ABCD Meets Digital at LDF18: guest piece by Mick Ward

9th April 2018

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About Mick

Mick Ward is Chief Officer, Transformation and Innovation, for the Adults and Health Directorate for Leeds City Council, This is a new role, focusing on Asset Based Community Development, Digital Health and Well-Being, service transformation and equality.

He is from Leeds and has worked for social care for 39 years, initially as a Care Assistant, before developing and managing a range of services for disabled people and then moving into commissioning for both Adult Social Care and the NHS, initially focused on services for disabled people and older people. This developed into an expanded joint role as Deputy Director across the Local Authority and the CCG’s in Leeds, leading on commissioning across a wide range of health and care services, before changing into his new role.

Mick has a strong commitment to the social model of disability, citizenship, communities, equality and diversity, and working in partnership.

I am particularly looking forward to this session. In my role in the Adults and Health Directorate in Leeds City Council, I lead on our work on Asset Based Community Development and on Digital Health and Well-Being

Leeds has developed a strong reputation for working to implement Asset Based Community Development, articulated well in the TED Talk by Cormac Russell, and perhaps less so in a blog written by myself, which you can read here.

At the same time, Leeds has also become a leader in digital solutions, including digital health and well-being, including work on Internet of Things, use of Apps and Wearables and improving digital access.

This workshop will be exploring the tension between the two approaches and raise key challenges to digital developments including:

  • What does the digital initiative enhance in local communities?
  • What does the digital initiative displace or replace in local communities?
  • What does the digital initiative retrieve or restore that had been obsolesced in local communities?
  • What does the digital initiative turn into when pushed to extremes in local communities? 

At the same time, we will explore the interface between the two and hopefully identify potential to bring these together for the benefit of communities in Leeds, especially where this can be used to improve health and well-being.