Jimmy Tidey

I'm a PhD candidate at Royal College of Art, with a background in web development and digital product management.

I'm researching ways social media activity inform public policy.

My research has led to the development of localnets.org webapp, which facilitates policy consultation via Twitter.

There have been two case studies using the software:

  • Hounslow (with NESTA and RSA)
  • Peterborough (with UCLAN and RSA)
  • A third with NHS Birmingham is upcoming

My work is grounded conceptually in the idea that the problem of social coordination - matching needs with capabilities, coordinating how resources are created and shared in communities. Both markets and the public sector are attempts to address this problem.

Can the huge quantities of data that societies are now generating (big data) be used to solve the problem of social coordination? In the long run:

  • Will digital information create a new kind of highly tailored local public policy?
  • Might it, in some circumstances, substitute for price information in market economies?
  • What new kinds of organisations and communities are possible?
  • Will democratic inclusion increase or decrease?
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