Sunday, 9 August 2009

Technology everywhere

Thought you'd enjoy the first draft of an article that will go in Government Technology. Still needs a bit of fine tuning, still not bad for a first cut.

Future gazing is a difficult art form and the likelihood of getting it right is very low. Reading from today into tomorrow is notorious for many hostages to fortune – most of us get it wrong! There are however, a number of relative certainties that can provide a structure for looking at how society might develop and what the role of schools in the future might be. There are a number of things we know now that will impact on our society and economy and that will shape how we develop schools to empower the next generation to face such challenges. We know that the developed countries will see an increasing proportion of their populations being older people – some will want to continue working, some will not. We know that in contrast in China and India the proportion of young people in the population is increasing and these young people are highly skilled, highly technologically savvy and speak English. We know that the growth of the Internet has been expediential and is now seen by many as a ‘must have’ rather than an optional extra. These certainties rest on the knowledge that the next generation will not have a single career but many careers, some estimate that most young people will have as many as 15 different jobs in a lifetime. That will mean a lifetime of reskilling, learning different skills and techniques and using ICT and technology as a mechanism to upskill and change.

As part of a strategy to address some of these challenges, in the UK, there are a number of different Government initiatives that focus on harnessing the technology to develop a 21st century infrastructure that enables children, young people, and their families to harness the power of the new technologies. The national rollout of high speed broadband to all homes is part of a commitment to tackle the digital divide which sees some people with greater access to use the digital infrastructure whilst others do not benefit from such access. The Building Schools for the Future programme, which now has over 80 local authorities involved with a plan for the remaining 70 to be brought on board over the new couple of years, has at its core an approach to technology that sees it as central to improving school performance and creating new ways of teaching and learning.

These policy approaches are based on an acceptance that technology is here to stay and that digitalized forms of learning (through structures such as ICT managed services and virtual learning platforms) can liberate knowledge and provide access to information for everyone. The exponential growth of social networking tools (Face book, Bebo and more latterly Twitter) as well as the development of web2.0 with its ability for anyone, anywhere to set up their website, blog or podcast and to broadcast their view of the world to anyone anywhere represents a significant shift in our approach communication and knowledge.

New technologies can also provide a mechanism for creating new jobs and new forms of economy. The growth of digital jobs where knowledge can be provided from across the globe mean that our young people will need to have the skills that enables them to benefit. More flexible forms of working, combined with the solutions offered by faster more robust ICT infrastructure, mean that people from across the world can be working on one project, sharing information, knowledge and skills as part of a collective ‘we-think’ approach.

So what will this mean for schools over the next 20 years?

The infrastructure that is being put in place as part of the big capital investment programmes will need to be flexible enough to adapt to significant changes in the school population. There is the real potential for students to learn anytime, anywhere and this will change the relationship between students and schools, learners and teachers. For some young people (digital natives who can use and manipulate the technological tools) there will be a need to guide their learning in more mentoring, coaching forms of support. Some of this will need to take place in school. For others, the technology will be part of their skills based learning focusing on vocational courses where the learning relationship is more based on learning through doing. Again, this will mean that students will need to come together to learn from each other. The infrastructure will need to support all these forms of learning and more and enable the facilitation of learning through robust high speed backbones that become as robust and easy as paper and pens!

We are already witnessing the growth of new forms of school organization – particularly in the secondary sector. Schools are joining together – either loosely through mechanisms such as 14-19 collaborations or more formerly through new arrangements like Trusts and federations of academies. At the same time, local authorities are moving towards more flexible models that support their strategic commissioning role whilst ensuring local leadership. These two strands could see the development of ‘mini’ local education authorities – groups of schools that come together to procure services (HR and finance spring to mind as well as ICT managed services). There are already groups of Academies (the Academies Education Trust is one such group) who are running sufficient numbers of schools to require their own back office functions independent of the local authority. Overseen by an Executive Head teacher or Chief Executive, these groups of schools have the potential to become corporate ‘brands’ – marketed across the net with increasing ease and productizing learning and education to the next generation of parents who are increasingly confident in the net as their primary source of information.

