Seek Forgiveness, Not Permission – What I learned at Civil Service Live 2009

Civil Service Live 2009 logo
Civil Service Live 2009 logo

Civil Service Live 2009 is the single largest gathering of civil servants.

Being a shiny new civil servant, attendance was a no-brainer.

I made it along on the Wednesday. I made the following notes:

Following Reboot Britain

Jonathan Kestenbaum, CEO of NESTA at the rostrum
Jonathan Kestenbaum, CEO of NESTA, at the rostrum

Managed to make it over to Reboot Britain today. Half of it anyway.

It’s been a while since I’d been at a conference (if one can still use that term for such an event). And, I am glad I had the opportunity (thanks to Nick for the allowing the time, and Steve and Tiffany for arranging).

It was great to reflect on issues of the day and those of tomorrow, especially in such good company – such as Steph, Mark and Jeremy, and fleetingly Milica, Robin, Kathryn, Paul, Mick, Andy and Andrew.

I learned a thing or two – which I will muse on in another post – but I was also left wanting.

The source of my disappointment – the opening speeches from Jonathan Kestenbaum, CEO of NESTA, and Jeremy Hunt MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Culture. Nothing wrong with the delivery as such, both are very able and informed speakers who are more than qualified to open an event such as this. My problem was with the level of the pitch. Continue reading “Following Reboot Britain”

eDemocracy Scotland: Creating a national conversation?

The Scottish Parliament is often lauded as being a crucible of innovation around parliamentary procedures and public engagement methods. In terms of eDemocracy, the Parliament’s ePetition’s service is by far one of the most prominent in the world. But an ePetitions service does not an eDemocracy make.

It would be fair to say that beyond Parliament’s online petitions, Scottish-based eDemocracy has been a slow-riser. But rising it is. On February 1st 2008, Holyrood Conferences is holding Scotland’s first dedicated eDemocracy conference to discuss progress to date, how Scottish eDemocracy fits into the wider polity and, of course, where to next.

I will be delivering the Conference’s presentation on the technological infrastructure underpinning Scottish eDemocracy. A refreshing change to the vision-thing presentations I am used to delivering.

As well as looking at the issues through a parliamentary lens, other sessions will look at the Scottish Government and the civil society in Scotland.

For more information, visit

Hope to see you there!