10 reflections on #NHSCitizen from @anthonyzach

In no particular order…

  1. I should be less of an adrenaline junkie. There was a moment on the first day where I worried that the energy in the room was too low, but in fact people were just focused and working hard on the task that we have given them. Sometimes it’s not all about buzz, it’s about productive, quiet collaboration.
  2. The richness of the conversation on Gather was a pleasant surprise. I knew there was a lot to get into, but I was pleased at our readiness to get into detail and practicalities. It convinced me that there is an audience for quite detailed co-design on democratic processes like this.
  3. Next time, proper wifi. That means, not just venues that have Wi-Fi but venues that have Wi-Fi that can handle multiple connections on high bandwidth. This will be particularly important next time, as we need to move away from thinking into testing.
  4. It was a success for our setting up NHS citizen as an experiment that the assembly test was instantly picked apart as a learning experience, rather than (as it might have been at many conferences) sullenly endured and complained about over coffee.
  5. The concrete is starting to set.  Nothing is unchangeable, but I think we have had enough talk about the broader concept and structure, and now need to see how it works in practice. This also means, I suspect, that iterations of the vision need to be smaller but more frequent.
  6. I think we have cracked something with the definition of accountability, in particular the role of NHS citizen being fundamentally about citizenship rather than about consumers and patients, even though there is a lot of overlap.
  7. can speak slowly and without using wonkish terminology for 10 minutes, if I really concentrate on it.
  8. I really enjoy rewriting the vision overnight, it’s a great way to focus the learning of the day, and feel like we have already made progress by the time we have breakfast the next morning.
  9. The next event will need to be structured differently, we’ll need to think about evenings and multiple sessions so that we are able to test all sorts of different things rather than have another conceptual conversation. It will also require provision of some tech hardware for people to test things on.
  10. It’s still most exciting project I’m working on.

Published by Anthony Zacharzewski

Anthony Zacharzewski was one of the founders of Demsoc in 2006. Before starting work for Demsoc in 2010, he was a Whitehall civil servant and a local government officer.

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