Last November, we kicked off the Local by Social programme in Coventry
This year’s European elections marked an all time high for disengagement and an all time low for turnout, reaching a meagre 43% pan Europe (that’s 20% – or a third – down on 30 years ago), worse even in the UK at an mightily undemocratic 34.7% (up from 24% 10 years ago mind). But just as many in the start up world view a recession as the ideal time to start a new venture, what better time to get creative and take some risks to re-engage the public than when things are at rock bottom?
We are in the midst of a significant shift in the way we think about and relate to public services. Led both from inside government by the Prime Minister himself as well as more disruptive social, economic and technological change outside government, traditional delivery models and provider-client relationships are being challenged as never before. Driven in no small part by developments in the web, the speed and scale of change is happening on an unprecedented scale and leading us to question the notion of public services in our new, hyper-networked world.
You didn’t really believe me when I said it was only two parts did you? All good things come in threes after all and having covered the content from the event itself in parts one and two, I wanted to take the chance to share some of my learning from putting on the event itself:
Of all the sessions I’ve facilitated in my time, this one was undoubtedly the liveliest keeping me on my toes throughout with people eager to jump in and an unusual degrees of ‘honesty in front of an adult’ as one attendee put it. And for once looking back back at the conversations that were had on Twitter during the session, the face to face discussion won hands down at an event for once!
It’s amazing what can happen when you bring a bunch of interesting people together in a room around a subject they are all personally and passionately committed to. Well that’s just what I tried a couple of Mondays ago with the generous support of Rohan Gunatillake and the people at NESTA Connect – and it certainly didn’t disappoint! The premise of the session was a chance meeting I’d had with Derek Wyatt MP back in October…
It’s been a big week in the world of digital government, what with the first Minister for Communications Stephen Carter announcing that he is in the process of drafting a ‘Digital Britain’ action plan as well as the launch of the Digital Inclusion action plan (I’ll be returning to these in a post shortly). So it seemed rather timely to find myself having a coffee and a chat with the Internet tsar Derek Wyatt MP last Thursday.