Joining the Digital Advisory Board to the Mayor of London

I am just out of the first ever meeting of the brand new Digital Advisory Board to the Mayor of London (a pro-bono post). I am absolutely delighted to have been invited to join the Board for all the obvious reasons. But, to add a personal note, I was also born (in Hammersmith) and raised in London, and have lived in London for most of my life. I’m a great believer in this city. But through my work with TechCrunch Europe, I’ve also become acutely aware of London and the UK’s place in Europe as regards the technology scene. And I feel that there really is going to be an exciting period going forward where London can start drawing together many of the technology trends in Europe and globally.

I want to pay tribute to the office of the Mayor of London and their foresight in putting this team together. I’m humbled to be able to sit alongside people I hugely respect in the tech scene, and I am really looking forward to working with them and with his Economic Advisor Anthony Browne and Emer Coleman, London Alliances Project Director, who in practice heads up the London Datastore, a fantastic Open Data initiative.

The London Datastore has already done a lot of work putting a great deal of data from the GLA and London Boroughs online for apps developers and startups to use. It’s an exciting time right now given the innovation that’s happening around open data and the new mindsets trickling into the public sector about how this data can be used both for economic innovation and the public good.

As the announcement says, the Board will support and advise on the Mayor’s digital projects including the London Datastore, WIFI London, The London Card and the proposed single non-emergency number for London. But while doing that I’m sure we’ll have conversations around the wider creation of economic, social and civil capital in London, using technology.

What next? As well as all the above, personally I want to hear your feedback on how we can make London sing and hum in terms of the wider technology and innovation eco-system. Where are the blocks, where are the barriers? I am looking forward to conversing with everyone around these issues and helping the Mayor’s office address these.

I’ve worked with the awesome Elizabeth Varley on creating TechHub to try and solve some of the problems. We can do more. Much more.

Interestingly I’ve seen #BorisDAB appear as a hashtag on Twitter – that might be pretty handy going forward.

Aside from myself, the other members of the board (to quote The Evening Standard, but with added Twitter handles) are:

Professor Jonathan Raper -who has worked to bring the power of geospatial information to users for over 20 years. @madprof

Emma Mulqueeny -is a founding Director of Rewired State and is one of Britain’s leading digital communication strategists and communicators. @hubmum

Paul Clarke- has worked with many government departments and local authorities on technology and organisational strategy. @paul_clarke

Chris Thorpe- formerly a research scientist has been involved in projects as diverse as social worlds for 7 – 11 year olds, video archives of Nobel Prizewinners telling their life stories, a James Bond Premier Webcast and putting contemporary sculpture on Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth. @jaggeree

Toby Barnes – is the Managing Director of the Mudlark Production Company. @TobyBarnes

Chris Taggart -is the developer behind OpenlyLocal.com a project that opens up local government data and now has in-depth information on over 150 councils across the UK. @countculture

Christopher Osborne -is Business Development Director for ITO World providing transport intelligence for transport professionals and passengers. @osbornec

More coverage:
Barnes joins Boris’ digital London team
BOJO ANNOUNCES DIGITAL ADVISORY BOARD
Boris Johnson announces appointment of City Hall Digital Advisory Board
London Mayor announces Digital Advisory Board
Boris Johnson appoints digital advisers

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