Doteveryone is a new charity aiming to retool Britain for the networked age, building public value startup style. Doteveryone’s work with the NHS aims to improve care for older people in the final phases of life by demonstrating what’s possible with new technologies, targeting the furthest first—the most socially and digitally excluded. Laura James shares experiences and lessons learned navigating complicated organizations and IT systems, people and ethics, and standards and prototyping.
During the first project Doteveryone’s Products and Services team tackled, the team had to learn rapidly about many things—a complex ecosystem of organizations, sector terminology and culture, innovators and legacies, and standards and infrastructure—all while exploring the technology landscape and pursuing user research and design. Laura discusses how the team is going about the project and what it has figured out so far about systems change, digital transformation, and working in a politicized and ethically challenging area. Along the way, Laura explains how a team of digital innovators can help a truly diverse range of people think differently about technology and build a realistic shared vision of a future with better infrastructure, better services, and more openness.
Laura James is an engineer with varied experience in innovative organizations and sectors, focused on enabling new technologies to help people and society. Laura is currently technical director at Doteveryone, where she demonstrates how digital technologies can create public value in healthcare and beyond. Laura is also a cofounder of Field Ready, an NGO transforming humanitarian aid through distributed digital manufacturing, and an advisor to Weir PLC, Good Night Lamp, Polysolar, and the ContentMine. Previously, she cofounded Makespace, a community workshop and inventing shed in Cambridge, and was CEO of Open Knowledge, a global nonprofit network unlocking knowledge to empower people. Laura has worked at startups including AlertMe.com, a connected home system, where she was the first employee and VP of engineering, and Evi.com, where she built an AI platform for search. Laura has also worked in R&D at AT&T Labs in the US and UK and as chief operating officer at CARET, a dynamic innovation department at the University of Cambridge developing open source systems to support teaching and research. Laura holds a master’s and PhD degree in engineering from the University of Cambridge, received the Royal Academy of Engineering leadership award and a NESTA Crucible fellowship, and is a chartered engineer.
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