Open Thinkering


Weeknote 42/2023

Aha! The same number weeknote as my age. Awesome.

This time next week we should be partly moved into our new (temporary) house. Thankfully, it’s not next to the River Wansbeck, which very nearly overwhelmed the flood defences installed after the events of a decade or so ago. The tree being swept away by the river in the above photo used to stand at the bottom of the garden of the house mentioned in this post. That sound you hear is of us dodging a bullet in deciding not to go ahead with purchasing it 😅

I’m composing this post pretty early on Sunday morning having just done some last-minute edits to Thought Shrapnel newsletter #444. If you haven’t subscribed yet, you don’t know what you’re missing. Or maybe you do, which is why you unsubscribed. Or maybe you use the RSS feed to get the posts without my additional solo waffle? You do you.

This week I have been mostly:

  • Completing a badged course in preparation for the postgraduate study I’m starting next month. I wrote about that here.
  • Pleased that Laura is back from her three-week sailing holiday. She seems to have had a good time and is well-rested. Laura’s moved her excellent newsletter to Substack, which you can subscribe to here.
  • Having a Covid booster jab. I’m in a ‘vulnerable group’ because I’m asthmatic, which means I get extra protection. I’m not complaining, although I feel a little achey this morning.
  • Packing boxes, given that we’re moving next week. We… have a lot of stuff and we’re moving ourselves by hiring a van. The house we’re moving to must only be about 500m away from where we currently live, as the crow flies.
  • Helping my daughter prepare for, and then interview, my parents about some family history. I wrote about it in this post.
  • Planning for the first Community Conversations workshop that WAO is running with Participate. We’re using the ORE community as an example to talk about value cycles. It’s free, so please do sign up!
  • Setting up a new project with MIT Digital Credentials Consortium (DCC). We’re getting onboarded and then helping with documentation and asset-creation.
  • Catching up with various people and talking to others I’ve never had the pleasure of talking with before via my virtual coffee calendar slots. Please do take one if you fancy a chat ☕
  • Getting involved with our monthly WAO co-op half-day. We did some reflection and planning, which was useful.
  • Attending a great SI Networks session entitled How to Communicate with Systems Maps. This is going to be an important practical part of my upcoming MSc, so I wanted to get a head start. There are some really interesting people doing some fascinating stuff!
  • Viewing some houses. People are still being a bit unrealistic about pricing, I think, given the state of the market.
  • Putting together a significant follow-up to Part 1 of Using Open Recognition to Map Real-World Skills and Attributes. In Part 2, which I’ll publish after my colleagues have added their thoughts and feedback, I not only provide a flowchart for the system I’d like to build, but wireframes for the main user experience workflow. I’m looking forward to publishing it, because I want someone to build this!

My children’s football matches were called off this weekend due to the storm, but my son’s basketball game went ahead. They absolutely smashed the opposition, and he scored three baskets and made three assists, playing Point Guard. I’m saying that as if I have any clue about basketball; I don’t, but enjoy watching him play, and he played well.

Next week, we’re following up some potential new work with Greenpeace, starting the work with MIT DCC, and running the workshop with Participate that I mentioned above. I’ve also got plenty more packing and logistics to get sorted, and then on Friday we should be exchanging contracts on our house and getting the keys to our rental. We’ve then got a week to move everything across before completion.

I may get some time to work on MSc-related things, in which case I might have a go at the Mastering Systems Thinking in Practice short course through OpenLearn. I do like a badge, after all 😉

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