Open Thinkering


Weeknote 24/2021

This week, Hannah, my wife, has again been away at the other end of the country looking after an ill relative. It’s her third trip in the last couple of months and, as we come out of lockdown, it seems the traffic is getting worse. It took her almost 10 hours to get home yesterday! While we’ve coped OK with her being away, we’ve certainly missed her; the house just isn’t the same without one of the four of us.

I’ve realised over the last few days just how much of my work is one stepped removed from organisations and people who are mitigating the effects of late-stage capitalism. Whether it’s assisting charities who help people claim welfare benefits, or working with a global NGO fighting against ridiculous government climate policies, I’m very aware that all of the time and energy we’re spending fighting against wrong-headed business people and politicians equals time and energy we’re not spending building a better future.

But perhaps the two go hand-in-hand? I do enjoy building things that change the conversation, which is what I got to do at Mozilla and Moodle. I guess I’d just like to get my teeth into something substantial again. That will all have to wait until after the summer, though, as I’m determined to spend more time outside than inside.

Laura was back from her three-week holiday this week, which is good. We got stuck into various projects, both new and existing, tag-teaming, collaborating, and synchronising as necessary. Our co-op has started helping eight charities with some Catalyst-funded light-touch digital support which you can read more about here. Speaking of Catalyst, I facilitated this week’s Network Engagement Working Group session, introducing many of the group to a WAO favourite: etherpad!

Other than that, I did an hour’s consulting call about LMS strategy, recorded Episode 4 of the Tao of WAO podcast (this time featuring Bryan), and added interesting things to Thought Shrapnel and In total, that added up to 21.5 hours, which left me plenty of time for housework and exercise! I particularly enjoyed running and swimming this week. I’ve upped my activity levels as I’m currently the heaviest I’ve ever been. In addition, and after listening to this podcast episode, I’ve boosted my metabolism (two cafetieres of coffee per day) and reduced my calorific intake (only eating dinner).

Next week, I’ve got more Catalyst digital support to do, some iteration on our Participate work, and other bits and bobs such as a user testing session for OpenLearn. Hopefully Hannah’s NHS contract will finally start (bureaucracy!) as this weekend she’s converting the weird ‘room’ at the top of our loft conversion into an office.

Image by James McDonald

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