Category: News & thinking (Page 1 of 80)

We’re hiring! Systems Developer/SRE

Hello, we’re looking for an experienced systems developer or SRE to join us in central Bristol, UK. We’re a small company but we build software that makes a difference worldwide. Delib’s products are used to connect citizens with government; our flagship product, Citizen Space, is used by over 100 government organisations around the world. Have a look at our Citizen Space Aggregator to see thousands of issues on which our customers are currently consulting the public.

Currently Delib’s engineering group consists of four generalist developers (some say “full-stack”; we find that a bit buzzwordy) and one test engineer. At the moment we spend a lot of time working on devops/systems things when we should be shipping features for our customers. We need an engineer who can own the underlying systems stuff and find technical solutions to eliminate toil across the company.

In this job, your main responsibilities will include:

  • Developing and maintaining internal tools such as production dashboards and backup systems.
  • Working with off-the-shelf tools for building, testing and deploying our apps, such as Ansible configuration management and Jenkins CI test environment.
  • Maintaining and monitoring our staging and production fleet of around 200 (and growing) Linux VMs located around the world. For the avoidance of doubt, you won’t be responsible for looking after office IT, printers etc.
  • Sourcing and looking after vendor-supplied services e.g. VM hosting, monitoring, DNS, email delivery.
  • In general, if a task is too boring – find a way to automate it away.

You’ll get a fair amount of autonomy in your job, but we don’t want someone who will lock themselves in the basement and engineer everything in isolation.  The other developers will have to use, and sometimes maintain, the systems you’re responsible for, so it’ll all need to be version controlled, documented, and generally friendly for other people to work with. Where appropriate, we’d prefer you to use Python for developing internal tools, as that’s what we use to develop our products.

Typically we work well with people who’ve got a Computer Science degree and have been coding since at least their early teens. YMMV.  We prefer people who can communicate with humans as well as computers.

Speaking of which… all developers take rotating shifts as Developer on Support. For two weeks approximately every two months you’ll team up with an account manager to help our customers with their questions and problems. This means that, although you won’t be developing our products, you’ll need to know your way around them and generally know how to Internet.

Unfortunately being on support does also mean being on call. But calls/texts outside office hours are infrequent and if you do get called you get paid for it. Oh and don’t panic – you don’t get calls directly from customers.

You’ll be joining a group of developers who like going for lunches and drinking together – our city-centre office is super-convenient for nice lunch places and pubs.  We have grown-up things like Aeron chairs (or sofas to work on if that’s more your style), and you’ll get a decent Macbook Pro, or an equivalent Linux laptop if you prefer.

Hours and Salary

Full-time Monday-Friday is preferred for this role, but part-time Monday-Thursday is also possible. Currently all Delib’s engineers are part-time, with the option for scale-up days each month. We find that this arrangement suits our work/life/childcare/hangover requirements perfectly.

We’re offering £40k-£50k pro-rata depending on experience.

Closing date 1st October 2018

Contact Details

Sound interesting? Send us a covering letter and your CV to lorna@teamrubber.com.

We don’t place too much faith in CVs, the covering letter is really what we look at. If we like the look of yours we’ll get you in for a standard hiring interview.

We follow the HMG Baseline Personnel Security Standard and you will therefore need to satisfy basic eligibility criteria/certain conditions of employment (e.g. nationality rules/right to work); and provide appropriate documentation to verify ID, nationality, employment and/or academic history, criminal record (unspent convictions only).

No applications will be accepted via recruitment companies.

Cheers,

Andy (Director) and Jess (Developer)

 

Introducing our newest consultant: Joel Allen

As Delib continues to grow, we’re delighted to welcome new people to the team. Our newest recruit is Joel, joining our UK office after a stint of travelling the world. We caught up with him in his first week about all those important topics: music, biscuits and his desert island picks.

1. What’s your name and where are you from?

My name is Joel Allen and I am from the world famous (for mainly all the wrong reasons) city of Salisbury! Having moved to Bristol for university and subsequently discovering it to be the greatest city on the planet, I have since resided here for the best part of 10 years.

2. Favourite band and/or artist?

Sorry but there is no way of keeping this short and sweet. When it comes to music I have an incredibly varied palate and enjoy, or at least appreciate, music from all corners of the globe. My personal favourites range from childhood classics including; Michael Jackson and Bob Marley (inspired by my Dad) and Lighthouse Family (inspired by my Mum), right through to punk rock superstars such as Blink 182, Less than Jake and King Prawn! Since my late teens I have always had a love for drum and bass, but in recent years I’ve discovered a fondness for bands  (albeit sometimes of the one-man kind) and like to listen to Bastille, Coldplay and James Bay. My latest and greatest discovery though was picked up on my travels and I love listening to Latin American chart music; namely Reggaeton with artists including: Daddy Yankee, MC Kevinho and MC Fioti! Basically music makes me very happy and if you put some on I will be sure to lend an eager ear.

