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Towards a semantic civil service

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Episode notes

Prospect’s Editor, Alan Rusbridger chats to the winner of the Bennett Prospect Public Policy Prize 2022 , Walter Pasquarelli, and Prof Dennis Grube of the Bennett Institute for Public Policy, about "What is a 21st century civil service for?"

Walter Pasquarelli—a policy research manager and consultant in the Tech & Society practice of Economist Impact—created and submitted a short film titled: “Towards a semantic civil service,” which argues for a civil service (inspired by the semantic web) that is decentralised, grants personal control of data, and creates more bespoke and better processes.

He explains how this modernised civil service would be decentralised (controlled by the user), break down data silos (joining up across departmental services) and be automated through smart contracts (with access granted by the user). To get to the semantic civil service, there is a need to: invest in tech, open data, and infrastructure; develop a culture in which users have more responsibility, and; establish supporting policies for mitigating risks such as data privacy and bias in decision-making.

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