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People talk about information overload. I have too many emails, Facebook is destroying my productivity, I can’t find that document amongst all the chatter. In an age of fake news, discerning the real information and knowing where to look has become a life skill. But as Ben Franklin once said: “an investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

As we continue the design work, we are inviting you to help shape the system

In the NHS and within the health and care system more generally, capturing knowledge has never been a problem. Capturing it well, however, and sorting the signal from the noise, as statistics guru Nate Silver terms it, is a bigger challenge.

For Q members, this is part of the glue that helps bind you in your work and catalyses your conversations and insight for the good of the wider community. So getting this right will save time, frustration and energy for everyone.

That’s why the Health Foundation, together with NHS Improvement, has asked us to create a new knowledge management system that will help Q in its work. Something that captures the experiences, insight, stories, knowledge and ideas that emerge over time.

We want to launch this over the course of this year – but crucially, to take on ideas and feedback from members as to what will help you the most. To kick that off, and as a ‘heads up’, we will send round a very short survey in the next few weeks to give you an opportunity to have your say.

A little about us. Myself and Beth Wiltshire work for The Democratic Society, which is a not-for-profit membership organisation that promotes participation, dialogue, networked democracy and active citizenship. In short, we work to improve democratic participation and we are leading the overall strategy and design of this project.

We are working with other partners too. Simon Fairway and Adrian Toll are from The Bureau London, which is a digital and design agency specialising in the arts, education and non-profit sectors. They have developed the main website for Q and provide the technical expertise in this work.

Chris Collison is a leading figure in Knowledge Management and spoke and facilitated knowledge-sharing at Q’s national community event in October. Chris is focused on the wider engagement programme with Q members.

Together, we are looking to develop, test and roll out a system that members can really use to capture knowledge and to share insight.

Which brings me to the ask (there’s always an ask, right?). We want to make this system as useful as possible, and that only happens if it meets your needs. So, as we continue the design work, we are inviting you to help shape the system.

We are looking for a small group of volunteers to help guide and support this work. What do you need? What do you not want? What is the basic ‘must have’, what are the bells and whistles?

Now is the time to shout and get involved – if you are interested in getting involved, please email QMembers@health.org.uk and we will be in touch.

Noah Curthoys is a Senior Partner at The Democratic Society and is working with The Health Foundation and NHS Improvement to create a new knowledge management system for Q.

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