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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Conference Papers and Proceedings
Author(s): Williamson, Ben
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Title: Think tanks and third sector intermediaries of pro-am power
Citation: Williamson B (2013) Think tanks and third sector intermediaries of pro-am power. Researching Work and Learning 2013, 19.6.2013 - 21.6.2013, Stirling, UK. Available from:
Issue Date: Jun-2013
Conference Name: Researching Work and Learning 2013
Conference Dates: 2013-06-19T00:00:00Z
Conference Location: Stirling, UK
Abstract: The paper traces the formation of "pro-am power" as a policy discourse through an analysis of key texts produced by the think tank Demos, the social enterprise Innovation Unit and the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA). They have made public service reform thinkable and intelligible through ideas and concepts that are intended to change ways of thinking about the public sector. The paper aims to conceptualise the organisational character and "intellectual style" of these institutions. These, I argue, are "innovation intermediaries" and ideational institutions staffed by intellectual workers with careers in ideas. They are structurally located in a blurry, interstitial space between think tanks, social enterprises, and technology R&D labs, as well as between public, private and third sector styles of service provision. Such organisations are preoccupied with the promises and problems of new software analytics, big data and social media applications and services, and with the promotion of a new kind of interactive citizen subject.
Status: Author Version
Rights: Author retain copyright.

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