At Delib we’re always keen to help support and improve government’s understanding and use of digital, so when it was suggested that we had a Civil Service fast streamer seconded to us for 6 months, we embraced the Del Monte school of thought and said ‘yes’!
Matt’s going to be helping with, and learning about, all aspects of our work, so here’s some quick fire questions with the man himself.
What’s your name and where are you from?
Matthew Hornsby, from London
What’s your professional background?
I’m in my second year of the Civil Service’s fast stream development programme. For the last 6 months I’ve been a policy adviser in the office of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, before that I worked in the Department of Health, managing public health programmes. Prior to joining the civil service I was a ‘secondary raw materials trader’ (kind of a glorified scrap dealer), at Hanwa Co. ltd, a Japanese trading house, for 2 years. I’ve also been an English teacher in Japan and in Spain.
What made you want to be seconded to a digital company/ Delib?
I wanted to experience an atmosphere that’s really quite different from what I’ve got used to in government, and I think 6 months at a small(ish) tech firm with big ideas like Delib will be perfect to put the sometimes rather staid and unambitious attitude you can encounter there in perspective. One of the big tasks for government over the next few years is to learn from the digital sector how to do things better. People are already wondering why they can order an air freshener off amazon in two clicks but need to fill out 5 different pieces of hard-copy paperwork to claim back taxes, apply for a passport or register at their GP.
What are you most looking forward to learning about?
Seeing things from the other side of the fence – so as a ‘supplier’ to government, rather than the one doing the purchasing, will be really interesting. I find everything to do with digital really fascinating – the business model of the company, some of the real technical stuff about how the apps and the web work, the AGILE project management techniques. I’m particularly looking forward to developing a good ‘tech’ vocabulary, so that I can go back to the civil service and dazzle senior colleagues into submission with a lot of acronyms they don’t understand…
Your house is on fire, what do you save?
Myself! I have an exotic banknotes collection which I’d grab if it was handy. Everything else is replaceable, more or less…
Biscuits – dunk or leave unsullied?
Normally leave it, due to a fear of crumbs in my tea.
Favourite band and / or artist?
Too tough to answer! My two most listened of all time are probably Billy Bragg and the Smiths, which is sad because my dad also likes both. Recently I’ve been listening a lot to Ethiopian jazz maestro Mulatu Astatke, which is a bit cooler.
Bristol – historic, vibrant city or regional backwater?
So far I haven’t met anyone with a bad word to say about the place! Looking forward to exploring and getting to know the city.
Anything else to add?
Delighted to be here and can’t wait to get stuck in!