Outside of her work for mySociety, our very own marketing and communications manager Myf somehow finds time to illustrate and sketch. She runs a popular personal blog (Myf Draws Apparently) which often includes sketch diaries of her adventures. The most recent one she’s just published is a lovely record of a trip to Madrid earlier this year.
Only, it wasn’t just a trip to Madrid — she was there as part of the mySociety team at AlaveteliCon 2015.
Alaveteli is mySociety’s Freedom of Information (FoI) platform, and AlaveteliCon was the second conference we’ve held on Freedom of Information technologies. It brings together people from all over the world who are involved in running sites like the UK’s WhatDoTheyKnow.
One of the pages Myf drew is this wonderful flow diagram of the way platforms like Alaveteli actually experience Freedom of Information.
Not everyone at the conference was running an Alaveteli-based site, which was sort of the point: the business of running FoI sites like these is not about the technology, it’s about the culture of citizens’ Right to Know. There’s a lot of variety in the FoI laws around the world, and they are regarded with wildly differing levels of enthusiasm by the authorities who ought to be bound by them. The groups running FoI sites invariably consist of individuals who are passionate and articulate on all aspects of Freedom of Information. At the conference, they shared tales of frustration in the face of intransigent or occasionally devious public authorities; anecdotes demonstrating beatific levels of patience in the face of obdurate official departments; and, of course, some wonderful stories of success.
Myf has captured some of this in her sketch diary. Although she didn’t create it for mySociety, some of us think that flow chart is too delightful and too relevant not to share here.
To see all of Myf’s Madrid diary (it’s in five parts), start at part one.