I’m experimenting with my blogs. I used to bundle them all together under one heading. Now I’m starting to experiment with different styles of posts. It may be a bit muddled at first  as I see what tends to emerge.

“Connections” were the blogs I started writing – i.e. posts on whatever I was thinking about at the time. They were to share connections between people, organisations and ideas.

“Jottings”  are notes to myself, that are mixture of journal,”to-do”list and “could-do”list. The first one was a mix of journal and open letter. I’ll make a clearer distinction in future.


Be encouraged – the good stuff is starting to come together.

So much is going on. How it all connects will become obvious later.

It is all “good stuff” – and I can’t justify that statement either – but I know all the people involved, and I know how what they do impacts on my life – and, in my judgement, it’s all good.

Things I’m learning

Thanks to David Bovill I’m:

  • Working with Ward Cunningham and others on the development of the Federated Wiki.
  • Learning about community radio
  • Working with Mark Leighton to produce a radio programme
  • Developing skills in collecting content via WhatsApp in collaboration with my friends John Dada, Gbade Adejumo, Elfneh Bariso and David Mutua

Sharing what I’m learning / have learned


I was active in the Teal for Startups group and it’s time for us to give feedback – i.e written contributions on “My Journey with Teal”

Before I Die Network

Over the past couple of years I’ve been along to several of Olivia Comberti’s “Before I Die Network” workshops and I’m always encouraged and energised by them. This month Olivia’s invited me along as her guest speaker. It’s quite a responsibility as it means finding a way to share my story in a way that will help to encourage and energise others.

Lunch and Learn

Satalia is a company I want to know more about. I’m interested in what they do (related to Artificial Intelligence) and how they do it (flat organsational structure and sharing what they do in transparent, open ways).  I’ve been invited along to speak at one of their Friday “Lunch and Learn” sessions. I see this as an opportunity for me to learn. I’m going to learn most about our overlapping interests during the Q and A part, so I need to make sure that what I say beforehand stimulates the questions that will teach me most.


Stuart Benson is the man behind Speakeasy at the Canvas cafe – see his tweet below:

I met Stuart a few weeks ago  – I’m not sure when but it was while the winter festival ball pit was open in the Happiness Museum (which is behind the Canvas Cafe and one of the reasons I happened to be there).

Anyhow, what happened next is another story but the outcome is that I’m going to speak there sometime.  I’m not sure if I’ll tell a happy story or a sad one. I’m thinking of one which is still unfinished – it has tragedy in it (and humour). It could be heading for a happy ending, or a sad one, depending on what the audience choose to do with it.

Here is Stuart’s invitation

He’s wearing the Alternative Value badge that I awarded him (in case you can’t see it clearly it’s also the website logo).

Connections and visibility

As I said at the start- it’s all connected, and it’s all good.

It’s hard to explain how – but it’s getting easier to demonstrate. The connections are getting more visible. Expect to see more.


Apr 09, 2017 by pamela | Categories: Connections | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ben De Vries and

News from my friend Ben de Vries – Certified Permaculture Designer.

If you live in USA please read on. Even if you don’t live in the USA please share this info.
This is our first year in operation. Using a method I developed for maximum seedling health and rhisosphere inoculation, we have in ground 1000 saskatoons, 1000 aronias, and are about to do a spring run of 1500 pecans. At present we are taking pre order on the first two for fall shipping. If you are interested in a deep discount on bulk pre order, please get in touch!

Rather than try to crowdfund, we are just going ahead with sales.

PLEASE share this link to social media to help us get off the ground!

Thanks for your help and hope to hear from you soon!

Ben de Vries

Certified Permaculture Designer
SKYPE: permaculture.designer
YOUTUBE: permaculturedesigner

Mar 25, 2017 by pamela | Categories: People and Action | Tags: ,

Submarine – the ultimate challenge for flat organisational structures

An enjoyable brief introduction to the ideas of flat organisational structures (explored elsewhere on this site and tagged “holacracy” and “teal”). It’s both light-hearted and serious – if you can do this on a submarine – you can do it anywhere.

This animation is relevant to FASST – Freedom, Accountability and Structure for Systemic Transformation. It was was adapted from Captain David Marquet’s talk on Greatness, and is based on his book, Turn the Ship Around!

Mar 13, 2017 by pamela | Categories: Connections | Tags: , , ,

Thinking aloud about Holacracy of One roles – part 4 – conversation with Care-giver

In Thinking aloud about Holacracy of One roles – part 3 – the collaborator’s list my Whole Self (WS) was looking at the list that Role 2 had prepared. It was long. The conversation finished with W S saying:

Hmm.  I’m not at all sure I can allow all those. You’re not the only Role in my life you know. I think Caregiver will have something to say if I agree to support all that you want to do.

And I did say that I want to try for four roles this time around, like George has.

