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Technology, Research & Transformation

Programme

Tools and techniques

What do we want to find out?

What resources do we need?

How can you be involved?


Introduction

We are very keen to work with other people and organisations in researching and developing
the tools and techniques we will be working on over the next few months.

Tools and techniques

Channels for change – Personalisation

Web 3 SMS

Content for change – Access

24 hour thinking Disruptive technologies

Efficiencies

Knowledge management Gaming

Virtual training

Transformational activities

Artificial intelligence
This is why we have pulled together factsheets on each of these tools with the following
questions about what we want to find out and the resources we need.

What do we want to find out?

What do we mean?

Why are we researching this?

How are we going to research this?

What are we going to research?

What does the analysis show us?

What do we want to achieve?

What resources do we need?


To develop
or test out Time to Technology to Research to Funding to get Training for
these tools, research and develop in understand people to help people to use
we need not develop these KCC how we can us develop or at work or in
a lot (1), tools use the tools test the tools the community
some (2) or
a lot of (3)
X X X X X
We have only scoped out initial research on these factsheets because we want to learn from
and work with you to take this forward. Find out the different ways you can be involved and
contact us on 01622 696830 or innovation@kent.gov.uk.

How can you be involved?

If you are professors/consultants, we would like to explore what research we


could capture together of the impact of the tools on improving services

If you are researchers/students, we would like to explore what research we


could capture together of the impact of the tools on improving services

If you are developers/technologists, we would be keen to explore with you


how we could test or pilot these tools out

If you are internal teams or external organisations that already use these
tools, we would like to share the learning and explore opportunities for
collaboration
Channels for change – Personalisation

Web 3 SMS
Web 3

What do we want to find out?

Web 3 brings together the tools that make technologies work better for the
people that use them.

The more information there is, the harder it is to find in a way that’s meaningful
for the issues people need to tackle. The more the web enables us to work
with others, the harder it becomes to capture the knowledge that has been
gained from conversations. We need to make the web become smarter and
more meaningful for us so we can make the best use of it. We need to explore
web 3 in our drive to open up our expertise from staff to the public, so they can
make better decisions on areas that affect them.

If we want to create the conditions for people to make the best use of
knowledge online, then we also need to get the most out of innovative
technologies to make this possible. We will engage groups who may be
working in this area such as Kent Web Managers Group.

Web 3 provides an umbrella for a variety of concepts and relationships, so we


will focus on researching semantic APIs which take unstructured information
and find relations between these, software agents that search for relevant
information thanks to ontologies, ontologies which define the relationships
among groups of terms called metadata, microformats which add semantics
to existing HTML documents using specific styles, and resource description
frameworks a variety of data interchange formats1 and notations2.

The analysis shows that web 3 can find keywords in your search and also
interpret the context in which you mean them. These technologies can give us
a better understanding of what we need, what we know and how we work. For
the developers, the technologies that make up web 3, work together both
between their “back end” systems and “front end” interfaces.

In the areas we will research, we want to enable staff and citizens to use the
web in the same way as they think, rather than having to think like a computer.

1
Like RDF/XML, N3, Turtle, N-Triples
2
Such as RDF Schema
How can you be involved?

If you are researchers/consultants3, we would like to explore how we could


capture together how effective these technologies are on managing knowledge
on a specific issue

If you are innovators, we would like to explore how we could pilot your tools
with a group of staff or citizens on a particular issue or simulate web 3 tools
with other online technologies used in KCC

If you are organisations in sectors who have used these tools, we would like to
share the learning and explore opportunities for collaboration4

What resources do we need?

A lot of

Some

Not a lot of

3
Such as Queen’s College and Southampton
4
Such as proposals like towards a social semantic network to transfer best practice and the spirit of democracy.
SMS

What do we want to find out?

Mobile technologies include all the tools and processes to enable us to use
technology while “on the move”.

We need to allow employees to be more flexible in working with their users


and partners sharing & work in real time wherever they need. We also need to
enable staff to work with customers in informing, engaging or supporting
them5 and redirect even more resources to the frontline6.

We want to facilitate flexible working – particularly home & mobile working7.


We will engage councils where these tools may offer a particular opportunity,
like Shepway & Sevenoaks where there is a lack of access to services for
some communities.

We will research how mobile technologies can help book for services remotely,
process payments for businesses or map what’s going on through GPS,
facilitate interaction between online & offline channels, such as text to print or
barcoding and how the innovative use of SMS/texting can help identify and
map issues, encourage feedback from users and gather customer insight.

