Back to school

I am off back to school next week – or to something rather more grand, which is the Kennedy School at Harvard University, USA. This is a ten day course which I was invited to join last year – about leadership and management in an international context. Being able to complete it was the only condition I put on me taking up my new post!


I asked my daughter last week what she would take if she got stuck on a desert island. The first was promising: ‘food and water’. Then followed ‘my mobile phone’ and ‘a shop’!

I have a book coming out next year, co-written with a Professor of Marketing, Agnes Nairn, on children as consumers. This brought it all home. Perhaps our idea of desert islands is conditioned now by foreign holidays, rather than the age-old fear of being a castaway.


From the Board members mentioned yeterday, have a look at Roger Darlington’s outstanding blog. He can tell you how to be happy – I kid not.

Future Focus

We have the third meeting of the new NCC Board today and will be using a facility called “Future Focus”. The idea of this is to have facilitators and technology that can allow you to develop a shared sense of the landscape ahead of us. So far, there have been decisions aplenty for the new Board. This will be a welcome opportunity to be more reflective.

Who are the Board? Here are the names. The government (BERR) is currently recruiting the members for the new Scottish Consumer Council, Welsh Consumer Council and NI Postal Services Committee.

Lord Whitty

New NCC Chair


SCC Chair

Ms Vivienne SUGAR

WCC Chair


NCC Member

Ms Christine FARNISH

NCC Member


NCC Member


NCC Member

Mrs Sharon DARCY

NCC Member

Mrs Sukhvinder KAUR-STUBBS

NCC Member

Mr Stephen A J LOCKE

NCC Member


NCC Member


NCC Member

Channel Dave

jan-2008-090.jpgSir David Varney is adviser to the Prime Minister on public services. he passes on a message of support for the new NCC, saying that the combination of “general and specific” in the new organisation could be a real strength.

Gosh 2.0

With the wonderful Tom Steinberg from My Society, I co-authored a report last year government, the Power of Information, on the growing evidence base for new models for service delivery across government. Technology Minister Tom Watson was good enough to say on Weds in an interview to the Guardian that it could become “a fundamental design principle of everything we do.” If you want to compare, then look at David Cameron’s outstanding speech on opening up public sector information of a few weeks back too.