trip to the SE of England isn’t doable for many of us. What is the plan to extend engagement out to the regions ?

  23. Avatar fionamcks 17/03/2018 / 10:22 am

    Disappointed to only have just heard about your Digital Day in April by completing your Digital Online Survey (The-Nursery-Questionnaire) today but look forward to hearing the out comes.

  24. Avatar Brian 19/03/2018 / 5:59 pm

    In the interest of making positive suggestions, I think that, in finest ‘Change Management’ tradition, we are all now looking for evidence of some quick wins… the easy things that make a bit of a statement of progress and don’t require widespread consultation. Down here in the weeds our interface is via Compass and TSA website which both look very much the same as they ever did.

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