So, how can we future proof our current approaches to make sure that we benefit as a society from these technological advances. The first issue will be to ensure that access does reach all corners of our society, which is why the rollout of broadband is crucial. Without it, we are limiting accessibility to some groups and not others. The second issue is make sure the systems that we put into schools (from virtual learning environments to wireless cables and servers) are agile enough to meet the demands of the future without needing more and more investment. We need to maximize the flexibility of the infrastructure to build systems that are equip for tomorrow’s change today. And finally we need to reaffirm the importance of schools since it is schools that will equip the next generation with the skills, knowledge and learning they need to make the best of the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead – whatever they may be.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

A not quite defintive history of education

One of the things that I find blogging useful for is recording my thoughts and ideas. I know that not all of them will come to fruition, but there's something about the action of writing a plan down that helps me to think about it and get it sorted in my head.

I think at the end of the year in the Winter months, I'll go through the blogs and see what I've accomplished and what plans still lie as twinkles in the eye.

My latest spark of an idea is that I want to write a history of education going way back and understanding what the origin and idea of education in this country is. Am thinking this will help me get my head around schools, colleges, universities and will feed my (slightly nerdy) curiousity around education and the state......draft title: A not quite definitive history of education........

Will keep you updated....

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Articles from my other life...part 2

Here's an article that I've done for work for a building magazine. Enjoy.

Education for the Future

Over the last 10 years technology and the Internet has changed significantly and is still constantly evolving. There’s been a huge rise in the use of the world wide web and it’s now commonplace for young people to spend their spare time using social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace while their school day is spent surfing the Internet to research information for GCSEs. For them, the net has become a way of life, a way of receiving and researching information that helps them make choices about their life. Every day, new applications, software and ways of using the Internet hit the market – and every day young people make choices about how they will use this information in their lives.

Schools are at the forefront of working with children and young people to understand some of the challenges this new technology brings. With all young people able to access the same information from different sources on the Internet it could have implications on what they learn and could change the way they are taught, especially with access available anywhere at any time. It is also important to understand how using social networking sites to organise lives outside of school impacts on parents and how it also opens up opportunities for jobs on the other side of the world without even having to step out of their front door.

There are significant challenges which face schools as they change to meet the demands of the 21st century. These range from the role of the teacher as the source of information , to recognising the way that information is now global and available 24 hours a day. The skills and jobs of today will not be the skills and jobs of tomorrow. Young people need to have the critical skills to help them use the Internet to enhance their lives and they need to have the tools which support them to do this in a way which is safe. Schools need to have systems which talk to each other, that support learning through robust and speedy infrastructure which can pipe knowledge and information across classrooms and across homes.

Technology can be a catalyst to exploring what teaching and learning can be in the new century and can provide a new range of skills which enable young people to prepare for new jobs and careers. Technology can provide personalised approaches which enable learners to progress at their own speed in a way which interests them and engages them in the subject. In Southampton, Mouchel has been working with schools and pupils to begin to map out what schools of the future could be like through a series of interactive workshops which asked school students what makes good schools and what makes good learning. At the same time, we’ve been working with school leaders to understand their needs and to explore the type of technology that could work for them.

These workshops are part of the work Mouchel does with schools, colleges and local authorities to help them map out a vision which will transform teaching and learning. making schools centres of excellence for the 21st century. Using a range of different techniques, Mouchel works with young people in schools, school leaders and local authorities to create blueprints for what they want from new buildings and learning environments. We help them take that vision and shape it into a technical model that uses the best ICT advice to map out a solution for the school and local authority. Mouchel brings procurement expertise to make sure schools and local authorities get the best deals, that technology is up to date and relevant and that schools can focus on teaching and learning rather than fixing the kit.

Mouchel’s expertise covering academies, schools, the Building Schools for the Future programme and colleges means we understand the importance of learning in developing solutions for education and know that a focus on the student is critical in getting the best out of the technology. Our work with local communities through projects such as the rollout of broadband, means we know technology is not just the wires and cables, but is at the core of equipping our communities and futureproofing them for the challenges of the future. Our approach of ‘learning led technically expert’ solutions, means we believe technology in education can make a huge difference to changing the life chances of children, young people and their families.

