Weeknote 36 of 2021

A few highlights from the past week at LOTI:

Mapping Digital Exclusion with Data

The team behind the Mapping Digital Exclusion with Data project worked with Jay to write and publish a blog outlining their key deliverables and insights. This includes a map of factors contributing to digital exclusion in London, a bank of personas of digitally excluded groups, and research into how digital exclusion affects them. The blog has been well received on Twitter and LinkedIn, with many organisations keen to engage with the work, which aims to help boroughs and their partners better understand who is digitally excluded and what help they need.

Mapping digital exlcusion screen shot

Analysing 100 Digital Inclusion Case Studies

Will Bibby, a freelance researcher hired by LOTI, shared with the team the first draft of his report into >100 digital inclusion initiatives we’ve crowdsourced over the last few months. Will’s report – which will be published next week – identifies common success factors and challenges for existing digital inclusion initiatives run by boroughs and their VCS partners, and makes a set of recommendations that will help direct the next steps of LOTI’s GLA-funded Digital Inclusion Innovation Programme. Please do join LOTI’s Show & Tell this Wednesday at 10am to hear Will present his findings.

Supporting Dementia Carers

Two groups that have particularly felt the impact of digital exclusion during the Covid pandemic have been people with dementia and their carers. On Tuesday, LOTI co-hosted a discovery workshop with the Helix Centre (part of Imperial College London) to understand boroughs’ existing initiatives for dementia support, their objectives and priorities in this area and to explore potential solutions involving the thoughtful use of digital tools and approaches.

The workshop’s main objectives were to:

  • Introduce workshop participants to the project;
  • Share insights and examples;
  • Get initial ideas and opportunities for co-designing three pilot projects.

We were joined by colleagues from London boroughs and VCS organisations who provided many useful ideas and suggestions. This week, we’ll review these insights to plan our next steps. The workshop summary notes can be found here.

Image with Dementia Carers project title

Smart City Design Principles

LOTI’s recently been developing a set of smart city design principles that place achieving real-world outcomes as the guiding star for deploying connected technology in the public realm. On Wednesday, we convened smart city leads from LOTI boroughs to discuss the first draft of those principles (see below) – together with the practical tips we’re outlining to meet them – and to explore collaboration opportunities.

1 – Be driven by achieving outcomes that meet the needs of citizens, not the desire to use a specific technology.
2 – Be conducted openly, transparently and ethically.
3 – Enable collaboration between different boroughs, systems and service providers.
4 – Be secure by design.
5 – Recognise that technology and data alone are rarely the whole solution.

This year we’re keen to explore the potential of smart city tools and approaches to help meet London’s environmental goals. The group discussed working together on smart city applications that monitor and improve air quality. This is a classic area where it will be counterproductive if every borough independently does its own thing; no Londoner wants 33 air pollution maps! We plan to convene boroughs working in this field to agree some data standards and ensure that data insights can be shared at a pan-London level. Jay will be writing a short proposal to outline how boroughs can get involved.

LOTI Leadership Series

Without the active support and involvement of senior leaders, organisations cannot hope to realise the full potential of digital and data innovation. The modern definition of digital: “Applying the culture, processes, business models and technologies of the internet era to respond to people’s raised expectations,” makes it clear that the change digital promises to deliver requires activity – and creates impact – far beyond IT teams. Meanwhile, data is everywhere but will fail to deliver benefits to organisations unless they are clear on when and how to use it, and know how to invest in the right capabilities to exploit it.

To help with this, LOTI will soon be launching the LOTI Leadership Series: a collection of short videos targeted at councils’ senior leadership teams and elected members, that explain key concepts in digital and data innovation and their role in enabling it. You can read our proposal for this work here. Can you think of a topic that leaders need to better understand? Please get in touch and let us know!

Coming up this week

This week we’ll be:

  • Working to produce finalised versions of many of the deliverables promised in our Q1 OKRs.
  • Meeting with LEDNet – the London Environment Directors’ Network – to explore how we could hold a joint design sprint between environment and smart city leads later this year.
  • Kicking off the planning of our discovery into digital exclusion in temporary accommodation.

For all the latest news from LOTI, be sure to follow us on Twitter.

Eddie Copeland
4 October 2021 ·
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