Open Letters

Open letters began as a series of posts between two friends (Brian and me). Subsequently open letters became a useful way to “think aloud” and work in a transparent way. Open letters are now serving as “the next step” in various endeavours and collaborations. They are my reflections based on ongoing conversations with different people. By posting these reflections here, as I think them through, it is easy for anyone to catch up with how things are shaping up and what has gone before.

Interest areas present and future #dadamac #XH2027 #LandscapeOfChange

You asked me for “a few simple clues from you about your interest areas” and “links where I can read more about your thinking and work” – so here goes:

Some links to choose from:

When I started to find some links for you I had no idea what I’d put, so I decided to start with “What I’m thinking and doing now” and see where that might lead. As I got going I realised that it would be useful for me to have a wide collection of links readily to hand for other purposes, so these are as much for me as for you. There is rather more here than you need. It is offered for you to dip in to.

A biography See Who am I?

My current roles  – I’m seeing  myself in four roles connected with being a traveller through the Landscape of Change. The roles are “Explorer”,”Pioneer”,”Chronicler” and “Guide”…. See #LandscapeOfChange and #XH2027

Landscape of Change – I’ve written elsewhere about the Landscape of Change – some of it is searchable here on DadamacConnect, some is parked on twitter #LandscapeOfChange, and some in other places.

XH2027 – XH2027 is short for Exponentially Human Twenty Twenty-Seven It is an event – and you are invited – see It grew out of the ideas I was writing about for Exponentially Human.

Exponentially Human – is the title of a chapter I’ve written for a book called 50:50 – Scenarios for the Next 50 Years. For more about the book see call for chapters – sent out late 2016 I believe it’s publication date is March 1st (Futures Day) 2018

Federated Wiki – I have been involved with the Federated Wiki since February 2017 see  Connecting with Ward Cunningham and Federated Wiki

Exponentially Human on Federated Wiki – One of my early experiments in using Federated Wiki was to write up some thoughts about Exponentially Human – see One of the (many) useful features of Federated Wiki is the way it is possible to select a series of links to share – see this link for an example which shows such a series, ending with information about “The Leap”.

The Leap – The Leap is an idea that developed while I was writing Exponentially Human.  See The Exponential Leap (26 May 2017 viewpoint)  Although that post was written over five months ago it remains accurate (November 2017).  However, things move on, so I now have more details in my mind about the content and the technology. Many of those details have been influenced by the collaborative aspect of Federated Wiki, by new features that David Bovill has been adding, and by some work we did together in collaboration with people in the Dadamac UK-Africa network.

Dadamac – Dadamac is short for “John Dada and Pamela “Mac” McLean and their networks”. Dadamac emerged from a previous network called “Cawdnet” that had emerged from work that was the vision of the late Peter Adetunji Oyawale. It’s a long story, going back to 2000. The shape of Dadamac continues to change, depending on who is involved.

John Dada – When I was searching the Internet for help with Peter’s project the only person to offer support was John Dada of Fantsuam Foundation in Nigeria. For an introduction to Fantsuam Foundation (FF) see this short video made at FF in 2008 (I’m in the background twice between 3.08 and 3.12 minutes). For John’s work related to the Internet see this short video recorded in London in January 2015.

Influences on my thinking –  I put together this collection of initiatives and influences a year or more ago (it is now November 2017) so the collection could do with updating. However, as the saying goes “A mind once stretched by an idea never returns to its original shape” – all the influences remain valid.

Practical experience and what I’ve been learning

My thinking is all based on experience and reality. My present and future ideas are best understood by some reference to the past.

My practical work began back in the 1970s, when I experimented with user interface design so that my micro computer could be of use with the very youngest children in my infant class. That work was published under the name of Pam Fiddy.

Since 2000 my explorations have related to connections enabled by the Internet but not limited by its boundaries – initially the connections were between London and rural Nigeria. We have used a combination of communication networks. We began with a mixture of Internet (me at home in UK to urban cyber cafes in Nigeria) supplemented by traditional person-to-person message communication between urban and rural locations (to take messages from cyber cafes to specific people and places). We have experienced the roll out of digital technology in Nigeria as it has happened. I am interested in the social dynamics of online meeting spaces, and the challenges and opportunities presented by cross-cultural collaboration at a distance.

