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Wordle of the Week

Myself and Noel have been playing about with Wordle and here are our results. The top picture is my Wordle of the team's Delicious tags (themes we are working on), which can be found here: http://delicious.com/KCCInnovation. The second is Noel's wordle of Innovation within Kent.

Fancy giving Wordle a go? Find it here: http://www.wordle.net/
Find more information about the uses of Wordle in this presentation (for KCC staff only):

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The Social Civic Nudge

It seems like such a simple idea – people are talking to each other online and they are even talking to each other about civic issues – surely we can use the social web to increase levels of democratic participation?

Anyone who is interested in using the social web to effect levels of citizen engagement is following this train of thought – and there are already many really interesting trials and pilots in place. Online is not the only potential solution to the problem of how to engage people in the democratic process but many factors make it a good place to start. However so many projects start to drift towards the 'just another website' zone rather than really looking at how to really use social media to make a difference to democracy.

Why? Because the shiny technology distracts everyone from the fact that this is all about people. The good news of course is so is democracy.

Social media makes it far more possible to interact in a meaningful way with large groups of people than traditional contact routes. This means we have the chance to involve more people, first to listen, then to discuss and then finally in the decision making process but there are a lot of ideas and structures that need to be put in place to make this possible.

Firstly we need to embrace the idea that this really is social – you can't expect the public to have relationship with 'the council' – they need to interact with actual people and this involves finding ways to equip officers and members to take part in these conversations. This is not going to be easy – there are practical problems to be addressed around how to draw boundaries around personal, political and operational issues.

There is also the question of identity – identity is malleable online with many people choosing to use a screen name. At the heart of it, democracy is about standing up and being counted – and this accountability needs to be accommodated in the online world as well.

But perhaps the biggest hurdle is how we can influence social conversations towards democratic actions. The social web is inherently self-managed and organic – people talk about the things they are interested in and it is very difficult to predict what will catch their attention (have a read of the comments on this news item on the tragic destruction of an office chair if you don't believe me – http://www.thewestmorlandgazette.co.uk/news/1151898.chair_destroyed/). But they also use blogs, Facebook and twitter to talk about local issues and civic ideas (there are some excellent examples here: http://networkedneighbourhoods.com/).

One route to influencing people is to do is overtly as part of the conversation - but whatever the content there is a real danger that by getting involved and not hitting the right tone that you can shut down the conversation or move it somewhere else. This is less likely the stronger your social capital is in a space but there is still a fine balance between enabling people to connect to democratic process and making them feel as if you are trying to influence their decision when they get there.

Another way to approach this is to build online spaces which encourage democratic behaviour. “The nudge” has been explored in a recent book by Cass Sustein and Richard Thayler (http://www.nudges.org/) and it talks about the architecture of choice. It provides real world examples of what they call 'choice architecture' which is a way of “”nudging us in beneficial directions without restricting freedom of choice”. These ideas are being looked at seriously by people and the book is worth a read.

But is it enough to nudge people to participate or do we have to face the idea that we are actually changing the relationship between citizen and government? Does using social media to influence behaviour actually influence all of the stakeholder behaviour and bring about a more co-produced decision making process? Read the book, but choice architecture needs to be used cautiously so that it is not just another attempt to control the process.

Co-production describes a state where decision making is truly shared. NESTA / NEF have recently published a discussion paper which talks through many of the issues of co-production which is describes as “a new way of thinking about public services has the potential to deliver a major shift in the way we provide health, education, policing and other services, in ways that make them much more effective, more efficient, and so more sustainable. (http://www.nesta.org.uk/areas_of_work/public_services_lab/assets/features/the_challenge_of_co-production).

So the question is it possible to build online spaces which can be architected in order to bring about a new relationship between citizens and government where decision making is shared? What would these spaces look like?

- A special thank you to Catherine Howe, Operations Director for Public-i Group. http://www.public-i.info/

Picture: The front cover of the book 'Nudge' by Thaler and Suatein. The cover is white with a large grey elephant nudging a smaller elephant, with thanks to .nele for publishing on Flickr under a Creative Commons license some rights reserved.

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Sick of all the 2009 reviews and 2010 technology predictions?

I'm certainly fed up of reading so many reviews and predictions so I have compiled a comprehensive list of them for you all so you only have to look in one place!

Review of 2009

- Apps on Mobile Phones

This was a big trend in 2009 with Apple’s App store going stratospheric.

- Windows 7

Much, much better!

- All hail the rise of Twitter!

