Open Thinkering


Weeknote 05/2021

After around 10 days of migraine-like headaches and fuzziness, they ended towards on Thursday evening. I’m sure some of it is due to the weather, which has been abysmal (it’s still raining as I write this) but also due to the amount of time I’m spending on screens.

We’ve just finished Week 4 of the Catalyst-funded sector challenge project that I’m project managing. As I mentioned last week, the project is successful if we manage to identify and prototype ways to remove barriers for the 25% of people who are eligible for Universal Credit, but who, for various reasons, don’t claim it.

I published a post on the project blog about the double-diamond process we’re using to organise the 11 weeks we’ve got to get something prototyped. Thankfully, we’ve got a talented team in Dan Mosforth of Bay Digital, Hannah Belshaw, Ivan Minutillo, and Tom Broughton.

In addition to the Catalyst project I’m project managing, I’m part of the We Are Open Co-op team that is helping 11 charities better-define what they need to do to create a product or service for their users. Laura Hilliger is project managing and is doing a great job in getting everything organised.

It’s Week 1 for that project next week, so from mid-February until the end of March, I’ll be working almost entirely on Catalyst-funded stuff.

In preparation for that, I’ve been tying up most of my work with Outlandish this week. I led a retro on the productisation work I did with them primarily from September to December last year, and am stepping back from the week-to-week work around Building OUT. I will, however, still be part of their monthly strategy sessions around the latter.

The only other bit of work I’ve been doing this week is planning the Getting Started with Digital Badges workshop I’m running for Waterford Institute of Technology, funded by the Irish National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. It’s been a couple of years since I ran a badges workshop, so it’s a good chance to revisit existing resources and materials.

While I didn’t write anything here this week, over at Thought Shrapnel I published two link-based posts with a tiny bit of commentary:

Next week, then, is the badges workshop, Catalyst projects, and a co-op half-day. Laura and I will also hopefully finish recording the first episode of the podcast we’re working on.

Photo of the stepping stones in Morpeth, England, where I live. The amount of rain this week has meant that the River Wansbeck is close to flooding.

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