A short week but a happy one!

Once again, I made it to the “start the week” but this time a depleted one.  Serious power chairmanship meant we got out with 15 minutes to spare, Go Cyrus!!

Next up was fire training.  Given that I spent most of my career in the oil and chemicals industries and got to put out real fires with real extinguishers, the PowerPoint and video approach leaves me cold, but it does make me remember the real stuff, so does some good.

Sharing a performance review with Heidi to ease the handover came next, and then another Innovate 08 Steering Group meeting.  We couldn’t get a preferred speaker but have ended up with a great compere. We have to nail down details now and the indomitable Lisa seems on the case.  Finally, Guy had assembled the greener members of the crew to discuss the sustainability paper he is developing for the Board.  Lots of good ideas and some push back as to whether we are serious about it or going for window dressing.  I assured them it was the former!!

The next morning was a visit to dstl at Malvern.   There was a general introduction to dstl, a presentation on a joint US-UK technology sharing agreement - http://www.usukita.org/- some details of a couple of projects they are developing.  One is particularly interesting in that they are “superimposing” physical world models, network models and social networks on top of one another.  That means that they can follow a piece of information as it moves from person to person via communication networks around the globe. It’s a security thing, obviously, but a cut down version would be a great way to organise our own interactions with the wider world!!!  :-)  

Back to Swindon to meet our secondee from Atkins who is working on the MNT Centres Review.  Finally, after the (allegedly) “robust” discussions with the EPSRC Digital Economy team last Friday, I was a bit surprised to be asked whether I would Direct a sandpit in the area this December.  It turns out that different bits of EPSRC don’t talk to one another even if working on the same project.  Cool or what?  Anyway, I seem to have agreed and started planning.  I think Em was pleased!!

Next morning was the presentation by Technopolis.  They have done some nice stuff, but receiving a 148 page Acrobat file the evening before was not enough time to read it – but then they gave the impression that they hadn’t either, so I guess that’s okay.  There is real gold in the work and they need to analyse a lot harder and present a lot snappier if they want to impress us.  The rest of Wednesday was clearing away jobs and answering stuff.

Thursday was again lost of people stuff – another shared performance review, Shaneen’s babyfest and a meeting with Ian and Jonne Ceserani about a creative thinking course – initially as a pilot but possible for us all.  We need to change lots more things than we have, and part of it is down to our unfamiliarity with real change.  Jonne used to run the UK practice of Synectics and has a good reputation for getting people to realise their comfort zone is bigger than they thought.

Friday was working at home, more dealing with e-mails and trying to cover all the bases before I drop off the edge of civilisation – and go to California!!

Goodbye kind world!!



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