Spread your know-how with (un)classes

(un)classes is a brilliant idea and they deserve to take off.  But they are not going to take off in London unless we all the founders a nudge.  A bit collective nudge!

Would you email them asking them to stop allocating London, England, to Guildford, Surrey!  I’ve explained to them that this won’t do, but I think they need to know that a  lot of us “over here” would use their service if they fixed the glitch.

What is an (un)class?

An (un)class is like an (un)conference. It is an informally organized class organized in a big city by whoever would like to teach a class!

The software allows students to arrange classes too, and ask for a teacher.

There is no obligation to pay, but students can voluteer to pay and teachers can ask to be paid.  Students could also tip the teacher!  That is all left to the teacher and the students to work out among themselves.

Put your bio up

I’ve put mine up and I am waiting for them to fix the glitch!  Please email them for me  .  .  .

My Bio on Unclasses August 2009
My Bio on Unclasses August 2009

Stylish events in London

Rounding up Week 4 at Xoozya

Event manager supremo in London

Squeezed in between writing tenders, I was able to attend a most excellent reception in London hosted by the Blur Group and event-managed by the inimitable, Julius Solaris.

Cafe Phillies

On a blowy, summer evening, we converged on Cafe Philles, just off Kensington High Street, an Italian Cafe with elegant, contemporary snacks, light wines and Belgium beer.

Getting down-and-dirty with social media

We were a small gathering of start ups in the social media space.  Everyone was articulate about what they do – and they are doing.  Julius had carefully selected the guests and conversation was relaxed but focused on the economy and the in-depth discussions of business models, be they the economics of on-demand printing, databases for the assiduous management of  backroom cooperation between real estate portals, or communication systems for disaster management.  Everyone worked for start ups and was comfortable in their own skins.

Time to call in the professionals

It was a pleasure to be there.  I am not an event manager at all – I abdicate my events (!), but they are expensive affairs, even for the guests.  I would like to go to more events that are focused and smooth.

From badgers to pewterers

I always talk to people in queues, on trains, well anywhere!

Eurasian badger

 

Image via Wikipedia

I always talk to people in queues, on trains, well anywhere!  England is an interesting place!  This is who expanded my horizons this week.

  • An environment manager for a major infrastructure company, who amongst other things, is looking for a pheronome to discourage badgers.
  • A young buyer who negotiates purchases penny-by-penny for a fashion chain
  • A psychologist investigating whether executive coaching increases flexibility & success in senior managers.
  • AND two gentlemen from The Court of The Worshipful Company of Pewterers!

Ancient Companies of London

Did you know, which I didn’t, that there are 108 Livery Companies in the city of London?

Livery companies date from the 1400’s or so and were originally trade associations or guilds.  Membership of a Livery company may be by patrinomy – an ancestor may have been a pewterer, for example.  It is also possible to join by redemption, for example, by having something to do with the pewter trade.

The trade associated with some Livery Companies, such as “long bows” might have died.  The Companies live on, though, with people joining and rising through the ranks.  The Worshipful Company of Pewterers continues to support the pewter trade.  They organize competitions for design and arts students every year.  They support charities.  My travel companions were returning from a meeting of Neurologists (yes, doctors) who were doing research into the effect of heavy metals with financial assistance from the Peweters.  One of my companions had also visited an arts class at a school whom they support in north London.

And nominally, at least, Court members have freedom of the City of London.  They can sell oranges on the street if they wish, and herd sheep across London bridge.  I didn’t catch whether Free and Livery members have these privileges.

And now to give the pamphlet about the design competition to my neighbour who is a fine arts graduate!

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Tribal IQ and Social Media

Paul Imre has thrown out the challenge: what is Tribal IQ?

Metrics gurus will ultimately want a set of numbers. This is a take influenced by corporate anthropology. I have lifted it almost entirely from a one-pager written by Dr Phil Baird, Vice President of United Tribes Technical College in North Dakota. With slight modifications, Phil Baird’s vision for his college fits almost exactly what we have been talking about:

What does it mean to provide communication infrastructure for a community, which is, in its barebones, exactly what social media does?

Mirror who we are

#1 Tribal IQ defines who we are: our past, our present and our future. We define our IQ ourselves and we recreate it everyday in what do, with each other, and people around us.

Support the everyday re-creation of our community

#2 A community manager is keenly aware of the way we recreate our culture on a daily basis. Our mission is to support our members as they regenerate our group through everyday activities

Recognize the competing definitions and internal dynamism of the community

#3 Sometimes our groups are complicated. Within one community, we may have multiple groups who have competing demands and between them add an invigorating tension.

Range of our challenge

Our groups might have a narrow or broad focus, be superficial or deep, and be short or long-lasting. The issues defining the group might be concrete and specific, such as supporting Obama for President, or they might be helping diffuse and long-standing such as communicating with local government through FixMyStreet.

Expansion of the role of IT & Geeks

In this year of 2008, the question many of us are asking is how we are using social media to support the needs of our community. IT experts are being drawn directly into the discussion of who is our community and what are its needs. We are drawn into the discussion about how our community functions, how it expresses itself, and how it recreates itself on a daily basis. And not least, how we facilitate our community’s activities, how we affect its internal functioning, and how we make it easier to fulfill its needs, including, the need to reflect on its needs and change the way members interact with each other and the outside world.

Moral challenges of community managers

As resources are always limited, we have to prioritize and help our members prioritize. We have to map out clearly what we will do and align our map with the wider map of the community’s needs. In this way we are drawn into the debates on management and governance within our community, our tribe.

Strategic work of community managers

We also need to address the challenges appearing on the 10, 5, 3 and 1 year horizons. One of the challenges of community regeneration is the arrival of ‘digital natives’. Every generation brings with it the challenge of incorporating new members and new ways. The generation joining the adult ranks of voters, workers and managers are digitally savvy and bring with them new skills, different attitudes and higher expectations. They will refresh our communities and highlight they way we interact, on-line and off-line, and the way construct our past, create our present and co-create our future. As Dr Phil Baird said in 2007, “What will their Tribal IQ bring to our Tribal College?”

The challenge is no longer for the community to understand IT. It is for IT to understand community

Social media is here, and IT has become communal. The challenge is no longer for the community to understand IT. It is for IT to understand community. I believe we will see joint careers in managing IT and sociology, anthropology, political science and psychology.

I like the 21st century! Comments?

Next social media camp is on July 5 2008 in London – follow the link for immediate registration, presentations, details, and so on.

 

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The best goal setting system in the world

Goal setting & wine

Seen at the Vesuvious Cafe 1t 139 3Colt Street in Canary Wharf in London. What brilliance! 13×4 = 52 weeks and 52 bottles of wine. Plan ahead and enjoy! A bottle of wine each weekend.

Goal setting in a bottle

I’ve been trying to distill (ferment?) the principles of this system.

1. It is SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time based).

2. It is also generative. You would set all this up a year in advance, buying the best wine. And placing in the right weeks depending on the season. And then you get to go down to the market on a Thursday evening or Saturday morning and buy fresh food to match the wine. It pulls you through to a better place.

3. It is expectant. Every week you have the pleasure of knowing that evening of cooking and eating is coming.

4. It is doable – not achievable. It is doable in a pleasurable way. Too many of these GTD systems are sweaty!

Is there something I am missing? And if you are in Canary Wharf, take a look. Have a coffee. They do English and Continental breakfasts. They have Italian wine for sale.

And they are nice.

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