Innovating through public sector information

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Knowledge Transfer

17 March 2010
Chair: Guy Ker
- Director, Publishing, Directgov

  • Professor Nigel Shadbolt - Southampton University
  • Jerry Fishenden - Visiting Fellow, LSE and Centre for Technology Policy Research


This seminar will look at the availability and possible uses of large sets of public sector data. It will ask questions about the costs of data, the privacy and security issues, how open government should be with the data is collects and holds and what more could be done to innovate with this vast and relatively untapped resource.

This seminar will begin with an introduction from Professor Nigel Shadbolt who, along with Sir Tim Berners-Lee, serves as the Government's Information Advisor. He will then discuss various initiatives that have been developed alongside the launch of the website, where public sector information and data has been opened up to create ideas, applications and visuals.

Jerry Fishenden will discuss both current and past and experiences within the UK and internationally on the use of public sector data, including the potential benefits of opening up data, obstacles that block this potential, and the principles that are needed to remove these blockages.

Our chair, Guy Ker, is Director of Publishing at Directgov.

Speaker details

  • Nigel Shadbolt is Professor of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Deputy Head (Research) of the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton. He is a Director of the Web Science Trust, and of the Web Foundation - both organisations have a common commitment to advance our understanding of the Web and promote the Web's positive impact on society. Together with Sir Tim Berners-Lee he has recently been appointed an Information Advisor by the Prime Minister to help transform public access to Government information.
  • Jerry Fishenden is a Co-Founder and Director of the Centre for Technology Policy Research and a Visiting Senior Fellow at the London School of Economics. He is also a Non-Executive and Executive Director, and a strategic adviser, for various organisations. 

    His career in some of the UK's most senior IT positions has included working as Microsoft's chief technology policy and strategy advisor; as Head of Business Systems for the chief financial services regulator in the City of London; as an Officer of the House of Commons, where he pioneered the Parliamentary data and video network at the Houses of Parliament, as well as putting Parliament on the World Wide Web; and as a Director of IT in the National Health Service.

    He is a regular contributor to a variety of media, and often appears as a guest and keynote speaker in both the UK and abroad, drawing on his background across both private and public sectors.
  • Guy Ker has been director of publishing for Directgov since January 2009. He is responsible for publishing government information and services across all their digital outlets (the web, mobile and TV) and championing Directgov to government stakeholders. His previous roles include Chief Operating Officer at ITN and Managing Editor of Channel 4 News.