My Public Services – opening session #mps09


James Munro of Patient Opinion kicking off the day.

The day is about sharing experiences, ideas, architectures for engaging public services – both learning and sharing what has been learnt. That includes people inside, looking out and those outside, looking in.

How do we learn across the boundaries (something Patient Opinion has been battling with themselves)? There is an opportunity to redefine public services, aware from ‘users/receipts’ and ‘providers’ to a more equal metaphor where everyone can contribute and choose – and to change services – to co-create new things. It isn’t clear how to do that yet, but it is an exciting possibility.

The Iron Bridge in Shropshire is the first iron bridge that was build. It was designed as if it was built with wood, but cast in iron, because they didn’t know how to do anything else. It hard mortice joints and the common construction features of wood. They used the metaphors of the old technology to build the new. In the same way the NHS and others think of the Internet as a big survey tool, or a way to sell people things. What we haven’t got yet are the new metaphors – which will be something very different.

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