This is a bit of an indulgence posting on my part, a few short reflections on the JISC Innovation Forum 2008. The sessions that I attended were excellent, and the diversity on show really made me think hard about what we do as the larger JISC Innovation Group. The really nice thing for me as a Programme Manager was meeting staff from the Users and Innovation projects and eliciting on the spot feedback from them. My favourite was:
“Lawrie, you should get the JISC to do this every six months or so and make it compulsory for all project staff”
My response then, as now, was thanks for the idea, we appreciate your feedback, but are you deliberately trying give us a nervous breakdown. I also hope that the person fills in the feedback form, because if they enjoyed it that much we need to know so we can plan and improve for the next time.
One of the most interesting themes that I picked up from the people I spoke to was the amount of sharing of information going on outside of sessions, and how they intended to take things forward once they left the event. Thinking this through I realised that even though we provide an online forum allowing collaboration in a virtual space, it is difficult to replace the kind of discussion that was occurring in face to face – obvious to some, but important to note. The impact of this on some projects is that they default to a silo position, even though we try and avoid that. This event, with its “wide open spaces” and active encouragement to talk, allows some synthesis from those silos that I hope my U&I projects will carry forward.
Finally, being male and over 35, I love gadgets – so my new gadget was the Flip Video camera. Almost instant boot up and 60 minutes of video – I ran it for the two days capturing 49 videos and never ran out of power. Some of the reflections av
ailable include Simon, Mark, Robert and also we have Sarah and Bob talking about their projects.