Levelling Up With Open Data
The term 'levelling up' will be more familiar in gaming culture than in politics but it became a core part of political speech and decision-making in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. You might know what it means in a game, but what does it mean for the UK?
With no solid definition, 'levelling up' could mean something different to everyone, and with no official 'levelling up' dataset to work from, there isn't a way to currently track progress or keep things accountable. Open Innovations together with the Royal Statistical Society will be leading a project to explore 'levelling up' from a Northern perspective, by working in the open, inviting discussion and suggestions, and developing a prototype visualisation with open data at its foundation.
What open data will we use? Well, this is where you come in…
The project will start in November 2021 and finish in February 2022, with three key stages and events that accompany them, plus opportunities for people to contribute their feedback, suggestions, data sources, etc.
8th December 2021
We kicked off this innovation project with a launch event. Free & open to all via a live stream on YouTube and here on our website (Although to interact, ask live questions you will need to register and join the Airmeet virtual platform). The Open Innovations team have already spent time starting to pull data sources together and possible ways to visualise 'levelling up'. We were delighted that Andy Haldane - the permanent secretary to the Levelling Up Taskforce - was able to contribute alongside others from DCMS, McKinsey, The Royal Statistical Society, Centre for Cities and more. We will be working openly to share and talk about the work that is already being done and what is needed to make it better.
19th January 2022 12 - 1 PM
The second stage is an 'open working session' where Open Innovations will lead an online, collaborative session that brings people together to proactively gather resources, share work, test things, offer suggestions, etc. We want your contributions to the concept of 'levelling up' and what data you think demonstrates it best. It might not even be a dataset that exists yet, or could even be something that we don't know how to measure yet (like 'pride in the community').
Show and Tell
16th February 2022 12 - 1 PM
The third stage of the project is a 'show and tell', where the prototype visualisation will be showcased alongside talks about its development, the datasets used and why, and how people can still get involved in making it better.
Open Innovations - Project Outputs
Levelling up with data
Tom's introductory blog post
Open working document
Please use this document to share any thoughts, links, resources and questions.
West Yorkshire State of the Region Dashboard
Includes data on housing, skills, jobs, transport and productivity.
Prototype - City prosperity by country
Explore regional inequalities within countries or groups of countries.
Prototype - Research and Development Spending Explorer
Exploration of research and development spending by nation, region, and subregion, allowing for international comparisons.
GDP Dispersion in Europe
Exploring a method to calculate regional inequality within Europe and European Nations.
The Levelling Up White Paper
Published on 2 February 2022, the Levelling Up white paper issued by the UK Government.
Subnational Indicators Explorer
The Office for National Statistics have created a first iteration of a dashboard using metrics that align with some of those used to measure 'levelling up' in the white paper..
Measuring Regional Inequality
A breif article discussing various approaches to measuring regional inequality.
Election 2019: how Britain’s North-South divide is changing
Closing the divide once and for all is a challenge all political parties say they want to embrace...
Database on regional GDP
Historical data on the economic development of European regions at the level of NUTS-2 regions for the years 1900 - 2015.
An open Google Sheet with resources from guest speakers and from our project. You can add your own resources via comments.
North England vs The Netherlands
When looking at economies, population, and income equality, how does the North of England stack up against The Netherlands?