myWeek (s4e14)

There May be trouble ahead


Well that livened things up didn’t it? A totally unexpected, snap election in just a few weeks makes things interesting when you work for a digital democracy charity! It is a total mirror universe experience to what I was used to in the civil service. There the discussions are all about pulling the shutters down and running silent. Here it is all about ramping up, helping out, getting involved. Guess which I enjoy more?

For a short week it was a busy one. Partly because I found myself spending most of Monday working on a talk I forgot I was giving on the Tuesday. It is a hard slog this talk to be honest — I know the story I want to tell and the point I’m trying to make but it isn’t quite coming together yet. It seemed to go down OK in the telling but I could feel it was flawed and the evidence was I swore a lot more than usual — something that happens when I feel myself stumbling. The Q and A went well though — I feel like I’m getting much better at that.

Oh the title of talk was just something I always wanted to use — a little play on ‘The Wrong Trousers’ from Aardman 🙂

The universe also decided this week was going to have a bit of a cycling theme. Which for someone like me who cannot ride a bike strikes me as amusing. One of the services we run is the under promoted Collideoscope a spin off from FixMyStreet for cyclists to report problems and accidents. To be honest it hasn’t been something high on my priority list since I started but this week there was a really interesting call with a public sector, road safety partnership who are very interested in it and also we were made aware of a really appropriate grant opportunity which if we were successful could give the service a massive boost. So I have been sketching out some ideas for a proposal and digging up some stats to back up my premise. Fingers crossed.

I also contributed a bit to a new pitch for a major funder we are talking to. It is a proposal I am quite excited about — encompassing pretty much all the reasons why I wanted to work at mySociety. Proper digital, social enterprise stuff.

Sorted all my travel for the Personal Democracy Forum in NYC in June — managed to make it really hard on myself by deciding I wouldn’t fly United after already booking! Got it all sorted in the end but it took a lot of extra effort. Found a nice AirBnB in the Lower East Side and am looking forward to an inspiring few days at the conference. They really didn’t think that branding through though — you just can’t call yourself PDF and not expect people to think its about inaccessible documents.

Published a team note again on the Better Cities Medium blog — just covering a few highlights of the last couple of weeks. Like I mentioned Easter really did kick our ass and I really wasn’t on top of it. Considering it is such a small team I should have been more aware of peoples comings and goings but I have made some changes now that should assist with that.

I’ve decided that my personal little GE2017 project is going to be taking every opportunity to tweet out ONS data and even more so all the work they’ve been doing to make that data more understandable on Visual. Purdah may silence them (more on that in a forthcoming post) but there is an archive of important work there that will help in what is bound to be another campaign of dubious factual nature.

Next week I am in Florence for TICTeC so the weeknote will be a conference special edition!