The emphasis on people and the use of communication technology against the odds (rather than an emphasis on the latest technology  for its own sake) is how I gained many of the insights that have fed into my ideas of:

  • The Invisible Revolution
  • The Landscape of Change
  • Reluctant Time Travellers
  • Exponentially Human

Relevant links are scattered around and I may search more out later – meanwhile you can ask me for specific things.

Checking back to your original request for information

Checking back to the threads where you prompted me to write this post I see references to Teal for Statartups Wealth Stream and MOOCs. We’ve also previously touched on links with Africa.

Just a couple of points on those:

  • Ref wealth – I find it easier to enter discussions about wealth:
    • From a 2027 perspective
    • Also by looking at the considerable non-financial wealth of Dadamac
  • Ref Teal for Startups – That is a topic that can be easier to enter from:
    •  A 2027 perspective
    • Beginning with collaborations of individuals seeing themselves as Holacracies of One
    • Using ideas from Delia McNamarra’s work on the Boundary Triage
  • Ref MOOCs (and xMOOCS and pMOOCS):
  • Ref UK-Africa my interests are on three levels:
    • Conversations and initiatives with and for John Dada and other people I met because of knowing Peter Adetunji Oyawale (several new initiatives this year not yet written up).
    • Involvement with “the entity” that is Dadamac – which is mainly the “visibility on the Internet” side of things (I have not had so much involvement with that since the end of 2015 but am returning to it now and am starting to post on its latest website
    •  Work on a meta level related to my UK-Africa connections and knowledge – which is an ongoing thread behind everything

We can look at those topics when we connect again. I hope the reading of this will be as useful to you as the thinking about it has been for me. Thank you both for being the catalysts for this post.

Nov 06, 2017 by pamela | Categories: Connections, Open Letters | Tags: , , , , ,

Starting the next ten years of my life #XH2027

The countdown to Exponentially Human 2027 has begun. It is now less that ten years until 16-18 September 2027.

That date is likely to arrive more quickly than I expect, but for now, here at the start of the ten year countdown, I’m giving myself permission to relax for a bit, do things slowly, and see what the Landscape of Change around me looks like at this point in time.

This is an open letter to myself – i.e. minimal explanations about context. I don’t know how it will turn out, perhaps some kind of to do list. Calling it a “might do” list is probably more accurate. It’s a “no pressure” list of possibilities for me to choose from. I’ll list them as they come to mind.

First a memory jogger of what happened September 16-18 2017

Review of my 16-18 September 2017


Saturday 16th

  • Introduced Chief Gbade Adejumo to farmer pastoralist conflict content on federated wiki in addition to his own.
  • Recorded a few related “missing” Q and As on our phones while we were in the same room –  easier than the ones we’d done at a distance.

Sunday 17th

  • Met a few people at Newspeak House, mostly related to David Bovill’s FEASTzero
  • We enjoyed a “FEAST” meal and conversations
  • I introduced Gbade and Elfneh Bariso
  • Nina videoed a conversation between them about pastoralism and related issues
  • There were various “show and tell” things and related discussion
  • I was delighted when Dil showed a website (including a logo) that he’d put together for
  • Dil took a photo of Gbade with his “More and Less” notice for XH2027 “time capsule”- big ideas

Monday 18th

  • Introduced Steve Podmore and Gbade
  • Steve recorded some of our conversation, partly as a souvenir for the three of us, partly to share with others
  • Told Steve about the “time capsule” photos and he did his
  • I gave Gbade my (heavily annotated) copy of Technology versus Humanity to take back to Nigeria as he was reading it with great interest and wondering how best to get a copy – so now we have another “shared point of reference” book.
  • In it I wrote a reminder to him ref our agreement that we are both Explorers, Pioneers, Chroniclers and Guides in the Landscape of Change
  • Fell into conversation with two young recent graduates – they also recognised themselves in the description of the Landscape of Change, and our roles as Explorers, Pioneers, Chroniclers and Guides (living locally so we intend to meet again)

At a distance 16-18 September 2017

A mixture of Skype, WhatsApp, Telegram, emails, phone calls, and the DadamacConnect Contact form.


