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Chair Chris Batt

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  • 1. Work in Progress: Reflections on the Future Short presentation by Chris Batt at DISH 2009 (A victim of technology!) [email_address]
  • 2. The land of informed bewilderment COMMENTARY : This quote from Manuel Castells Rise of the Network Society (2000) reminds us that it is not enough to have universal access to the Web and assume it will provide value. This is particularly true of public value content (knowledge) where the primary purpose is to support learning and understanding in all its forms, for all citizens. Public and private, retailing and learning do not meet on a level playing field. We need a new model. [email_address]
  • 3. Modelling public knowledge value chains in a networked world COMMENTARY: This is the ‘official’ title of my research programme, although those who have followed this path before will be aware that plans change! The topic deliberately does not mention particular institutions since there are many institutions beyond museums, libraries and archives already providing public knowledge systems and any modelling should be at sufficiently high level to accommodate all such institutions (and anyway, the current range of institutions may change to meet the new needs of the Knowledge Society). [email_address]
  • 4. A simple value chain INPUT PROCESS OUTPUT MONEY PROCESS PROFIT RESOURCES PROCESS PUBLIC VALUE COMMENTARY: This diagram represents a simple form of the value chain; predicated on the concept that the output meets some planned-for target or outcome following some process or processes applied to the inputs. The business model, of course, is focused on delivering a return on investment greater than the initial sum input. Value delivered to the product or service is only relevant in so far as it will encourage further profitability. The primary purpose of a public sector model is to give value (benefit) to end users. Generic model Business model [email_address] Public sector
  • 5. What is public knowledge? COMMENTARY : My work at present is focused in part on building an understanding of what are public knowledge systems. This is not too difficult for those services and institutions supported directly by public funds, but how do we deal with networked resources such as Google Books and knowledge aggregators such as Wolfram Alpha and Kosmix , to mention just a few obvious examples? [email_address]
  • 6. Resources that enable each person to learn and understand more about themselves and the world COMMENTARY: My current working definition focuses on the relationship between knowledge and the individual. I also believe that the concept of learning and especially ‘learning for life’ will be at the heart of public policies in the mature Knowledge Society. Remember that the majority of learning takes place after people have left the formal education system; and I have yet to find a country with effective policies to support that process of learning for life, through the whole life. If you know somewhere, please let me know. [email_address]
  • 7. The raw material of the future COMMENTARY: I love this definition of public knowledge systems, which probably shows the marketeer in me. The future of knowledge institutions will depend on strong advocacy to national, regional and local governments, to deliver the value that YOU must believe they have for every citizen. What better for public knowledge than being the primary resource for the knowledge and creative society? [email_address]
  • 8. Institutions involved in the creation and dissemination of public knowledge COMMENTARY: My working list of institutions and organisations that are involved in the public knowledge system value chain. I’d love any comments you might have on the list: things to add, institutions to challenge, etc. Museums Libraries Archives Universities Colleges Schools Public service broadcasters Other public agencies Third sector agencies Others yet to be identified [email_address]
  • 9. The future of public knowledge institutions depends on much more than their relationship with technology COMMENTARY: To me this is a most important point. It is understandable that there are many conferences about the technology and the application of new technological developments, but while these things are most important, there is a need to debate a much wider strategic landscape. Mark Moore in his book Creating Public Value (1995) stressed the need to shift from ‘technician to strategist’. Planners and managers should look beyond the processes of their business to future direction and purpose. [email_address]
  • 10. Relationship with other knowledge institutions COMMENTARY: These are three key areas for future strategy that I propose for discussion. I see very little co-operation between different institutions, whether in the same ‘business’ or across the whole public knowledge sector. In the UK public libraries hardly ever talk to university libraries, for example. We need also to study closely the changing behaviours and expectations of citizens. Finally, gaining the right status in social policy is the only route to success – status leads to investment. Some brief examples follow. Relationship between citizens and technology Status within social policy [email_address]
  • 11. Organisational convergence COMMENTARY: We all know that in Cyberspace all media sits in a common platform and a book, an image of an object, a video, audio track, an archive document can easily be aggregated to form a knowledge quantum for some particular user need. Aggregation should be invisible to the user. Thus, discovery of the content becomes more important than discovery of the institutions. That does not mean institutional brand is not important, but it is secondary to the initial discovery process. In future, this will change the nature of organisations. Media convergence Content first, institutions second [email_address]
  • 12. Skills of the enabler COMMENTARY: We will have to consider vary carefully what should be the skills set of workers in knowledge institutions in the future. We already see the emergence of new skills, of customer relations, technologists, educators, but there will be a portfolio of other skills – advocacy, partnership development, the transfer of services between organisations and many more yet to be identified. In the UK the education profession does not yet seem to have recognised the radical changes that are coming. It remains behind the curve. From reactive to proactive New strategic skills [email_address]
  • 13. Renaissance of the amateur COMMENTARY: The emergence of the citizen activist and the community of interest is perhaps the most fundamental development of the networked society. There are many examples where new behaviours have developed and there remain as many different views on their implications and impact. However, it is clear that the ‘power relationship’ between the professional and the rest of society is changing rapidly. Crowdsourcing Communities of interest [email_address]
  • 14. COMMENTARY: These are just two examples in the UK of crowdsourcing that have changed public policy far more dramatically and quickly than knowledge institutions have been able to do. The Twitter example showed how a legal injunction to stop the newpaper revealing information we overturned through viral networking. The second example shows how the Guardian newspaper analysed 500,000 pages of MPs’ expenses in just a few weeks using citizens to do the analysis. [email_address]
  • 15. Organisations COMMENTARY: I hope that I will be at DISH2011 and alongside all the stimulating presentations and debate we heard this time I would hope to hear wider debate on the topics above. For me, these represent the key to the future and that is why I am spending my time as a humble student researcher, trying to build a model that can encompass the next fifty years! But, don’t expect all the answers by 2011! If you are interested in any of this, please do get in touch. Skills Communities How to influence public policy [email_address]