Although we don’t know all the challenges that our young people will face in the future, we do know technology will be a critical tool in helping them meet that challenge. Working as an approved supplier under the BECTA framework, Mouchel is helping our schools and local authorities rise to that challenge.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

My talk at the RSA

Thought you might be interested in the speech I gave at RSA as part of Big Debate on education:

The Big Debate Thank you Ty for that introduction. I am delighted to be here on behalf of Mouchel as part of the Big Debate hosted by the British Council for School Environments and I am particularly keen to explore the future of the our schools capital programmes and to raise some thoughts about the impact that such investment in buildings can have on the nature of learning and on what our schools mean to us and future generations. At the moment we live in difficult times. It is hard to assess what the future will be for public spending and public services given the state of the economy and the economic climate and the impact that this will have on our programmes for capital investment in education. The college rebuilding programme is staggering to a halt, we are all eagerly awaiting the next ministerial announcement on the future of the BSF programme, and whatever happens in the election next year, there are likely to be greater constraints on public spending. However, we are starting to see some glimpses of themes that may help us understand what may happen to the big capital investment schemes for schools in place over the next couple of years In particular, it seems likely that regardless of the election result, there will be a reduction in the overall funding available for education capital programmes. The current programme (covering primary capital, voluntary schools, children’s centres, secondary schools as well as building schools for the future) totals some £8bn. We may be looking at a substantial reduction in this spend which would necessitate a reordering of the current priorities. It is not clear what this would mean for the BSF programme (which represents roughly 40%) of the overall total or for each of the other funding streams. However, it is likely that pressure on capital investment programmes overall will encourage a greater emphasis on ‘joining up ‘ the money – looking at how local services can be delivered more effectively across the local estate modelled on initiatives such as extended full service schools and the recently announced co-location fund. In essence there may be a ‘more bang for the bucks’ approach with central government continuing to ask the question of local authorities and schools ‘if we give you this large injection of capital funding for schools, what else are we getting?’. We could also see a greater emphasis on how all the services involved in education particularly those in the non statutory area (libraries, museums, art galleries) contribute to the learning of each child. Perhaps a shift to greater involvement of this sector in education and schools so that, say, the visit to the local museum becomes an central part of the delivery of the curriculum in all schools rather than an extra nicety for some. However, the pressures behind the investment in education will not go away. The country continues to need to urgently tackle our relative position in the global league tables and to create the energy and innovation in the next generation that will tackle some of the global issues that face us. The need to create a sustainable future for all our communities is critical to futureproofing UK plc. As well as safeguarding our planet and creating a low carbon economy. We need to have green ways of learning to create green jobs.

Given the current economic climate and rising unemployment levels, the role of building schools as a way of creating local employment opportunities and breaking cycles of deprivation and disadvantage is central to achieving the fiscal stimulus and regenerating the economy.
Given this backdrop, it’s likely that whatever the complexion of the next Government, there will be a review of the Building Schools for the Future scheme with the possibility that a hold is put on those programmes not yet in contract for a year and either a stretching of the programme over a longer time period or the spend per scheme will be reduced. This could create the climate for an increasing interest in refurbish and remodel programmes that are arguable more sustainably sound and (perhaps) more cost effective. These factors may put increasing pressure on the need to review the current LEP model of procurement to ensure it is fit for purpose under any new regime. The emphasis on greater cost efficiency in school design and delivery could see a greater move to standard designs and offsite solutions. New ways of lowering building costs through streamlining design processes or restructuring procurement routes could also enable a more cost efficient delivery of such programmes particularly where these are broader than just a small group of schools and encompass the wider cultural estate. We need to understand that the BSF programme has the potential to act as a regeneration catalyst in any local area, providing an opportunity to create new visions for the future which transform community aspirations and put learning, creativity and innovation at their heart. Taking the lessons from some of the one school pathfinders and earlier BSF programme, there is great potential at looking at how transformation can be created in existing buildings. This will be a greater challenge than innovation in brand new buildings, and would enable more schools to be involved in the programme. What goes on within the learning environment and school becomes more important in a refurbished school where there are physical boundaries to what can be achieved than schools which have the benefit of new build. As we all know, it’s the people that deliver change, and transform lives – not the building! Getting teachers and learners to be innovative in their approach to schooling, supporting change management programmes to place the learner at the centre are fundamentally more important in changing learning than the physical building. But…………………….good school design can act as a catalyst for thinking about new ways of teaching and learning and good school design helps to inspire lifelong learners who are active citizens participating in and creating the workforce of the future. Good design can raise the aspirations of young people and their local communities, good design can create cathedrals of learning that inspire us all and send a message about the value of education.