At this point the phone rang… and before that call had finished it rang again (two excellent conversations).

Now it’s two hours later and there are other things to be done today. No more time this afternoon for a “might do” list, or a reminder of what I did at a distance. I’ll leave this as it is and press publish.





Sep 20, 2017 by pamela | Categories: Continuing Conversations, Open Letters

#XH2027 A dance between fact and fiction

XH2027 reminds me of Oscar Wilde’s saying that “Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life” (wikipedia)

Fiction becoming fact

Exponentially  Human Twenty Twenty-Seven (XH 2027) began as a piece of fiction and is becoming more real by the day.

The fiction began last year when I saw a call for contributions to a book about possible futures, ten, twenty or fifty years ahead.  All will be based on different perceptions of life now and what the authors see as likely (or possible, or desirable) to happen next.  My chapter began as pure fiction. It describes a particular event that happens in ten years time. It is called Exponentially  Human Twenty Twenty-Seven. It celebrates a future that is better than it might have been, thanks to all our individual small steps, shared vision, and ways we’ve supported each other in the ten years between then and now.

In the chapter the celebration marks the tenth anniversary of something that came to call itself  “Exponentially Human”. By 2027 it had become a world wide, loosely defined, network of people who had learned to collaborate more effectively. That collaboration came about partly because of better communication systems, and partly because of what the people had learned from each other and about each other.  That combination helped them to act together in new ways that they jokingly called “Exponentially Human”.

“Exponentially Human” was to be something that just emerged, but I also wanted to tie it into a special date.

My chapter is set ten years into the future.

The date for the celebration is !6-18 September Twenty Twenty-Seven.


Today is Saturday 16 September Twenty Seventeen. In my imagined future the countdown starts today.

So, how will the facts play out compared to the fiction? I’m about to find out.

What is going on?

I have a friend staying with me,. He arrived yesterday (later I will ask his permission to write more about who he is). Today  we are working on something connected with his research. I’m helping him to make it more visible. I’m using the Federated Wiki to do that. When I wrote the chapter I had no idea I’d be using the Federated Wiki. I only started to learn how to do that a couple of months ago, thanks to David Bovill and my interest in his project “FEAST”.

Tomorrow, if all goes according to plan, we’ll go over to Newspeak House. I’ll introduce my visitor to a dozen or so other people (some I already know, some who are new to me). We’ll all have lunch together. We’ll explore ideas and share individual commitments about what we’ll be doing next. During the day we’ll be working on some of those things. We’ll be learning from each other, developing skills, capturing information.

The reason we’re getting together is because this weekend also happens to be a special date for a related project called FEAST. It’s thanks to FEAST that we’re all getting together, and thanks for FEAST that there will be a shared meal.


Sharing a meal is a key element of FEAST.

When I wrote the chapter I didn’t know about FEAST. When I discovered it I wanted to know more. The vision for FEAST was like a perfect prototype of what I was trying to imagine for my three day celebration in 2027 – except FEAST was already doing some of it in practice, and was way ahead of me in knowing how it would all work.

Not only that but various dates had been discussed for a possible launch for FEAST, including 15-17 September 2017 (to tie in with a festival in Prague). In fact people had started to describe 15-17 September as ‘FEAST zero”. Imagine it. FEAST zero happening almost exactly ten years before XH2027.

I don’t know how much time I’ll have to chronicle September 16-18 Twenty Seventeen until it is over.  But when It is over I plan to do an audit of some present realities,  put them in the “digital time capsule”, and… well.. more of that later. Now it is time to return to action.

To get involved see Your photos for the #XH2027 time capsule

(I may add some more links in a few days time)

Sep 16, 2017 by pamela | Categories: Connections, Continuing Conversations, Open Letters

Your photos for the #XH2027 time capsule

Hi Pip. Ref your message “What is the Facebook page or web address for the time capsule project?”

