@joyatlarge

2016

Wrap Up Tuesday

Before the plunge, a couple of quick shoutworthy items:

1/ Cool tool thanks to a friend: hemingwayapp.com. For folks who find making edits intimidating; comes with a colour-in-by-numbers UX.

2/ Another friend just started at a too-cool-for-school agency worth checking out: SYPartners.

Sandbox. The English language is incredibly rich. Bill Bryson leads us down that journey in Mother Tongue where I first learnt the word polysemy. Today was another instance encountering another polysemy related to innovation-speak. First, it was Facilitation, then Design. Today it was Sandbox. These words mean very different things to different people. As an ardent fan of languages, it amuses me to see a word take a life of its own and travel different worlds of meaning. I wonder if we can hack cultural nuances by developing real time translation programmes like these. Part of the joy of experimentation is the kind of improvisation that occurs like a music set. Yet, terms like innovation, facilitation, design, sandbox, loaded with unspoken assumptions costs time. Particularly, time to unlearn, relearn. 

Serendipity. Once again, this holding space has invited a wonderful range of very interesting people and conversations. One of the hardest questions to answer at the moment is: so what are you up to? I'm getting better at answering this. And yet, this afternoon's anecdote best exemplifies cohesion in what seems like randomness. The combination of interest in impact, young people and pedagogy led me to a training session with Action Tutoring. This put me in the same team as a new friend who turns out to be a serial entrepreneur, SBC mentor, now restaurateur. And tutor. The rhyme of randomness is like riding a universe state of flow. 

Ode-I. Before that, I had a super awesome catch up with a Phantom Operator, a brilliant apparition of sorts at my old place of work. What an awesome guy. The place in the world for facilitation is an interesting concept. The diversity of views makes it a multifaceted subject which will never reach a conclusion until we find another name for it. A spectrum of facilitation is emerging which I hope to explain in a concise post one day. The consensus was that we know too many meetings in our sphere of work that sucked: offsites, boards, strategy planning sessions, team building, client meetings, networking, even training. It is true to say that every manager, consultant, meeting participant should understand how to facilitate a meeting. Amongst the conversations so far, facilitation seems to be a convergence of education, coaching, behavioural psychology and design. 

Action Tutoring. Still processing the contents from the day. Introductions were made to education inequality, free school meals, pupil privileges; the multiplicity of boards which examine students in different ways to get the same standard of qualification (GCSEs); the level of underprivileged children scoring A*-Cs is 33.5%, while the stats for kids not in that category is 60.5%; understanding signs of abuse. Gosh, if any part of the journey so far has been this mind jolting it's the level of safeguards protecting adults from children and children from adults. Did you know that grading systems have changed from A-G to 1-9? Teachers are still trying to understand what these integers mean, and from the brief explanation, it was more a standard that spans cumulative abilities instead of an isolated test. And schools can't seem to keep up with constant changes at policy level. Another traditional model bites the dust. Children suffer. 

Anyway, another post for another day.