Mobilise for success

Here are my thoughts on how we can use digital tools and processes to help protect friends and family from COVID 19

  1. Information Get on Twitter and follow people who know what they are talking about in relation to Covid 19. A good starting point would be to check out who I am following. I chose them for other reasons, but they have proved remarkably effective in providing raw data that enables you to…

  2. Make a Plan In Health and Safety terms: Use the data above to carry out a Risk Assessment (RA) for your network/circle/family that you want to protect. This will be very different if you are a young, fit adult living by yourself. compared to a family living in a cramped house with one or more vulnerable people (Check out the raw data on this and make your own decision on who is vulnerable. As long as it is a higher standard than the official advice from NHS app or website).
    From this write up a detailed Method Statement of how you will mitigate that risk and then agree it, monitor it and revise it as new information comes in. Communicate this via a WhatsApp group set up for this purpose

  3. Digital tools Get online. Shopping, (but unless you ordered last week…online slots are now getting sold out 4 weeks in advance). NHS Get the NHS app. It allows you to book appointments. Order prescriptions. Check your symptoms (without having to dial 111) and View your GP medical records… In my opinion it will have significant investment pumped into it and become even more useful. Facebook Marmite for many, but undeniably useful in a local context. Especially the local pages. This one for example listing all the local COVID 19 Mutual Aid groups as well as your general local group/pages. Here is a good example

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This a revised Topic. Comments down to here were for earlier revisions


Andy, I’m with you on 2,3,4. However point 1 smacks of liability for the consequences of life and death decisions. So, whilst I like the idea, and believe we should be ready to help facilitate it, we should be very careful of promoting it in advance.

Thanks Richard for your comment

The key principles here are

  1. Maximum Information = Better Decisions.
  2. Delegate decisions away from the centre to as local level as possible. And by local I mean the Individual. I take responsibility for my life and those closest to me. At the moment, because of the lack of information, I am having to put in place far more stringent measures than otherwise might be the case.

Andy, once again I really can’t disagree, at least with the principle of what you say. I do disagree with the premise that ALL individuals are capable of taking such responsibility, but that’s a philosophical discussion for another day.

My real concern is that we do not need point 1 in order to justify 2,3,4. In fact we don’t even need 2 in order to 3,4.

I suggest we separate the “principle” from the “product”.

Let someone else lockdown the MPs, but offer them each a platform to build their own local network.

We don’t need to provoke this and we don’t even need to wait. There must be proactive MPs already open to such a platform.

Just listened to the first of a daily press briefing from UK PM, CSO and CMO and my initial thoughts following this and also comments from @Dick are that I am not happy with the tone and content of my post.

I was being provocative in my title as it was the title of the email that I sent Dominic Cummings to get him to check out this article…“Click Bait” is a good description!

Is it the right tone and content to help advance the Objectives of the IDD? I think not.

Will close this topic and ponder a revision overnight. Welcome any further comments.

This Topic now Revised. All comments above refer to earlier revisions which can be reviewed by clicking the number next to the Pencil symbol at the top right of the article. The comments above indicate the reason for the revision

From: Andy White

Subject: Doomed to fail

Date: 16 March 2020 at 09:56:00 GMT



Dear Dominic

I am following up on my email of 3 Jan 2020

The reasons for my email title are posted online and a copy of the text is clipped below.

I am ready, willing and capable of helping. Please let me know if I can be of assistance.

Andy White
Founder: Institute for Digital Disruption

Copy of text removed…you can read at the top of the page!

Hi Andy.

We’re entering a very strange period for all of us and the entire country system.

I have to admit to experiencing a sense of foreboding that I haven’t felt before; I’m genuinely scared by the potential impact of this virus - not only to my elderly parents but also all business concerns. The ramifications are going to be long and widely felt.

If this IDD project was born out of a sense of disenfranchisement, all our focuses should be on community and helping where we can. If this scenario doesn’t bring us all together, nothing will.




Short and very much to the point Steve, well put.

We might all be wrong (I still hope this will blow over), but I completely agree with your sentiment and I’m already considering what community service I can volunteer in the highly likely event that I am out of contract at the end of this month.

By the way, my parents are both 90 and both infirm, I share your fears in that regard too.

@andy if you are minded to help build community networks for free, you can count on my involvement also being free. We can monetise this when the crisis is over.

Thanks @Dick, but is non profit making. It will never charge. We all have unique experience of how to work better, faster and more cost effectively… in the cloud.

Creating a Forum where people can come and discuss issues relating to Digital Disruption and hopefully gain some insight which helps them not make the mistakes we have made over the last 20 years :slight_smile:

Fully agree and you can see it happening with the grass root Facebook pages. Local communities online and in the real world coupled with step change improvements in Central Gov information and action… will deal with this threat.

To provide a note of cheer: Just come off a Conference call with UK CIO of one of the biggest banks in the World. The financial stimulus from Nation states to provide liquidity will dampen the blow, but will also provide a foundation for a vigorous recovery in 2nd half of this year I think that optimistic and will be 1st half of next year, but principle correct

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Just to be clear, I wasn’t proposing that we should monetise this concept. Just a throwaway remark in case you thought we should. I’m greatly reassured that you motives were altruistic from the outset.

Let’s make this happen. :slight_smile: .


UKCOVID 19 now moving fast.
Two key bits of information that have caused me to examine how I feel about the tone and content of the article.