Word of mouth

It’s mostly word of mouth at present, so no website yet. The digital time capsule is the first step to a bigger vision. These are the main things you need to know so you can join in.

The invitation

For the photos for the “time capsule” we’re inviting people to:
• Think of their values and their hopes for the future (for September Twenty Twenty-Seven to be exact)
• Share photos showing what they would like to see changed and worth celebrating by then (“more of…” and “less of…”) –
• Share photos of some trivial and mundane objects (just to see how objects do and don’t change over the next ten years)

Some people like to start by looking around and taking their photo of something “trivial and mundane”, something that usually goes unnoticed. Looking around and taking that photo can help you to get thinking about the past, present and future. It’s a starting point for thinking how things around us have been changing, or staying the same, and what you’d like to happen next.

Whatever you think of, you need to think of ways to follow through on it, to help make it happen, even if you can only take tiny steps. This isn’t for pie-in-the-sky things that some magical “they” are going to make happen without your involvement. If you want “Less war” for instance how might you reduce conflict in your own relationships? Would it be a good idea to start learning about non-violent conflict resolution?


This is a fun thing with a serious purpose.

If we:
• Imagine something clearly
• Connect with people who are imagining similar things
• Do something about it all in collaboration with others

• It becomes more likely to happen
• The more it happens the more those involved will have something to celebrate in ten years time.

NB. There may be some moderation of photos. For example no photos promoting sectarian violence would be included. We’re hoping for less of that.

Time line

The starting point is this weekend. The end point is an event called Exponentially Human Twenty Twenty-Seven, on 16-18 September 2027.

The 18th is scheduled as party night and that’s when we’ll be looking at the ten year digital time capsule and celebrating what we’ve managed to achieve. By then it won’t just be photos. We’re looking forward to an amazing combined digital publication and immersive experience – somewhere between what we already have on our smart phones and Star Trek’s Holodeck (see  Star Trek’s Holodeck, from science fiction to a new reality )

You can add photos (and other media) at any point in the next ten years (especially during September of any year) but imagine how you’ll feel in 2027 if your photos are among the earliest ones.


Photos can be as simple or detailed as you like.

A photo could just be words written on a sheet of A4 or flip chart paper “More bees. Less chewing gum on the pavements” – or you can add an illustration. Ideally hold your message in front of you and take a selfie, but anonymity is okay too.

Abstract ideas need words or drawings.

If it’s an object you can photograph it and add a caption.

The “trivial and mundane” photo is of anything you see around you, something that you hardly notice because it is so much part of everyday life in 2017. Please add a caption.

On Facebook join the group “XH2027 TIme Capsule” and post your photos there. On twitter send your photos to @xh2027 If you don’t use either then contact me via the contact form  and I’ll let you know other channels we’re setting up.

Why join in?

So that your values, hopes and ideas for the future are part of the picture of the positive future that we’ll be celebrating at Exponentially Human 2027. The dates are booked: 16-18th September 2027. It will be a celebration of human development and change for the better in our inter-connected world. You’ll be part of seeding a future worth celebrating. Sharing and discussing our hopes and values, making them visible, and imagining our future together is part of how we co-create where we are heading.

Sep 12, 2017 by pamela | Categories: Open Letters | Tags: , , ,

#LandscapeOfChange and #XH2027

Landscape of Change

People often use ideas of travel to describe life. “Life’s journey” “Following in the footsteps of…” “Being at the cross roads” “Going down a blind alley”.

So what kind of life journey are we on at present? What does the landscape look like?

We live in a time of increasingly rapid change. When people look at their lives and the way ahead it is unlikely that they will see a Landscape of Predictability. It is much more likely that they will see a Landscape of Change.

Four “Landscape of Change” roles

I’m seeing  myself in four roles connected with being a traveller through the Landscape of Change. The roles are “Explorer”,”Pioneer”,”Chronicler” and “Guide”.

I’m starting to “interrogate myself” about the roles using the classic questions “What, Why and How”

Here goes.


What is Explorer doing?

Explorer is “visiting places” in the Landscape of Change and exploring them.

