It’s About the End User, Stupid! … No! Not that one! The TICTeC blog

TICTeC is great.  The world is better for having TICTeC in it.  It provokes delight, wonder and thoughts.  This blog is mostly about the thoughts! TICTeC is The Impacts of Civic Technology Conference and the third one was held last week (25-26 April, in Florence).  It is funded thanks to sponsorship from Google and the…

Notes from TEDxSkoll

Some thoughts immediately after attendance at TEDxSkoll in Oxford on 7th April. Wonderful new website of the day http://www.dailyoverview.com/ and @doverview – go look! Food for thought of a digital variety: understanding that some of the standardised algorithms for face recognition simply don’t recognise black faces because they were omitted from the training set –…

A Partial Slee List of UKGCX

In the absence of time to do a proper blog, my (truncated to 45%) Slee list for UKGCX is as follows:  1. I was pleased with my session about the structural tensions between “agile” and “public sector governance” which has been recorded pretty well here  with some practical suggestions. I was struck by the differences…

The Growing Chaos and Complexity of Local Government

(This is based on a talk which I gave at the recent mySociety Company retreat) Summary This is a future-based look at the chaos and complexity of local government.  We are a very centralised nation but we are becoming more localised in ways which change the nature of the complexity that people have to deal…

Is “Localism” to Blame for Brexit?

An edited version of this blog first appeared in LGC shortly after the Brexit vote. Some of the trends that we celebrate as localist – taking decisions closer to the people they affect, uniting people within the bubble of their place, creating effective but smaller groups of people – these trends of fragmentation seem similar…

On Being Ignored

This is a slightly adapted version of my blog which was published by LGiU here. It is the run-up to the EU referendum.  Two voices are speaking, but not to each other: Voice Number 1 – “I’m really frustrated and don’t know what to do about it. The vast majority of people I know and trust,…

Free is a Curious Price

This is where I may get torn to shreds by some people I really like – Open Data folk. For the last three decades, since my early qualifications in Operational Research, through my consulting and public and private leadership roles I have been fascinated by the role of data and analytics in helping make the…

“Dark Value” in Public Services?

We are used to the idea of “dark matter” as the name of the precisely quantified but undetectable proportion of the universe that has to be there for current physics theories to make sense.  By analogy* Geoff McCracken writes in a book of the same name about “Dark Value” – the hidden value –  that…

Why Ideology Eats Evidence for Breakfast

A Bioengineer called Guru Madhavan gave a talk at the RSA this week pointing out that it makes sense to apply the tools of rational disciplines, like engineering, to the field of public policy.  He gave some examples of (what others would call) user-centred design, systematic and multi-criteria decision-making. I got this stuff with my…

Four Futures for Health and Social Care Integration

A few months ago I wrote a structured future scenarios piece looking at four (deliberately extreme) possible futures for health and social care integration.   (There’s also a little teaser video about it). At the heart of the paper is consideration of how the future will evolve in terms of uncertainty on two key dimensions…

Immediate Reflections on the 2015 Solace Summit

I shared my immediate reflections on this year’s Solace summit in the following tweets which, to be clear, contain my personal views and are framed partly as provocations, the provocative nature often enhanced by the character limit! Reflection 1: Devo will give birth to people-place-changing awesome 21st C Municipalism (except where it miserably doesn’t) Reflection 2: *Evidence* is…

Take-Aways from #LocalGovCamp 2015

Consolidating my thinking and in a spirit of sharing … The Right Conditions for Digital Paul Brewer (@pdbrewer) pitched a session about the Right Conditions for Digital (see his blogpost) based on his experience at Director of Digital and Resources at the very interesting Adur and Worthing.  This could have been a longer session.  Paul…