As a part of the Civil Service Live series of events this year a challenge has been issued to identify the best examples of ‘technological or digital innovation’ in public service with a pretty tempting prize attached – a trip to Silicon Valley to take part in the ‘Singularity University‘ executive programme.
Singularity University is an interesting, and very Californian, institution. It was founded by a mix of technologists, scientists, venture capitalists and academics and now it provides a mix of courses touching on everything from nano-technology to virtual reality to bio-engineering seeking to inspire the next generation of technology leaders. A major part of the appeal of any time studying there is the constant parade of high profile guest speakers they are able to secure due to their contacts and setting at the heart of the Silicon Valley community.
I am not usually someone who goes in for entering these sort of things – awards etc for doing your work has always seemed like a slightly odd thing to me – but in this case it didn’t take much pondering to make an exception. I am very proud of the work we have been doing on the new website and the plans we have beyond that – I truly believe that providing the kind of services we are building at the scale at which we operate is innovative for Government (we clearly stand on the shoulders of some truly innovative ‘hackers’ and ‘experimenters’ though). The promise that our new site offers around the ideas of a ‘web of data’ has huge potential and hopefully can be influential more widely.
So I have thrown our hat in to the ring. If you want to read our submission I blogged about it elsewhere and fingers crossed we at least make it to the ‘semi-finals’ where we will present live to attendees at the London Civil Service Live event – which would be an experience in of its self.
Wish us luck.