By Richard Copland.

The views contained in this blog and all of my blogs are very much my own. For those in the UK it can’t have escaped anyone’s attention that we have a forth coming election on the horizon. My polling card arrived in my mailbox and it got me thinking how old fashioned the process of elections is.  I recently attended Nesta’s showcase event Future Fest. At this year’s event you could make a case for Edward Snowden to be the headliner with his session on the challenges and implications of his experiences.

Crowdsourcing democracy

One of the main themes of the event was future democracy and through a range of talks and presentations we explored the rise of new parties. The majority are pretty traditional in their methods, but one or two are radically reinventing how parties should work.  Could we have an internet led and based political party in the UK. This idea isn’t new as these Open network parties are appearing across Europe with parties such as Five Star and various Pirate Parties. Further afield Democracy OS in Argentina has designed an impressive way for people to propose ideas and shape them online. When you describe it like that you could find yourself using an Innovation Management System such as Wazoku’s idea spotlight.

Signals and noises

At one of the sessions we heard from Matthew Falla, co-founder of Signal Noise who are mapping our digital cities with data and it reminded me of Nate Silver, American statistician and writer, and his stellar performance in 2008.  He’s known for his successful baseball analysis, think pre Opta and the world of data based training, and his work on elections. He is currently the lead editor of the FiveThirtyEight blog.

For the November 2008 presidential election predictions he correctly predicted the winner of 49 of the 50 states. He also correctly predicted the winner of all 35 U.S. Senate races that year. So some reasonable credentials and bring this closer to home.  I recently say the picture below:


When you get behind the numbers makes for a very interesting race and if this picture turns out to be right, they’ll be changes on the horizon.

For those who want to find out more checkout the blog and Silver’s book, The Signal and the Noise, was published in September 2012, not the most riveting read but if you are interested in the power of data definitely worthwhile. I’m sure they’ll be all manner of analysts out there taking note.