“The only man who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew every time he sees me, while all the rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them”
There has been a lot of talk in the sector recently around developing common and shared approaches to measurement. Of course I am supportive of this if it enables a better understanding of social change and ultimately improves our work. more >
I’m changing my ‘default position’ for continuing discussions beyond email. My default will become to continue conversations online, rather than to start with the default of arranging to meet up.
Part of this is that I’m attempting to cut down the amount I travel (pick your favourite justification from saving time/money/environment, sheer laziness/lack of dedication to the cause/providing a shining example of how the internet can be used within daily routines...)
Who wants to shout about something that’s gone wrong?
We have a mission at Nominet Trust to understand how the internet can be used as a force to disrupt social challenges and create positive change (when I write this, it does vaguely sound like it should also be the motto of a lesser known slightly geeky comic book hero, whose secret power is wifi.)
A lot of our work is about looking at new models for change. However, by their definition, not every new model is going to impact on a social challenge as deeply as another, and even if a model has worked in one place there’s no guarantee that it’s going to work in another. Scaling and replication is not a simple business. more >
Seeing pictures, it seems, is a deceptively tricky business. Leonardo Da Vinci suggested we might look at a stain on a wall and see "heads of men, diverse animals, battles, rocks, seas, clouds, woods and similar things". Our imagination can powerfully alter the mental image we create for ourselves: what we see is only partially determined by what we're looking at. Crucially, our imagination is directed by our intention: a professional Renaissaince wall-cleaner, for example, might have seen in Leonardo's stain only an embarrassing mistake (or a business opportunity). more >
I had a very interesting chat the other day with a researcher. I won’t say who, and I won’t say where. So essentially this could be part of an elaborate storytelling ploy.
It centred on why we are using logic models and theories of change as the basis of our new evaluation strategy when they’re not perfect tools to understand change. At least not when compared to deep, longitudinal ethnographic research.
As anyone will tell you, whether they are a secret evaluation geek or not (just me with my hand up?) evaluation can be a bit tricky. The fact is human and societal change is complex and messy. But if we want to progress our field, like any field of endeavour, we have to learn from what we have done to move forwards. more >