Thinking about using the social web to do democratic things…..

Networking networked councillors

This is another blogpost in place of an email and reflects my observations of the second networked councillor workshop. You can read the first blogpost here. We have now run the workshop in Suffolk and West Sussex and the experience has actually been fairly consistent which is good! The focus of this workshop is around networks, finding them, connecting to them and starting to strategically manage them. Things that...

Why email when you can blog about networked councillor?

We’ve been working on the networked councillor programme for a while now and so its really exciting to see the first two groups up and running in Suffolk and West Sussex (two more to follow in Cambridgeshire and Solihull as well). I have said all along that I expect to learn as much from these as the participants will and this post is my first action learning reflection on this. This first module is all about...

Networked Individuals and the creation of elites

So – here we have more from the box of dangerous ideas* in the form of a write up of Networked by Lee Rainie and Barry Wellman. Once again this is really just my notes and ideas which have caught my eye rather than a proper review so please look away if this is not your thing! In common with Net Smart by Howard Rheingold the book explores what the network society might mean for the individual and both books are...

And the answer is….its Leadership!!!

I think I hit a nerve!  Lots of responses on comments from the blog post last week so I wanted to follow up on them, there is clearly an interesting debate to be had here. The crux of the debate seems to be around two main questions: Is it reasonable or appropriate to expect our leaders to have a minimum level of knowledge with respect to digital in the wider social as well as technical sense? If we do have this...

What I would have said at the ADSO Conference…

….if I hadn’t got stuck in Sussex owing to #uksnow Firstly – apologies to anyone who was actually looking forward to me speaking – I always feel a bit of a whuss cancelling because of bad weather but it really was rather slippery out there…anyway here are the slides that I was going to use but you may find them a bit cryptic without the accompanying commentary so here are some thoughts: I...

Councillor Camp – Links and Love

So – this is going to be a fairly quick one (for me) but here are some links and thoughts from a brilliant day yesterday at Councillor Camp.  Firstly – a massive well done to the FutureGov team and in particular Jon Foster for a really well run event with great speakers (hopefully the presentations will be found on the #cllrcamp hashtag) – and more than that fantastic participants.  8 hours in...

PCCs are here. Rubbish Turnout. What are we going to do about it?

Even without the final results it’s not too early to say that the turnout for the Police and Crime Commissioners has been horribly horribly low. Just a few examples: 16:09% in Nottinghamshire, 19.58% in Avon & Somerset, 19:48% in Humberside but these levels also mask areas of even lower engagement in some places: 11% in Coventry, 10.3% in Epping, 15.65% in Hull, 15% in North Devon. The list does and will...

Exactly how digital do we need our leaders to be?

I have had a fascinating week – firstly at the LGA Annual Conference and then at an APCC event to brief Police and Crime Commissioner Candidates (other briefings included Sir Hugh Orde and the heads of both SOCA and the new NCA so it was an excellent day to be part of).  In both these environments I found myself asking whether or not my belief in the need for a high level of knowledge about the digital agenda...

Where are the politicians?

Here’s the thing. I have tremendous respect and appreciation for people who choose to stand in local elections. Local politics is a fairly thankless task however with a few exceptions we see exceptional public service from our local politicians. At the same time I find it screamingly frustrating as to how slow the adoption of new approaches and behaviours can be within this group. This is an action research...

We Action Research Here

One of the items we have put in our proposal for Creative Councils is the suggestion that we host an Action Research network looking at the emergent changes in the way in which officers and members are interacting with citizens.  Following a fascinating meeting with some local community engagement experts and councillors last week I wanted to let more people know what we are up to as there are lots of opportunities...

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