Open Thinkering


Weeknote 13/2023

Hoop tied onto football goalposts in top right-hand corner

This was my last week at work for three weeks. Just as I did in 2022, this year I’m taking three weeks off in April, August, and December, as well as a few days here and there. I find that it’s only in the third week away from work that I can truly unwind.

Unwinding is different to relaxing. I’m not really someone who find pleasure in long periods of relaxation, if I’m perfectly honest. Life is short and I need things to do. So I’ll be spending my time on holiday with Team Belshaw in Scotland, doing DIY, and walking at least half of The Pennine Way. I’ve swapped running for walking 20,000+ steps each day in preparation for the latter. In fact, I’m just back from a walk with the rest of Team Belshaw which encompassed some of the best of Northumberland (mud! beaches! ice cream!)

Talking of exercise, Morpeth Riverside Leisure Centre, which I’ve been to ever since moving here nine years ago, closed on Wednesday. That is because the new leisure centre (also next to the river, just a bit further round!) opens next Wednesday. I’m not sure why they had to have a week inbetween, and they haven’t informed us of a refund. But you can have a look around the new place for yourself (no, it’s not a parody! I like their enthusiasm).

Also on the exercise front, our kids haven’t had any football matches this weekend, nor have they any scheduled for next weekend. As a result, I was up on the field at the top of the hill helping my daughter with various skills. The photo above shows the high-tech solution I came up with to practice getting it in ‘top bins‘. My son has been a little unwell and so hasn’t been playing sport or training this week.

Blog posts continued tumbling out of me this week:

I also finished the resource for Catalyst on Open Working. On the same topic, Anne published a post rounding up the work we did via CAST for Sport England. Adam Freeman-Pask, who is Head of Digital Innovation for Sport England also published a post heavily influenced by the programme. That’s the end of that project, which we started back in May last year.

We’re replacing this work on our roster with three smallish projects for the Member Learning group of We’ll be turning the MVP of the CoTech Digital Candle service into something a bit more fully-featured. In addition, we’re creating an email-based course (see others) on the basis of worker co-ops, as well as doing some user research to see what kind of support existing network members would like.

In addition, I worked on other client projects for Greenpeace, Participate, and the Wellbeing Economy Alliance. That involved doing a whole range of things from to figuring out badge pathways, installing and configuring a wiki, booking flights to Badge Summit, and writing more of a digital strategy. I had some interesting conversations including about Navigatr, drafted another email course (on ‘Reframing Recognition’), did some invoicing, and submitted a proposal for ePIC 2023 in December.

Next week I’m on holiday and walking around a lot.

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