The patron saint of Twitter, Stephen Fry has been a member since 2008 but it wasn’t until during 2009 that it really took off. Celebrities, businesses and members of the public are now twittering away alike and we wonder how we ever communicated and shared our thoughts without it.

You can follow me @kursteekins.

- Spotify

The depth of the catalogue, the availability of the mobile application and the simplicity of the interface have introduced the idea of having a music collection in the cloud.

- Video on Demand

Another trend that has exploded this year, with every major British broadcaster (Channel 4, ITV, etc) jumping on the band wagon. Thank goodness otherwise I would have missed the New Year’s Day episode of Doctor Who as I was otherwise engaged (napping). On a side note, Tennant will be sorely missed.

- Vodafone's Access Gateway

I hadn’t heard about this one before but it truly is a genuine innovation – a small box which uses a broadband connection to boost mobile phone coverage. Ideal if your office or home is in a black spot, it's the first of its kind.

A few others to mention – Sat Nav came to the mobile phone, netbook sales increase, real-time search revolution, Amazon’s book reader & Android.

Predictions for 2010

- Tablet computer

The Guardian states ‘If the rumoured Apple tablet computer does make an appearance next year, as is widely expected, there’s a good chance that it will transform the market in the same way that the iPhone has done.’ However, I have just read on Twitter that Microsoft have just beaten Apple to the punch, for more information see here: http://timesonline.typepad.com/technology/2010/01/microsofts-tablet-beats-apple-to-the-punch.html Still, whoever gets there first, this will be a big hit in 2010.

- 3D TV

Sky and Panasonic have both confirmed that they will release 3D TVs, and Sky has announced that it is launching a dedicated 3D channel. The satellite broadcaster will even be filming the World Cup in 3D, although those games won't be broadcast live. However, viewers may need a new television to enjoy 3D pictures and manufacturers have not yet confirmed how much these sets will cost.
- Connecting Offline and Online World

No one has really put it in these terms, but it’s the idea that technology will caused a mjor overlap between our offline and online world. Gaming will come more realistic, our iPhones will be able to recognise a building and bring up an instant wiki about it, guide us on digital and physical treasure hunts, remember the names of people we meet so we don’t have to and potentially communicate with cash registers in stores relieving us of having to pull our credit or debit card out.

- Work Boundaries Blur

I found this interesting, especially as the team have been researching into the potential of virtual presenters within the work place. One article states offshoring, remote working and virtual teams will become more widespread, personally I think this may be a bit ambitious for one year however they do state that in 2008 41 million corporate employees globally spent at least one day a week teleworking, and 100 million worked from home at least one day a month, so who knows?

- Cloud Computing

Finding it hard to work at home without access to the shared drive at work? I know I am! Well maybe 2010 is the year to change that with cloud computing. Never heard of it? Neither had I until I was researching for this article. Cloud Computing is where you can upload all your info to a "cloud" which makes it easy to access it from anywhere. Sounds good to me.


So simple yet so true, wifi could even be attached to vehicles!

- Ereaders

They have already appeared on the market but apparently there is going to be an explosion of them in 2010. It would be great to carry around 500 books with you at all times but personally, I can’t beat the smell and feel of the real thing.

Let me know what you think of the predictions and review of 2009, are there any you would add to my list?

- Kirsty Russell

- First picture, a Windows 7 Home Premium Software Package placed on a table, with thanks to chris_fritz.
- Second picture, the spotify logo on a green background with a blackberry next to it, with thanks to dekuwa.
- Third picture, a 3d tv mounted on a wall with a person facing it wearing 3d glasses in the foreground with thanks to numerama.
- Fourth picture, an illustration of three computers with a cloud above them with various words in it such as Youtube and Google Docs, with thanks to librarian_by_day.
All pictures have been uploaded to Flick under a Creative Comms licence with some rights reserved.

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Are you an avid reader?

Announcing the first ever Big Book Swap – a unique charity event which allows participants to share their passion for reading whilst contributing to The Pelican Post, an amazing organisation which aids literacy in developing countries by providing a quick and easy way for people to send children’s books to schools in Africa. This event will take place on Wednesday 20th January from 5.30pm until 9.00pm at The Royal College of Physicians in Regents Park, a great centre of learning and home to some of the country’s oldest and most valuable books.