3. Creature of habit or maverick thinker?

I am a man who likes routine. Planning, mapping out tasks and events, and keeping things neat and tidy both mentally and in the physical world provide me with an unusual amount of satisfaction. That said, I do get a total buzz from doing the odd spontaneous activity and this is certainly true whenever I’m abroad as I find this is the best way to discover the hidden gems and ‘off the beaten path’ wonders of the world.

4. You (and, for the sake of keeping it interesting, any spouses/partners/kids/significant others) get mysteriously transported to a desert island, with only time to grab a couple of precious things to take with you. What makes the ‘keep’ list?

Firstly this sounds incredible. It is so frustratingly difficult to find an undiscovered slice of paradise in this day and age so if the opportunity arises, count me in. However in the interest of answering this relatively important and fairly serious question, and without wanting to rattle on, I will keep this to three items. Firstly pop me in a bag of fine ground organic Peruvian coffee with all the necessary paraphernalia to make the perfect brew. Also maybe some UHT milk so I can really enjoy this to the max. Second I would choose to take ‘Spotify’ in some usable capacity so I could listen to my favourite tunes and nostalgically reminisce about the home I used to have. Finally I would take with me a bottle of fine Caribbean rum; probably Wray & Nephews, as after all you can’t have Desert Island life without rum!

5. Biscuits – dunk or leave unsullied?

Dunk. All day long. I like my biscuits like I like my cereal – soft & soggy. Most satisfyingly a chocolate hobnob or a Fox’s golden crunch cream.

6. Before joining Delib, how did you put bread on the table?

My ‘adult’ life started part way through third year of university where I realised it was about time I took things at least a little seriously. Graduating with a 2:1 and after a year working in customer retention for a home insurance provider, I landed myself on a grad scheme for a leading vehicle rental company. This is where I spent the best part of the last six years bouncing from promotion to promotion, finally ending up as a regional real estate & facilities manager. After a successful and fortunate career I took a break to see the world and have spent the past five months travelling SE Asia & South America before returning to the UK and jumping back in to the thick of it.

7. Why did you want to join Delib?

Delib offers me the chance to work in an extraordinarily interesting, relevant and challenging sector, working on topics that genuinely matter. Taking time out of the workplace allowed me to evaluate what I wanted from my career and where my values lie, and I feel working for a company such as Delib provides me with the platform to really make a difference. The company, its ethos and its people drew me in, and I am excited to see what awaits me down the road.

8. Any shout outs, comments or other musings?

Big shout out to Jayne, Lorna and Kim for managing such a pleasant and seamless recruitment process. Also, a massive thanks to the office gang for welcoming me into the fold. Thanks also to Ben F for feeding me small insights into the company over the years we have been acquainted as this led me to the fantastically well worded and inspiring job ad that ultimately convinced me to apply. 

Thanks for the comprehensive answers Joel! As ever, we’ll be bringing Joel up to speed with lots of training and hopefully some events over the next few weeks. If you’d like to hear more about Joel’s travels or how he’s settling in, give him a shout on Twitter.

Dialogue: now available in v3!

We’re happy to introduce Dialogue v3! We’ve made this major update to help governments continue interacting with the public with openness and transparency.

We built Dialogue because we want government to have an easy way of getting input from citizens on policy challenges. With v3, the tool that is used so well already by various organisations in idea generation and public participation gets a whole lot better. All of the changes we’ve made have been done to make it easier for communities to get involved with issues that matter to them. The aim is to open up conversations and keep discussion flowing, while making them more interactive and constructive.

Dialogue allows you to tailor conversations to suitable audiences as required: it gives you the flexibility to run public, transparent discussion, open to anyone with an interest to engage in, as well as challenges aimed at specific groups. For example, when the Isle of Man wanted to engage islanders in their budget decisions, they chose Dialogue and received more than 1,300 responses, a brilliant response for public involvement. Or, when HM Courts & Tribunals Service wanted to give employees a voice in how the organisation is run, they set up a closed challenge for their staff to suggest ideas and improvements which proved to be a great success in shaping the culture and working environment.

Efficiency built in

We’ve focused on updating the admin side of Dialogue because that is where public servants need efficiency. By simplifying the process, and introducing easier workflows for challenge creation and moderation, we want to save government time to allow more capacity for running successful challenges and ultimately engaging more people in the decision-making process.

Notifying participants

The existing notifications feature helps to keep conversations going and expand participation while some great improvements to the admin area make it easier than ever for anyone to set up and run successful challenges.

A much-improved admin dashboard

A new user-friendly dashboard makes creating, moderating and reporting on challenges easier. It shows everything in one place and guides you through each process with step-by-step progress as you go. With more than 10,000 admin users already using a similar dashboard in Citizen Space, we know it’s a dashboard that works. 

