Our Blog


Digital Leadership Skills programme for libraries

The core of our Digital Leadership Skills programme for libraries is a 3-day course designed in partnership with the Society of Chief Librarians (SCL). The content was inspired by our 2014 research for SCL into the digital and leadership skills needs of public library services. Working with Ethan Ohs, bringing expertise in leadership programme design, we co-designed and piloted course with seventeen library professionals. Everyone who took part wanted to learn more about the role of digital technology in library services, but the cohort included people at different stages in their careers, and with different levels of digital knowledge from digital novices to self-confessed geeks. Participants reported that their leadership ...

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Ipswich culture: economic impact model and vision

Ipswich is home to a uniquely high concentration of major arts organisations (including six of Arts Council England’s national portfolio organisations) but the council and their partners recognise they “just don’t shout about it enough”. This piece of work was to help the town’s cultural partners develop a better understanding of the contribution of arts organisations to the visitor economy in particular, and begin a strategic conversation about how that could be maximised through leadership and investment. Commissioned by Ipswich Borough Council we developed a bespoke economic impact model. The model was designed jointly with stakeholders in a collaborative process. The model aimed to triangulate regional business economy and tourism ...

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Swindon and Wiltshire LEP

Over the last six months, Si has been helping the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to develop its Strategic Economic Plan (SEP). The SEP sets out the long-term economic vision for the area and puts forward a series of proposed investments under four priorities: Innovation – according to independent analysis, the area is a “hotbed of innovation” so there is much to build on Military – the area will soon be home to one fifth of the UK army, creating major economic opportunities Town Centres – there are huge opportunities to regenerate Swindon and grow places like Chippenham, Trowbridge and Salisbury Urban expansions – the SEP includes plans for New Eastern Villages, ...

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The role of county councils in economic development

In the light of the focus of much of the debate about economic growth on cities we were commissioned to produce a report. This report addresses: The economic contribution of county areas; The role of county councils and driving economic growth; and How current policy could better exploit the potential of counties. The report, which is available on the County Council Network website, summarises the economic importance of those parts of the country covered by county councils. It goes on to explore the current and potential contribution of county councils to driving economic growth and ways in which that contribution can be exploited to the full in the light of ...

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Black Country city deal

The Black Country was one of the second wave of places to negotiate a City Deal. Shared Intelligence’s Phil Swan and Lee Shostak have been working with our client, who commissioned us to: Help establish a consensus on the issues to be covered in the City Deal; Help draft the expression of interest; and Help draft the negotiation document. The negotiations with government are continuing. The Black Country was one of the first two second-wave places to present their proposals to the Ad Hoc Ministerial Committee. Client: Black Country Consortium  

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Hackney governance review

Shared Intelligence’s Phil Swann, Ben Lee and Viv Niblett carried out a review of the council’s government arrangements, including looking at the role of full council, the cabinet, overview and scrutiny, and also the council committees. Our work involved a series of one-to-one interviews and group discussions. We observed a number of meetings, including those of full council, and we examined the agendas and minutes of meetings. Working closely with a reference group comprising senior councillors and officers, we have produced a report for the council, which will be considered at September’s Council meeting. Client: London Borough of Hackney

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Total Place

Phil Swann, Programme Director Leadership and Local, was the Project Director for the Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole Total Place Pilot which explored how to get improved services for older people at less cost.

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Business-friendly local councils

How can local authorities in the UK capital better support trading and enterprise to boost business and employment? The body representing 33 London boroughs commissioned Shared Intelligence to find out.

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