Now that’s what I call doing not talking

Doteveryone CEO Rachel Coldicutt’s Medium post, ‘What if tech conferences don’t matter that much?’ landed just as we were wrapping up Leeds GovJam 2017. Here's me posing awkwardly with the awesome volunteer team who made this year's event happen... Every one of these people could, and should, stand on a platform and drop pearls of wisdom to an … Continue reading Now that’s what I call doing not talking

Three things a city in charge of its destiny ought to know about software

2015 promises change in the way that Leeds, Yorkshire and England’s north are governed. Not before time, decision-making and funding are to be brought closer to us, to the cities and localities where we live, learn, play and work. This new settlement will arrive at a time when cities and governments everywhere are challenged to design … Continue reading Three things a city in charge of its destiny ought to know about software

How I learned to stop worrying and love the jam

A lightning talk at Service Design in Government... There’s a growing interest in hacks and jam events in the public sector. Over the past months in Leeds alone, we’ve seen events around open government data, mental health, cycling and public transport. Great stuff can happen at these events, yet they can also be unfulfilling for participants … Continue reading How I learned to stop worrying and love the jam

A found Leeds litany, raw notes from an afternoon walk

Way back in June, as part of Andrew Wilson's wonderful HannaH Festival, a group of citizens fanned out from Wharf Street Chambers into the summer drizzle clutching maps to four quarters of our city. We briefed participants to look for evidence of Leeds' past, present and future. On returning to base we shared what everyone had found … Continue reading A found Leeds litany, raw notes from an afternoon walk

The definite article, or lines written on the opening of a former brewery headquarters as contemporary art gallery

These past few years have been tough on Tetley's disembodied headquarters. First came the loss of the purpose for which it was built in the depths of 1930s depression - a human-scale head office for a family firm. The directors' boardroom was relegated to an outpost of the Carlsberg empire. Lutheran rectitude became the order … Continue reading The definite article, or lines written on the opening of a former brewery headquarters as contemporary art gallery

Room to grow^ – 48 hours of the Global Service Jam

SD Leeds co-organiser Kathryn Grace and I were joined by 15 jammers in Leeds as part of the biggest ever Global Service Jam, taking place simultaneously in more than 120 cities around the world. Thanks to Simon Zimmerman of Hebe Media, Leeds Council's Leeds Inspired programme and James and Laura of Duke Studios for making it an absolute pleasure. The … Continue reading Room to grow^ – 48 hours of the Global Service Jam

Five minutes, one year, two buildings, a thousand stories

Notes from my presentation at Bettakultcha, Leeds Town Hall, on Wednesday 9 January 2013. What an amazing venue. I could spend the next five minutes just talking about this building. I could tell you how the Leeds Corporation raised a special tax and set a budget of £35,000 to build a grand new town hall. … Continue reading Five minutes, one year, two buildings, a thousand stories

Three machines made in Leeds

For my wife's family it is the crockery. Staffordshire-raised, they can't resist upturning plates and bowls to check their makers' marks - Doulton, Wedgwood and what-have-you. And my own father grew up near Sheffield, so in restaurants I also study the knives and forks - David Mellor was a Noughties Brit cuisine staple. But Leeds, well … Continue reading Three machines made in Leeds

What to look forward to at the LЗЭDS DIGITДL CФИFЗЯЭЙCЗ

Friday's Leeds Digital Conference should be great. Look out for Dean Vipond, Victoria Betton, Tim Medcalf, Robin Cramp, Simon Zimmerman and lots of other speakers doing amazing work in the city. I predict I will be on a panel about "the future" with Tom Woolley from the National Media Museum and Steve Peel from IBM. … Continue reading What to look forward to at the LЗЭDS DIGITДL CФИFЗЯЭЙCЗ

Mr. SMEATON IN UR RIVR FIXIN UR BR1DGE

On opening the great arch at London Bridge, by throwing two arches into one, and the removal of a large pier, the excavation, around and underneath the sterlings of that pier, was so considerable, as to put the adjoining piers, that arch, and eventually the whole bridge, in great danger of falling. The previous opinions … Continue reading Mr. SMEATON IN UR RIVR FIXIN UR BR1DGE

#walkshopping (winter edition)

We made a walkshop! At sunset on Tuesday, undeterred by George Osborne, high winds and torrential rain, 17 of Yorkshire's finest designers, technologists and geographers gathered to walk and talk, to see Leeds in a new light. The inspiration came from Adam Greenfield and Nurri Kim’s booklet “Systems/Layers”: “A walkshop is a new kind of … Continue reading #walkshopping (winter edition)