We’ll have to come back to this list and knock it into better shape. Try and have a think about it before we meet again.Meanwhile – I think we deserve a break. Time for another cuppa.

While I was out in the kitchen getting the cuppa who did I bump into but Care-giver (CG), who asked how I was getting on.

She suggested taking a break together, so here we are sitting down with a cuppa and having a chat:

CG – So how’s it going?

WS – You tell me!

You’re the one who is supposed to have the sensible, balanced, approach – the one who provides the “tea and sympathy” and generally keeps things tidy and healthy and sane around here.

I nearly got you properly written up when I was doing roles the first time around, back in 2105.  I’ve mentioned your purpose once already today: “Care-giver” a catch-all role that covers my personal-and-private life and also spills over into my Working-and-public life.

I even got as far as filling in a couple of “Accountabilities” for you:

  • Decluttering and reorganising my home to reflect and allow changing use
  • Giving careful attention in various ways depending on person/people involved

And I started on the “Projects (Fields of Exploration):

  • Home
  • Various personal relationships
  • Personal development and nurturing

You seemed so valuable that I reinstated you without even thinking about it. I didn’t even call you in for interview.

CG – Hmm!

” ‘Twas ever thus.”

WS – Okay. You got me there. I admit I do tend to sideline you.


You know the history of that quote… and, although it’s very different now to how it was back then it still hits home on so many levels…

Back then…

All those heart-wrenching, heaven-knows-how-we-manage-things-this-time, conversations over a cuppa with my next- door neighbour…

That’s along time ago. Two young mums with tough challenges to cope with..

It’s sobering to stop and realise just how hard things were then, and how the challenges have changed.

It’s easier now in many ways… so many differences and yet so much the same…

Here I am, down to the final third of the cup of tea and … out pops the quote from you, and it hits me like a completely fresh revelation. It always did. You’re right – ’twas ever thus – and on so many different levels.

What is it about getting to that final third of the cupful? Or is it just that I habitually stop two-thirds of the way through?

That’s when “it” always happened before. Back then.. the “two thirds through” was always the point when one or other of us would  realise that the problem wasn’t unique. It had come before, and it would come again (not with exactly the same details, but with a recognisable pattern) and somehow there was strength in that realisation. Knowing that we’d been both “been here before” (and so had countless others before us)… always with a challenge that seemed as new, and unique and impossible as the present one. Yet…somehow we were still here, and the impossible challenges of the past had been met… and had faded into a general memory of “getting on with things” and working them out somehow.

There we would be together: one of us overwhelmed by a problem and pouring it all out, the other listening, asking questions…. neither knowing how to resolve things, just sharing a cuppa , either at her kitchen table or mine. Well it wasn’t a proper “cup o’ tea” cuppa with us then, it was instant coffee but even so…

Anyhow, remembering those times, and the value of that friendship…

And the pattern..

Every time, we’d get to a point where one us would suddenly realise and say the words  – ’twas ever thus!

And we’d take comfort from the realisation, and lo and behold – a third of a cupful of tepid coffee would be sitting in my cup, waiting to be drunk. So I’d quickly finish it, (and I think she was finishing hers too) and then we’d go on our separate ways to “get on with things” as best we could, with a bit more confidence, courage, and clarity.

And now, after all those years you’ve given me another ” ‘Twas ever thus” moment,  and once again it took me by surprise.

You’re right of course.

CG – In what way?

WS – ” ‘Twas ever thus”

And in this context the “ever thus” is that I know you’re valuable – but I never pay you any attention.

Actually I don’t pay much attention to me either. There’s a reason why I often remember the fridge magnet that said “Take my advice – I’m not using it!”

Let’s revisit the start of this conversation.

I said “You seemed so valuable that I reinstated you without even thinking about it. I didn’t even call you in for interview” and you said, rather pointedly ” ‘Twas ever thus”..

So then I realised that I do tend to sideline you, and maybe we should have that conversation together to work out your role.

CG – I think we both know pretty well what it is.

It won’t be as long or difficult to define as the other roles… but it would make a lot of sense to stop and consider my role again.

WS – Okay, Where do you want to start?

CG – Well.

It’s getting late, and you haven’t eaten what I’d call “a proper meal” yet today – and I would like to see you in bed and asleep before midnight for a change. What if we agree to postpone going over the details of my role for now and jump to the part of the interview that is supposed to come after that?

WS – You mean the bit where I ask you if you want to keep your role name, or if you want to change it?

CG – That bit’s easy. I’ll stick with Care Giver. Do you remember what comes after that?

WS – Erm..

Oh yes.


You’ve got me digging a hole for myself to fall in here haven’t you?

The next bit is where I agree that you have a valuable role to play in my life..

CG – And then?

WS – And then I ask you what you need from me so that you can play that role.

CG – Exactly so… and what would my answer be?

