Data, Tech Policy

Does the UK need a cohesive smart city strategy?

20 Dec , 2017  


This article was written for, and first appeared in, Public Sector Executive. For years the UK has had a slightly dysfunctional relationship with the term ‘smart city’. Much has been promised about how new technologies will positively transform our urban spaces. Becoming ‘smarter’ seems like an inherently good thing for cities to aspire to. But […]

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Data, Videos

Harnessing Data for Public Sector Innovation

22 Oct , 2017  

Eddie Copeland speaking to European Council of the Regions

On Friday 1 September 2017, I gave a speech on harnessing data for public sector innovation at the 177th meeting of the Bureau of the European Committee of the Regions, in Tallinn, Estonia. In this talk, I use the case study of the London Office of Data Analytics pilot to explain some of the lessons […]

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Tech Policy

How councils can develop a mindset for data

9 Sep , 2017  

Mindset for data

The following short article was written for the Local Government Chronicle. In recent years, a growing number of councils have been experimenting with using data to improve their services and decision making. What do we know about what it takes to succeed? Many other articles cover the mechanics of using data. Here, I want to […]

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Think Tanks

How to write policy recommendations that influence government

22 Aug , 2017  

Influence Westminster policy

There are well over 100 think tanks in the UK. You can find their details here. A core goal of many of these organisations is to publish reports and make recommendations that influence government policy. With so many think tanks competing for attention, how can they write recommendations that have a chance of influencing real […]

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Data, Tech Policy

Central government: give councils a fighting chance to innovate

13 Aug , 2017  


In a recent podcast interview, former No. 10 adviser, Steve Hilton, lamented that David Cameron never delivered a speech laying out to the public the need for experimentation in policy, and to accept that some initiatives might fail. I agree with Hilton’s sentiment: we need precisely that conversation. Politics and policymaking cannot and must not […]

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Think Tanks

UK Think Tanks, Mapped

31 Jul , 2017  

Map of UK Think Tanks - Eddie Copeland

NOTE: The think tank map and list below will be continuously updated based on readers’ feedback. Thank you to everyone who responded to my tweet with suggestions of other think tanks that should be added. There are now details of 126 organisations below, including important additions in Wales, Scotland and one for Northern Ireland. (I’m […]


Data, Tech Policy

Eight ideas for tackling peak demand in public services

28 Jul , 2017  

Electricity Pylons

The peak demand problem How can government and public sector organisations operate with fewer resources and at lower cost while maintaining the same level of service?  Inspiration for one potential answer comes from the world of electricity production.  One of the major challenges for power generation is that demand for electricity is not steady. Instead […]

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Data, Tech Policy

How do organisations innovate?

5 Jul , 2017  

How to Innovate

On 5 July 2017 I gave the following informal talk to the UK energy regulator, Ofgem, on the subject “How to Innovate”. I used the session to share some of the thinking that Nesta applies when helping organisations to bring great ideas to life. The talk explores how organisations can approach making smarter use of […]

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Tech Policy

Why government innovation starts with people, not technology

25 Jun , 2017  

Government Innovation Smarter use of People

When it comes to Nesta’s work on government innovation, one of the core challenges that occupies our thoughts is how to help governments and the wider public sector respond to rising demand for services in the face of ever tighter budgets. We tend to think about potential solutions in terms of three core approaches: making […]

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