So any Government support for a greater emphasis on change management in all schools and learning environments is to be welcomed - we need to invest in our teachers and learners arguably more than we invest in our buildings…….it is what goes on inside the school that really matters. On the other hand, we mustn’t loss the power of buildings to simulate, to create, to innovate and to inspire. To say to the next generation, we value you and your learning. The Big Debate and the Schools Enquiry is an important part of learning what works in buildings now and Mouchel is proud to be part of that continuing discussion.
When it comes to design, it is sometimes too easy to say that new schools are still behaving like old schools. We are all learners in this programme – and we need to learn lessons from the early school builds to improve future schools. Many of the later schools will be different in design and feel. The RSA Academy in Tipton which I visited this week, will be significantly different in its classroom design than the predecessor school. Building in flexible learning, different workspaces and exploiting the benefits of new technology, creating low carbon buildings which act as a curriculum resource will be at the forefront of new schools as we move forward. More research would be useful here, so that the lessons from early parts of the programme are fed into later schemes drawing on BSF, academies and the primary capital programme.

Mouchel’s own research for our Buildings 4 Education programme looked at 40 schools who had undergone significant capital investment (predominantly a total rebuild of the premises). The feedback from these schools highlighted the value of building a new school as an opportunity to reflect and change teaching and learning practice and to create new ways of working. The inspirational impact of investment in disadvantaged and deprived communities was significant – with schools talking about the difference that a new school had made to the pride of students and the local community. That injection of capital investment acted as a catalyst to think about what new technology means to learning, what do we know about learning that we didn’t when we built ‘old’ schools, what do we need to equip our young people for their futures. The building itself becomes a role model of how an organisation could be in the future – sustainable, full of light, creative, innovative, spaces that are flexible, that celebrate and value all forms of learning. Would this have happened without such investment – probably not.
May be the question we should be asking is not ‘are we designing new old schools’, but ‘are we designing schools and learning environments that are flexible, have the learner at the centre, provide wider community services and act to raise the aspirations of the local community’? On that basis Mouchel’s answer would be a yes and there’s more that we can do. We do know that schools make a difference – to children and young people, their families and their communities. We do know that local communities value their schools and that building new schools can have a major impact on raising the aspirations of local communities. We do know that those involved in our schools are committed to making a difference to children, young people and their families. We witness this in every school across the country and we know that schools need to continue to serve the needs of learner today, yet be flexible enough to meet the demands of tomorrow – whatever they may be. Just think about it, children starting school this September could retire in 2074, will they have the life skills, the learning, and the values they need for their adult lives…….? Mouchel is proud to be part of the Big Debate and proud to work daily with those making a difference to the next generation.

Thank you.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

The Big Learning Debate

I am speaking alongside Matthew Taylor, Chief Exec of the RSA next week. It's a debate as part of National School Environment Week and will look at the future of learning and public spending. Once I've done it I'll post the speech to the blog.....look out for it.

Am also now a Director of South Liverpool Education Trust which focuses on raising aspirations in the Toxeth area of Liverpool. We're working together with two schools (one primary and one secondary) - will be visiting them in July and taking photos - so again watch this space.

The Learning Sustainability Foundation needs a bit more work on it - that'll be a summer project and after that MOLE (the museum of learning and education) - kicking off in the autumn. Am building good links with good people so things are quietly coming together nicely. Wish me luck!

Sunday, 24 May 2009

It's been a while since....

It's been a while since I've blogged on this site - got a little wrapped up with the veggie project (you can see progress on my other blogsite). Still there's lots to tell:
The Learning Sustainability Foundation has now got a small group of potential trustees sorted - good folks who will help me to make this a runner. The next step will be to organise some sort of meet up - that might wait till the autumn because the charity laws on how to set up and govern charities, are just about to change and I want to see what impact they will have on the Foundation. Am sorting business cards which will link to the web and give a couple of phone numbers. Am also, and this is quite exciting, in touch with a couple of good egg charities (Education for All, Transformation Unlimited) and as a result have been invited to go to dinner at the House of Commons in my role as a founder of LSF! What fun!
The other project am working on is the Museum of Learning and Education - we have nothing that celebrates schools, colleges, learning in this country and the students, teachers, cleaners and everyone who goes the extra mile to make learning fun. This may explain our ambivilence towards learning and education. That project will be the biggy - and my ultimately my legacy.

It'll also need another website! Fun! And to that end I've registered for 121 training with Apple - it's a brilliant scheme giving you 12 hours of 121 training in a year for a very small fee. That's why I do love Apple....need to save pennies for my upgrade to more powerful Mac as a birthday/Xmas present.'s been a while since I blogged....but busy, busy, busy.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

You must watch this - you'll love it!

Please watch this - you'll chuckle and it'll really make you think......enjoy!

Monday, 4 May 2009

The Big Oxford Learning Debate

I've just finished writing the proposals for the Big Oxford Learning Debate. The BOLD (like it!) is an idea that I hatched whilst thinking about Oxford and learning and skills and and and.....
I am a Fellow of the RSA and was chatting about this as an idea with one of the local group members.