The premise of the event is simple – bring along a copy of your favourite book, inscribe the cover with a message for your potential “swapees” to tell them why you think it’s worth reading – if it inspired you, made you laugh out loud, shed a tear, or even changed the way you looked at the world. Leave it behind for someone else to discover and find your own next great read! Spend a couple of hours browsing the selection of books, sit down and have a read, chat with friends over a drink from the bar, and listen to our guest speakers talk about their own passion for reading and how books have influenced and moulded them as individuals.

As this is a fund-raising event we will also provide ample opportunity for people to delve into their pockets and donate to The Pelican Post – most notably with a fantastic raffle offering some great prizes. We will also tell you how you can make a tangible contribution to a child’s life by logging on to The Pelican Post website (http://www.blogger.com/www.pelican-post.org) and purchasing a book for a school chosen by you.

The Big Book Swap was really a very simple idea which came to organiser Kim Dunsmore on the bus home one night. After six years of taking an interest in what fellow commuters were reading without ever seizing the opportunity to discuss the book in question, Kim decided to set up an event which would allow strangers across London to come together and share the books which have shaped their lives. Aware that The Pelican Post was simultaneously trying to raise awareness of the literacy issues affecting Africa’s schools, Kim decided to encompass a fund-raising element into the event and The Big Book Swap was born. With co-organiser Kim Thomond firmly on board, The Big Book Swap team hopes to launch a successful initiative which will be replicated in cities across the country and even further afield (we’ve already had a potential organiser contact us in Brussels!), with numerous literacy charities benefiting from our participants' collective love of reading.

So, come along to The Royal College of Physicians on Wednesday 20th January anytime between 5.30pm and 9.00pm prepared to inspire and be inspired and help our inaugural Big Book Swap go off with a BIG BANG!

Visit www.bigbookswap.co.uk for more details.

- A special thank you to Kim Dunsmore, organiser of the Big Book Swap for the blog post.

Picture: A stack of books, with thanks to anna_t for publishing on Flickr under a Creative Commons license some rights reserved.

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Event: Selling Innovative Ideas

It is with pleasure to bring to your attention the 30th international conference on entrepreneurship and innovation PODIM, which will be held on 14th and 15th April 2010 in Maribor, Slovenia. This year topic is Selling Innovative Ideas. Detailed information is available on web page: http://en.podim.org/

If you are interested in contributing to the PODIM conference, you are invited to submit abstract in word document including author’s full name and address (with 1/3 CV), title of paper and up to 1 page abstract. Papers must relate directly to the main theme of the conference and have practical implications for entrepreneurship and innovation development. Selections will be made by a reviewing committee on the basis of the abstract, with a final decision based on the full paper.

Detailed instructions for formatting the paper together with other information on the conference content and venue will be sent to authors after acceptance of their papers for presentation. Conference proceedings will be published in an ISBN numbered book, and best papers will be considered for publication in peer-reviewed journal Naše gospodarstvo / Our Economy, indexed and abstracted in ABI Inform and EconLit.

Important dates

January 25th, 2010
Submission of abstracts (1 page) and a 1/3 page of the author's C.V. By e-mail.

February 1st, 2010
Acceptance of abstracts; instructions for preparing the final papers. By e-mail.

March 8th, 2010
Submission of final papers covering 12 pages (maximum). By e-mail.

March 20th, 2010
Deadline for the conference fee payment.

March 25th, 2010
Final program and information about the conference. By e-mail.

April 14th – 15th, 2010
Conference dates

Submission of abstracts should be addressed to: barbara.bradac@uni-mb.si

Prof. Dr. Miroslav Rebernik

Conference Chair

Picture: The words 'Selling Innovative Ideas' along the top in a red font. Below is a photograph of participants at a conference sitting on rows of chairs with a white board and two giant advertisement boards at the front.

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Top 5 Delicious Links – Gaming

As you may know from a previous post which can be found here, the team are currently aiding a University of Greenwich student with his dissertation project which aims to change an individual’s recycling behaviour through gaming. As the blog has been quite quiet on the gaming front lately, I thought I’d pick up our ‘Top 5 Delicious Links’ and share my favourite gaming articles and websites. So here they are in no particular order…

1) Racing, shooting and zapping your way to better visual skills

Having a vested interest in how online gaming can affect a person’s offline behaviour (both due to the University of Greenwich project and my Social Sciences background), I found this article interesting as it explains how psychological studies have found that gamers have quicker reactions in real life situations as well as during game-playing.

2) No more waiting for the home time bell to start a child’s gaming session

This may be some parent’s worse nightmare, gaming during school. The article explains how one school is letting pupils use mobile phones, mp3 players and gaming devices during lesson time and their rationale behind it.