Better reporting

Automatic summary reports are easy to generate and can be edited, helping you to close the feedback loop and provide outcomes on challenges. Reports are attractive and straightforward, in a format that anyone can understand, giving top-line stats at a glance, as well as more in-depth details for analysis if required. The importance of providing feedback on engagement exercises is well-known and with v3 it is quicker and easier than ever before. 

The need for constructive discussion is real; community-level conversation with people who are affected by decision-making is vital to make people feel involved in the democratic process. We’ve made this significant upgrade to Dialogue to provide a simple, moderated way of doing this that complies with GDPR and other privacy policies around the world. Dialogue v3 allows organisations to be public and transparent with early engagement exercises, all the while ensuring ease-of-access for all. 

If you’d like to learn more about Dialogue, get in touch and we’ll be happy to walk you through it.

OneTeamGov goes Global

Following the successes of their smaller, localised events (like the one we went to in Edinburgh last year), the good folks at OneTeamGov have been working away for months to produce their first global unconference. It all came together and on July 16th some of the Delib team headed to London to get stuck in.

Ludwig and Louise were volunteering, meaning they spent their day greeting attendees, helping with sessions and giving out many high-fives. With our Australian colleague Katharine in the country visiting the UK office and our newest recruit Chris having only just started with the company, it only made sense to send them along too, to get their first taste of an unconference. Between the four of them, Delib were representing Germany, the UK, Australia and America and were ready to meet other attendees from around the world.

Chris and Katharine enjoyed the day and reported back on it:

It was our first unconference experience and with over 700 people attending it was an amazing opportunity to meet with representatives from government departments from around the world including Canada, Estonia, USA, Sweden, New Zealand and the UK.

On first arrival, we were hesitant of the structure and organization of the day; how the heck were they going to manage 700 people all day without a fixed agenda? We quickly saw the magic of OneTeamGov and the unconference structure as the room filled with some of the brightest and most eager minds in government and civic tech. A session grid swiftly formed outlining nearly 75 topics structured over 4 sessions. Topics ranged from ‘What is the real potential for AI & Data science & data to change public services?’ to ‘Open All Data’. There were even some recharge sessions involving knitting and yoga.

One of the questions posed and discussed was ‘How to really integrate citizen voices into policy making’: this session was quite interactive, mapping out of the steps that required consideration. The discussion also explored the notion that the popular vote is not always the best choice for a community and we noted that public opinion should be taken as valuable insight but decisions still needed to be made by the publicly elected officials.

It was interesting to discuss the perception of feedback from citizens who felt that their comments could adversely affect their personal outcomes from a government agency – for example, applying for a visa and then asking about someone’s experience on the process meant that a lot false positives are received.

[session notes here]

Another memorable (and topical) session was ‘How can we radically raise trust in public institutions (in a completely new way)?’. Here, we laid out what we thought the indicators to measure trust in government are, including competency, communication and compassion (emotional or logical). The issue of feedback and conversation was a key indicator, as we discussed the need for governments to ‘close the loop’ with citizens and to not allow civic participation to fall on deaf ears. Citizen Space’s robust response publishing and ‘We Asked, You Said, We Did” tools made an appearance in the conversation at this point! Grass-root government at a local level was seen as a popular approach to raise trust, as well as personalised government service delivery and direct contact with people to build relationships. 

[session notes here]

Overall, it was an exciting and stimulating day. We look forward to attending more OneTeamGov events in the future. 

Thanks Chris and Katharine, sounds like a busy and informative day! As ever, we can’t wait for what OneTeamGov have got up their sleeves next. If you fancy chatting to us more about the day, or anything else, get in touch.

Introducing our newest Account Manager: Chris Neil

As our customer base continues to grow, so does the need for us to take on more awesome people. The newest member of the team is Chris, joining our UK office all the way from sunny California as an Account Manager. We caught up with him in his first week on all the important things: civic tech, bands and biscuits.

1. What’s your name and where are you from?

My name is Chris Neil. I was born in Orange County, California and lived in Southern California on and off my entire life. I spent the last 4 years in Los Angeles but recently relocated to Bristol in March to live with my wife, a lifelong Bristolian.

2. Favourite band and/or artist?

My all-time favourite band is Bright Eyes. I think they are the only artist I have consistently listened to weekly for over a decade. Other favourites include The Smiths, Radiohead and Elliott Smith. If its slow and sad, I usually like it.

3. Creature of habit or maverick thinker?

A little of both I’d have to say. I am a creature of habit when it comes to structure and routine in day-to-day life; I love the process of hand writing lists and cathartically crossing out items. But I have been known to shake things up quite frequently and have always been hesitant to conform to societal norms and expectations.

4. You (and, for the sake of keeping it interesting, any spouses/partners/kids/significant others) get mysteriously transported to a desert island, with only time to grab a couple of precious things to take with you. What makes the ‘keep’ list?

I would definitely have to grab a surfboard in hope that there are waves on this hypothetical island. Also, lots of books to read while the waves are flat. Though if I had to only pick one book, I’d have to choose Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac; I think I could re-read that continuously for the rest of my life.

