Some of those reading this will remember seeing the original bid we submitted back in July, which laid out our vision for Utopia.
As with the other fantastic bids, it noted the unprecedented ways in which the the working world is changing for civil servants. Bizarre political times, intelligent robots threatening our jobs, an ever more diverse population to serve… and us Fast Streamers, at the start of our professional journey, amidst all this change. How should we respond as we cast off into our Civil Service careers?
It was this central question which we wanted to grapple with through Utopia. So we got together and we decided it made sense to attack it from three angles. These became the “three pillars” of our conference concept.
Firstly, Utopia will explore ways in which the inexorable march of technology - the brave new world of blockchain, AI, machine learning, etc that we are entering - can be harnessed to enhance public service rather than threaten it.
We want to show that these developments can provide innovative new tools and ways of working which will maximise our impact. In short, our Future Workplace.
The Civil Service is exerting a valiant effort in its attempt to resemble the population it serves, but progress is painstaking. Diversity and inclusion are crucial not just to achieve this end, but to break down cultural silos in Whitehall and enable groupthink to be challenged through varied perspectives. Utopia will explore the challenges in attaining our Future Workforce.
Last but not least, Utopia will focus on you. Amid all this uncertainty, it is worth our while as Fast Streamers to give some consideration to how we can navigate this landscape and grasp our professional aspirations with both hands.
And so Utopia will offer career coaching surgeries, conversations on how to maximise our impact in Government, and sessions geared at boosting your personal resilience through physical activity and mental wellbeing, all to help prepare us as Future Leaders.
Now that you have a flavour of what to expect, we hope you will join us, our SCS sponsors Cat Little (MoD) and Tom Taylor (BEIS), Fast Stream Head Greg Hobbs, our many other fantastic speakers, and - most importantly - hundreds of wonderful Fast Streamers, at Utopia in February.
Tickets will be available from Thursday 29th November and will be easily acquired through Eventbrite. The agenda will run twice, on 20th and 21st February 2019, and will be free for centrally-managed Fast Streamers.
Those on non-corporate schemes will be able to attend with a £30 L&D charge to their cost code, and T&S will be available for regional delegates.
See you in February!
Adam Smith, Utopia Committee Lead