News and Comment

News

Social Impact Bonds and their implications for service providers

Friday May 12 2017

During my recent visit to Japan, I heard about the early steps taken in the Yokohama City Social Impact Bond (SIB) pilot. I was struck by how radical the idea of outcomes-based commissioning and delivery is in Japan. The current interest in SIBs in Japan can be seen as an attempt to refocus public services… Read More

Bake My Day!

Friday May 12 2017

I recently discovered a new facilitation tool. Bread making. When in doubt, if you’ve got a tricky subject matter, or disparate group of people, bake a loaf. As part of Marmalade 2017, Arts at the Old Fire Station, Camerados, and Mayday Trust hosted a workshop called Bread and Butter Services. This workshop intended to explore… Read More

The impact of learning and sharing on the development of Social Impact Bonds

Tuesday May 2 2017

In this third blog of my 2017 series inspired by my advisory visit to Japan, I reflect on the importance of international learning and sharing for improving Social Impact Bonds (SIBs). While honoured to have been an expert advisor to colleagues in Japan over the past three years, helping the country take its first steps… Read More

Comment

Spending the 1%: The potential for participatory budgeting on a national scale

Thursday March 26 2015

The label ‘the 1%’ usually carries connotations of elitism and exclusion when mentioned in a political context, conjuring up images of a super-rich elite lording it over what they might refer to as the ‘hoi polloi’. However, a very different 1% was discussed at a recent event organised by the UK Open Government Civil Society… Read More

25th anniversary guest blog series: A digital future for local government must be shaped by the communities we serve

Tuesday March 17 2015

I recently got into a mini spat on Twitter with a Member of Parliament who sits on the Speaker’s Digital Democracy Commission (DDC) before giving evidence at the House of Commons on the changing nature of representation in a digital age. The MP in question had proudly tweeted: ‘Debate on @digidemocracyuk tomorrow! First time public… Read More

Public deliberation in the dock: reflections of a juror

Friday March 6 2015

It was not without a hint of anxiety that I arrived at my local crown court in mid-February having received a stern looking summons two months before requesting my appearance in court. It was my time to carry out the civic duty of sitting for two weeks as a juror. And certainly there was a… Read More