5. Biscuits – dunk or leave unsullied?

Usually leave unsullied but I have recently been introduced to the concept of biting off both ends of a Kit Kat Chunky and using it to suck up tea or coffee. It gets caught in the middle melting the chocolate making in warm and gooey.

6. Before joining Delib, how did you put bread on the table?

My last position was with a community engagement and relations agency called Consensus as an account manager, specializing in land use and transport projects and policy in the greater Los Angeles region. A few clients included WeWork, Westfield and the City of Los Angeles. Prior to this, I was introduced to the world of civic tech as an intern turned digital specialist at NationBuilder, one of the first community organizing software companies.

7. Why did you want to join Delib?

I have always been interested in the world of civic tech and have been following Delib’s work ever since I knew Bristol was a potential new home for me. I have worked in and with government for most of my professional life and have experienced first-hand the slowness and sometimes disconnecting nature between government and those who are governed. I believe it is crucial to give citizens the knowledge and power to shape the community they live in and believe Delib is doing a massive part to achieve this aim.

8. Any shout outs, comments or other musings?

 A big shout out to the team for being so welcoming and nice. Also, a huge shout out to Bristol as a whole for being an awesome place to land after my relocation across the pond.

It’s great to have Chris on board and we’ll be throwing him in at the deep end with various events, company away days and training opportunities in his first few weeks! If you’d like to chat more about Chris’s interesting use of a KitKat Chunky as a tea straw or perhaps about civic tech and democracy, you can always catch him on Twitter.

Participation with Impact: The Practical Democracy Project #5 in Bristol

On Friday 29th June, the Practical Democracy Project came home to Delib’s HQ city of Bristol, UK. With previous events having taken place in London, Edinburgh and Manchester, and a recent one in Wellington, New Zealand, it’s safe to say the Practical Democracy Project is going global, and this is just the beginning; the movement is growing and we plan to keep this momentum going.

With each event that happens, we’re aiming to get people together from the worlds of civic society, tech and government to discuss practical ways of improving democracy, opening up honest discussions and mapping out how to create a better democratic experience for everyone.

Keeping up with the locals

As the event was close to home this time, we got in touch with our friends at Bristol City Council and managed to secure some of Mayor Marvin Rees’ time to open up the day. The Mayor talked about his background and how he got into politics, stating that ‘the world is run by people who turn up’ and that activism can’t just be for the pursuit of social media likes and retweets but must work towards proactive and positive change.

We also heard from Jon Toy, the council’s Consultation and Engagement Manager, who talked about the challenges they have been facing in coming up with their new consultation and engagement strategy. Jon highlighted the issues around response rates, representation, accessibility and consultation fatigue and the team is working to address these. They are asking people to give views on how improvements can be made to these areas.

‘Bristol’s next big boyband’: a panel discussion

After Jon and the Mayor, we opened the dialogue up to the floor with a panel discussion, including Tim Borrett, the council’s Acting Director of Policy, Strategy and ICT. People were able to ask questions and Tim, Jon and the Mayor gave open and honest answers, giving an opportunity for real conversation that both parties may not usually have. Breaking down barriers between citizens and local government in this way can help to foster genuine discussion and can lead to real change and is ultimately what we designed the Practical Democracy Project to be.

A question from the floor about making consultation and its data accessible to people allowed the Mayor to speak about Bristol City Council’s budget consultation. They asked people to tell them what they were prepared to deprioritise, a task that the Mayor believes is a ‘test of a genuine activist’: when people are able to think not just about what they want from a budget, but about what they’re willing to give up in order to focus on their priorities. If children’s mental health is important to you, are you willing to take away from adult’s mental health, green space or buses to give more money to it? It’s a balancing act, and getting the public involved in these decisions informs the process and gives citizens an understanding of just how difficult budget setting can be.

We also thought about the role of elected officials in the democratic process, with Jon, Tim and the Mayor all agreeing on the importance of getting out there, engaging with citizens and being involved, not just being held accountable. They made the case that there are a wealth of democratic organisations in Bristol as well as the council; it is ‘easy activism’ to talk about the council and what they’re doing or not doing, but there needs to be conversation around the NHS, universities and police service too, to ensure everyone is working from the same page. They argued that mature democratic conversation is what Bristol needs, not just disdain for politicians and activism for activism’s sake.

A few people from the audience commented on what could be perceived as an ‘us and them’ approach where politics are concerned and there was general consensus that councillors are also citizens and that frontline engagement with the public and working together to inform consultation is the best way of avoiding silos.

Panel discussion captured by @LemonGazelle (thanks!)

