In 2011, a group of Citizen Engagement practitioners started gathering to share experiences, practices and optimism across sectors over drinks at the pub. The group was largely provincial government employees, but did include some municipal and private sector folks.
After a year or so, it became apparent that the group wanted to talk about more than just engagement... they wanted to discuss innovation more broadly, and most of the members were focused on the public sector.
The group was re-branded to the Social Club for Innovative Public Servants (SCIPS) in 2013, and created a meetup group. Some of the original founders of the engagement drinks felt that the public servants needed a safe space to discuss their challenges in support of an innovative culture (which by that time was, well, less supported within the hierarchies of their organization). Not surprising: as the group reflected on the broader organization (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conway%27s_law)... it closed some doors.
With the new innovation mandate, some of the long standing innovation champions were called to official roles working on the mission... and didn't seek to convene outside of work hours as much, as the days were full of the conversations and actions they were longing for.
The Social Club grew a little quiet...
However, potential remained for a broader system and community to benefit from a shared mission to innovate, or reform, the public sector.