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Open Policy 2015: Day 4

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Events, Examples and findings

19 sessions and over 500 civil servants later, Open Policy 2015 is complete. After yesterday's rescheduled FCO talk on using social media, today we've had:

What Works, from the What Works team

Agile methodology, from GDS

Behavioural insights for policy, from the Behavioural Insights Team

Ethnography for policy making, from Lucy Kimbell


There's a Storify below with the presentations and tweets from the day, as usual. Before that though, today we've got some immediate reflections from the week and what's been happening. Subscribe to our email notifications to see more posts in the weeks ahead about what we've learnt from Open Policy 2015.


My main takeout is how inspiring it was to hear about the power of #openpolicy in practice – NHS Citizen has the potential to fundamentally change the relationship between patients and the decisions made about the NHS.  Anthony and Simon were energetic and passionate speakers, and worked us through how we might apply some of the tools and techniques they have learnt with NHS Citizen to any policy area.

- Rachel


I really enjoyed the user research and social media sessions.  In particular it was great to discuss how the principles of user research could be used to help create policy rather than just in the digital sphere.  Great session on social media from FCO too, lots of useful 'how to' detail and information on tools to use.
- Krisz


Interesting and varied crowd - most of whom I'd never met before, which was encouraging. The three sessions I was involved with took a bit of warming up - in our taster/ ethnography sessions some people were pretty nervous about going outside and talking to the public. But once they got started they were very difficult to stop. And the same with prototyping.  A few lessons:

  • if you're looking for a captive audience for your public interviews, try catching people when they're queuing in a coffee shop.
  • putting yourself in someone else's shoes can make even the most familiar of environments seem completely different - as participants in Tuesday's taster session who went on 'Abdul's lunch safari' will testify
  • as far as I can tell at least 50% of civil servants are frustrated actors - give them half an opportunity for some Am Dram and they go wild; from medi-nanny to a very welcoming receptionist, the civil service really has got talent

- Beatrice


It was great to see the chatter on Twitter and in all the rooms - the focus on giving people a practical experience and a new skill or idea they could go off and use went well and the breadth of topics and speakers was really exciting.

- Lisa

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