3) Successful treatments for illness and gaming

The author is very much like me, no gamer at all but can see the potential advantages of it if used in the right way. He makes the bold statement that a new online game called ‘Foldit’ could create new successful treatments for Alzheimer’s, go have a read and see what you think.

4) Nintendo Game takes kids on a treasure hunt outside

Traditionally it has always been assumed that to play a game a person just has to sit in front of a computer or television screen and stay there. However, lately this is not the case, as the article demonstrates a clear and very recent overlap between the online and offline worlds. More about this overlap is also put very nicely in this ‘trend alert’ article….http://www.shapingtomorrow.com/trendAlert.cfm?id=1214

5) Lets Not Forget the Traditional Gaming

In terms of traditional gaming, I thought I’d give a mention to the Social By Social Game, especially as we are considering using it in a future meeting. Social Reporter, David Wilcox has a fabulous post on the game which can be found here, but to give you an overview, teams of individuals (be them social entrepreneurs, innovators, students…) are brought together to firstly discuss the ‘pressing issues’ of a particular town or place. Once several ‘key’ issues have been identified, the teams are set to work solving these problems and are given two sets of cards, one about social technologies and the other about way of engaging people, all of which can be found here. The teams have to choose cards which come to a total of no more than 10 points, then using a set of money and resources, balance the overall budget of the project.

So why not have a go yourself? If you are interested in the game there is a whole community dedicated to discussing and developing the Social By Social concepts and ideas here http://socialbysocial.net/.

You can also read my previous ‘Top 5 Delicious Links’ on Knowledge Management article here.

- Kirsty Russell

Picture: Grey Nintendo DS catridges for games such as Super Mario Brothers, Phoenix Right and Gunpey DS dispersed over a table, with thanks to Rafael_Fyen for publishing on Flickr under a Creative Commons license some rights reserved.

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The Aftermath, Presentations and All!

Some of you may have noticed the numerous blog posts that have appeared on the right under 'January' on the right hand side and may be wondering what this mass of posts is all about. Well the team have just hosted an 'Innovate To Save' workshop on the 17th December and we wanted all our speaker's presentations to be accessible to all even after the event...so here they are on our blog!

Below is a list of links to the presentations and contact e-mail addresses for the speakers.(You may notice that underneath some of the presentations are questions, if your answer to any of them is 'yes' please drop me an email at kirstyjoanna.russell@kent.gov.uk):

We have now uploaded all the speaker's presentations. Below is a list of links to the presentations and contact e-mail addresses for the speakers:

Innovate to Save – Tips

Presentation: http://transformedbyyou.blogspot.com/2009/12/innovation-tips.html

Dr. Alan Kennedy - X Factor or Why Not Factor? Turning ideas into innovations

Presentation: http://transformedbyyou.blogspot.com/2009/12/smarter-or-sharper.html

Damien Kennedy - Aggravation or Collaboration? Developing innovations between agencies

Presentation: http://transformedbyyou.blogspot.com/2009/12/smarter-or-sharper.html

Would you like to explore your team taking part in a KCC pilot of the Key Innovation Programme?

Tim Milner - 50:50 or Call a Friend? A problem shared is a problem solved

Presentation: http://transformedbyyou.blogspot.com/2009/12/5050-or-call-friend-problem-shared-is.html

Would you like to explore innovative ways you can search and organise knowledge online?

Will Perrin - Empowered communities fighting decay? The unlikely role of the web in regenerating local areas

Presentation: http://transformedbyyou.blogspot.com/2009/12/kent-innovate-to-save-workshop-kcc.html

Hollie Snelson - Social Media for improved internal communications

Presentation: http://transformedbyyou.blogspot.com/2009/12/social-media-for-improved-internal.html

Noel Hatch - Here comes everybody? Using technological innovation in a recession

Presentation: http://transformedbyyou.blogspot.com/2010/01/resolutions-wont-be-televised.html

Would you like to explore innovative ways in using digital technologies to influence behaviours?

Andy Collett - Do you get the picture? Simplifying complex information

Presentation: https://knet2.kent.gov.uk/directorates/chief-executive-s-department/teams-and-units/business-solutions-and-policy/change-through-innovation-team/news-and-events/Andy%20Collett%20-%20IBM.ppt/view

Andy Collett has requested that his presentation not be placed on any public sites (e.g. Slideshare, iNews), therefore we have had to upload the presentation to KNet which can only be accessed by Kent County Council staff, we apologise for this inconvenience. If you would like the presentation, please email me on kirstyjoanna.russell@kent.gov.uk.

