Week 11, 2019 —Rolling waves of community activities

Photo: All of the things on top of the drinks refrigerator at Le Laptop, taken while waiting for my buddy Alex. We’re preparing for a client workshop that should be quite interesting. More about that next month.

Lots of activity with the ResearchOps community

I participated in my first Cheese Board call and got to exchange in real time with the lovely group of people who make up the ‘board of directors’ for the growing ResearchOps Slack group. Isn’t it astounding that most of us didn’t know each other a year ago? And now here we are, mindfully self-organizing to nurture the community and its intentions.

As for the Researcher Skills Framework project, things are heating up! Dave published a big article and ran a trial workshop in Denver. My Paris workshop with the Hexagon UX community is coming up next week, and I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve not seen a dozen researchers in the same room in this city yet!

Lots of activity with Design Research Tokyo, too

I continued to promote the Book Club that we launched last week. Indy Young pinged us on Twitter offering to join for a QA session!!! We have timezone issues to sort out somehow but oh, how exciting. The club’s objective of motivating each other to read more English books will be achieved tenfold.

https://twitter.com/indiyoung/status/1106307016438349824

We also announced Episode 4, for which I coordinated with Jan Chipchase to run what will be our first solo-speaker and English-only event. Very cool.

I’m quite curious to see what kinds of ideas and conversations will come out of it, as our Japanese-dominant audience hasn’t had the kind of exposure to Jan’s work as our peers around the world have had for years.

Time to start cycling again!

It’s been raining on and off this week but on Tuesday, while gazing out the living room window, I saw the residents of my apartment complex popping their heads out like prairie dogs and then streaming out get their groceries and baguettes. You know who’s going shopping because of the empty tote bags flapping in the wind. Our kitchen door has at least three bags hanging on the door.

Anyway, I realized it was going to be sunny for the next few hours (how did they all know!?) and rolled out my bike for the first cycling session of the year. 28km just for the heck of it, and I came back starving and jabbing at the Deliveroo app to get in some calories asap.

After a cheeseburger and a nap, I happily read way too many reviews and invested in a much better tire pump and a saddle bag.

This is going to be the year to explore more of France by bike!

I’m not entirely sure yet on how that’s going to happen yet. A lot of casual 3-4 days trips? My next milestone, now that the packing will be sorted once the new bag arrives, is to normalize the act of getting on the train with a bike and getting off in an unfamiliar town somewhere. It’s more daunting than it needs to be.

Reading and watching

  • I finished Priya Parker’s “The Art of Gathering” over the weekend and recommend it to anyone who runs a lot of meetings, workshops and events. I’m continuing to energetically insert the topic of inviting people into discussions into many (every?) conversations with friends, and have enjoyed chewing on its application in new ways.
  • Continuing that thread, I’ve stared Etienne Wenger’s “Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, And Identity (Learning in Doing: Social, Cognitive and Computational Perspectives)”. Since I’m focused on practicing the doing of CoP in a few different contexts, it seems like the perfect moment to get a bit of theory and perspective.
  • My highlight this week was participating in sociologist Sam Ladner’s webinar “Mixed Methods” hosted by EPIC, the ethnography-in-praxis community. It’s a beautiful thing when concepts are clearly laid out and and it all makes sense and you realize you only thought you knew. Thank you Sam and EPIC.