Redjotter meets Scottish Government

This week I was invited to a meeting led by The Scottish Government focused on "The Government's Vision for Scotland". The meeting was held in my home town, Kilmarnock, a part of Ayrshire that is no stranger to the devastating effects of a declining economy. The First Minister, Alex Salmond, kicked off by reminding us that Scottish Government is not just about Edinburgh, it's about allowing all Scottish citizens to flourish. He also revealed a rather brilliant new stat that East Ayrshire is number one in the  world for producing school dinners from local produce! Very few members of the audience got the chance to speak to the panel...

"I would like to put this to the First Minister and The Minister of Justice Kenny MacAskill... you have both mentioned the idea of protecting front line police and crime being at its lowest for 32 years. These facts are undoubtedly a great achievement but there is no getting away from the reality that despite these figures, confidence in the police is also very low.

The work we do at MyPolice is all about making the police accountable and accessible through an online feedback tool. My business represents a new breed of Scot who wants to empower the people of Scotland to transform their own public services. I would like to talk to you both about how we can pull our networks together to make that happen."

...and we did talk, and we are going to make it happen.

I am snook

Hello! It has been over a month since I went offline to begin a new adventure. Closing my blog and twitter account for a while just felt like the right thing to do, Redjotter has become more than I ever imagined it could be, opening my mind and challenging my perspective on what it means to be a Service Designer in ways I never thought possible. I am humbled and excited that students and educators from all over the world are keen to hear about my online 'journey' and I hope I can continue to share this with all of you via The Studio Unbound.

Now that MyPolice is grown up and officially a ‘business’ it was time for Sarah and me to become an official company.  We chose to create an ‘umbrella concept’ that MyPolice can live under. MyPolice is my main focus, it is what I work on every day. Nevertheless, we wanted to develop an identity to convey the ethos of MyPolice and what we believe can happen when designers work with public services...

I would like to introduce you all to Snook:

"The idea is a simple one.

We just want to change the world.

Snook is all about the power of people.

Sure, we are young. We may not have run a business before. And we may never fully understand what indemnity and grey market mean.

But, we do know how to make people listen to us. We do know how to get a community to speak up about what's important to them with lollipops. And we know how to bring change to a closed organisation with a few pages of newsprint and red felt tips.

We are part of a new movement; a shift in ways of seeing and ways of being.

You can follow us on twitter at @wearesnook

We hope you are as curious as us as to what Snook might become…"

As part of our 30 day social media rehab Sarah and me wrote letters to each other to develop our thinking about what we wanted Snook to be. Hand written letters have always enchanted me, I spent a year designing 'Douceurs' ; a service that enabled people to send letters to their future, intended to capture the beauty, simplicity and personal touch of traditional communication methods. This time around, our letters were to each other in the present day, each letter answering and asking a new question.  They are all available to read on our site.

What a month. Alot of learning that went on,  out of my past year in this space this month was really different. It was a time of the unknown, conflicts, newness and amazing conversations. For me personally this past month and this year end marks the beginning of the year ahead as a fully fledged entrepreneur.

I was uneasy about giving myself such a 'title' but people often ask me "What is it about being a designer that has helped you to be so naturally entrepreneurial?" and "Have you always been entrepreneurial?" and the truth is I think I have been. When I discovered the world of 'service design' I knew the job I wanted didn't exist yet.  I have suddenly found myself interviewing employees, generating cash flows and signing too many forms to count. It feels a bit like a crash course but I am loving every minute of it.

Joining up in all its forms has happened, is happening, and I hope it will happen even more in the future. I have met incredible people with ideas so good they give me goosebumps. I am on a mission to practice what I have been preaching and win the hearts and minds of those who are in charge of putting my ideas into effect. With Sarah by my side, I believe we can do it.

Coming offline gave me space to reflect on what Redjotter means to me, in terms of what has been and what lies ahead. It also made me value and appreciate the online network I am part of.  Thank you to everyone who asked me to come back online, wrote to me to and text me instead of tweeting me.

Last year I offered you all winter wishes, this year I think we should all put some of our Christmas spirit into jars and open a jar of it every month...

redjotter goes to london with MyPolice

As promised I would like to introduce you all to MyPolice.  The video below tells the story of the web-based service that fosters constructive, collaborative communication between communities and the police forces which serve them.

[vodpod id=ExternalVideo.884810&w=425&h=350&]

more about "MyPolice on Vimeo", posted with vodpod

You can follow MyPolice ventures on our blog. Sarah and I are traveling to Coventry to present at The Policing 2.o Conference:

"The NPIA Citizen Focus and Neighbourhood Policing Programme is organising the first national conference for the police service in England and Wales looking at the impact of social media.

'Policing 2.0 - the Citizen and Social Media' will include presentations from forces who have been early adopters in using social media and speakers from outside the world of policing who will discuss the wider impact.

The emergence of cheap and accessible information technology and the increasing importance of the Citizen Focus approach means that police forces are beginning to use social media sites such as facebook and twitter as part of their communications and engagement strategies. At the same time citizens are looking to social media as a platform to comment on, or engage with policing."


I also have the Festival of Interdependence, Service Design Drinks, Future Gov and Mindapples to look forward to...and of course spending time with my most lovely London know who you are :)

I have been overwhelmed by the recent support I have received online and offline - huge big thank you to everyone for your advice, comments and RT's :)

this happened

Picture 26 Mypolice are presenting at This Happened tonight. It is taking place in The Wee Red bar in Edinburgh.

( rather apt considering the whole @redjotter thing :)

Hoping to meet new people and share our work and ideas. Fingers crossed we will get to put some faces to some tweeters.

This is the first official Mypolice presentation since Social Innovation Camp.  We will talk for ten minutes about the service and the story behind it. As Sarah says:

"I think it’s very important to share your process with people as you work on projects, it’s never easy and other people can learn alot from how you got from nothing to finished product.  You can also learn alot yourself, and importantly, gain feedback from people if you’re opening up your process as you go.  There are always peaks and troughs, and mypolice has certainly had both with more to come I’m sure."

If you are there be sure to say hello :) if not follow the goings on at the @mypolice twitter account.

p.s Follow This Happened on twitter too...

p.p.s very exciting post regarding mypolice and myfuture coming soon ...