What I do

Having spent most of my career so far working in digital application design, software development and innovation, I now work to develop the digital capabilities of places, as the founder and CEO of Unfolding Ltd, a digital capacity-building and workshopping agency; a co-founder and director of Sheffield Digital, the city’s digital industries association; and as a smart societies consultant for Perform Green, one of the UK’s premier place-based digital development advisers.

Mission

My overarching mission is:

  • To help places, and the communities that live in them, flourish, by helping people to understand and implement emerging digital technologies in positive ways.

Specialisms

I have learned how to do many different things during my career, from designing and building software to managing people and growing companies. These are the things I now concentrate on the most:

  • Place-based Digital Strategy Development
    Helping places develop holistic strategies around their digital development, including regeneration, infrastructure, economics, skills, inclusion, services, and other connected factors.
  • Smart Cities, Smart Societies and Civic Tech
    The practical application and deployment of new technologies, initiatives and governance in a place, guided by strategic principles.
  • Digital Capacity Building
    Helping people to understand specific emerging technologies, their capabilities, impacts and opportunities.
  • Digital Economic Development and Policy
    Developing the right environments to allow digital industry clusters to develop and flourish.
  • Foresight and Scenario Planning
    Helping leaders better understand the future impact of technologies, and develop broad, scenario-based approaches.
  • Innovation Processes and Culture
    Helping organisations to develop their innovation strategies, cultures, resources and processes.
  • Stakeholder Engagement and Network Building
    Bringing people together around a particular initiative, topic or purpose and maintaining good communications.
  • Workshops, Conferences and Events
    Facilitating engagements with groups of people either to process and disseminate knowledge or to co-design solutions and approaches.

Hands On

To help me in carrying out these specialisms, I employ a range of tools which I have honed over the years – some are ways of thinking about things, while others are collaboration tools or group exercises. These form my ‘play book’ and you can read about them in more detail under My Practice.

I would like to highlight one particular aspect of how I work, which is that I like to be hands-on. By this I mean that I like to be involved with people, with ideas and with projects, not just strategically but actively: organising, meeting, writing, facilitating, designing, etc., contributing to making sure that things get implemented well once a course of action has been decided on. This is quite often done remotely, as I engage with places far away from where my family and I live, but is no less real or involved as a result.

 

If you have a need for my skills and experience, please get in touch using my Unfolding email address: info@unfolding.co.uk