WS – Well. It would be along the lines of…

“If I’m to fulfil my role then I need to be given some time to do it” and “You need to make some space in your life for me if you want me to play a role”.

CG – Exactly.

How can I be your Care-Giver if you never take any notice of me?

We’re supposed to be a team, you and me.

No wonder you have trouble working out who else you (or is it “we”?) want to include on the team if you can’t even find time to stop and have a chat with me now and again.

WS – How do you mange to say that so calmly and unaggressively?

Were you watching that “Non-violent conflict resolution webinar over my shoulder while I was getting dressed this morning?

CG – Enough of your digressions.

What did I say about food and sleep?

WS – Okay.

So – let’s agree what we’ll do next time we sit down together.

Let’s check my diary. We can at least fix a time before we go our separate ways.

Thing is I haven’t sorted out my roles yet, and until I do that it’s really hard to set my priorities.

I thought I’d get the role thing finished today… but everything seems to take longer that I expect.

And then there are the emails I meant to do today.

And there is something else I need to follow up. Someone suggested to someone else that I could usefully help them – and I do want to help if I can.

You of all roles C-G should understand how I feel about that.

A couple of messages about it flitted across my phone screen when I was coming home on the train last week – probably last Tuesday. I tried to follow up over the weekend but I can’t find the messages. I thought I must have seen them on FaceBook, but I can’t find them anywhere. I don’t want to just ignore what was suggested – but i can’t respond. I just wish I knew where to find the conversation.

CG – You’re digressing again.

How’s this for a compromise?

No more discussion of roles just now. You come with me, and we’ll get something to eat, While we do that we can “rub minds” for a bit in a “no pressure” way, or not, as the mood takes us.

We’ve agreed my name and purpose – and you have agreed that you have to give me some time. I’ll be back to remind you of that.

Come on. I’ll help you to tidy this away…



Feb 28, 2017 by pamela | Categories: Continuing Conversations | Tags: , , ,

Thinking aloud about Holacracy of One roles – part 3 – the collaborator’s list

In Thinking aloud about Holacracy of One roles – part 1 Whole Self (WS) said to Role 1 (R1) the Compulsive Collaborator:

Okay. I’m interested. And I recognise a lot of overlap with things I value in the previous/present roles in my life

I need to know what help you’d need from me if I give you a place in my future life. I like the idea of going forward with you but will you be too demanding? Can we get along well together?

Why don’t you go and make a list of the collaborations you are currently involved in, and what you want to do, and we can consider what I can realistically support.

Presenting the list

R1 – I’ve done a quick list, if you’d like to see it and talk it through.

The list was made as things came to mind, and arranged alphabetically for ease of reference. These are all things that are relevant in my life at the moment.

WS – Are they all equally demanding on your time?

R2 – No.

Some of the collaborations are currently active and energetic, some are more or less “on hold”, but if they “came alive” through someone else adding energy I’d try to add some energy as well.

One is bubbling away and full of energy at the moment (that’s FEAST). I did break that one down into smaller collaborative groups, reflecting the way it’s working online at present, but that seemed too detailed for this list.

WS – What about you and your roles in the collaborations?

R2 – That varies.

Some of the collaborations would not exist without me, because of the way I was there when they began. In others I’m on the fringes, but glad to be there, and aware of the potential. I don’t want to forget them completely in my list.

Some are extremely new and may be too fresh and fragile to count as “collaborations” – but that rather depends on how you define a collaboration. In this context a collaboration is two or more people who come together to do some kind of work. It might be paid or unpaid and is probably more closely related to “social” value (in a very broad sense) than it is to immediately obvious financial value.

I’ve stretched the boundaries a bit. I’ve allowed myself to include the idea that going somewhere to exchange information and learn from each other is also a social good, and a kind of peer-to-peer collaboration, so can be included here.

  • Dadamac Foundation
  • Escape School
  • Exponentially Human
  • Facebook groups where we help/support/learn from each other
  • Federated Wiki
  • GlobalNet21
  • Hub Westminster
  • London Enspiral
  • Meetups – various
  • OneShift
  • Project for a Progressive Ethics
  • Research-Practitioner collaborations
  • RSA Fellowship
  • Skype – buddying/support/learning sessions
  • Tuttle
  • Teal for Startups (T4S)
  • u.lab continuation group on Zoom
  • And a few others – but I ran out of time….

WS – Hmm.  I’m not at all sure I can allow all those. You’re not the only Role in my life you know. I think Caregiver will have something to say if I agree to support all that you want to do.

And I did say that I want to try for four roles this time around, like George has.

We’ll have to come back to this list and knock it into better shape. Try and have a think about it before we meet again.

Meanwhile – I think we deserve a break. Time for another cuppa.

Feb 28, 2017 by pamela | Categories: Continuing Conversations | Tags: , ,

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