Open Thinkering


Weeknote 04/2021

This week confirmed two things:

  • Emotional labour is work
  • I’m paid to have awkward conversations

It’s not that the interactions that proved to be awkward were that awkward, it’s just that I wasn’t expecting to have them. So it was a bit like when you’re in a car and there’s a dip in the road. When you’re prepared for it, no drama; when you’re not, your stomach lurches into your mouth.

I’m currently project managing a Catalyst-funded sector challenge project which you can read about here. The aim is to remove barriers for the 25% of people who are eligible for Universal Credit, but who, for various reasons, don’t claim it. There have been some comings-and-goings with organisations (and individuals representing those organisations) in the first few weeks of the project. So it’s all fun and games. We’ll get there.

As I mentioned last week, Laura is project managing another Catalyst-funded project for We Are Open Co-op which kicks off soon. I’m also on the team. That one involves 11 different organisations (as opposed to the three with the sector challenge one I’ve got) and you can read an introductory blog post about it here.

It’s been mostly Catalyst work this week, although I’ve done some internal co-op work with Laura, and all of us attended a Sociocracy 101 workshop with Outlandish. Unusually, not only is that my second time doing the workshop, but I’ve also been helping the team at Outlandish develop new events and resources under the banner of Building OUT (Openness, Understanding, and Trust). More about that on the playbook page I started for them.

Last October, when the (now resolved) co-op drama was in full swing, I applied for a couple of jobs. One I went for didn’t sound that interesting, so I withdrew. The other, with the Wikimedia Foundation as Director of Product for Anti-Disinformation, I didn’t hear back from before Christmas.

Earlier this month, however, they got in touch inviting me to interview. I was surprised, and somewhat conflicted, giving I’d re-committed myself to the co-op. However, it seemed, as one of my friends put it, a “once in a decade opportunity”. So I went for it.

Long story short: I got to the fourth stage (of six) before they decided not to progress my application further. I’m not disappointed given that I’ve talked previously about remaining unmanaged. I realised this morning that I haven’t actually applied for and got a job for over a decade: my Mozilla and Moodle roles were offered to me, and the rest has been co-op and consultancy.

On a completely different note, I made a small amount of money this week with cryptocurrencies, after paying attention to the GameStop debacle. I won’t go into what happened, other than to say how delighted I was to see that a group of people became self-aware enough to realise they could stick it to the 1%.

What I noticed on Thursday evening, however, was that there was pent-up energy at a time when places to buy and sell stocks had suspended trading. Some people had started putting their money into Dogecoin, a fun way to tip content creators that never really want mainstream.

Converting most of my crypto stash to buy thousands of Dogecoin proved to be a smart move, as the ‘GameStop energy’ meant that it went up ~350% overnight. We live in a world where internet culture is just culture, with all of the real-world ramifications that entails.

I didn’t get rich, sadly, but we did have a nice takeaway on Friday night 🙂

Next week, it’s more Catalyst stuff, along with planning and Open Badges workshop (I haven’t done that for a while!) and recording a podcast episode with Laura.

Photo of the top of our car from last Sunday.

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