Would you like to explore piloting Many Eyes or Pic and Mix or other innovative ways to visualise and re-use data and information?

Dr. Norman Lewis - The power of social networks: Social Network Analysis and Collaborative Software.

Presentation: https://knet2.kent.gov.uk/directorates/chief-executive-s-department/teams-and-units/business-solutions-and-policy/change-through-innovation-team/news-and-events/Dr%20Norman%20Lewis%20-%20Open%20Knowledge.ppt/view?searchterm=norma

Dr. Norman Lewis has requested that his presentation not be placed on any public sites (e.g. Slideshare, iNews), therefore we have had to upload the presentation to KNet which can only be accessed by Kent County Council staff, we apologise for this inconvenience. If you would like the presentation, please email me on kirstyjoanna.russell@kent.gov.uk.

Would you like to explore social network analysis to identify and make sense of your networks with partners and communities?

Dougald Hine - The "Why Don't You" Web? Using online tools to help each other in the real world

Presentation: http://transformedbyyou.blogspot.com/2010/01/why-dont-you-web.html

Would you like to explore piloting these tools or other innovative ways that use digital technologies to make use of untapped resources to help people?

If you attended the event, we would love to hear your feedback so that we can make any improvements to future events we may host. If you have a spare moment (it will literally only take you 5 minutes), we would appreciate it if you could fill in our survey which can be found here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TS3VVGM

If you have any questions or queries about the event, presentations or the survey, please do not hesitate to drop me an email.

- Kirsty Russell

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Smarter government or sharper government?

Have any of you read the latest government paper on public service reform? Despite being called Frontline First, it is aimed mainly at policy makers with the added bonus of new buzzword or should I say hashtag in town "smarter government". Further down the paper, it talks about creating a sharper government. Whether or not there is a ladder that government needs to climb to get from smart to sharp is up for debate, but what stuck out was this:

"We will drive innovation across government, with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills rolling out a package of support to all departments before Budget 2010. This package will include adapting a tool from the NHS National Innovation Centre to provide a cross-government showcase of the best innovations and a number of practical interventions such as innovation capability building exercises to support departments in tackling key challenges." (Frontline First)

Before asking our favourite “community translators” to tell us what this actually meant, we invited both the NHS and BIS to reflect on how the original concept works for health and how the new programme might help us work better with our colleagues in Whitehall and other town halls.
With the NHS Innovations South East taking us through how this can work with staff coming together with ideas to develop innovations, this really set the scene for how the Key Innovation Programme might look like.

The first slide really puts the challenge of collaboration in context. If people don’t have enough time to innovate in the first place, if they want you to guarantee that every idea will be successful and if they only want to innovate their way not yours, how can you bridge the gap between individuals coming up with great ideas and groups of people working together to develop innovations?

The two most important breakthroughs that this system could tackle are enabling people to work on an innovation across agencies on the same outcome (such as public health or worklessness) and take this all to the way through to sounding and testing the market. It even provides a way to engage SMEs to show concepts that could meet the need you’re trying to tackle. What’s also useful is that it will link up to other projects like Civil Pages and the Knowledge Hub.

From my experience, ideas are sparked for very different reasons. Often people won’t put forward an idea because they don’t feel it is fully formed or because they don’t have expertise to bring it to fruition. It would be unrealistic to expect that you need to be an expert at understanding how citizens live their lives, how the technology works and how to secure funding. That’s where the Key could come into its own as you can bring all these people together on one project.

Let’s say you want to promote positive behaviours amongst young people and there’s a fund coming up asking you to tackle this in an innovative way. You may have youth workers who can make sense of what the issues are on the ground, a government official who has a helicopter view of what other partners are doing and university departments who are experts around behaviour change. You also meet entrepreneurs who have an amazing idea on how people can share their concerns.

They will all have different views on defining what the issue really is and ideas to help tackle it. You could start conversations with them and also look for similar projects using a great search engine. Then, when you’ve got the bid together, you could explore what kind of expertise and tools you might need to procure. A few months down the line, you’ve completed the pilot and now it’s time to show the world what you’ve done, reflect and adapt.

In the real world, we know things don't necessarily work as smoothly as that, but this system could help narrow the gap between rhetoric and reality. If you're part of a KCC team and want to know more about how you could be involved then contact Noel Hatch. If you're not part of KCC but are interested in the KEY, then contact Damien Kennedy to find out more.

