Category Archives: My News


I’m in New York and getting the usual buzz from being here. Going to investigate Birdbath this afternoon, and have some free time over the weekend if anyone reading this is in the area and feeling sociable…

Interesting job alert

As you may know, I’m currently doing some work for NESTA and in particular its NESTA Connect programme.

NESTA has been through a bit of a transformation in recent months and is doing some good stuff based on getting people together to support innovation. They’ve certainly hosted some good events featuring some of the many interesting voices relating to things Web 2.0 etc. And they put seed money into some great projects like the recent Sicamp.

Anyhow Roland Harwood is responsible for this programme and he’s hiring. Which creates what might be a great opportunity for someone out there. Roland’s looking for someone to help him take NESTA Connect forward. So if you are someone – or know someone – who can help NESTA make connections out there, please give Roland a holler. There’s a job spec on this page (currently the second item, with links to more details).

Deepening friendships

One of the great things about Banff was the chance to deepen friendships with folks I know almost entirely from blogging.

Patti Digh gave a terrific presentation with her partner, David Robinson. It was very experiential and it’s hard to do it justice in words. They succeeded in bringing a great deal of depth to the issue of diversity and allowed a group of people to create a deep sense of connectedness in a remarkably simple and direct way.

Andrew Rixon was also a delight to meet in person, even though he failed to persuade me to take juggling lessons with him.

Andrew came at the invitation of Viv McWaters who facilitated the Open Space on the last day. I learnt a lot watching Viv who really gets the principle of “one less thing”. I really enjoyed her in warrior facilitator mode, dealing with a question about apparent confusion about spaces with the riposte, “Work it out for yourselves.” It may sound harsh here, but actually, that’s how empowerment works sometimes: smart people rarely need the rescues we’re tempted to offer them.

Inner game?

I’m blogging this from Terminal 3 at Heathrow, on my way to Calgary (then by road to Banff). I’m looking forward to a few days hanging around with improv folks and enjoying not being in Britain for a bit.

Heathrow is busy as ever but I think they’ve improved the speed of security a lot, there’s certainly no shortage of people offering plastic bags for my toothpaste.

I’m taking The Inner Game of Work to read on the flight. I’ve heard interesting things about it and want to find out for myself. I’m secretly hoping to find some games=work type rationalisation for my current intense addiction to World of Warcraft. Yeah, good luck with that one, eh?

Heading for the mountains

Well, judging by my writing style of yesterday, I need a holiday.

So it’s good that I’m taking one. I’ve just booked my flights to Banff in the Rockies for the Applied Improv conference. It’ll be a chance to catch up with blog-friends including Andrew Rixon and Patti Digh.

The best part will probably be the Open Space on the last day. I’m thinking of offering a conversation with the title “But what if we’re all wrong about this…?” and seeing who shows up with what ideas.

Travel update

I’m back from New Zealand (where my blogging was pretty light as you may have noticed). I’m starting to think of it as my second home. It’s a remarkably uncrowded place, a massive contrast to London life. Each time I’ve flown into Christchurch, the first person I’ve seen on the airbridge is a uniformed official. I suppose she’s part of of immigration control, but it seems like her unofficial job is just to stand there smiling warmly at everyone to make them feel welcome. That’s the effect she had on me.

On a previous trip, the next thing I saw was an ad suggesting I think about moving there to live. No doubt there are fancy economic explanations, but it all contributes to my sense of a very welcoming place.

The winter weather this year was stunning, and it seems I’ve missed nothing but rain at home.

I’m usually a bit erratic about taking holidays and I’m very glad I made sure to take this one.

All I need to do now is shake off the major league jetlag!

Off on hols

I’m blogging this from Heathrow where I’m en route to New Zealand for a holiday away from it all. I’m looking forward to watching the tide go in and out of Cable Bay near Nelson. I’ll probably be visiting Wellington briefly to see Dr Yan and then having a few days in Christchurch.

Bog update

It was funny to have people come up to me at the conference yesterday to ask me how if my loo was working yet. The joys of blogging. For those who care, we’re making progress with a new macerator due for installation tomorrow.

Lunch and conversation and capture

I had a great lunch yesterday with Chris Corrigan Richard Oliver, Kevin McLean and his partner. Kevin blogged it better than I could here.

Loosely related, I’ve been thinking how often I hear people at meetings concerned with capturing knowledge and capturing outcomes. I wonder if there is some other need being expressed, as so much of the most juicy knowledge seems to me to be social. So I can have a conversation in which I just build a relationship and nothing needs to be captured. In fact, capturing stuff might fail to honour the relationship. Just a thought.