2021 was another great year for us at INDEX. From published papers to partaking in panel discussions, there is a lot to choose from for our highlights of the last twelve months. 


We’ve had multiple projects funded, but one that stands out is our DIGIT Lab. This £12 million project has allowed us to partner with excellent academic institutions and leading industry partners. Among its many triumphs this year, particularly notable is our talks series at Digital Leaders Week. It included 18 speakers and attracted c. 2,000 registrations!

DIGIT Lab’s mission – to help large established organizations drive digital innovation for growth, impact, and transformation – crosses multiple disciplines. Deputy Director Saeema Ahmed-Kristensen participated in a lively cross-disciplinary discussion (taking in Front End Innovation, and the role of design, materials, technology in Circular Economy) at Circular Revolution 2021.

Government and policy

DIGIT Lab also played an important role in helping evolve Digital Jersey’s strategy. Alan Brown (DIGIT Lab Director) facilitated a two-day workshop event that saw attendees from private and public sector companies, as well as education and government, recognising that everyone has to work together to make the most of digital opportunities.

I found Alan’s and his DIGIT Lab colleagues’ wider perspectives on digital transformation both thought-provoking and valuable, as did the mixed public and private sector audience.
Dave Birch

The UK government needs to decide what being digital means – and there are a number of options to consider. Mark Thompson and colleagues urged government to consider ‘digital’s transformative potential, in evidence accepted and published by The Public Accounts Committee for their inquiry on “Challenges in implementing digital change”.

Mark Thompson and colleagues submitted evidence that was accepted by The Public Accounts Committee for their inquiry on ‘Challenges in implementing digital change’. The Committee has now published its report, detailing their conclusions and recommendations – in areas such as leadership capability, legacy systems and missed opportunities for transformation. One such conclusion: senior government leaders aren’t equipped with the necessary knowledge and know-how for good decisions and drive digital business change; Mark et al are cited within the report, recommending that “high-quality, business school-style education can build confidence in digital business models and how to use such models to transform government”.

Mark also co-authored a paper and an article in Computer Weekly, wherein he suggested six strategic plays for UK government IT initiatives and their implications for policy.


We’ve been saying for a long time now that governments need to work out how to use commercial technology more effectively
Alan Brown

To this end, INDEX has been helping to deliver a new executive education course from Amazon that aims to give senior public servants and elected officials the confidence and skills to transform public services for the digital age. The course focuses on the digital transformation of public services, asking how better customer service can be delivered on smaller budgets, using data to improve the experiences of citizens.

Working closely with Zoetis, Nikolai Kazantsev was able to provide them with insights about data-driven business strategies and the value of open data in business model innovation.

Sustainable development can only occur if services, organisations and their people are considered in conjunction with materials, renewables and natural resources.
Zena Wood and Phil Godsiff

Zena Wood and Phil Godsiff collaborated with multiple industry partners on services in Circular Economy – as they wrote in this explainer for London Market Forums.

In their paper for the Nature Food journal, Roger Maull and his colleagues argued for a trust framework for digital food systems. Improved governance of data exchange — through a data trust framework — will drive sustainable business growth and secure wider public benefits.


Why might an entrepreneur entering a new community be stigmatized? David Lopez tells of stigmatization in crowdfunding communities, from his presentation at Strategic Management Society‘s Virtual Toronto conference.

Improve your heart health – simply by getting to sleep between 10–11pm. These are findings of a study co-authored by David Plans, which garnered a lot of media attention, including the BBC, Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Telegraph and NBC News, and many more.

That’s not all! There’s so much to look forward to, we can’t wait to get started.