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Can big data make a big impact in disease control?

Lab Notes - October edition

The October edition of Lab Notes brings together inspiring blogs, articles and podcasts for public sector and social innovators around the world, including insights into big data's potential impact in public health and disaster mangement, lessons on building inclusive cities, and more...

This month's key lab picks

1. Can big data support the fight against global disease? This UNICEF blog highlights how international organisations are already using big data to respond to outbreaks faster in Haiti and West Africa.

2. On 17th-18th October, the European Commission will host Lab Connections, an event for policy labs to share experiences and design joint actions relevant to particular EU policy challenges. Read about the event and explore a map of policy labs across Europe.

3. An interdisciplinary team of researchers and governmental organisations in the UK and Brazil is exploring how crowdsourced and real-time environmental data can help cities better predict and monitor floods and landslides.

4. The Danish Design Centre (DDC) is looking to launch programme to promote the use of design methods by 1000 SMEs in 1000 days. If you have evidence or experience of similar efforts to use design competencies for innovation in the private sector contact CEO Christian Bason.

5. How did a civic tech group in South Korea use digital tools to modernise the ancient parliamentary tactic of the filibuster? More from this Nesta blog.

6. Check out Track Changes, a new monthly podcast from an interdepartmental team of public servants in Canada. The first episode explores how the changing nature of government partnerships has led to better outcomes in public health.

7. Design theory and practice: a recent journal edition from The New School focuses on labs and design-led public sector innovation; while the South Australian Government has packaged up its user centred design toolkit.

8. This SSIR article argues that more interactive urban landscapes might be one way to improve educational attainment among children in low-income families.

9. CityLab describes how bringing washing machines into schools in St. Louis radically boosted attendance and motivation in the classroom.

10. Participatory City has developed an illustrated guide on how everyday acts at a local level can help build communities and address social problems.

11. The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology has founded a new athletic competition taking place this month – the Cybathlon – to boost innovation in the development of assistive technologies for disabled people.

12. Here are some lessons from a ten-day workshop in Lagos, Nigeria, bringing together creative professionals to design playful interventions for a more inclusive city


Sophie Reynolds

Sophie Reynolds

Sophie Reynolds

Former Senior Researcher - Public and Social Innovation

Sophie was a Senior Researcher in Nesta’s Policy and Research unit. She is now Director of Sophie Reynolds Research & Consultancy.

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Theo Bass

Theo Bass

Theo Bass

Senior Researcher, Government Innovation

Theo was a Senior Researcher in Nesta's Research, Analysis and Policy Team

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