New media innovation exchange, anyone?

I've been looking through the nominations for the New Statesman New Media Awards**, and I'm blown away by the range of interesting online initiatives there, ranging from the governmental to the small group and individual.

The Open Innovation Exchange has been nominated, and of course we are all hopeful that we'll get recognition for the open process we used to bid for the Cabinet Office contract, even though we failed. (No official news of the winner, though I did hear unconfirmed rumblings that the lead within the third sector may be ACEVO rather than NCVO).

The aim of the awards is to "celebrate UK new media projects that benefit society, government or democracy," and this year the categories are Contribution to civic society; Modernising government; Elected representative; Education Information and openness; Advocacy; Young Innovator. You can see last year's winners here.

I know some of those nominated - but not about many others, even though I try and scan the field and write about it here. It strikes me that awards are great for flushing out interesting initiatives, and rewarding them after they have achieved something. However, awards aren't generally designed to encourage start-ups, or help them learn from more experienced initiatives. To do that we would need .... ummm ... an innovation exchange!

The main Third Sector Innovation Exchange, once established, will no doubt provide an excellent service across the major activities of nonprofits in the UK. However, I believe that the sector could do with a special boost in it's use of new media, where in my experience there is a big gap between the type of innovations featured in the New Statesman Awards and many of the rest. Maybe a New Media Innovation Exchange could help make some links between the various European and UK initiatives now emerging, and open up learning to a wider audience.

How would we get that going? Why, run an open process of invention, of course. Anyone interested, please drop a comment below.

** I'm on the awards judging panel, but not for the Modernising government section where the Open Innovation Exchange has been nominated.

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Willing to help


 Count me in




This is definitely worth exploration. I'd be interested in joining the conversation and inventing..

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