The panel discussion ended with a question from a member of UK Youth Parliament in Bristol, who asked about the council’s plans to engage more young people to get involved with politics and consultation. The Mayor spoke again of the budget consultation where they went into Bristol College with their Budget Simulator on a tablet and got students to complete it, getting them talking and thinking about the decisions that go into a council’s budget, an enlightening experience for teenagers who might never have previously thought about local politics. Tim agreed on the importance of this, stating that while the panel may have looked like ‘Bristol’s oldest boyband’, they also needed to think of ways other than simply ‘putting things on social media’ to really reach the young people who aren’t currently ‘turning up’ to let their voice be heard in political matters. They spoke of how vital it is that youth parliament and youth mayors come along to events to be the voice of the next generation and to represent those who perhaps can’t get involved for one reason or another. Tim suggested that the discussion with young people should always be framed as ‘here is a problem, here are some solutions we think might work, but tell us what you think and lets work together on it’.

Finding Legitimacy with Nadine Smith

Next up was Nadine Smith from the Centre for Public Impact (CPI) who was speaking about their Finding Legitimacy project. Having started her career in Bristol, Nadine was happy to be back and believed it to be a city of great potential with a promising approach to consultation and engagement.

The CPI firmly believe that legitimacy in politics matters and that the relationship between citizens and governments is fundamental to achieving success. People can feel that government is just something that is being done to them, not with them and finding empathy and authenticity in government can be difficult.

Through the Finding Legitimacy project, Nadine and the CPI have been going to different cities and countries to speak with people about how they are feeling about their relationship with politics and government. People seem to agree that with the buzz around politics, and improved digital capabilities, feeling involved and closer to government should be easier, but wonder if it really is, or if there is perhaps a missing connection somewhere.

CPI came to Bristol to interview Bristolians at 8pm on a sunny Monday evening in a ‘stuffy room full of unstuffy people’ with no air-con and people turned up to make sure their views were heard and to share their stories. People want to be engaged but sometimes struggle to know how they can get there. Nadine believes that consultation and government should be brought to the people, and that citizens shouldn’t always be expected to seek it out. Perhaps, she suggested, there needs to be more middle ground and more grassroots action to make sure that the public and government can work effectively together, to ensure citizens feel like more than just a number.

Thanks to Nic Price (@nicprice) for this photo

After some tea, coffee and cake, it was time for our very own Commercial Director, Ben Fowkes to give a brief history of what Delib does and how it came about with a chance for the audience to both learn more about us and also ask questions about our work: 

Then it was time for the final speaker of the day.

Nicky Saunter on the power of the story

Nicky heads up Transform, an organisation working internationally to bring about the legal regulation of drugs. Based in Bristol, Nicky is positive that a lot can happen in the city which has great diversity and engagement and is ‘far away enough from London’ to be autonomous and its ‘own city’.

Transform argue that billions of pounds are wasted annually fighting the ‘war on drugs’, with drugs deaths at record numbers and drugs gangs more violent – so they’re campaigning for ways that drugs policies could and should change. Nicky compared drugs deaths with car accidents, arguing that cars are regulated and have certain standards they must meet, so car accidents are fewer. If drugs were legalised and regulated and had to meet certain standards, would that not mean the resulting number of deaths could decrease?

This sort of policy isn’t always popular with politicians, and even when you have facts on your side, it doesn’t necessarily get heard. So the direct participation of people is hugely important. Telling those stories that bring it home with emotional impact can bring about genuine participation from people and lead to change. Transform are running a campaign called Anyone’s Child, to try and highlight the people who are most affected by issues with drugs. By using emotional impact and real-life stories, they are educating people on why legal regulation of drugs could be a positive step in improving the current situation. Using the love of families who have lost sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, grandchildren and so on to show that there are people at the heart of these issues, not just criminals and gangs, they are highlighting that were drugs regulated, their relatives might have survived. The people of the Anyone’s Child campaign have taken to Westminster to be the voice for their lost relatives and loved ones and are hoping through the power of their stories change could happen.

The day ended with an excellent lunch from a local family-run business, Nico’s Kitchen and some networking. It was great to see a varied crowd there; a bunch of people willing to ‘turn up’, to get stuck in and to work towards making a difference in the way government and citizens interact. With various opportunities for questions and a panel discussion with the Mayor himself, this wasn’t an event to come to and be talked at, but an opportunity for genuine dialogue between the public and those working at the frontline of local government. A few people mentioned on the day (between mouthfuls of cake and sandwiches) that they really enjoyed the audience participation element of the day because it felt so inclusive. Well, participation (with impact) was the name and participation was the game!

Massive thanks to all of our speakers for making it a brilliant day and also to The Foundation at Triodos Bank for providing the perfect venue. One speaker, Anthony Zacharzewski of the Democratic Society, wasn’t able to make it due to a cancelled flight, however we are sure to be working with him again in the near-future.

If you’d like to see more from the event, check out the hashtag #PracticalDemocracyProject on Twitter or get in touch @DelibThinks. The Practical Democracy Project is back on the move and could be appearing in a city near you soon. Watch this space.

Charming People Required

I’m looking to hire a few charming people to, well, charm other people. Sound like your cup of tea?

