With three new Non-Executive positions and book to co-author with my Public Digital partners, I will be leaving my position as Chief Digital Officer with the Co-operative Group later this summer. It’s been a brilliant two years with a fantastic organisation. As I said when I joined, my focus was to create a Co-op fit for the digital age, based on an open, agile culture and excellent digital services. I had intended initially to only work three days a week for the Co-op but found myself so engaged with the organisation, I had less time than I would have liked to continue my Non-Executive work.
But as I said when I left the Government Digital Service, I wanted to continue to help other government colleagues globally. In addition to Public Digital work with government and conglomerates in Peru, Canada and Uruguay and several other countries, I’m delighted to be named as a Visiting Professor at the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at University College London by Mariana Mazzucato. It is vital that we have multidisciplinary teams working to develop our public sphere, and I’m humbled that I’ll be working with Mariana and her team of advisors including Dan Hill and Carlota Perez.
I have also agreed to become an Advisor to the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Centre for Public Impact, two institutions which do a great deal to improve public outcomes. I hope to find more time to be part of the Independent Review Group at Google Deepmind.
With a forthcoming Public Digital book, ‘Redesigning Digital Public Services: The Strategy is Delivery’ (London Publishing partnership) due for early 2018, and many international speaking engagements coming up, I’ve made the decision to make good on that initial commitment.
I leave the Co-op digital strategy in the capable hands of the Co-op Digital Team who have worked incredibly hard over the past two years. Almost a year ago we relaunched our membership platform and, as of today, have hundreds of thousands of new members, and over 4.5 million active members. Those members have given more than £9 million to support local causes. That’s part of what makes the Co-op such an amazing place to work – their emphasis on the local community and always giving back.
In addition to membership, the team has launched a variety of new products and platforms including Wills, Funeralcare, Food and our central domains. I look forward to watching from afar the progress of the Co-op Digital strategy and its flagship initiatives such as The Federation where we are supporting an open community of digital businesses and innovators in the heart of Manchester.
I am very proud of The Co-op and Co-op Digital in particular, and am grateful for the support the team has received through the rebuild period. I hope to see the organisation prosper in the digital economy, as the team is now in place to make good on that promise. I wish the Board, Executive and colleagues all the best. We need a vibrant Co-op to work for our communities and I am sure the organisation is well set for success.