The mobile web is now faster and more interactive with tools like sensors &
barcodes. More people own a mobile now than a fixed telephone. Young
people spend as much time on their mobiles as they do on the web, although
most people use their mobiles more for texting and calling than web browsing.

We want to explore opportunities for greater standardisation and savings


through the mobile technologies, building on existing practice in KCC such as
Text Reading Groups, Seldom Heard, Mobile Working Project, Better
Workplaces and in Kent like Call Centre Home Working, Texting.

5
As is being recommended for older people and rural areas
6
As is happening in Kent Highways
7
“Working beyond Walls”7 OGC
How can you be involved?

If you are researchers/consultants, we would like to explore how we could


capture together the impact of mobile technologies on a group of staff or
citizens

If you are innovators developing this, we would like to explore how we could
test these out with a group of staff or citizens

If you are organisations in sectors who have used these tools, we would like to
share the learning and explore opportunities for collaboration

What resources do we need?

A lot of

Some

Not a lot of
Content for change – Access

24 hour thinking Disruptive technologies


24 hour thinking

What do we want to find out?

24 hour thinking involves bringing together people from different


organisations/sectors to brainstorm ideas into practical solutions over a short
period of time.

The need to “strengthen innovation connectivity” has been highlighted the Kent
Innovation Strategy consultation with proposals around inviting groups to
mind-map ideas on respond to key issues, facilitated by entrepreneurs.

We want to review new platforms and processes for the development and
sharing of ‘green shoots’ activities to improve the re-use and adoption
throughout KCC and enable the “innovative connectivity” mentioned above by
reviewing and developing community concepts.

We will focus on the face to face and online development of “24 hour thinking”
including how to re-organise teams around projects, in ways that match skills
with priorities, allow staff to take time out to develop their own projects8 or
broker the development of innovations across services.

24 hour thinking can enable communities to submit actions to a pledgebank


either they commit to carry out9 or specific departments commit to deliver10 or
test out11 and empower groups to apply12, demonstrate13 vote14 for innovative
funding.

We will explore how 24 hour thinking can be focused on specific challenges


groups want to tackle.

8
Tithes of working time model used by Google
9
http://www.pledgebank.com
10
http://www.showusabetterway.com, http://www.appsfordemocracy.org, http://www.tec.gov.sg/TEC%20Home/home1.htm,
11
Innocentive, X Prizes, Big Green Challenges, Innovation Challenge in Mental Health
12
Community Development Fund’s Grassroots Grants, Ashoka Changemakers, Case Foundation’s Make It Your Own Awards,
Nevada Community Foundation and the Omidyar Network
13
Thanet College’s competition.
14
ITV/Big Lottery Fund competition “The People’s 50 Million” and http://www.myfootballclub.com
How can you be involved?

If you are researchers/consultants, like in university based innovation labs or


bridging foundations, we would like to explore how we could capture together
of the impact of 24 hour thinking on a group of staff or citizens

If you are innovators, like third spaces, exchanges, mobile units or citizen
teams, we would like to explore how we could test these out with a group of
staff or citizens as part of a “24 hour thinking” session

If you are organisations in sectors who have used these tools, like in-house &
spin off teams, accelerators and support for innovators, we would like to share
the learning and organise a joint “24 hour thinking” session with you

2 1 2 1 2

What resources do we need?

A lot of

Some

Not a lot of
Disruptive technologies

What do we want to find out?

Disruptive technologies describes how tools which transform how people use
the web/mobile create a tension whereby they are adopted very quickly by
users, disrupt ways of working, but leave organisations unable to adapt their
systems and culture to these new technologies.

As part of the Council’s Future Challenges agenda, we need to explore how


disruptive technologies can help design services around people and
communities and tackle the perceptions of people so they can “think global
and act local’ in addressing complex environmental, physical & social issues

We want to map the existing online community landscape – using innovative


techniques like social network analysis, metadata and social graphing. Engage
with groups where changing behaviours is a particular issue, such as in
Shepway, Dover, Thanet and build on existing projects15.

We will monitor social networks on a much more local level, using tools which
analyse, enable people to share stories of places and share sensor data
from objects where they are. We will test tools which help people turn local
involvement into community insight, turn individual needs into
community solutions, bring together people to mobilise for better deals
and be rewarded for using their social networks to help others find jobs.

Changing behaviours describes how individuals influence each other and how
they can use this understanding to persuade the public to take actions that
improve the wellbeing of the community. If people’s friends engage in
good/bad practices, they are more likely to engage in them than they are if the
council tells them to. Seeding localised groups with certain ideas or behaviours
can lead these to cascade across entire networks.

