Can government stop losing its mind?

Can government remember? Is it condemned to repeat mistakes? Or does it remember too much and so see too many reasons why anything new is bound to fail? Commissioned by Geoff Mulgan, CEO, Nesta, and led by Gavin Starks with Constellation members, ‘Can government stop losing its mind?’ looks at the many ways the government has…

A Digital Commonwealth?

At the 2015 CHOGM in Malta I suggested it would be prescient to consider the future of the Commonwealth through a digital lens. At the time, it felt as if the Commonwealth was at a tipping point and that the consideration of a ‘Digital Commonwealth’ might be a useful springboard. Today, I am moderating a…

Can government stop losing its mind?

On Wednesday 18 April, Nesta is hosting the launch of a new report prepared by Gavin Starks. The report entitled ‘Can government stop losing its mind?’ looks at the many ways the government has organised its data and knowledge, and examines examples ranging from the Ministries of Defence and Justice to the BBC and ODI….

Data is infrastructure

Great to see Data Infrastructure gaining traction with the National Infrastructure Commission: 1. https://www.nic.org.uk/publications/data-infrastructure-paper-national-infrastructure-commission/ 2. https://proftomcrick.com/2018/02/03/data-as-infrastructure Background In 2015, while at the ODI, I helped this specific framing gain international attention, including via this paper https://www.scribd.com/document/266889068/Who-Owns-Our-Data-Infastructure

Are we about to do something useful?

“Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose.” Larry Fink, CEO, Blackrock “Not all of the attention has been favourable, which makes this moment all the more significant.Mr. Fink’s words mark a profound shift in the way business relates to society – a shift long in the making,”,  Chris Houston, Where…

Open banking is now regulation in the UK — Open APIs matter

The Open Banking Standard, which co-chaired the development of, started to roll out on 13 Jan 2018. Creating open APIs is part of the fundamental wiring of our financial Data Infrastructure. It may sound less interesting but, to me, it’s much more interesting and impactful that crypto/blockchain will be in the coming years. In fact,…

Provenance raises $800K for blockchain-based product tracking + appoints Starks as Chair

Provenance raises $800K to launch groundbreaking service for transparency in the food and drinks industry British tech startup Provenance, a digital platform enabling brands and retailers to bring integrity and transparency to their supply chains, has raised funding from strategic investors to revolutionise consumer trust. 2017-07-11 LONDON – Following a successful international pilot tracking tuna…

Data is not the new oil. Data > Oil

“The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data” says The Economist “Data is the new oil”, said Clive Humby and many others Some people have described why it is and that it’ll be a new currency. 2014 Wired said it was and that “data infrastructure should become a profit centre” In 2012 Forbes asked “Is…

The AMEE story (part one)

The AMEE story In 2005, I was working with climate change charity Global Cool, and global hedge fund Man Group (in my spare time) to try and create a global movement around climate change awareness and action. While chairing the working group that created the “Global Cool Tonne” (which became one of the UK Government’s Gold…

DMA – Data Protection 2017

Slides from Data Protection 2017, https://dma.org.uk/event/data-protection-2017 “Culture is always left to the end in technology revolutions. Make no mistake, the web of data is a revolution: but it has very little to do with new technology. Learn about the cultural impacts and business models that will help you navigate in a data-driven world.” DMA — Data…

Ecocide

It’s almost as if “Destroying the Earth should be viewed as a crime.” The UN and Interpol report that environmental crime is a growing threat to security and natural resources,  is now the world’s fourth largest illicit enterprise after drug smuggling, counterfeiting and human trafficking and has outstripped the illegal trade in small arms. More:…

Updated archives

Well, it’s been a while since I posted here (Twitter still winning), but here’s a long overdue synopsis of some of the things my first startup, Tornado, created. I’ll be adding to this from time-to-time as I get in touch with some of the old team.

Maxipok Zero – a quadrillion lives are in your hands

A quadrillion lives are in your hands. We often hear people talk of “protecting future generations”,and there is certainly a lot of value in thinking of your children and grandchildren when thinking about the future – it makes it personal. But there is an additional way of thinking about this, which carries equal moral authority…

The Guardian as damn-you-autocorrect?

