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Reading the digital revolution

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: GOV.UK

On Monday I gave a talk at Sprint Policy, an event discussing the impact digital technology and digital thinking was having on the world of policymaking.

I mentioned a few books, blog posts and ways of looking at the web that are pretty well known around GDS. It’s the world we work in.

It struck me that not many people in the audience recognised them, so I thought I’d publish the list here. It’s not exhaustive - if you think there’s something important missing then leave a comment below.

The Cluetrain Manifesto - image by Paul Downey
The Cluetrain Manifesto - image by Paul Downey

The Cluetrain Manifesto

Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet by Katie Hafner and Matthew Lyon

Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A Unified Theory of the Web by David Weinberger

The Web We Lost by Anil Dash

Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organising Without Organisations by Clay Shirky

Out of Control, and The Shirky Principle by Kevin Kelly

Motivation, Agency and Public Policy by Julian Le Grand

The Agile Manifesto

The Cathedral and the Bazaar by Eric S. Raymond

Government as a Platform by Tim O’Reilly

Revolution not Evolution by Martha Lane Fox


EDIT 28/5/2014:

A few suggestions came in over twitter after this was published, which I thought I'd add below...

Systems Thinking in the Public Sector by John Seddon

Codev2 by Lawrence Lessig

Being Digital by Nicholas Negroponte

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  1. Comment by simonfj posted on

    Thanks Mike,

    That's a useful one in getting an idea of the background in the UK. That cluetrain one, especially the first 2 theses, hit a nerve. "Making markets" of local/national/global groups vs. National institutions is the main point I've been making to NREN managers for a few years. Pretty hard to introduce/illustrate a GDS culture into geekdom. But you and your teams are having an effect.

    Seems you've even invented a new role. CDO. I'll be expecting the book shortly.

    I started making a long list, until i realized you hadn't put up your presentation. Always a danger until one understands an event's main message/context. So I just mention this one until you do. (including the book)

    Onwards! (if anyone knew which way that was 🙂

  2. Comment by Dave Briggs posted on

    Here's some more recommendations:

    Hackers - Steven Levy
    What the Dormouse Said - John Markoff
    The Soul of a New Machine - Tracy Kidder
    The Virtual Community - Howard Rheingold

  3. Comment by Peter posted on