Where people will be much more anxious on what will help them through the
recession, they will rely more on information from their friends, family &
colleagues. We want to explore how we can harness social pressure so they
can improve their wellbeing, how we can support staff with the tools to
influence their users.

15
Like Activmobs, Furniture Project, Headspace, Job Swap & Kent Car Share
How can you be involved?

If you are researchers/consultants, we would like to explore how we could map


together how disruptive tools can influence behaviours in a pilot

If you are online community/social entrepreneurs developing this, we would


like to explore how we could test these out with a group of staff or citizens on a
particular issue

If you are organisations in sectors who have used these tools, we would like to
share the learning and explore opportunities for collaboration

What resources do we need?

A lot of

Some

Not a lot of
Efficiencies

Knowledge management Gaming

Virtual training
Knowledge management

What do we want to find out?

Knowledge management involves creating the conditions for people to make


the best use of knowledge and nurture innovation.

The most useful information we find is contacting someone we trust will know
the answer or someone who does. We rarely quantify how much time and
money this can save. This doesn’t just mean we find the answer, we can also
learn from colleagues’ experience and even avoid making the same mistakes
and adapt practices that have worked before. To nurture knowledge with
external organisations, like universities, who can provide the expertise we
need within KCC and collectively across the public sector family in Kent16.

We want to review and test new platforms for information & knowledge
transference. Because of the complexity of the tools, we will focus on those
which are the easiest for people to interact with the content, search and
manage their knowledge in a way that suits them. We will build on our
collaboration with the CLG/IDeA Knowledge Hub, Warwick Business School on
knowledge networks and the internal review of Information Management.

We will research how knowledge is currently managed, shared and created.


We will look at innovative ways of doing this, like filtering
knowledge/recommendations on a specific issue, visualising data to show
patterns of working or discovering the “unknown unknowns”. From this, we will
look at the applications that can be used in practice17.

From existing practice such as the Medway Children Portal & LAA Data Room,
we can see that given that more and more issues cross services and
organisations, there is a risk that councils will make decisions without making
the best use of their collective intelligence.

If we are to effectively re-use ideas, we want to make sure we can connect the
processes, people and technology to manage this knowledge.

16
As agreed in the Kent Commitment
17
Such as social bookmarking, community-based search engines, web analytics, feeds, personalised dashboards to
recommendation systems and contextual geo-location tools
How can you be involved?

If you are researchers/consultants18, we would like to explore how we could


capture together how effective these techniques are on managing knowledge
on a specific issue

If you are innovators, we would like to explore how we could pilot your tools
with a group of staff or citizens on a particular issue

If you are organisations in sectors who have used these tools, we would like to
share the learning and explore opportunities for collaboration

What resources do we need?

A lot of

Some

Not a lot of

18
Such as Queen’s College and Southampton
Gaming

What do we want to find out?

While traditional games aim to entertain, serious gaming focuses on learning


in its widest sense, whether that’s for simulation, training or marketing.

The ideas delivered through our current ways of working are less likely to
create genuine change19, the contradictions in people’s demands and the
impact of the recession are more likely to disrupt the way we work than we are
used to.

We want to explore how we can use serious gaming techniques to simulate


scenarios and innovations that can enable the Council to influence change and
cohesion. We will also engage with those groups working in this area, such as
MediaTree and KADU.

We will research how gaming can be used to influence people’s behaviour,


help develop skills, support personal development, anticipate potential
scenarios and market virally. We will build on practice within KCC like
schools, care centres & country parks and in Kent like simulation to
support learning and ward walks, as well as UCA, Kent and Greenwich.

As well as young people, they are now popular too with women, families and
older people. Although it has a less profound impact on disadvantaged groups,
gaming tends to benefit a wider range of them. Can be integrated with other
tools and content, can be used as platforms and excel at involving users to
refine the games themselves. Through agile techniques, developers can
design games much cheaper than virtual worlds.

We want to work out how we can improve ways of working for staff and
engaging the public, whether through simulation, scenario planning or other
gaming techniques.

19
Known as the “innovator’s dilemma” that an existing system won’t invest in new approaches that threaten to destroy it
How can you be involved?

If you are researchers/consultants20, we would like to explore how we could


capture together how gaming techniques21 & concepts22 can achieve specific
purposes with pilot group of staff or citizens

If you are innovators working in this high growth sector23, we would like to
explore how we could pilot your tools with a group of staff or citizens on a
particular issue or simulate gaming tools with online technologies used in KCC

If you are organisations24 in sectors who have used these tools, we would like
to share the learning and explore opportunities for collaboration

What resources do we need?