From this tweet For Italy read UK. As I wrote elsewhere “Youngsters are culling their elders with an unknowing smile”

And this article: Matt Hancock Health Minister confirming everybody over 70 should stay at home for 4 months I downloaded his NHS app and spent 30 minutes trying to find this advice. Maybe I missed it, but I could not find it…

My conclusion?

Paying attention to any HM Government Minister over Covid 19 is a complete and utter waste of time. They are oxygen thieves…(I do not include “normal” MP’s in this. I believe they can play a really important role in dealing with local issues such they improve the lot of the people that put them in the hot seat!)

Which is why I will revise the article again:
To be entitled Mobilise for success

What is success? It is delaying those vulnerable members of our network from getting Covid 19 until a vaccine is in place and helping them survive, as best as possible, the isolation they must endure.

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From: Andy White

Subject: Re: Doomed to fail…Mobilise for success

Date: 18 March 2020 at 07:00:06 GMT



Dear Dominic

I have modified the article sent to you over the last few days.

The revision can be found here Mobilise for success

Kind regards

Andy White
Founder: Institute for Digital Disruption

Following on from this I have created a Group for my local Constituency and also a new Category. I will invite my local MP Bernard Jenkin to join this group. I envisage that this workplaceinthecloud could be helpful to the admins of local FB pages and groups to meet and discuss best practice.

Here on Mersea a few of us local businesses have set up a help line for the vulnerable, we’re utilising Whatssapp groups and Skype to save meeting in person… hardest part in helping the elderly is the lack of tech they have.

I’m struggling to see how many small businesses will get through this, those that don’t have rated premises, freelancers, small trades etc. Have had no help announced and are suffering now.

Many thanks @Mal.Greenleaf for the post and well done for getting stuck in. I am reminded of you doing that in the early days of CTruk. Good timing… as this morning I set up the @Harwich group (which is my constituency) to help local people to Mobilise for Success
You will see that I have invited Sir Bernard Jenkin to join. I am sure he is really busy, but I am also sure he will have a look at some time. I found him really helpful when he opened the Cwind offices.

Can I therefore suggest you expand on this post, but in the Harwich and North Essex category. I think the key is how will the promise made by the PM and Chancellor that they will do whatever it takes translate into real action. Hopefully Sir Bernard can help clarify the latest situation

It is the perfect storm at the moment. We are worried about our family, especially those in the 70+ range and those with preexisting conditions and some of us also faced with commercial ruin as customers stay away. Having a response from our local MP which answers as best he can… will help immensely. You can then link that response into the Face Book pages covering your area. One answer to many

On a detailed point. We set out to 3 years ago with the line in the sand to never have an office (You may recall in early days of Ctruk our office was the Cloud…this is the modern version of that:-) We quickly stopped using Skype and moved to and never looked back
I am hosting a daily zoom in my room from 0900 to 1000 every day 7 days a week. Please feel free to drop in for as long or as little as you like and at any time in that period to check out the tool.

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Hi @Mal.Greenleaf
I have changed my mind…I know… a rare occurrence…I hear you say
I have removed all the categories and we will use the group message function for the Harwich and North Essex group to communicate with each other.

Message to John Benger. Clerk House of Commons

Subject Virtual House of Parliament

Dear Mr Benger

I note the Guardian report today that you are investigating setting up a Virtual Parliament.

I wrote to the House of Commons enquiry service on 11th March offering our help.

The Institute for Digital Disruption is a non profit organisation whose objective is to share information about how modern digital tools and processes may disrupt the conventional.

The Institute of Digital Disruption (IDD) is running on open source software which is capable of being scaled very quickly (within 24 hours) to allow a Virtual House of Parliament to be created complete with House of Commons, House of Lords. Central Lobby, Committee rooms and other Virtual areas to replicate the current structure.

Can I suggest that the next step would be to establish contact with members of your team, using the system and explore how this might be accomplished.

Kind regards

Andy White

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Reply in from John Benger

Andy thank you for that offer. Our digital team is working on a number of fronts. It is probably worth noting that Parliament itself has to formally change its rules - which it can only do when it is sitting - to allow a shift to virtual. It did this just before the rise of the House in respect of select committees which is why we have had three virtual committees already. I will pass on your details to our digital team but I am confident they will be able to produce solutions. Thank you any way for the kind offer. best wishes John

  • Andy White sent the following message at 11:47 AM

Andy White 11:47 AM

Many thanks for the quick response John. Much appreciated as I suspect you are somewhat busy! As an exercise I have set myself the challenge of creating a Virtual House of Parliament within the next 24 hours (I started at 0807 this morning so 20 hours to run) You can watch it develop here …At the very least it may provide some thoughts that will be helpful to your digital team.

With kind regards
Andy White

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Not an unexpected answer. As far as the big picture is concerned it’s reassuring that they have this in hand but also, I suggest, rather encouraging that John Benger actually took the trouble to reply.

Well done for trying Andy and I think it’s still very worthwhile having a reserve solution in hand against the possibility that the official effort stumbles.

This brings me nicely to the point that poor signal quality prevented me from mentioning this morning.

If we were to try to identify a single defining difference between Teams and Workplace In The Cloud, it is that Teams is introverted and our alternative is extraverted.

Teams facilitates communications between remote workers inside a business and they can invite external contacts to conference calls, etc, but they remain external unless they too have Teams and the two instances are “affiliated”.

Workplace In the Cloud participants are all “inside”, it does much of what Teams does, but without a corporate boundary.

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