Hullo. I'm Dan. I work at Contagious, where my interests lie in Service Design, Business Transformation and Creative Culture. This, however, is mostly pictures of public transport upholstery. There's also bad attempts at reminding myself that I once studied economics. Additionally featured will be Wolverhampton (its football team), Bristol, music and other stuff along the way too. For something more coherent, find me here:
One for the scapbook. On Friday I went live on BBC Worldwide to ramble a little about selfies in light of this. I think it went OK, if slightly thrown by first and last question. God knows if anyone was actually watching. My eyebrows took on a life of their own trying to steal the show, as usual.
See you again soon Singapore. That was fun. As was AdFEST in Thailand and WPP Stream Asia in Malaysia. I didn’t get any writing in on here in the end, although I did do a little bit for Contagious.
Singapore seemed to divide opinion among those I met. The comfy-ness and convenience that appeal to some is a major drawback to others who want to ‘feel’, I guess, the energy and more gritty aspects of a city state of 5 million people.
As a first time visitor, it was hard to see beyond the endless, bustling malls, or the numerous but eerily empty luxury stores. But the people I met who are either from here or who have moved here talk about it with affection. It affords them exciting careers, a safe home for their (often young) families and exotic trips abroad for friends.
Was lucky enough to get to Sprint14 today: a showcase of ‘exemplar’ digital services that have been developed by the UK Government’s crack-unit-status-achieving GDS (Government Digital Services) team. The government is 200 days into a commitment to deliver a pool of top quality services built around user needs, within 400 days.
Following the progress of the ‘digital by default’ agenda set out in 2012 from afar has made for interesting viewing. (In fact, it started well before that in 2010, when the prescient Martha Lane Fox wrote a typically punchy paper calling for ‘Revolution, not evolution’ of the government’s capacity to deliver services digitally.)
Since then, allsortsoftalentedandinterestingpeople have been drawn to undertake the challenge of delivering this important transformation: a transformation that makes the services that citizens rely on more accessible, simplifies the journey, makes it clearer for them, and saves tax payers money to boot (£1.2bn in this parliament, rising to £1.7bn a year after 2015).
From the back of the class in the days of the hypnotically fragmented Directgov, GDS is instilling behaviours, tools and principles into the belly of the leviathan in such a way as to transform pupil into teacher. The stuff these guys publish is relevant beyond their own borders.
Mike Bracken, the executive director of digital in the Cabinet Office has previously stated that his benchmark for these services are those that people experience every day from the commercial realm. I wonder what it means when public service practice starts instead to set the benchmark for those companies.
I took a walk on the cool sand dunes, brittle grass overgrown, and above me the night sky, above me I saw. Bitter taste of unripe peaches and a smell I could not place nor could I escape. I remembered other times that I could not escape. I remembered other smells. The moon slunk like a wounded animal. The world spun like it had lost control. Concentrate only on breathing, and let go of ideas you had about nutrition and alarm clocks. I took a walk on the cool sand dunes, brittle grass overgrown, and above me the night sky, above me I saw.
Snapped this amid the magic of snow at Christmas on Times Square yesterday. Here for Most Contagious on Wednesday, ‘the year in a day’ for brand ‘folk’ and anyone else who fancies it. http://ift.tt/1dZJObZ