A lot of

Some

Not a lot of

20
Such as University of Edinburgh
21
Such as psychology, gaming theory, logic, strategy, communications, marketing, training, etc
22
Especially if you are working in the following fields: Learning, cognition, pedagogy, perception, gender, affect, flow-presence,
psychology, persuasion, consumer behaviour and HCI
23
Especially if you are specialised in simulation, world building, advergames, technical writing, digital storytelling or level design
24
Especially if you are working in cognitive tutoring, corporate training, museums, health, social issues, science, ecology,
higher education
Virtual training

What do we want to find out?

We see virtual training within the wider context of using innovative channels to
improve member support, officer awareness and community involvement.

We need to nurture internal expertise with external suppliers who can deliver
the skills we need within KCC and collectively across the public sector family
in Kent – including sharing training and member development as part of
Access Democracy. We also need to consider priorities for specific groups,
such as older people and 16-19 year olds.

We will explore learners’ needs and the context the services the training would
be used, make the training as relevant and realistic as possible. We will build
on developing informal learning opportunities. We will engage with groups
who are working on this in KCC and in the county as well as existing practice25.

We will research various models of virtual training such as step by step


learning through screen casting and recording live, use of games to
generate more interactive learning, capturing the training live and
empowering people to develop such skills and organising the lessons
learned and videos.

There needs to be better matching of skills to jobs, particularly in


disadvantaged communities. We also know that overall levels of skills in Kent
fall below national and even regional levels

We will explore how virtual training can match the best styles of learning -
engaging and interactive, accessible and collaborative, efficient and intuitive.

25
. Aim Higher, 14-24 Innovation Unit, Older People’s Strategic Network and Gateways, Enterprise Gateway, Folkestone
Performing Arts, KSP, Kent Foundation, Marlowe Innovation & Maidstone Grammar, Such as Councillor KitBag, Medway
Managers’ Toolkit, Simulation to support learning, Sustainability roadshow toolkit.
How can you be involved?

If you are researchers/consultants, we would like to explore what research we


could capture how effective virtual training is on a particular learning need

If you are innovators who are developing these systems, we would like to
explore how we could test these out with a group of staff or citizens on a
specific learning need

If you are KCC teams or organisations which have implemented such


technologies, we would like to share the learning and explore opportunities for
collaboration

What resources do we need?

A lot of

Some

Not a lot of
Transformation

Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI)

What do we want to find out?

Artificial intelligence consists of virtual processes that perform a task that is


normally performed by human intelligence.

We need to how to make better sense of the different types of customer


intelligence we use (from hard data to soft feedback) and automating routine
processes, especially for specific groups in this area, like older people26.

We want to use techniques27 where we can test the most effective use of AI for
the Council. We will engage groups who may be working in this area such as
the Interreg IVA “customer profiling” project, Access Kent Search Engine, East
Kent Virtual Call Centre, Gateways Benefits Portal, Tell Us Once pilot and Kent
Medway 101.

We will research what types of intelligence the Council or citizens have that we
need to automate – relational28, visual29, spatial30 or logical31. We will also
break down our research into the individual technologies that AI consists of:
natural language processing, machine learning, bayesian statistics, ambient
intelligence, neural networks, data mining & probability algorithms.

In certain processes, AI is widely used, from search engines organising data to


policing transactions for fraud, or even landing planes. There are risks in using
AI in critical support services, if the self-monitoring systems fail. There is also a
lack of compatible alternatives to AI tools if things go wrong.

We want to use advanced technologies and techniques within AI to inform the


decisions the Council needs to make based on the information we have. We
also want to link any research in this area to work we are doing around mobile,
knowledge and sensor technologies.

26
Such as “making sure (older people) have access to ‘joined up’ information when they need it”.
27
Computer science, psychology, philosophy, neuroscience, cognitive science, linguistics, operations research, economics,
control theory, probability, optimization and logic
28
Like speech recognition
29
Like optical character recognition
30
Like contextual geo-location
31
Like embedding sensors to monitor people’s activities
How can you be involved?

If you are researchers/consultants32, we would like to explore how we could


simulate processes to inform decisions on pilot information area

If you are innovators developing this, we would like to explore how we could
test your processes on a specific information area

If you are organisations in sectors who have used these tools, we would like to
share the learning and explore opportunities for collaboration

What resources do we need?

A lot of

Some

Not a lot of

32
Such as University of Edinburgh