The idea is to bring together the great and the good from the Oxford learning community (so the Vice Chancellors of the Universities, a principal of an FE college, maybe the Director of Children's Services, perhaps a headteacher or two) to have a discussion about the future of learning and what we need to do to ensure that children and young people have the skills and knowledge and aptitudes they need to face the challenges of tomorrow.

I've got my friends at British Council for School Environments interested too as part of their investigation into what makes good learning.

I've offered to organised and chair the event which, fingers crossed, should happen sometime in October this year.....

I think it sounds really good.......

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Can anybody find me?

I find that I increasingly need to draw when I am explaining my thoughts, ideas and concepts. I have always been a visual learner and see images, pictures, and scenes in my mind. I can remember at college planning my approach to essays using bubbles and lines - I later stubbled across mind maps and thought 'hey that's what I was doing 10 years ago.....'.
So I've been drawn to mind maps as a way of supporting my thinking, finding that my mac (and all computers) tends towards the written word and vertical relationships. I need (and strangely it is a need!) to use more fluid ways of showing links when I am being creative or thinking through an issue.
I've explored (and paid for!) many different forms of mind map and they haven't been what I've been looking for - most of the time they are very 'flat' in feel and the images are too 'clean'. Mind maps are about mess - lots of different lines and bubbles to reflect different importances and different relationships. Packages like Novamind seem to structured, too straight, even too 'male'. Omnigraffle whilst not a mind map as such, came close in terms of wonderful graphics, although I found the structuring and how to use it a bit complicated. I also needed something that I could carry on my iPhone and then ping to my mac.
The best answer I've come across to date is ibluesky which is a very very simple mind mapping tool for the iPhone (find it on iTunes apps) and for the mac itself Freemind. These seem to work well together and since I got them (a couple of weeks back), I've found myself drawn to use them in a way that the previous packages didn't. Importantly, Freemind is free! So that's a bonus.

I will though keep looking since what I am really after is a mind map app that works on both iPhone and mac to which you can attach files, photos, videos etc if you want to - that has hyperlinks to those documents and that enables a more messy and more creative approach (couldn't we have templates with bubbles as clouds....more images please!). So virtual community out there....find me something....preferably free!

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Facebook, blogger and twitter

Hopefully I have connected all my two blogsite and my twitter account so you and I can get to them all via Facebook. Fingers Crossed.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Learning Sustainability and more

I haven't written this blog in a while so there's lots to tell since I've been a bit busy! In terms of mind food activities (thinking and writing), I've returned from a trip to Dublin to talk about New Thinking for a New Generation at the Construction for Health and Industry Conference. Ireland has a school building programme to deal with the increase in the population and the conference was looking at how to make the best of the programme in terms of sustainability. There was a lot of focus on the physical asset - how do we make new buildings carbon zero or carbon neutral, what's the best form of glass structure to prevent heat loss - that sort of thing.
I spoke on the key issues facing us in terms of the growth of technology, the economic crisis, climate change and exclusion of young people from school and the importance of the people in the buildings as well as the buildings themselves. In particular, I emphasised that without new ways of learning and teaching, new forms of schooling, new ways of creating innovation, we won't create the green collar job solution that we need to regenerate the world's economy and the world.
The speech went down well and I made some wonderful contacts of like minded people.

This brings me neatly onto my new venture - the Learning Sustainability Foundation.

Alongwith some like minded others, I am in the process of setting up a not for profit organisation devoted to learning sustainability. The focus for the organisation will be to support schools, councils and other places of learning to create new forms of organisation, learning and leadership that have at their core using the technology to create new green skills. The organisation will be titled Learning Sustainability Foundation and will support the research and development needed to create 21st century learning for 21st century schools and colleges. The Foundation has a webpresence since I've registered the name and we have an email address ( Over the next couple of weeks I'll sort the website and the charity will get registered. I'll let you know about it using this blog.

So a busy time with much to do for the future.

Thursday, 26 February 2009


Leadership is the constant struggle between structure and passion. E-leadership faces the inevitable pressure to persue structure over passion and to thereby limit creativity and innovation.

(Folks this came to me at 4am in the morning - so it's my moment of Zen!)

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Another note to me really and others.....

