[Image description] A single white feather floats in a body of water [Image credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/64sgR8HV_68]

The original title of these Weeknotes was going to be “February finishes” – they are now called Precious Time / Nuclear Seasons in honour of Nick Keane. Please scroll down towards the end for my stories about Nick.

Five things that happened

[1] We had a kick-off meeting for a new discovery (the cool kids call them “discos” these days) and started to scope out questions using Lou Downe’s 15 principles of good service design. It was really helpful for those completely new to this world, especially for those who aren’t as close to the implementation of policies/services. …

[Image description] A photograph of a happy little pied wagtail (a bird I’ve been seeing a lot of this week!) Credit: Bob Brewer

Five things that happened

[1] We had our second ‘UCPD/Policy Labs’ get together of the year, where we focused on building a cross-government pipeline of things we’d like to work on together. First priority is restarting the x-gov policy design meet-up, then writing and publishing case studies and more blog posts. We also want to develop a shared value proposition, think about the relationship between policy design and DDAT and explore if we need x-lab standards and metrics (like the service standards).. amongst many other things!

[2] Attended the Service Communities exploration playback. It’s fantastic to see how much progress has been made already…

A photo of a snow drop [image credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/ltmoPmooj7E]

I’m not sure if it’s because we’re already in February, or it’s the beautiful dusting of snow this week (and the sunshine and bright skies peaking through), or the lighter evenings, or perhaps even just the fact I’ve treated myself to George Clooney’s tequila to try and make a perfect margarita, but everything is feeling a bit more in flow these past few weeks.

Five things that happened

[1] It was our Policy Profession Conference Week and myself, Heather and Andy ran a session on ‘Curiosity Shop: Policy Reimagined’. Last year a multi-disciplinary team of policy and digital folks worked on a discovery into…

[Image description] An open palm with the numbers 2020 on crumpled up paper. Photo by @kellysikkema.

Thank you Sharon for writing yours and inspiring me to write mine.

If you’re curious about numerology like I am, you’ll know that 2020 was a 4 year. Those years are all about building foundations, getting real on your purpose and what you dedicate your life towards, and about calming you down to focus on what matters.

In the first day of 2020, one of the things I wrote in my journal was the values and behaviours I wanted to focus on. They were: bravery, determination, simplicity, kindness, spiritual growth, authenticity, vulnerability, curiosity and the ability to overcome. …

A photo of a forest by Lukasz Szmigiel.

Take a deep breath.

Drop your shoulders and roll them back.

Unclench and relax your jaw.

Wiggle your toes.

How’s your week been?

I’m writing these Weeknotes on a Sunday. I’ve rung my Mum and I’m happy her flowers arrived on time — its the first Mother’s Day we’ve been apart. I haven’t seen my parents for over a month now, and there’s a gnawing, homesick feeling when I think about it.

Today I’ve been doing lots of reading and journalling; chores around the house (I may make it to laundry basket zero at this rate); supported my local cafe…

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. …

What I’m doing isn’t a job. I’m on a quest, and a quest that is deeply in alignment with my values. A quest in which who I am informs what I do.

Polly Higgins (quoted by Cassie Robinson in her #SDinGov keynote)

Start of the week

Monday was my usual round of catch ups with the teams and planning for the week.

We had two new starters join us in UCPD. Cindy (an APM from the Fast Stream) who I’d met at last years DDAT conference where she said she’d love to work in UCPD. The universe conspired and here she is! We’ve…

#UKGC20 organisers celebration (minus Vanessa). Photo credit: Janet Hughes https://twitter.com/JanetHughes/status/1225517501225807872

Our merry band of Govcamp organisers reunited on Thursday evening for our #UKGC20 retrospective and celebration (minus Vanessa — her due date is very soon!) Ahead of our get together, I set up our Trello board for a “4Ls” retrospective to reflect on and discuss what we loved, learned, lacked and longed for* — and added suggestions from folks via Twitter.

There’s a lot that goes on “backstage” so I wanted to share some what we discussed and the ideas we have.


Just some of the #UKGC20 organisers and camp makers [photo by Nigel Bishop: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wnbishop/49420688568/in/album-72157712770717572/]

My #UKGC20 experience was all kinds of wonderful. The entire day passed by in a blur and our amazing community energised me through the day. I’m still reflecting and structuring my thoughts to sum up the day – so in the meanwhile I thought I’d tell my Govcamp story. In my usual storytelling style, it will meander off into different directions and include people and life events around Govcamp that have shaped me into the person I am today.

‪I went to my first Govcamp in 2011 (#UKGC11 @ Microsoft) with the excellent Nick Keane.

“She was conscious that the things she did were the things she had always wanted to do”— Zelda Fitzgerald

Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/-d6kTMGXV6E

It’s good to be back.

The start of a new year always brings a giddy excitement, and I’ve felt that ten-fold this week with the start of the new decade.

My new Nuuna journal has that beautiful ‘new book’ scent. The crisp white pages are being starting to be filled with my Art Deco doodles and dreams. …


Design, leadership, open culture, data, ethics, justice. These are my personal thoughts on work.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store