my name's and really I'm the heads of the strategic analysis team at the Department for Communities and local governments I'm currently one of the policy fellows at the center which I started last year I first heard about the policy fellowship program through the government depart I work for which is Department for Communities and Local Government so our director of analysis was currently a policy fellow and he got just so much out of the program brought so much back into the departments that we made a decision to expand it and make it available to other people in history to it the way they run the program is that you spend five days in Cambridge it's extremely intensive but I met over 30 people from the University and I would never have thought I would met people from their geography departments the engineering departments all sorts of sciences history departments and you have the most amazing conversations around topics of interest and these open up lines of inquiry pointers from research you get ideas about the kinds of evidence and ideas and research that are going on in the university that you can bring back in see the policy world in Whitehall amongst the departments I visited I visited the department of engineering and I was really interested in a systems approach to looking at policy analysis and development and I had a really fascinating conversation there about how engineers bring together processes and systems and find the connections find the weak points find the strong points look at the resilience of a construction or an engine or whatever it is as a whole and some of these approaches have already been used in government but I was really interested in exploring that further and trying to get them more widely used in government so I invited Philip Guilford's who I met there he's head of research at the province of engineering to come and meet a group of governments analysts who as part of their day jobs look at collect the evidence and analysis on the aging Society and we tried an experiment we tried to see what would happen when you brought somebody from an engineering backgrounds from the University of Cambridge to meet some policy analysts from the world of Whitehall and could we actually learn something about an engineering approach and the way that systems work and use that to explore the issues and to find some solutions for the problems and indeed both the opportunities of an ageing society so that process is actually ongoing we've had a couple of meetings and we've progressed it and it's opened up some more avenues and lines of research for us and this is now great because we can go back to the University and we can bring even some more people in to help us fill some of those gaps and give us some further lines of inquiry the real benefit of having met and spoken with a whole network of people at the University of Cambridge is that you start to get a two-way flow of information and ideas so hopefully I understand more about the environments they're working in and what they're doing and where the cutting-edge research is and they understand what some of the policy issues are and through meeting people you can kind of try and match up you know a better understanding of how you can work together and what the connections are that can really make a difference you