Tech Policy

Busting the hype cycle: 5 questions to ask about any new technology

27 Mar , 2017  

Wooden Robot

Anyone who has anything to do with the world of technology will be familiar with the hype cycle – first developed by Gartner. A new technology emerges. Experts tout it as the solution to all problems. Commentators buy into the excitement and echo it until it becomes common wisdom. It fails to meet those inflated […]

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Tech Policy

London Office of Data Analytics pilot – now for the hard part

3 Feb , 2017  

London Office of Data Analytics

For the past few months, Nesta has been working with the GLA, more than a dozen London boroughs, and data science specialists the ASI to develop an algorithm that predicts which of London’s many thousands of properties are unlicensed HMOs – “Houses in Multiple Occupation”. I outlined the rationale for the project in this interview […]

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Data

Who’s responsible for building trust with personal data?

5 Jan , 2017  

Building trust with data

As the age-old saying goes, knowledge is power. The continued relevance of this morsel of wisdom seems to underpin at least part of the growing unease at the amount of data that corporate – and especially internet – giants hold about us, their users. It is healthy, many wonder, for so much personal data to […]

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Tech Policy

Blockchain could power a personal data revolution

15 Dec , 2016  

Blockchain and personal data

Though millions have benefitted from the rise of internet giants like Amazon, Facebook and Google, there is growing unease at the way they – and many companies like them – require or encourage users to give up significant control of their personal information in exchange for services. 2017 will be the year when the blockchain-based […]

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Tech Policy, Videos

Predictive analytics for the local government sector – Socitm Annual Conference

3 Dec , 2016   Video

In October 2016 I chaired the two day Socitm Annual Conference in Milton Keynes. On day two of the conference, I outlined my views on the role of predictive analytics for the local government sector in the speech shown in this video.

Data

Why data is key to the success of city devolution

3 Dec , 2016  

City devolution needs data

Imagine it’s the day after the mayoral election in a UK city region. The victorious candidate gathers together the local authorities, the LEPs, the public sector bodies and citizen groups for the first time. “Right everyone,” says the Mayor. “City devolution gives us an opportunity to make progress on three things across the region. We’re […]

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Data

9 Principles for reforming public services with data

8 Nov , 2016  

Two police officers look down a London street

Nesta’s Office of Data Analytics (ODA) programme aims to help cities and regions join up, analyse and act upon data sourced from multiple local authorities and public sector bodies to reform public services. Our hypothesis is that the scale of the financial challenges facing the public sector is such that it’s not sufficient for individual […]

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Tech Policy

Working for a Think Tank: how to get a job, be effective and influence policy

14 Oct , 2016  

working for a think tank - book cover

It was late June 2013 and I was in a state of complete panic. Having left a secure and well-paid job in fundraising the previous year, I’d been working on my own start-up business that aimed to build web and data products to help commuters. But having gone through different iterations of various ideas, including […]

Data

London 1854: the world’s first smart city?

5 Oct , 2016  

John Snow map of London cholera outbreak

What’s the first name that comes to mind when you think about a smart city? Elon Musk? Jeff Bezos? Travis Kalanick? It’s natural that we should leap to the technologists. Smart cities are, after all, about technology: driverless cars, drone deliveries and Minority Report-style signs that change depending on who’s looking at them. But I’ll […]

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Tech Policy

Government as a Platform – technology, data or business model?

29 Sep , 2016  

Government as Lego

What exactly is Government as a Platform (GaaP) and does it have a future? This was the topic I was asked to address during a speech at the Oxford Internet Institute’s Platform Society conference on 22 September 2016. In my talk, which you can listen to via SoundCloud, I argue that the term might be […]

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Data

The Rise and Rise of UK City Data Analytics

18 Sep , 2016  

Supporting troubled families. Ensuring children are school-ready by the age of five. Tackling diabetes. Predicting and preventing fires. Identifying rogue landlords. Combating alcohol abuse. These are just a few of the things that UK cities are already tackling with data science. On 12 September, practitioners from Manchester, Bath, London, Essex, Sunderland, Birmingham, Sheffield and Cardiff […]

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