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.
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
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.