Open Thinkering


Weeknote 45/2023

Plant with berries climbing over a brick wall

It’s not often I take a photo specifically to include with my weeknotes, but that’s what I did with the one above.

There’s a (presumably) ancient little lane that cuts through from where we’re currently renting to the road where we used to live. I’ve been going to and fro over the last week as we currently only have a parking permit for our old house. It’s been a pleasure to see those berries getting redder over the course of the last few days!

It’s been a busy week. This has been the first full one in the rental property, and I’m not entirely sure where everything is. Partly this is because we have so much stuff in boxes in the cellar, but it’s also because I’m not used to the layout of the new place.

Virgin Media have been laying full fibre both on our old street and where we’re currently living. I’m going to look into it, but my assumption is that we’ll need to take at least a 12 month contract. Given that we’re planning to be renting for only half of that time, we’ll either just have to take the hit in terms of cost of the full contract, or gamble that the place we move to means we can take the contract with us.

Right now, we’re using a 4G/5G router plugged into my mesh network. I was concerned that it wasn’t going to be good enough for Hannah and I to work from home on video calls as it seemed really slow on Monday morning. However, we discovered later in the day that our son had been downloading gigabytes worth of games to the PC we’re now allowing him in his bedroom. Once that situation had been rectified, everything is (kinda) fine.

On the work front, I’ve been:

  • Onboarding myself (via reading and user research interviews) to the Digital Credential Consortium (DCC) project we started recently.
  • Running an ORE community call, which included a breakout room for the Open Recognition Toolkit which we’re planning to get (a version) ready for ePIC 2023 next month.
  • Helping plan, and then participating in the third Community Conversations session that WAO ran in conjunction with Participate. This one covered the two loops model and convening systems.
  • Joining an onboarding call for WAO to potentially join Patio, a network of international tech cooperatives.
  • Having virtual coffees with a few different people. I always enjoy doing this, and my calendar is here.
  • Recording the sixth and final episode of Season 8 of The Tao of WAO podcast. The whole season has been focused on the future of media and information literacy, as part of a submission that Ian O’Byrne, Laura Hilliger, and I have made to a special edition of the Journal of Media Literacy (JML).
  • Participating in a Future Trends Forum session with Laura and Ian that was hosted by Bryan Alexander. This was a great conversation and you can find the recording here.
  • Meeting with Aamirah Patel and John Bevan to discuss ongoing community work we’re helping with, including a new discussion platform, for the Wellbeing Economy Alliance.
  • Scoping out new potential work with Badgecraft who have big plans for the next five years. More on that soon!

Despite carving out Wednesday and Friday morning to work on my MSc in Systems Thinking in Practice, I managed to work about the same number of hours as normal.

Moving onto my MSc, then, and I had a little bit of catching up to do as the rest of my cohort had got some stuff done last week while I was moving house. I not only managed to get caught up, but wrote blog posts about most of it. Working in the open is my default, and given that we’re meant to be doing this as reflective practitioners, it’s also encouraged.

I had a great tutorial on Monday night, and then worked in the library at Morpeth Leisure Centre on Wednesday and Friday. Going in my gym stuff meant I could go straight from studying to working out, which was great.

Here’s what I’ve been doing. The module number, TB872, is prepended to the title of each of these blog posts when you click through:

I’ve found it really interesting so far. Long may that continue!

Next week, I’ll be continuing with most of the work mentioned above. Hannah is away for work, meaning that I’ve got the kids by myself; they’re a lot easier to manage these days, though. My daughter’s got a County football match quite a distance away on Monday afternoon, so I’ll be finishing work early for that. I should be able to fit everything in, including Thought Shrapnel. Just.

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