Democracy is struggling a bit right now, you might have noticed. Increasingly, traditional electoral democracy polarises as much as it represents, dividing as much as it includes. But all is not lost: democracy is multi-faceted, ongoing and more than a simple vote for the least worst option. Is someone proposing to move your bus stop? You have a right to have a word about whether it’s a good idea. Concerned about how the council spends your money managing services in austere times? They’re duty bound to consider your opinion. The process is called consultation, a key pillar of our democracy that you’ve probably never heard of.

The problem? A lot of people don’t know you can influence all of these decisions. Have you heard about a consultation or merely the negative press surrounding the decision itself? And if you have heard, were you then confronted by a web experience so horrible you recoursed immediately to the warm understanding embrace of the private sector? You might want to fill out a response but if it involves downloading a Word form on your phone or trawling through swathes of government language, I imagine you, like most normal souls, would give up and quite reasonably do something more interesting.

Delib is helping to change all of that.

We make technology platforms used by hundreds of governments and public bodies around the world that actively encourage and support citizens to participate in democratic processes and decisions, for the benefit of everyone.

Governments can be a little tricky to cajole into changing the habits of a lifetime. In fact, their very nature, structure and thinking has been designed to resist change, so persuading them to use technology that actively subverts all of this is a job for charismatic people who are driven by a sense of purpose. Could you convince a turkey to vote for Christmas? Work with us.

The jobs are for people who’ve got a few years under their belt professionally charming people in any field, with demonstrable results. Applications will be judged against: past experience, attitude, aptitude to the role and the all-important cover letter outlining your charm in a compelling way.

Rewards? These roles are mid-level with the expectation of progression as your knowledge of democracy, technology and governance increases. Delib is a small team with a relatively flat hierarchy, reporting to me mostly (joy) and ultimately the MD, Andy.  We value autonomy, hard work, honesty and plain talking above all else. As such, if you’re a fan of ‘blue-sky thinking’ or want to ‘touch base’, I’ll 110% run your application up the flagpole and not salute it.

The job is based in central Bristol, England’s greatest city. Don’t live here already? Move, you’re missing out. We provide fruit, 25 types of (arguably pointless) tea, flexi-time, your own Mac, the odd company holiday and a simple dress code: wear clothes.

Salary is £24K-26K as a starting point.

Close date: 23rd July

We follow the HMG Baseline Personnel Security Standard and you will therefore need to satisfy basic eligibility criteria/certain conditions of employment (e.g. nationality rules/right to work) and provide appropriate documentation to verify ID, nationality, employment and/or academic history, criminal record (unspent convictions only).

If you would like to apply for this position, please note that the covering letter that you send with your CV forms an integral part of our selection process. Please send your CV and cover letter to jayne@teamrubber.com and if we like the look of them, we’ll be in touch.

We’re Hiring – Excellent Office Manager Wanted

Delib is a global digital democracy company of around 25 people, providing digital tools to connect citizens with government. We have staff based in central Bristol, Australia and New Zealand. We are a well-established and growing business. Here in Bristol we have a modern open plan office, which we share with our sister company.

We’re looking for an experienced office manager, who can nail the typical office management tasks, whilst being keen to take on extra challenges and responsibilities.

Typical Office Manager responsibilities:

  • Facilities management
  • Health & safety
  • Supplies and supplier management
  • General administration
  • Reception cover

Extra responsibilities:

  • Manage our devices (allocation, configuration and return)
  • Trouble-shoot Mac and other device issues for staff (you need to be tech savvy)
  • Human resources management and record maintenance
  • Manage various systems including password storage and supplier records
  • Calendar management for essential renewal dates and meetings
  • Manage the payroll and support the finance team as required
  • Work with the Information Security team to flag any risks, report and respond to security incidents and work to promote best practice.
  • Organise event bookings, trips, company away days and travel itineraries.
  • Be a master key-holder for the office and respond to emergency out-of-hours situations (this is just for our office floor, not the entire building)

You’ll have a big to do list and lots of autonomy and accountability. Your colleagues will be relying on you to keep all the plates spinning, so we need an excellent organiser. We have a welcoming and hard working team here; the working environment is open and friendly and you will work to support pretty much everyone across the company.

Delib is a registered company in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Due to differing time zones and being an emergency on-call contact for the building, you will need to be flexible and adapt your working hours to accommodate early morning and late evening work when needed (this is not very frequent but is a key part of the role).

In a nutshell, your role is to support the company and the people in it. Therefore, it is essential that you have a positive and helpful attitude so that the team feel comfortable asking you for help. You must be able to keep calm under pressure, problem solve and re-prioritise your workload at short notice.

Knowledge & Experience

  • 2 years of experience in a similar Office Manager role or with managing teams. You should have experience in a role with high levels of responsibility.
  • HR experience – dealing with sensitive HR processes/issues and being entrusted with confidential information.
  • Highly computer literate, specifically experience with using Apple Mac laptops would be beneficial. Must be very confident with setting up and using Excel and Word documents and generally proficient navigating systems and databases.
  • Confident and professional telephone manner.

