An Intelligent FuturePosted by lucylangdon in blog February 14, 2013
Tuesday night was Social Media and Open Data for CSR, hosted by Intelligent Futures at Google Campus. Six speakers – experts in their fields – and a roomful of provocative, personable and passionate thinkers, feelers and doers.
I won’t do a full write up. With six 5-minute presentations (full list here) and a lively follow up discussion, there was a lot of ‘oh wow, I’m going to go and read/think/talk more about that’. Here’s my list.
The data is out there
Fran from Mastodon C told us about Prescribing Analytics. When the NHS released their prescription data around the UK, they asked it some interesting questions. The result? Millions and millions of pounds of savings, starting today. (Not to mention a ton of positive coverage for big data)
Fran shared her excitement about the fact that ‘the data is out there’. It’s free, open and waiting for people to come along and do awesome things with it. So what are you waiting for? Become a data scientist.
Data is about learning
Adam from Plan A sees data as a chance to learn. Speaking on behalf of M&S, he says a lot of what they’re doing (from improvements in their supply chain to how they help their customers do more for the environment) is about testing ideas, looking at the results and then either improving or trying something new.
Having the right information at your fingertips makes you a better, faster learner, which means you can also start doing the right thing more quickly.
For M&S, the results have been surprising and exciting: “we thought it was going to cost us; it’s ended up saving us money.”
Big data and the human condition
Paul Fletcher (Humanist, architect, DJ) thinks the sweet spot comes when you add the insights of big data to what we know about the human condition. He gave Nest (the beautiful ‘learning thermostat’) as an example of the incredibly simply but simply incredible impact you can make by understanding how humans interact with their built environment.
Social media in action
My favourite was about the Repair Rickshaw – a solution to OpenIDEO’s question of how we can best manage e-waste and discarded electronics to safeguard human health and protect our environment. The Repair Rickshaw would appear at farmers’ markets (and other regular local events) and collect broken e-stuff, returning it a week later, fixed. They also talked about having mini-workshops next to the rickshaws, so people can learn how to fix their own stuff.
Many thanks to Intelligent Futures for pulling together such an interesting event, and to all the speakers for sharing their stories.