Most people are too busy with their daily lives to stop and explore the Landscape of Change in a slow and thoughtful way. Explorer has been travelling around there for years, looking, thinking, and asking questions.

There is plenty to explore. It is possible to find things that are “ahead of their time, just as it is possible to find things that are “behind the times”. Exploring examples and thinking about how things compare offers new perspectives. All kinds of things come into view, things that are easily overlooked by the casual observer. Spending time to explore the Landscape of Change is a way to discover “landmarks” and to make sense of what would otherwise be unfamiliar. Familiarity with aspects of the Landscape of Change makes it easier to navigate the rapidly changing present and future.

Explorer likes looking at changes and visiting places where “the future” and “possible futures” are “in evidence”. The evidence is sometimes to be seen in practical work that is being done, especially work that challenges orthodoxy. Other “evidence” of possible futures is to be found in ideas and experiments that are being discussed.

Given that Explorer is not exploring in the conventional sense, it may be helpful to give more explanation of the places she visits.

Just like a traditional explorer, she often visits real places. She thinks of them as “material places”. These “material places” are ordinary, physical places. In those places people meet face-to-face.

She also visits “immaterial places” – ones that are accessed online, “in the cloud”. Spending time “in the cloud” is a great way to meet people from around the globe, and to explore different perspectives and emerging ideas.

Like other people who are explorers she goes to places that are new to her, but are not necessarily new to others. Some parts of the Landscape of Change are already inhabited, some are previously explored and mapped by others and some are previously unexplored. Some only exist in the imagined future. Dancing between reality and imagination is part of Explorer’s role.

It’s all about self-directed learning done in an informal way. It’s discovery learning about our rapidly changing world. It’s exploration.

Why does Explorer explore the Landscape of Change?

Like many people who explore unfamiliar territory, she is drawn to explore the Landscpe of Change simply “because it is there”. Reasons she gives include:

  1. To widen her horizons, knowledge and understanding
  2. To follow her personal interests and satisfy her curiosity
  3. To meet new people
  4. To learn new skills

How does Explorer explore the Landscape of Change?

She explores alone or with others, and observes, participates, discusses and reflects. Sometimes she’s leading the way, sometimes she’s following in the footsteps of others. If her “journey” is done with an air of freshness and enquiry and with an eye to systemic changes and the future then it is part of her exploration of the Landscape of Change.


What is Pioneer doing in the Landscape of Change?

Pioneer is working with others – being creative, experimenting and prototyping.

Why does Pioneer do that?

  1. To help her innovative friends
  2. To know how things work in practice
  3. To demonstrate possibilities
  4. To speak and write from experience
  5. To get things started
  6. To build collaborative relationships
  7. To have the integrity of “walking her talk”
  8. To learn new skills

How does Pioneer do it?

Pioneer is drawn to help with work that is original, purposeful, long term and initiated by the people who are immersed in the challenges and opportunities.  All her pioneering work is done with other people. Pioneer and her collaborator(s) may have differing reasons for collaborating with each other on a particular initiative. That doesn’t matter. What matters is the level of commitment.


What is Chronicler doing?

Chronicler is doing what it says in the dictionary – A chronicler is a person who writes accounts of important or historical events (Dictionary, Google search August 21 2017)

The Landscape of Change chronicler is writing accounts about the emergence of ideas, insights, collaborations, strategies, approaches, etc in the Landscape of Change.

Why does Chronicler do her chronicling?

  1. To clarify her ideas
  2. To contribute to the general pool of knowledge
  3. To support informed decision making
  4. To challenge orthodoxy
  5. To have evidence of work that she and her collaborators have done

How does Chronicler do her chronicling?

She usually chronicles by writing online but she sometimes contributes to publications that come out in print.

Thanks to David Bovill she has recently started to write collaboratively within the Federated Wiki community.  

The Federated Wiki is innovative online space which Ward Cunningham and some of his contacts are creating to enable a new approach to collaborative writing and the co-creation of knowledge – see The Federated Wiki: Ward Cunningham at TEDxPortland 2012. It is very much part of the Landscape of Change so when she is writing she often finds Explorer and Pioneer working there as well.


