Show Them A Better Way

Alex Stobart emailed me about Show Us A Better Way – a competition set up by the UK Government to encourage ideas for data mash-ups.

There’s a £20k fund to allocated across one or a series of winning ideas. In a presentation to Tom Watson, I recommended five pots of up to £15k each, which I still stand by as a more appealing and sustainable prospect for entrants.

But this is a good start and will no doubt evolve over time. I’d recommend the POI Task Force pay keen attention to the likes the BBC Innovation Labs if they are going to pursue this year on year.

Technology, government and the invisible hand

Another shout from this blog to the Economist, this time for its special edition on technology and government.

On the whole a well-written feature which takes in a range of international case studies; the real value of which is to be found in its brevity amidst otherwise verbose analysis.

One aspect I liked was this idea of ‘government in competition’ or, more accurately, government lacking competition that would make it strive for better effectiveness and efficiencies. In the nearby blogosphere, Simon Dickson also raises this facet of the feature and goes along with its conclusions.

I also appreciated this ‘government in competition’ thesis, but was surprised that the author of the feature (or the usually very savvy editors) didn’t take it in a different direction. Continue reading “Technology, government and the invisible hand”