People make places. Do not miss President's Conference 2024 in Birmingham. Register now.

The power of collaboration, innovation, and connectivity: a policy focus

Illustration of a woman reading an oversized book, entitled, 'Local gov's big book of ideas'.

Get support in creating positive changes through finding “what works” and start to enable economically sustainable, socially just and ecologically safe places.

Building a brighter future together

In this era where the pace of change is only accelerating, the coming together of collaboration, innovation, and connectivity has never been more critical.

These three pillars are the foundation of driving progress in our hyper-connected world. Shaping the way we live, work, and interact with each other. 

  • Yet, collaboration alone is not enough! It is innovation that propels us forward, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and ushering in progress.
  • Innovation is the spark that ignites creativity, challenges conventional thinking, and paves the way for ground breaking discoveries.
  • But at the heart of collaboration and innovation lies connectivity – the invisible thread that weaves together individuals, communities, and ideas across borders and boundaries.

In our hyperconnected world, technological advancements over the past 30 years have revolutionised the way we communicate, collaborate, and share knowledge. From social media platforms that bridge distances in an instant to generative AI (creating new insights or materials from the data on which an AI tool was trained), and large language models (LLMs) promise huge value to the public sector, creating a radical shift in how connected data sets can be analysed, summarised, and used. 

But how do we cope?


  • Adapting to Change: Local authorities are adjusting their operations to meet community needs during turbulent times.
  • Enhancing Connectivity: We all aim to promote better connections and innovative solutions to get better at addressing challenges.
  • Fostering Resilience: By integrating technology and modernisation, we can better support the growth of resilient communities and places

What do you need to know?

In February’s Reimagining communities and places conference day in Sheffield, North Yorkshire Council’s Director of Transformation was blunt in his assessment:

“With any project, the biggest challenge is also its greatest strength: its people. We talk about technology and digital, which is a word I have personally come to loathe because I think it is such a barrier.

“Whether we call it human-centred design, customer-centred design or whatever, what we shouldn’t be doing is talking around technology and digital. They don’t do anything, they just enable you. It’s the human stories that excite people.”

Robert Ling

Human stories

Socitm and our partners support you in your co-design, co-creation and co-delivery of local public services that achieve better outcomes in the communities you serve.

This includes making the most of digital opportunities (where appropriate) and using user-centric design principles to consider end-to-end service requirements.

Local authorities have been forced to change the way they work to address the needs of their communities.

Socitm ResourcesFind something useful here
Digital Trends 2024Local and national leadership
From the Resource HubReset, Reform , Renew, Resilient
Resilient people, communities and places (St George’s House consultation, 29-30 November 2021)
Impact casesNorfolk County Council: Driving a county-wide transformation (Podcast)
WebinarsPublic Services for the Digital Age
Strategic partner focus Collaboration boosts creativity
TrainingChange Agent Manager (2-day course with Microsoft)
EventsMidlands Collaboration
Socitm AdvisoryIdentifying cost efficiencies, performance improvements and customer outcomes in public service delivery

Champion and stimulate enhanced connectivity

Socitm ResourcesFind something useful here
Digital Trends 2024Community Resilience
From the Resource HubSocitm Connects
Impact casesDigital connectivity Norfolk
WebinarsPublic Services for the Digital Age
TrainingManaging and Motivating Remote Teams
EventsYorkshire and Humber Regional Collaboration

Embed local public sector innovation, technology and modernisation

Socitm ResourcesFind something useful here
Digital Trends 2024Reimagining services 
From the Resource HubEthics by design
Impact casesSmart Technologies in the Heart of East Anglia
Location Intelligence (case studies)
WebinarsAccessibility week – Introduction to digital accessibility 
How M365 Copilot can impact Local & Regional Government
TrainingPlace-based Leadership
Socitm AdvisoryVirtual Round Table: Transforming services; live digital improvement initiatives

In summary

This mix of collaboration, innovation, and connectivity is not just a trend but a force in our modern world.

  • Collaboration brings together diverse minds to solve complex problems;
  • Innovation pushes the boundaries of what’s possible;
  • Connectivity ensures that ideas and solutions can be shared and adopted rapidly across the globe.

The team 

If you want to discuss more about this theme, please contact the policy team below or Socitm in general.

  • Nadira Hussain, Chief Executive Officer at Socitm
    (President from 2015 to 2016 when Head of ICT for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets)
  • Kurt Frary, Head of IT and Chief Technology Officer at Norfolk County Council
    (Policy theme lead and current Vice-President) 
  • Sam Smith, Institute Director at Socitm
    (President from 2020 to 2022 when Director of Customer and Digital Services for Cambridgeshire County and Peterborough City councils)
  • William Barker, Chief Strategy Officer at Socitm

Strategic partners