Open Thinkering


Weeknote 04/2023

Cracked tiles (decorative)

I guess I should start this week’s update by saying hello to my son’s friends, who seem to have discovered this blog. I’m pleased you’re reading something, guys! Congrats on ripping your eyeballs away from TikTok for more than three seconds.

Now that we’ve reached the second paragraph and we’re safely beyond the average 16 year-old attention span, I can get down to business. I’m not going to lie: this week has felt quite long. This was partly because Hannah was away for a couple of nights meaning I had to do some solo parenting (always ‘fun’) but also because John came down with something which meant I was covering for him on the WAO projects we’re working on together.

While there’s been a lot of context-switching this week, I have enjoyed the diversity of the types of work with which I’ve been involved:

  • Publishing a blog post about last week’s WAO meetup in The Netherlands.
  • Writing a digital strategy (currently at v0.3) and a sunsetting / testing plan for a new community platform.
  • Chatting with a couple of people who booked a meeting with me, one about Open Badges, and the other a more wide-ranging chat about digital approaches to preserving a peninsula in Costa Rica from over-development.
  • Creating the first draft of competencies and skills around an existing (and successful!) course that Laura invented and I have been working on for a while.
  • Running a workshop on community engagement which included a useful pre-mortem activity.
  • Testing and giving feedback on a client’s new platform which is taking shape.
  • Giving feedback on session plans and slide decks for a new client’s upcoming offsite both asynchronously and in office hours sessions.
  • Having an in-depth chat with the only person who came along to a different office hours session about open working.
  • Collaborating with CoTech members about creating a ‘digital candle’ style service for people who have been affected by the tech layoffs and might be interested in setting up their own co-op.
  • Engaging in some business development, as although we’ve got plenty on now, it’s important to have a pipeline so we don’t run out!

I had my first proper migraine of 2023 this week. They don’t affect me as much as they used to in terms of their intensity, but I guess they have a more wide-ranging impact in that I both consciously and unconsciously adapt my life to avoid triggering them.

My son said that I often talk more about my daughter’s sporting achievements than his. This is partly because I tend to write these on Saturday afternoons, after she’s played a football match in the morning, but before his basketball and football games. So I definitely won’t mention that she scored a hat-trick and received Player of the Match again. Whoops.

Anyway, I’m very proud of him in a way that will probably make him cringe if and when he reads this. He asked for an English tutor after he got his mock GCSE exam results last Friday and had his first session this week. She said how she’d learned things from him in terms of the way he interprets texts.

My son’s basketball team has just been promoted back to the top division, so I’m looking forward to that game this afternoon. He’s got a football match tomorrow and my daughter’s making her debut for a boy’s team that she’s recently signed for. Yes, my weekends largely involve driving my kids to sporting fixture and watching them perform. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Next week will almost inexplicably include days that mark the start of February. I’ll be involved in the same projects as this week, although hopefully John will be better. I’m looking forward to getting that CoTech digital candle service up-and-running, fixing my iPod (again!) and having a more normal week where neither Hannah nor I’m away.

Image taken from an original by Vincent Burkhead

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