A couple of things are running through my mind at the moment. The first one sounds a bit peculiar going to write something entitled 'Prevailing Paradigms of Procurement' which will really be about how the current process of paper based limiting and fixed structures of procurement (PQQs, Tenders, bids and the like) mitigate against innovation and creativity - can't include a blog, or podcast, or hyperlink since it can't be measured and therefore can't be assessed!

Am having a couple of days off so that'll keep my mind active and my brain busy!

The other one is just to signal a really interesting organisation - Association for Progressive Communication ( which aims to use the internet to promote social justice. Worth a look see....

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Prevailing Paradigms

Just a quick note, to myself really...
Have just been at our local Royal Society of Arts Fellowship meeting to hear Dr Cyril Levicki on strategic leadership. Cyril said some interesting things about notions of leadership and prevailing paradigms - how leadership moulds and is created by the existing paradigm in which it operates which can stifle innovation and create cultures of 'yes' people - particularly relevant given the bankers and the way they have operated. I shall meet up with Cyril soon and will write about this more....the more I think the more I'd like us to shift a few paradigms......

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Urban leaders, CEO for Cities

Whilst browsing around on the web I came across CEOs for cities - a network of urban leaders in the states working to find new ways of regenerating cities through building new ways of thinking. In their words....

Today, there is nothing easy or automatic about becoming a successful city. Places that cling to the old ways of doing things, old views of society and the old agenda may find themselves pulled under by the waves of change, rather than being pushed along by them.

This sparked off thoughts in my mind about whether a similar network exists in this country - the Smart Cities agenda has the potential to do something along these lines and if we can link this with some of the thinking around new ways of learning, sustainability, investment in new forms of capital then maybe just maybe we can create something new, dynamic, that doesn't spell the end of the planet and is human focused and friendly. I need to think about this more.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Edubloggers beware

Just quickly....I've found a wonderful website for international folk who are blogging about education and learning. run by Patricia in Ireland. Really good stuff. So much mind food out there for me and I only started this blog in January. Am starting to understand why people like blogging.....

Sunday, 1 February 2009

It's all about shifting paradigms....

Having a background in sociology, I am always drawn to notions of how the world changes. Sometimes this is slow, incremental, like ice melting, you're not really sure anything is happening and then you look back and see how different the world has become. Othertimes there's a crash, bang, wallop and the world has shifted on its axis and become something previously unthought of.

I think at the moment we may be witnessing the beginning of a paradigm shift. Writers and thinkers (some of them internationally known speaking to millions of people, some of them only known to a few who seek out blogs, podcasts and strange bits of info on the net) seem to be raising the prospect of a new way of looking at the world, a new way of being, living, growing and creating. A new way of society organising itself.

With my interest in learning and education, combined with an increasing fascination with how the current credit crunch will work itself out, I came upon a blog called Rippling Pond ( which talks about how the economic crisis (cuts in public spending on education, less teachers in schools) could force the new ways of learning which rely less on traditional pedagogies and more in rooting learning within communities using technology to bring about anytime study with smaller schools using downstreaming and other techniques to share knowledge and information. Take a look and see what you think.

Saturday, 31 January 2009

Getting serious about mind food

I've set up a google alert for Smart Cities Future which is a collaboration between Salford, Manchester Met, Universities, and others to generate new ideas to find solutions to the key challenges that face us. Am also going to take a look at the Edward de Bono Foundation for Serious Creativity and Constructive Thinking (what a title!) which I think will spark off ideas all over the this space!

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

We think and mind food

I am currently reading Charles Leadbeater's We Think book and finding it really thought provoking. Although I'm only at the early stages of the book, notions around how technology could be used to provide new forms of creativity and innovation founded in collectivism and sharing knowledge. I have a feeling that I am going to learn a lot from this and that some of my responses will find their way onto the blog. Please indulge me. (and take a look at

Why mind food?

I have been thinking for some time now about the changes that face us in the 21st century and our need to create new ways of thinking and learning and growing and changing. For me, this is what mind food is all about - it's things to think about, to mull over, to reflect upon - snippets of information, quotes, thoughts, websites, books that I've come across that are helping my thinking about how I move forward in my own life and how in my job and at home I come to terms with the 'big' things in life.....I can cope with the little things (what to have for tea, where to go on holiday, what time is the train) but it's the big things (impact of climate change, the possibilities created by new technology, the economic downturn) that continue to fascinate me particularly in terms of learning organisation and how we respond as leaders.

So this blog will be used to collate and think about those bits of mind food that are sustaining me and helping me to understand the world out there......please enjoy it and do with it whatever you will........