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Eddie Copeland

Director of Government Innovation
Nesta (Confirmed)

Eddie Copeland is Nesta's Director of Government Innovation, responsible for leading projects concerning city data analytics, behavioural insights, digital government, collaborative platforms and digital democracy. He is an advocate of government and public sector organisations making smarter use of people, data and technology to deliver more and better with less.

Previously Eddie was Head of Technology Policy at Policy Exchange, a think tank. He has worked across a number of sectors, including as Parliamentary Researcher to Sir Alan Haselhurst, MP; Congressional intern to Congressman Tom Petri and the Office of the Parliamentarians; Project Manager of global IT infrastructure projects at Accenture and Shell; Development Director of The Perse School, Cambridge; and founder of open data start-up, Orier Digital. Eddie is the author of five reports on government use of technology and data, and a book on UK think tanks. He is also a member of the Smart London Board, a group that advises the Mayor of London on how London can harness digital technology and data for the benefit of those who live and work in the capital. He has a degree in Politics and Philosophy from the University of Bristol, and a Master’s in International Relations from the University of Leicester.

  • Embracing the value and importance of a diverse workforce for AI, and should work together to break down stereotypes and broaden participation
  • Considering the leadership and cultural change needed to achieve upskilling the public sector workforce and introducing more agile and collaborative ways of working for data scientists
  • Providing strong leadership by developing a clear career model and development for data scientists
  • Developing the skills, resources and project management training needed to exploit the opportunities offered by the explosion in digital data
  • Addressing the skills gap: Understanding how the EU exit will create the need for more 346,000 more data scientists by 2020
  • Discussing the need for GDS’ investment of £450m annual budget embedding data analysts and scientists in councils
  • Establishing a list of 10 principles that will enable machine learning and embed good practice for service automation