Hello world! ...and welcome.
During some of the more IT based technical endeavours of my career this simple statement is usually the first step I’ve taken into the unknown. If you can make it say “Hello World!” you’ve unlocked the door. The launch of the first challenge this week certainly feels to me like a “Hello world!” moment as we move into the new world of Open innovation.
I have the pleasure of being the lead for the first Open Innovation challenge (Hidden Gems) and I’m really excited about the possibilities of both the outcomes of my challenge and the outcomes of all the other challenges. There is always a certain trepidation when going first in an area with potentially unlimited possibilities, but having delivered my second child myself without any medical assistance (longish story – see me and Luke below) I feel well set.
There is a real buzz within the innovation team that has been drawn together to shape and facilitate this work. We sat around a table preparing for the launch a couple of weeks ago (jaffa cakes at the ready as innovation fuel) and there was a terrific energy about the discussion (and I’m sure it wasn’t the caffeine). Everyone in the team is looking forward to playing their part, hearing your ideas and being part of an exciting new community.
Innovative strategies and products has been a theme of my work for some time and I’ve worked around a variety of subject areas that involve assets and asset management, but totally open innovation is new and we’re learning on our feet as we develop the concept and the ideas, so stick with us. Hope you like where it’s going so far.
In terms of the challenge, the nature of an organisation like a local authority means the acquisition of a wide variety of specialist equipment, vehicles and properties is absolutely necessary to deliver a quality service to York and the surrounding region’s residents, businesses and visitors and due to their nature and operational use some assets have significant down time. There are historic reasons why assets have come into our possession, perhaps due to the necessity to regenerate an area, and in some cases it is difficult to reassign a purpose when they were acquired or built for a specific reason, which is no longer valid. These are just a couple of the challenges we face when looking to get maximum value out of our assets and we really welcome your input into the Clementhorpe Maltings and any other ideas you have around our assets.
We’d also like to take advantage of the rich asset data that exists within our own organisation and across the city to provide great opportunities for emerging sectors in the City. One of the ideas so far for the asset system question is to provide a view of the data that will allow film production companies to view and book buildings and sites in the City.
On the subject of the Clementhorpe Maltings, I’d like to thank Roger Ranson, Philip Callow and the Property Services team for working with us to find a really interesting property from our portfolio for this challenge and we’ll continue to tap into the knowledge in that team as proposals are shaped.
I’ll be blogging for the next couple of months as the work progresses and myself, Vicki Hoggarth-Hall and Ben Wilson (who are working with me on this challenge) and the rest of the Innovation team will be contributing and shaping the discussions and proposals as they unfold.
On a final note, a big friend of mine, and fellow member of the Open Innovation team Rob Dunning, who is working principally on the Utilising Footfall and Transport challenge, is going to be a father for the first time in the summer (congratulations mate) so we need to work him to the max until then!!!
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