On the morning of London Borough tech spotlight day techUK’s Head of Local Public Services, Georgina Maratheftis, hosted a session with members from techUK’s Local Public Services Committee on how we can overcome the obstacles to driving innovation at the local level and growing successful partnerships between industry and suppliers and councils. We were joined by Andy Theedom, Director at PWC; Natalie Duffield, CEO, IntechnologySmartCities and Helen Gerling, MD at Shaping Cloud who also sit on techUK’s Local Public Services Committee (LPSC). The panel showed how techUK together with its members are working with local authorities to deliver on the mission to create the environment for improved collaboration and meaningful transformation that improves outcomes for people and places.
Local Government Trends
The panel kicked off by sharing what the digital trends have been as councils responded to the pandemic and as we prepare for recovery. The last six months has seen fast and agile development of digital and improved collaboration with organisations across community to deliver outcomes. As remote working has grown exponentially, 5G and full fibre will be important in how we continue to deliver sustainable services.
Champion, Co-ordinate & Coach
The LPSC are passionate about supporting local public services and working with councils the art of the possible and showcasing how tech can improve citizen outcomes. As part of this they have three workstreams focusing on:
Championing – signposting good practice and innovations at the local level.
Co-ordinating – facilitating collaboration and partnerships through regularly hosting partnering pitch-fests
Coaching - demystifying perceived challenges & obstacles to transformation & innovation and illustrating the art of the possible.
During the event they explored some practical ways suppliers can support others across the ecosystem, as well as local authorities. Natalie shared how techUK is promoting collaboration between innovative SMEs and large corporates to drive innovation and help tackle some of the big issues facing our society. A common challenge for smaller companies is scale. While SMEs excel at innovation in the design of new products and services, they often lack the sales force to take their offering to the widest possible market. As such, techUK and LPSC have been hosting ‘service/challenge led’ pitch-fests that bring together representatives from large and small companies. Natalie invited those from across local authorities to get involved too.
Are you a frustrated innovator?
After discussing all the excellent innovations we have seen from councils in their tremendous efforts to mitigate impact of the crisis on services and communities, talk turned to keeping the good digital stuff as we plan for recovery and how we avoid reverting back. Andy stressed the role leaders play in driving forward this digital momentum and pace of change and introduced the new frustrated innovator initiative. The challenge many innovators face is getting their ideas heard at the senior level so techUK’s Local Public Services Committee has come up with an initiative to support innovators from councils to share their stories and experiences in a safe space and learn from others. We recognise that this is complimentary to many other great initiatives happening at the local level.
What is this initiative?
A space and platform that can help connect those who want to do something different with each other and maybe give them some help along the way!
The outcome will be shareable and help solve common challenge and provide a piece of learning to share with others.
Action Learning Set
Bring your stories of frustration and success; share what works and what doesn’t. Its non-attributable conversation including peers and techUK members. No one solves anyone else’s problems, but they do share questions and perspectives to help you solve your own. There is no selling!
Call to Action
Where we can, we will then work with individuals who appear to have common interests and/or stories of success that relate to other’s challenges to create a Call to Action. Each Call to Action will be a joint endeavour (project, show and tell, procurement, etc.) that is supported by peers and relevant techUK members.
Calls to Action will be:
- Action-oriented: it will produce something (more than conversation)
- Shareable: it will connect you with, and be shared with, your peers across local public services and beyond
- Reusable: others will be able to pick it up and use it in their own way
Ambition is to create progress for those involved and set an example for others to follow. Might also learn about common themes for success along the way.
If you are a frustrated innovator or want to learn more about this initiative and the work of techUK’s Local Public Services Committee get in touch with Georgina.maratheftis@techUK.org
Ultimately, we want to support collaboration, shared learning and help grow an innovative local public services market. You can watch the full recording of the session on the London Tech Week platform here.