Salary and benefits

  • This is a full-time position and we offer a salary of £22 – £26K per annum depending on experience.
  • 24 days of holiday, plus bank holidays.
  • Company pension scheme.
  • Enjoyable working environment in an excellent location.
  • Training budget.
  • Your own MacBook which you can take home if you wish.
  • Decent chairs and desk setup.
  • Fruit boxes delivered twice a week, bacon on Fridays and a kitchen packed with tea, coffee and snacks.

Recruitment Process

  • Initially, you may be invited to a phone interview, followed by a face to face interview and then a trial period in the office to give you a good feel for the role.
  • If you think you are the right person for this role, please send your cover letter and CV to Lorna@delib.net. We don’t accept applications without a cover letter.
  • We follow the HMG Baseline Personnel Security Standard and you will therefore need to satisfy basic eligibility criteria/certain conditions of employment (e.g. nationality rules/right to work); and provide appropriate documentation to verify ID, nationality, employment and/or academic history, criminal record (unspent convictions only).

 

Closing date: 30th May 2018 

We do not use or take calls from recruitment companies.

7 takeaways from our Edinburgh user group, April 2018

Last week, several members of the Delib gang headed out from our Bristol, England HQ and descended on Edinburgh, Scotland for the first Citizen Space & Dialogue user group of 2018. A great opportunity to meet some of our Scottish customers, hear how people are using our products and try haggis, naturally I jumped at the chance to go along.

For this user group, we were kindly hosted by the City of Edinburgh Council at their City Chambers headquarters. (Fans of the Avengers franchise may be as excited as I was to discover that the building makes a brief appearance in the latest film, Avengers: Infinity War. Not that I’m comparing the Delib team to the Avengers – but I bet you’ve never seen all of them/us in one room at the same time…)

Once we were over the grandeur of the building and had fuelled up on coffee, we got down to business. Here come some learnings I took away from the day:

1. GDPR compliance is the talk of the town
We heard from The City of Edinburgh Council about their extensive efforts to get ahead of the curve on GDPR compliance. Whilst they still have some things to tackle, it was clear from Emma Candy, the council’s Senior Policy and Insight Officer, that they have done some great prep.

She told us about how they’ve been collaborating closely with their Information Governance Unit to work out exactly how to archive and/or delete data from consultations in line with the new laws. And I can’t really not mention her appreciation for Citizen Space being GDPR-compliant, giving us some props for the work we’ve done to make sure that’s the case. (Thanks, Emma!)

2. Good practice needs cultural embedding
Sophie Marshall from Police Scotland’s Consultation and Engagement team told us about the ways they’re working to embed best practice within their organisation. For example, she talked about their commitment to ‘closing the response loop’ – making sure participants know what’s happened with their input at the end of an exercise.

She detailed the process they used in their 2026 strategy engagement exercise, which was spread over 10 weeks and split into a range of themes. She talked about how the flexibility of Citizen Space as a platform allowed them to both monitor outreach and manage internal needs in the same place. And she explained how the team are building a communications and engagement toolkit to educate staff on good consultation practice – so that it’s embedded in their culture and not a case of reinventing the wheel with each project.

This good practice includes encouraging proactive outreach and promotion of consultations – a habit which has already generated increased levels of responses.

3. The GDPR devil is in the details
Chris Connolly from the Scottish Government was determined not to let being ill stop her from helping people with GDPR! Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to join us on the day – but, in her absence, she still managed to send along a summary of her talk on everyone’s 4 favourite letters.

We kicked off a discussion around Chris’s suggestion that much of the purpose of GDPR isn’t new – a lot of it is simply about communicating how we store data. It became clear that people still aren’t quite sure on certain aspects of GDPR – which consent to seek when, for example, and whether or not it’s valuable to collect IP addresses – but it is generally understood that organisations must make sure they are collecting relevant information and handling it properly. Again, a consistent theme emerged from these conversations about the importance of forming organisational habits to handle data correctly once it is collected.

We were also pleased to hear from Chris’ colleague Lauren Tuckerman who kindly offered to tell us a bit about her work interning with the Scottish Government’s consultation team, which will form part of her PhD.

4. Centralising response data can have big benefits: from ease of use to response rates
We heard from Amber Souter at Food Standards Scotland about transitioning to running their consultations on a centralised digital platform. Compared with their previous methods of seeking consultation submissions via email or post, she said that switching to Citizen Space has led to increased response rates and a more professional feel to their engagement efforts.

When they needed to gather stakeholder views about a draft Regulatory Strategy, they had a wide audience to consult and Citizen Space’s ease of use and response publishing feature made it simple to engage people and feed back to them after.