- Noel Hatch

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50:50 or Call a Friend? A problem shared is a problem solved

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:
50:50 or Call a Friend? A problem shared is a problem solved
View more presentations from Innovation in Kent.

Would you like to explore innovative ways you can search and organise knowledge online? If so, let us know and get in touch at innovation@kent.gov.uk.
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The 'Why Don't You..?' Web

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Empowered Communities Fighting Decay

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Social media for improved internal communications

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Innovation Tips

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The resolutions won't be televised

I’ve been reflecting on some of the trends of 2009 and thinking about what New Year’s resolutions local government could take up in its approach to technology.

Thanks to digital technologies, more people are creating content and collaborating online in ways that weren’t possible before.

If we want radical efficiencies, it can’t be about doing the same for less, but about doing things differently, cheaper and better, as well as measuring what matters.

If we look at where the web is most successful at driving social change, it’s where it mobilises untapped resources – people’s energy and innovation – for mutual benefit. It’s what we could call the gift economy.

So what’s this all about? When you receive gifts for Christmas this year, you don’t pay them the amount it was worth. At the same time, if you stop giving gifts to friends, you may find there’ll be less inclined to give you a present.

Our relationship with our citizens is different – it would be like offering a gift to a random person in the street, they wouldn’t necessarily return the favour.

So we need to find how to create relationships with people to mobilise their intrinsic motivation. Relationships affect how people behave and how they’re motivated. Transformation in society doesn’t happen when it adopts new tools, it happens when it adopts new behaviours.

That’s why developing approaches that gain a better understanding of these trends can help us find the innovators we want to work with.

Why not use techniques like relationship mapping or social network analysis? These could enable you to find people innovating to meet the needs of your customers, and they may even be working in your office.

Listen and make sense of stories

You might be able to find who’s been involved in an innovative project before that’s saved time and money but how do you come up with an innovative idea?

When someone asks you for an innovative idea, many of us feel put on the spot. Often, it’s informal conversations that spark off ideas. It’s what’s called the “water cooler” effect”.

Yet we don’t congregate around the water cooler to bounce off ideas, we go there to catch up and share stories about what’s been going on in the office – trying to get our heads around something or solve a difficult problem.

There are various ways that digital technologies are enabling that, not just in the office like micro blogging or communities of practice but also in our local communities with social reporting. It’s because people want to share their stories of what’s going on where they work or live.

So we’ve got stories and we’ve got data on what’s going on in our local areas – but how do we make sense of it all? It’s not just about evidence or consultation was carried out last year, it’s about what data and conversations people have been publishing to the web last night.

Why not use tools that can help you visualise all of this information to pick up new trends as well as open your expertise to the public so they can make better decisions on areas that affect them? With these tools, a picture quite literally is worth a thousand words.

Why not also use tools that enable people to re-use your public information and customise it create their own online information services in ways that suit them?

Get people together to make stuff that matters

So now we’ve listened to people and made sense of their networks and stories, we can start building relationship and mobilising people’s resources, their energy, creativity and goodwill.

Digital technologies make it easier to mobilise these resources. They also bring substantial opportunities for individuals, businesses and other groups to create innovative models to meet these new demands.

These models can be found in very niche web services like Enabled by Design or MyPolice. Both of these haven’t just created new models that wouldn’t have been possible before, they’ve exploited the power of the web to create approaches that offer a form of public service.

What’s more important is they weren’t created by councils or businesses – they were created by groups of people in their spare time. You might think, why would anyone want to do that? I asked the creators of both of these services.

So we can create an environment that nurtures the capacity for innovators to develop and take these models to scale.

Who not bring people together to develop prototypes of online services that meet specific challenges in just a day?

Join up the dots to involve everyone

We may have mobilised the innovators to help us tackle problems, but the strength of innovators is often at the edge of what we do, not at the centre, so how do we scale up innovations so that the wider public can benefit, especially those not online?

Why not reach out to local innovators who can use the web to help people help each other offline, so that the opportunities that digital technologies bring meet those that community engagement bring.

Transform services by transforming ourselves

The following quote captures the lesson I've learnt over 2009. "Transformation isn’t just about transforming services, it’s about transforming ourselves, it’s a new way of thinking, it’s a new mindset."

The challenge for all of us is to harness all those people in public services and the community who are intrinsically motivated to make things better – to make stuff that matters.

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