What is Guide doing?

She is doing what any travel guide does – but in an unconventional location:

  1. Helping people to visit the Landscape of Change at their leisure
  2. Taking individuals and groups on guided tours
  3. Helping people to consider their future relationship with this Landscape
  4. Preparing people to explore the Landscape of Change independently
  5. Preparing people to become pioneers and settlers in the Landscape of Change

Guide is only concerned with the needs of other people, and can therefore expect to be compensated by them for the time she gives. Guide shares what she know in ways that are tailored to their individual starting points and requirements. Guide is familiar with the territory and helps people to find their way in this amazing Landscape of Change.

Why does Guide do that?

She believes it is a valuable service to provide because:

  1. Many people are (or will be) facing futures that are disconnected from what they previously expected.
  2. People need opportunities to reflect, and to see change in their lives as part of a bigger picture
  3. Visiting the Landscape of Change provides a new perspective.
  4. People who have been helped to explore the Landscape of Change will be better prepared for making their own way through it in future.
  5. It is preferable to explore the Landscape of Change in company, rather than alone and unprepared.

How does Guide provide this service?

  • Through conversations and workshops
  • Sharing with others (individuals or groups) what she knows about the Landscape of Change
  • Exploring together what in the Landscape of Change is most relevant to their needs, interests, hopes, confusions, challenges, circumstances, uncertainties, plans, and opportunities.

Observations on the roles

Once I started investigating my four separate roles as a traveller in the Landscape of Change I noticed that the first two roles are about learning, while the other two are about sharing what I know. This self-awareness helps me to decide how to allocate my time.

On the learning side Explorer is concentrating on ideas and theory, while Pioneer is more practical.

The other two roles are about structuring and sharing what I learn. Chronicler is “wordifying” what I have learned, and “parking” it, where it can be accessed by me and by others (so Chronicler works partly for my benefit and partly for the benefit of others).

Guide however is providing a specific service to others. This is why, at an early stage, there needs to be a clarity about what is involved and the nature of the exchange between “the Guider and the Guided”. Both sides need to see value in the transaction.

Guide may be rewarded in a material way or an immaterial way, so is not always looking for financial reward. However Guide does require compensation in a way that is markedly different to Explorer, Pioneer, and Chronicler (all of whom have their own particular relationship to motivation, money, and living in the practical material world).

Some initiatives I am involved in engage all the roles, but that does not mean it is appropriate to dance between the roles without awareness of doing so.

Landscape of Change and Exponentially Human 2027

Things are coming together. All my apparently unconnected work can be accounted for within the mental framework of these Landscape of Change roles.

No wonder I’m currently wanting to do more writing and speaking. Chronicler and Guide have been overshadowed of late by Explorer and Pioneer. They have been busy with  David Bovill and team on FEAST and with fellow participants in Outlandish Academy on Federated Wiki. (Chronicler has a lot of work to do covering all that.)

I’m inviting so many different people to the Exponentially Human Twenty Twenty-Seven event (also known as XH2027). They are a mixed bunch but become a cohesive group when they are seen as the visitors, newcomers, explorers and pioneers in the Landscape of Change, who I connect with through my different roles there. Their work and lives will shape our co-created future and will give us cause for celebrating aspects of how we are living in the Landscape of Change ten years from now.


Edited since original publication

This was originally published as on Open Letter to Brian. The introduction has been removed (and copied below) and there have been minor edits to make it more relevant to other people.

“Hi Brian. Your reference to my travels in the Landscape of Change got me thinking during my holiday. Gradually the Landscape of Change theme emerged as the key to re-doing my Holacracy of One roles. Now I’m home and writing the ideas up ready for our next WhatsApp call.

Given this is an open letter I’ll add a couple of notes about the Landscape of Change. (I may come back later and add a link about Holacracy of One – but that’s not the most important idea here – Landscape of Change is.)”

Aug 26, 2017 by pamela | Categories: Connections, Continuing Conversations, Open Letters | Tags: , , ,

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