Gordon Brown in successful speech shocker! Plus innovation…

Yes, despite having a rather bad week (again), the PM pulled off a pretty decent motivational sort of speech to the NESTA Innovation Edge  conference today at the Royal Festival Hall. He even told a few jokes! People laughed! Crumbs. Maybe this is the turnaround….

Anyway… here’s a quick summary of the two sessions I went along to for those of you who missed it.

1) Are online social networks the new cities? (Charles Leadbeter, Richard Leese, Jon Gisby, Michael Birch)

(er, no)

2) Are educational institutions living up to the innovation demands of the 21st century? (Julia Goodfellow, Paul Roberts, Nick Starr, Stuart Cosgrove, Andy Powell)

(….mmmaybe… actually, er, no.)

—- the most interesting thing that came out of the first discussion sessions was the idea of a virtual bothy raised by Ewan McIntosh which left me dreaming of some kind of virtual  hipflask sharing arrangement.

—- the most interesting thing for me in the second session was Andy Powell mentioning the ever present elephant in the room – the snobbery surrounding education in the UK that ingrains our two-tier system and prevents social mobility. People didn’t seem so interested in listening to that fact laid bare…

Anyway, gotta go now – busy getting some french responses from this guy, and minor death threats from this guy on Seesmic for being boring and I’ve only been logged in an hour! Actually…  maybe I’ll go and talk to the grass seed again instead…oh shit, maybe I am boring.



  1. Hey Benjamin … I think there’s a big issue around the fact that everyone is ‘professionalising’ these social networks – taking the fun out of them. That’s why the bothy idea captures something that these mega-networks and ‘ordered fun networks’ don’t…. its about the personal relationships and having a bit of a laugh – that’s what keeps people motivated to work together after all… (oh, and ££$Y)

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