We are working with Digital Birmingham and the Cabinet Office transparency team to introduce (in some cases release) a new set of knowledge and skills into the social media surgery movement – skills that will help community groups make better use of data, including open data.
iDEA is a funding programme/competition to help young people develop either their digital skills or their digital business ideas, or both. It’s supported by the Nominet Trust (a charity we’ve worked with before at Podnosh and had a fantastic experience) with the backing of the Duke of York. They say:
Entrants will gain essential digital enterprise and entrepreneurial skills through the competition and can further develop these skills through our online library of industry endorsed badges. The three winning business ideas in the competition will be awarded £15,000 funding and accelerator support for further development. The project aims to recruit 10,000 young people into the competition in the next few weeks
Schools can get involved – and indeed are very welcome to use it as a way to develop digital skills. If you’re eligible or curious get stuck in.
This week NHS England has been in Birmingham picking many brains to try and understand how their #nhscitizen idea might work best at a local level. Overnight I chewed over the things below but for context. NHS Citizen is an attempt to encourage people to voice their experience and ideas about health care and for the NHS England board and other levels of the NHS to learn how to join, listen to and use that conversation. It’s not a concrete thing at the moment and this video gives a sense of it…
Below are some of my slightly generic thoughts on what this might need to be like…
Is it a problem that this is about citizens talking to NHS England only, after all health and social care are experienced the same.
Err towards Solutions focus (not problems focus)
Focus not just on problems but experiments and solutions. A process that channels problems up will not shift the way we deliver good or better health to each other. One that frames problems partly through things people have done to try and solve them will create:
a tone that encourages those at the top to use (rather than avoid) the discussion and information.
a source of inspiration for people (citizens) and practitioners (also citizens) which includes new ways of fixing/doing things
room for those who act very differently from prevailing structures to share why they think what they do makes things better and then go an make things change.
a chance to celebrate people who act to make things better.
Use people’s stories to inspire fixes
When you make thing personal you want to solve it. At the personal level solutions can be more practical than at a systemic level.
Don’t wait for change:
Some traditional structures says tell us your problems and we’ll come back with our solution or reason why we can’t solve it. that involves waiting for change. If you send a problem to the top and wait for change until permission comes back it stifles innovation. NHS Citizen should be able to track innovation, solutions and change – the board can learn faster from that and it will help shift the culture from what Steve Fairman, Helen Bevan and other’s have described as a focus on the “disruptive troublemakers” in their paper on NHS culture change.
We are all citizens
So enjoy being one – whether the NHS pays you or not.
Don’t be an institution.
The problem of being both a thing and not a thing. Anthony Zacharzewski was quoted as saying “there will never be a chief executive of NHS Citizen” and yet we still tend to think of things as things. This is more like the internet – few people ask who is head of the internet. yet we use it and trust it, accepting it as a platform we can shape.
I’m not convinced by everything here but on the third slide there was one simple idea which experience tells me is very true…
“You only understand the problem once you try solving it.”
I’ve often found that I set off with the serious intent to solve a problem, but in truth succeed in understanding what we could do better next time. I know that’s a statement of the bleedin’ obvious but it sometimes helps to do that.
This is why iterative change is important. This is why rolling up your sleeves and doing something, then pausing, reflecting and doing some more is so important. It’s why community lead solutions can often be very effective and planned top down ones often fail.
So thanks Andrea and Sameer Vasta for helping me clarify that in my head.
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