Journal

The power of leading our great places

This weeks blog is brought to you by our  Executive Chairman @swannphil This mashup of the titles of four initiatives that Shared Intelligence has been involved in over the last few months gives a flavour of just how important the concept of place has become. These initiatives cover a range of policy areas including culture and heritage, collaboration between councils and universities, the focus of health and wellbeing boards and action stimulate innovation in public services, especially around prevention and early intervention. Place also featured strongly in Theresa May’s green paper on the emerging industrial strategy. And the public accounts committee recently said that place-based planning was “critical” to the ...

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A new trend in online community engagement?

A guest blog by @EthanOhs on starting an online community of practice I remember first coming across the 90:9:1 rule around 2008. At the time the organisation I was working for was building their own online community. As the recession of 2008 took its toll and restructuring occurred I found myself learning about online communities and supporting a colleague as he started ours. In my mind our online community was doomed from the start – largely because there wasn’t a good reason for people to log on and interact. In the years that have followed I have often advised other organisations to avoid building or creating separate web platforms to ...

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Yes, you can run a focus group in a pub!

Matthew Kaye, Consultant writes… Si is currently doing a piece of work for Marie Curie evaluating their Information and Support service. Part of this has involved focus groups with those found to be the least likely to access Marie Curie support. One of these demographics is older men. We got in touch with a London-based Men in Sheds organisation so that we could explore issues around accessing support, Marie Curie’s materials, as well as why older men are less likely to use Marie Curie. In an interesting development, we were offered the chance to run a session at their fortnightly Pub Club meeting. So, we turned up, rather ambivalent, and ...

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Fragmented funding for local growth 2016/17

In 2014, Shared Intelligence worked with Local Government Association (LGA) to undertake research into the funding landscape of the coalition government. The report was written in light of the LGA’s Rewiring Public Services: Rejuvenating Democracy campaign in which ambitious proposals were presented to give local areas greater control over public money. This report was published under the title Fragmented Funding. Following the changes to the government and priorities in 2016, Si and the LGA updated the analysis of central government funding streams for local economic development and regeneration. In addition to the 2014 report, we considered the ability of local authorities to influence funding streams at a local level, gauging ...

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Our Place offers real route for public services to reduce costs and innovate

As we travelled the country researching Our Place, from Knowsley on Merseyside, via Bradford, and Leicester, down to Torquay in Devon, a familiar picture emerged.  A certain type of community-led organisation was using this Government funded programme as a catalyst for developing innovative, user-focused ways to meet the needs of their communities especially around health, skills, and employment.  Typically these were organisations with just a dozen or so staff, a sphere of influence no more than a few miles wide, strong and impatient leadership, and a clear focus on goals and actions.  There were similarities in the language they used and their savviness about tying actions to funders’ published outcomes.  ...

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Hard decisions and uncertainty: horizon-scanning for local public services

In the course of several recent future-focused projects we began creating a list of 21 major societal trends which public service leaders and those leading local economic development, should be watching. They are inspired by our work supporting Milton Keynes’ landmark MKFutures2050 Commission, our research into the future of skills for the Government Office for Science, and the international training programme in horizon-scanning techniques we run with Stockholm-based Kairos Future.  All the trends we have selected are taken from published sources, and which in our view are robust and reliable. All interpretation is our own. We presented our 21 trends at a recent webinar, along with research into the future ...

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Our Community – Our Covenant

The Armed Forces Covenant is a pledge that, in return for their service, society will “acknowledge and understand that those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, should be treated with fairness and respect”. It is a step to remove any disadvantage that members of the Armed Forces Community might face as a result of their service. We were commissioned by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) and the Local Government Association (LGA) to research local delivery of the Armed Forces Covenant, with the presumption that delivery across England, Scotland and Wales was inconsistent. Our research consisted of the following: -     Literature review; ...

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Milton Keynes: Making a Great City Greater

It is unusual to see unanimous cross party consensus in the council chamber supported by the wholehearted endorsement of the voluntary and community sector. It is particularly unusual for that consensus to be built around a future scenario that includes substantial economic and housing growth. But that is what happened during the debate on the 20th July on the recommendations of the Milton Keynes 2050 Futures Commission report: Milton Keynes – making a Great City Greater. Cynthia Griffin, Si’s MD reflects on what has made the findings in the report so compelling and Si’s involvement in the process. The Milton Keynes 2050 Commission was established last year by Milton Keynes ...

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MK Futures 2050

This morning MK Futures 2050 launched its report detailing an ambitious vision for the future of Milton Keynes. Throughout this process Shared Intelligence has supported the work of MK Futures 2050 and we are extremely confident it will help Milton Keynes become an even greater city. You can read the full report, summary and commission working papers here.

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The Queen’s speech and social reform: where do we go from here?

Matthew Kaye, Consultant writes David Cameron used the Queen’s Speech this week to put forward a programme of social reform, including changes to prisons, schools and adoption. Headline measures included: – Prison governors being given more freedom to improve education and health provision in a bid to cut reoffending rates in a prison and courts reform bill. – Schools will only be forced to become academies in poorer-performing areas. – A children and social work bill encouraging local authorities to prioritise adoption over short-term foster placements for children in care. But there appears to be confusion at the heart of the programme over whether devolving power from the centre or ...

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