Building biodiversity

It’s already too late for almost anyone in the 21st century to live or spend much time in a pristine environment; we have thoroughly broken most of them, and the few which remain cannot be isolated from widespread climate change. It’s time to accept that if we want ecological beauty and biodiversity we are going to have to build it ourselves — an extraordinarily complex scientific, technological, and political challenge that nonetheless we cannot afford to ignore.

Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies


How to make work work again

Anyone (=both of you Blinkar) who has followed my blog knows that I’m very skeptic to 20th century management. I realize that my skepticism to some extent is due to my personal traits, but during the 25 years or so during which I have been interested in the dynamics of organizations, more and more really clever people have been pointing at the brokenness of the dominating management paradigms and putting forward theories and examples of how work can be organized in a better way. That is, in a way that makes “workers” flourish and society prosper.

During the last decade, many of the suggestions put forward in this realm have, at least to some extent, been based on complexity thinking/theory, which gives a solid basis to understand the principles for how things (people and nature) really work, and ideas of how to design a setting where productive work can be done.

My favourite theorist/practician when it comes to adding complexity thinking into the management (or non-management) toolbox is Dave Snowden of Cognitive Edge. Reading his blog and articles and participating in an accreditiation workshop in 2006 was a grat leap in my understanding and gave structure to my intuitive thoughts about these matters.

But there are lots of other inititatives around as well, and the most recent I have discovered is the Beta Codex Network. I have not yet dug more deeply into their site, but this presentation by Niels Pflaeging, which is more like a short course in post-modern organization theory, tells a lot about the thinking they represent:

The wording chosen in the presentation is for a typical business setting – I wonder how it could be adjusted to speak more to the higher education field?

E-biking from now on

Yesterday I got myself an e-bike which I hope will change my work travel habits. For me, the distance between home and work is only 3 kilometers, which is quite a luxury. But mostly I use my car because I need to go shopping after work, the weather is bad or I need to take some equipment with me. Which are of course no real reasons why I couldn’t take my 20 year old bicycle. But when I look for deeper reasons, I find that the experience of getting sweaty when pedalling uphills is the main reason, I sweat very easily. And especially when the weather is bad I need to have thicker clothes, which make the sweating worse. Starting the working day that way is not nice.

So I thought an e-bike might be a solution, and after testing it today it seems as if it will be. I get some exercise and fresh air, but the bike takes care of more than half the work when I’m pedalling uphills. The motor is only 250 W but even that makes the bike go fast especially uphills – I’ll post a GPS track in a few weeks.

The bike I got (sponsored by my wife ) is a Crescent 973. It does not represent the state of the art nor masculinity nor sportiness, but it was reasonably cheap (1360 €) taking into account that Crescent is a good brand (or at least has been) and that other e-bikes often cost 2000 €.



Loosing one’s job and setting a goal for the next

Leigh Blackall will loose his job on December 23. I will loose mine a week later if I can’t come to an agreement with my university on how my views of developing our unit (including the Decision Theater) can be reasonably combined with the views of the HPPs (Highest Paid Persons) in the organization. And time is running out.

Leigh, whose blog I have followed for quite some time, formulates his goal for his job search like this:

To gain full time employment in a dynamic organisation that draws on my strengths in research, innovation, teaching and policy in social media, online communications, networked learning and education.

Hmm, I could borrow most of that for my own statement of goal for my job search, if it turns out that I don’t have a job in January.