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Digital Fund Weeknotes 12 (28th — 1st Feb)

Firstly, we’ve changed our name (if you haven’t heard) and are now the The National Lottery Community Fund. I like that this says more about what we do on the tin — if you think of “community” as meaning the social fabric of the UK and that being what we are invested in (and investing in).

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What we are doing

It’s been a tough week this week as we’ve been 2.5 people down, but the work load hasn’t eased. I’ve really appreciated the wider UK Portfolio team stepping in and offering support ( thank you Yvonne and Derek!). We’ve been continuing with doing calls (we got through about another 60 this week), writing up call logs, holding Sift sessions (every other day as we have so many to do) and continuing with uploading and tagging data in to Hub Spot.

What we are learning

My learning this week has a more external focus – a reminder of why language and coherence is important. It’s been a big week for “digital” in terms of the announcement from DCMS at Doteveryone’s Responsible Tech Summit on Thursday. Jeremy Wright gave his first ministerial speech there, announcing a stream of new ‘tech for good’ initiatives. It was brilliant to see Doteveryone’s work being given that kind of platform, and the TechTransformed responsible tech practices they launched at the event will be useful and are much needed. Rachel’s blog explains more about them.

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“Digital social innovation brings together people and digital technologies to tackle social and environmental challenges.”

There are more examples in the D-Cent programme and Digital Social Innovation, initiated by Francesca Bria when she was at Nesta, and who appeared to be a star of the event on Thursday. Alongside projects that were funded by what was Nominet Trust (now Social Tech Trust) and the many initiatives showcased here in their Social Tech guide — which included another lightning talk organisation from Thursday’s event, Big White Wall, funded by Nominet Trust back in 2014.

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The need for coherence and consistency

I write all this because I believe in a quote by the father of complexity science, Ilya Prigogine, who said that “in an unstable complex system, small islands of coherence have the potential to change the whole system.” To act responsibly, and in society’s interests, we all need to do better at finding the coherence between things, rather than simply furthering our own agenda.

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Run UK Portfolio at National Lottery Community Fund, Co-founder of the Point People, Policy Fellow IIPP, Founder Stewarding Loss, International Futures Forum.

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