I know it can be hard sometimes to grasp and translate ideas in a single-shot, over the phone, but this Guardian  “article” recounting their interview with me reads like it has been /auto-corrected/speech-to-text’d/ by an Engrish bot. Given it’s written in the first-person, I felt more than a little irritated by this. So, in an…

AMEE at Strata – talk slides

My slides from O’Reilly’s Strata conference “Making Data Work” today. I described some of AMEE’s journey: through open data aggregation and distribution, accessibility, provenance,  and structure. But better data isn’t enough – no one (well, a few) really cares about the science or the technology. We need to engage with stakeholders to provide meaningful insight…

New role at the Open Data Institute

During the Olympics Opening Ceremony, the creator of the web tweeted “This is for everyone” to millions of people around the world. Decades since their invention, we are still discovering and unlocking value from the innovations catalysed by the open web, open internet, and open source. The Open Data Institute‘s mission is to demonstrate and…

Energy Identity

[repost of my AMEE post on Energy Identity] Since AMEE’s inception in 2005, we have recognised that the emerging sets of data needed for carbon calculation and energy assessment present huge privacy issues. Combined with the automation of data capture through smart-meters, mobiles, purchases and other “digital identity” sources there is a real need to…

Occupy & Climate Change: Hansen, Buffet, Chomsky

Two pieces really struck me today. I think we can expect to see this form of direct action increasing. The issues (control of resource, environmental sustainability, and social sustainability) are intrinsically linked, but the shift that appears to be happening is of awareness, urgency, and engagement in direct action. Chomsky’s piece in the Guardian is…

Binary Dust …

Well, it’s taken a little while to pull together, but Binary Dust is now live. Hope you enjoy.

RIP Dr David Fleming

A tragic and untimely loss. David is still a huge inspiration, his thinking, consideration and actions have touched so many people. I am glad we had the opportunity to share ideas, conversation, and a beer. Cheers to you David, and thank you. For those who didn’t know him, I strongly recommend reading and distributing his…

Energy transformation is in the hands of the many

Hermann Scheer (1944-2010): German Lawmaker, Leading Advocate for Solar Energy and “Hero for the Green Century” in One of His Final Interviews [emphasis mine] “HERMANN SCHEER: The big mistake in the energy debate is that most people think, because they believe that there is a monopoly and the expertise for all energy activities in the…

Streaming the smart grid

While mixing up a number of metaphots here, I’m thinking that RTSP and multicast would be very good mechanisms to support smart grid/smart meter infrastructure. – Lossy is “ok” – p2p/IPv6/multicast can support the back-channel from a load-balancing, network monitoring and bi-directional messaging standpoint (mashing up with MQTT) for broadcast controls, for localised network optimisation…

Periodicity

Building on this two things: 1) add the cyclic patterns for every form of centralisation->decentralisation technology | politics | finance | energy | cosmology | art | religion | etc… 2) look to see if there’s a damping factor Are we dealing with periodicity that has diminishing amplitude? ie. thinking in a political/government sense: do…

Data is not binary

Science, data, internet, ontology, work and non-work themes converging – my post on O’Reilly Radar, reposted below Why open data requires credibility and transparency. by Gavin Starks | June 30, 2010 Guest blogger Gavin Starks is founder and CEO of AMEE, a neutral aggregation platform designed to measure and track all the energy data in…

Obsfuscation as a method of closed data

Things wrong with Companies House Crown Copyright data disclosure (which allows free copying) Get the DVD rom of the data – SIGH £30 for a copy of the data – PARTIAL WIN (it’s accessible) £1200 if you want to actually save the data – FAIL Crown Copyright Data is in a closed format –  FAIL…

A Climate of Polarisation

(copy of my post on the O’Reilly Radar) We’re all aware of the emotive language used to polarize the climate change debate. There are, however, deeper patterns which are repeated across science as it interfaces with politics and media. These patterns have always bothered me, but they’ve never been as “important” as now. We are…

Cloudcast :: a next step in the evolution of broadcast

At last, I think the nature of [AV] transmission is beginning to reveal itself. Do we need a new term? Probably – many other terms (p2p, broadcast, webcast, bitcast, torrent, web2.0, hive, etc) all describe an evolutionary step, so it does make sense to have a phrase to describe this one (note that edgecasting has…

Fundamental UK science under threat

The Science and Technology Facilities Council in the UK has managed to create a terrible situation which could destroy fundamental research across the country. This would have a devastating impact on not just the lives of people who have dedicated themselves to their fields, and not just to the UK’s reputation, but would be a…

“activist capitalism”

I’ll explain more soon, but just wanted to capture the phrase I’m now using to describe what I think we are building.

Global Cool launches

wow. we did it. we built and launched it on time. to the minute, as they walked off stage… It finally (soft/beta) launched with a couple of “people of fame” (Orlando Bloom and Kate Bosworth). After years of planning, we ended up getting the funding “weeks” ago and built everything online in 4 weeks from…

“Broadcast Assassins” @ BBC

Invited speaker – “Broadcast Assassins” an internal BBC workshop for key managers Quite nice to be invited to, albiet by this time most people should have “got it”. Of course, walked straight into the room and met John Ousby…. should’ve known. (apparently I have two brains: “a word of thanks to … Gavin Starks, a man…

In response to…. BBC Charter

In response to [published in the proceedings from] Westminster Media Forum “BBC 2016 Charter Renewal” meeting 2004-02-25 at Millbank Tower. Inverting the Model Working at the junction between the macrocosms of broadcasting (TV and Radio) and the internet (everything) is always stimulating. You always have to assume that you know nothing about either. Both have…