5. Dialogue garners good ideas
Dialogue continues to be used in differing ways for some pretty cool ideas generating exercises. Delib colleague Natalie reported back on how the Isle of Man Government opened up an online conversation about their SAVE programme and HMCTS gave staff a voice on internal decisions. (My ears may have pricked up at this point as I’ve recently spoken with both organisations about their experiences using Dialogue!)

6. Experimenting & refining the approach to engagement is valuable
Kirsty Christie, Web and Digital Media Officer for Scottish Borders Council, told us how they’re using a trial and error approach to their use of Dialogue. Before, it was difficult to reach a broad spectrum of people due to a wide geographic spread in the area, but Dialogue allowed them to seek opinions online in a convenient and quick way. The communications team recognise the importance of getting the public involved in decision-making and found Dialogue to be an effective way to run quick experiments and test hypotheses. They found that contrary to their expectations, splitting their budget consultation out into discussions on specific topics and areas of interest did not boost response rates, so they’ve gone back to a more holistic approach of consulting on the budget as a whole piece.

7. Promote!
OK, this isn’t a new lesson but it’s a drum that always merits a bit more banging! In consultation, promotion is vital in engaging people. They can’t participate if they’ve never heard about the opportunity to get involved!

The folks at the Scottish Parliament – Ailsa Burn-Murdoch, Hayley Forrester and Steven Blyth – emphasised the importance of making consultation activity accessible and available to the public. The issues they’re dealing with can be complex and it’s vital to convey them to people in ways that they will be able to understand.

The Scottish Parliament chose to use Dialogue for their online engagement because it had been recommended by their peers (including the Welsh Assembly), and because it could gather views and opinions that wouldn’t be captured through other consultation activities. Similarly to Scottish Borders Council, they were also keen on the potential for a digital approach to more easily engage geographically disparate groups of people. They’ve been using Dialogue alongside offline outreach events, where they’ve found it’s added value and opened up more ways for people to get involved. They were also pleased to report that they’ve seen genuine discussion in the comments section of ideas!

So there we have it! User group number one of the year is complete and, as always, we learnt a lot from it. There’s just no substitute for hearing these at-the-coalface accounts of people’s experiences, so thanks very much to all the attendees and especially the speakers.

If you’re interested to see what people in your field are doing and are a user of Citizen Space or Dialogue, why not come along to our next one? It’s set to take place in Northern Ireland in September and we’ll release details closer to the time. If that’s too far away, we also have a training session at our Bristol HQ in July; there’s a handful of spaces still available but they’ll go quickly!

Introducing our newest Account Manager: Jessie Ashmore

Jessie AshmoreIn the least humble-braggy way possible, we do just keep on collecting more customers – so we’re delighted to bring another Account Manager on board to help look after them all!  Our newest recruit is Jessie, joining the team in our HQ in Bristol, UK. We talked to her about democracy, dodgers, dogs – and a contentious use of McFlurries:

 

What’s your name and where are you from?

HIYA, I’m Jessie Ashmore and I have lived everywhere… North, Midlands, South but now I’m very happily based in Bristol. My only regret is that I will probably never pick up an amazing Northern accent.

Favourite band and/or artist?

This is tricky because I basically like everything as long as I can (badly) sing along to it. For me, music is so mood-dependent but I usually listen to Kiss in my car – because feeling like you’re in a music video while you drive is a real thing, right?

Creature of habit or maverick thinker?

Routine bores me so I’d say maverick thinker. I dip my McDonald’s chips in my McFlurry (which is absolutely life-changing if anyone hasn’t tried it). But equally, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. (Stop trying to make chicken sausages a thing!)

You get mysteriously transported to a desert island, with only time to grab a couple of precious things to take with you. What makes the ‘keep’ list?

Kindle (always), my housemates (can they count as one thing?) and flip-flops because there is nothing worse than not being prepared for sand.

Biscuits – dunk or leave unsullied?

Now this very much depends on the biscuit. Chocolate hobnob: dunk. Bourbon: unsullied. Rich tea: dunk. Jammie Dodger: unsullied. I could go on!

Before joining Delib, how did you put bread on the table?

For six months prior to joining Delib, I worked in recruitment. I specialised in recruiting within the logistics sector across the South West. Before this, I worked as an Account Manager for a national waste management company so there isn’t anything I don’t know about recycling and flat-packed cardboard!

Why did you want to join Delib?

For lots of reasons! I think the people are great and after realising I’d talked about bins for so long being surrounded by great people, I knew that my colleagues were always going to be a really important part of any job. Striving towards a better, more democratic public sector approach to public communication is so important – why wouldn’t anyone want to be a part of that? Oh, and we get bacon every Friday!

Any shout-outs, comments or other musings?

To clarify the earlier question, biscuits are a pretty important topic for me so shout if you want me to run through my top 10… With explanations! Oh and I like dogs, more than I like people and biscuits… Put together.

Should you want to take Jessie up on that offer, or ask her a question about, say, effective online public consultation, you can follow her on the ol’ Twitter or drop her an email.

Page 1 of 80

www.delib.net