Here at the London Office of Technology and Innovation (LOTI), we’re busy spending the summer working on our first set of three projects.
You can read about them here.
In parallel, we’re also looking to build up our bank of good ideas for potential future projects.
On this, we’d like YOUR help!
Specially, we’d love to hear ideas for projects and other initiatives that could help us make progress against one or more of our seven workstreams.
We invite you to share your ideas using the form at the end of this blog. In the first instance, we’ll review those submitted by Friday 6 September 2019 for consideration at our next meeting of LOTI member boroughs.
But first, let’s tell you a little more about the seven workstreams and what exactly it is we’re looking for.
LOTI’s seven workstreams
LOTI has been established to help its member boroughs collaborate on projects that bring the best of technology, data and innovation to improve public services and outcomes for Londoners. (You can read more background information here.)
Our work is delivered through seven workstreams:
- Digital Leadership
- Collective Knowledge
- Sharing and Reusing
- Better Partnerships
- Embedding Standards
- Data Collaboration
- Shared Experiments
Here are a few details about each one:
The problem: This workstream focuses on challenges at two ends of the digital skills spectrum. First, in leadership. It’s widely acknowledged that public sector leaders need to understand enough about the proper role of technology to create the conditions for digitally-enabled transformation projects to thrive. However, understanding of digital and what it entails varies greatly across boroughs’ leadership teams. At the other end of the spectrum, many public services struggle to recruit and retain staff with the skills they need, for example in service design and data.
LOTI seeks to help by: Helping senior managers and political leaders develop their understanding and skills to make the most of digital; and by building the digital skills pipeline.
What we’d like to be different a year from now: Leaders in LOTI’s member boroughs (members and officers) have a common understanding of what ‘digital’ means and can evidence how it has changed actions and behaviours within their organisation. Tangible progress has been made towards building London’s digital skills talent pool available to local government.
The problem: Across London’s public sector organisations, there are dozens of amazing digital initiatives and experiments going on. Yet their successes, failures and lessons learned are shared in an inconsistent manner, if at all. This can lead to other organisations reinventing the wheel and missed opportunities for constructive collaboration. This is also an issue for procurement. Knowledge about which technologies and suppliers are used, and which of them offer the best performance and value, can be hard to come by.
LOTI seeks to help by: Sharing what works, what doesn’t, and evidence of impact. Market shaping through better sharing of technology procurement needs.
What we’d like to be different a year from now: Teams in LOTI’s member boroughs can easily find high quality and up-to-date insight on who is facing similar challenges, working on similar problems and planning to procure specific solutions.
Sharing and Reusing
The problem: London has limited measures in place to support systematic collaboration between boroughs on digital projects and sharing of useful tools, patterns and code. Scaling and conducting joint initiatives can be ad-hoc and highly dependent on the drive of individual officers.
LOTI seeks to help by: Facilitating better peer-to-peer sharing of tools, patterns and code. Supporting the scaling of initiatives that have a strong evidence base.
What we’d like to be different a year from now: There are tangible examples of common service experiences across member boroughs for residents and staff as a result of proactive sharing and reusing of effective tools and approaches.
The problem: London’s boroughs often find it hard to make the most of the time, expertise, resources and funding of organisations in the university, GovTech, TechforGood and nonprofit communities, missing out on potentially valuable partnerships.
LOTI seeks to help by: Encouraging effective collaboration with universities, GovTech, TechforGood, universities and nonprofits by building effective networks and relationships.
What we’d like to be different a year from now: Member boroughs have successfully engaged with, benefited from and have a clear sight of the organisations and networks in the public, private and third-sectors that can support and help to further their work with funding and resources; knowledge and expertise; and products and services.
The problem: As with most parts of the public sector, London boroughs use a variety of different technologies, formats, approaches and other standards, making it hard for technology and data to deliver value at scale.
LOTI seeks to help by: Supporting the adoption of useful standards. In addition to standards in specific service areas, this also includes the Local Gov Digital Declaration, Digital Service Standard, Digital Marketplace and G-Cloud.
What we’d like to be different a year from now: There are tangible examples of how member boroughs have used their collective scale to influence the development and adoption of common standards in technology, data and ways of working with clear benefits for staff and/or residents.
The problem: We know that — all other things being equal — data tends to deliver the most value when it’s shared. Many of the issues that data could address also transcend local government boundaries. Yet data often remains siloed within boroughs due to technical, data, legal, organisational and skills barriers, preventing potentially valuable insights from being realised.
LOTI seeks to help by: Removing barriers to responsible data sharing. Vetting and managing collaborative data projects across London’s public sector.
What we’d like to be different a year from now: The time and complexity involved in sharing information between member boroughs and their partners have significantly reduced, as evidenced through tackling an issue of common concern.
The problem: Like all big cities, London faces plenty of challenges, from pressure on housing to air pollution. The smart use of technology and data can be an important part of potential solutions. However, it can be difficult for multiple boroughs to bring their combined talents to tackle issues of common interest together.
LOTI seeks to help by: Bringing the best of digital, tech and data to work on new collaborative experiments that achieve real-world outcomes focused on high-priority themes for London.
What we’d like to be different a year from now: Demonstrable progress has been made on at least two issues of importance for London as a result of experimenting collaboratively with digital, technology, and data.
If you’ve got an idea that could help us make progress on one or more of the workstreams outlined above, we invite you to share it using this form.
In the first instance, we’ll review ideas submitted by Friday 6 September 2019 for consideration at our next meeting of LOTI member boroughs.
The LOTI team (Eddie, Genta and Onyeka) will shortlist project ideas against five main criteria:
- Is it relevant to one or more workstreams?
- Is there a clear benefit for London’s public sector organisations and/or the residents they serve?
- Is it compatible with high standards of ethics, diversity and inclusion?
- Could we achieve meaningful/tangible results in LOTI’s first year?
- Is LOTI the right forum to further this idea?
Shortlisted ideas will then be considered by our membership of 15 boroughs, the GLA and London Councils for inclusion in LOTI’s Future Project Ideas Bank.
Please note: LOTI is committed to transparency. All ideas will be publicly shared online after the submission end date. You can choose to submit an idea anonymously, or select for us not to publish your name and/or organisation. Email addresses will never be published or shared with other parties and LOTI will only use them to contact you if we have questions directly related to this call for ideas.