About me

Catherine Howe photo

Welcome! This blog is the my home online and the place where I balance the different projects I am working on and thinking about.

If you are looking for my professional bio then you need to head over to LinkedIn . If you are trying to find me online for a more research orientated discussion then you can find me on twitter as @curiousc. This blog is where these two aspects of what I do come together. I’m an action researcher so I am always looking for the chance to test ideas.

Generally everything I do involves looking at digital and social change and how we can actively influence this in a way which reflects our values and the way we want to live our lives – I am a technologist who is trying to make sure we leave space for humans. I am particularly interested in how technology and social change effects democracy and how we create civic spaces online.

In 2015 I moved to Capita to set up a new practice looking at digital and social innovation which gives me a chance to put some of the ideas I have around system change and digital transformation into practice with a group of colleagues who share my passion for getting stuff done.

This blog was started in 2008 as an action research diary to support my PHD and other research. It still serves that purpose but has also become the place where I ‘think in public’ and try to capture the events, literature and conversations that influence my thinking. This blog is also the place where I am trying to balance my dual roles of practitioner and researcher.

I think of this as a hybrid existence which brings both aspects of what I do into each other and intermingles them in a positive way. I think practice is stronger for having a rigorous research approach behind it and research is strengthened by access to direct action and experience. I enjoy being able to try out research ideas and I appreciate being able to apply an academic discipline and objectivity to the work we do with clients.

I am a governor of the Democratic Society where we look at ways of getting more people involved in new forms of democratic debate – promoting active citizenship and political participation and I was one of the original organisers of CityCamp Brighton.  I am also a trustee of the Centre for Public Scrutiny which is a not for profit think tank looking at how we strengthen and improve scrutiny and accountability in public service.

I also speak at conferences and run workshops – and will usually blog about this here though this blog is mainly a research diary as I try and capture learning and experiences along the way. I imagine you will find some less philosophical commentary as well.

It should be noted that this is my personal blog and should not be taken as the views of my employer.