18 Jul 2022

Event round-up: Exploring the role of the technology industry in ‘place’

Last week, techUK hosted a webinar in collaboration with iNetwork exploring a range of perspectives on the relationship between the technology industry and place-based approaches from across the public and private sectors.

Broadly speaking, ‘place-based approaches’ are those that work across or within geographies to tackle real problems faced by real people. Examples include smart street furniture that better connect pedestrians with their surroundings and the recent introduction of Integrated Care Systems that improve care outcomes by considering all core citizen services within a locality.

With the importance of ‘place’ only heightened since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, as evidenced by the drastic rise of video conferencing software and equally precipitous decline of the British high street, interest in national place-based policies is clearly growing. The concept is even a key component of the Government’s Levelling Up white paper.

However, the technology industry’s role in ‘place’ as a whole – often in the form of support, supply and innovation – remains opaque and less understood.

Below is a summary of the key take-aways from the session, along with links to the event recording, presentations, and speaker organisations.

A quick recap

Our Chair was Shelley Heckman, Deputy Director of iNetwork. After introducing the session, Shelley gave a brief overview of iNetwork, explaining that as a public sector partnership, the organisation is led by its 120 public sector members and is dedicated to promoting excellence and innovation in public service delivery. It does this through its four overarching programmes which cover effective information sharing and security, transforming and innovating public services, connected procurement and commissioning, and iStandUK.

The first to speak was Dr Regine Sønderland Saga, a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Institute of Place Management. Dr Regine presented on the High Streets Task Force for England, an alliance of place-making experts commissioned in 2019 to support communities and local government to transform their high streets. This aims to boost Local Authority capacity, build sustainable place-making skills, co-ordinate a national approach and share data and information. You can access Dr Regine’s presentation here.

Next up was Wajid Shafiq, CEO of techUK member Xantura Limited. After introducing Xantura as a company helping the public sector to improve outcomes for vulnerable people, Wajid gave an overview of population health management within the context of place and used the example of their unplanned admission/ falls prevention project. You can view Wajid’s slides here.

Our final speaker was Chris Woodhouse, Bury Council’s Strategic Partnerships Manager. Chris presented the Radcliffe People and Communities Plan, talking attendees through its approach, the People and Communities Plan Framework, and the Radcliffe Strategic Regeneration Framework (part of its wider Let’s Do It strategy). You can access Chris' webinar slides here and read the full Radcliffe People and Communities Plan here.

You can view the event recording by clicking here and read more about the intersection between technology and place-based approaches by visiting our Digital Place Week 2022 page.

Please contact [email protected] if you would like to get involved with techUK’s work on place.

Georgina Maratheftis

Georgina Maratheftis

Associate Director, Local Public Services, techUK

Ileana Lupsa

Ileana Lupsa

Programme Manager, Local Public Services and Nations and Regions, techUK

Tracy Modha

Team Assistant - Markets, techUK

The techUK podcast: Innovation in place-based care

In this episode we explore the concept of ‘place’ in care, the principles behind it, the impact of Covid-19 on care delivery, prospects for innovation following the introduction of Integrated Care Systems, examples of industry best practice, and where listeners can go to learn more about ‘place’ and innovation in care.

We were joined by Helena Zaum (Social Care Lead at Microsoft and Chair of techUK’s Social Care Working Group), Scott Cain (Associate at the Connected Places Catapult) and Hannah Groombridge (Healthcare Engagement Manager at Person Centred Software).

This discussion forms part of techUK’s Digital Place Week 2022 activity and features on our recently-launched Social Care Innovation Hub.

ICS Report.jpg

Read techUK's latest flagship report, released on Thursday's 'Health and Wellbeing' day:

Right from the start: What should Integrated Care Systems prioritise to make digital, data and technology work for them and their populations?