Bringing digital and data disruption to government

In late 2016 I was invited with my democracy hat on to speak at TransPolitica, in the session “Bringing digital and data disruption to government”. It’s a conference aiming at real world policy changes for a radically better future.

Together with Tim from the CivicTech coworking hub RainGods (home to Represent’s London office) and Dan from MegaNexus we discussed how social enterprises are revolutionising democracy and the political process: from better information, to more abundant voting, and crowd intelligence to the very purpose of Government.

Tim does a great intro to the civtech and government tech landscape at the start, and my bit kicks in about 14 minutes in.

Image credit: Big Ben by Glenluwin (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Capitol Building, Washington DC

Digital Mission to Washington, DC 2011 – The Companies Announced

Congratulations to the eleven leading UK digital companies that have been selected for the Digital Mission to Washington, DC 2011.

This mission will see the companies travel out to Washington, DC for a packed five day trip, from July 11-15, 2011.

Each of the companies is listed below, don’t hesitate to drop them a line directly to arrange a time to meet up in Washington, or follow their progress via their Twitter accounts below. You can follow the coverage of the mission on Twitter @digitalmission and we’ve put together a Twitter list (@digitalmission/dc11) for all the companies and speakers taking part.

Digital Mission to Washington, DC 2011 Mission Companies

Open Cinema
Our Say
Public-i Group

Read more here about each selected company.

Digital Britain Unconference final report now live

The Digital Britain Unconference final, collated report is now up and can be read here.

Please consider:

  1. Adding your name in full as a signatory to the report
  2. Writing a blog post about Digital Britain, the unconferences and/or the report
  3. Link to the report on the profile of your favourite social network(s)
  4. Tell others about the unconference report

Wondering what this is all about? See the short explanation of the unconference report and how it came about.

A short explanation of the Digital Britain Unconferences

I’ve been asked to put together a short, formal explanation of the Digital Britain Unconferences, so I thought I may as well put it up here too:


The Digital Britain Unconferences were a set of UK-wide, grass roots events quickly set up in reaction to the British Library hosted ‘Digital Britain Summit’ on 17 April 2009. Their aim was to produce a representative ‘people’s response’ and gather set of positive, realistic contributions for the report.

A week after the Summit, and with a nod from the Digital Britain team that they were listening, a website was launched with these simple instructions:

“Anyone can attend or hold an event and associate it with Digital Britain Unconferences, you’ll just need to summarise your discussions and hold it by 13th May 2009! Yes, time is very tight.”

By the 13th May, twelve unconferences had taken place from Glasgow in the north to Truro in the south west. All attendees were encouraged to read the Interim Report and the level of engagement and serious thinking across each event was exemplary. The events included a virtual discussion focusing on rural issues related to Digital Britain and a family unconference held in Tutbury, Derbyshire, as well as large events of over 50 people in London and Manchester.

Such a speedy reaction was made possible by the free social media tools such as Yahoo Groups, Twitter, wikis, blogs and instant messaging. Few phone calls were made by the organisers. The process exemplifies what is possible for Digital Britain when these tools are combined with channeling existing loosely connected networks and motivations.

As Clay Shirky describes this phenomenon in Here Comes Everyboody:

“When we change how we communicate, we change society.”