Welcome once again to returning readers and a special shout-out to those here for the first time – strap yourselves in!
The weather's warming up again in Auckland and I had my first ocean swim of the summer season last week! Life is good.
In this edition:
🧶 What's My Red Thread? Workshop
❤️🔥 Reimagine Education Project
🎙 Still Curious Podcast
⚠️ Links in the table of contents section above may not work in all email clients (including the Gmail web client). You may have to scroll, or read the web version. Embedded video links will open in the browser.
Regular readers will have noticed I'm making continual tweaks to the format and contents of the newsletter as things evolve and I learn more about what I'm doing and what works for you.
I know a lot of you enjoy reading my 'editorial' and indeed some of you only open the newsletter for that bit.
But here's the thing – I'm not so happy with the editorial. It's too long, not focussed enough and usually breaks off just where something more interesting and tangible might start. It's a thought sketch rather than a fully-articulated thought. I can do better.
So here's the deal. I have a few things to clear off my plate over the coming weeks, but after that I'm going to get stuck into creating a series of in-depth 'evergreen' articles about the different dimensions of being a grokkist. They'll be tighter, more structured and more detailed, and I've challenged myself to do some stuff with video too. I want people who come to the site to have a clear and well-signposted path that talks to their most pressing questions about what it means to be a grokkist.
I'll shift to using this front space of the newsletter to be more conversational, update you on what I'm up to and share more of my thinking as I work on building out the site and the grokkist community.
As always, I thrive on feedback good or bad, so if you want to let me know whether I'm on the right track, just hit reply or get in touch.
🧶 What's My Red Thread? Workshop
I'm working on a workshop series that will complement and extend the series of in-depth articles I mentioned above. The aim is to help grokkists with stuck energy to manage their psychology and self-actualise.
I'm calling the series Unlock the Grok. It will have a price tag (yet to be decided), and there will be discounts and free pathways available for those who would benefit but can't afford it.
It's a few months away from being ready and there's also a bunch of background stuff that has to happen for me to offer it in the way I'd like.
As it shapes up, I'll be hosting live test-drive sessions for various sections of the series. These are not only richly informative and a great opportunity to have input on the direction and development of what I'm making, they also promise to be just a good time and a vibe.
ℹ️ I'm offering these test-drive sessions free and exclusively to Grokkist Supporters and contributors as a thank you for their material and symbolic vote of confidence during this early phase in Grokkist's development.
Here's a teaser of the upcoming 'What's my Red Thread?' test-drive session which is happening later this month:
So we end up with squiggly but deep career paths. Each seemingly-unrelated episode along the way somehow ends up leading us to our next thing, while adding to the rich variety of our cumulative knowledge-base.
But it's hard to clearly communicate the true value of the wisdom and experience we've gained doing all these disparate things, and what connects them all.
That's why grokkists need to reach for the Red Thread that pulls us along through all our adventures.
In this 90-minute workshop, I will walk us through 3 Big Ideas to think with, and then explore how we can combine them together to understand our Red Thread, using examples drawn from my own experience and yours.
🇺🇸 PST | Mon 28 Nov 2pm – 3.30pm
🇺🇸 EST | Mon 28 Nov 5pm – 6.30pm
🇪🇺 CET | Mon 28 Nov 11pm – 12.30am
🇦🇺 AEDT | Tue 29 Nov 9am - 10.30pm
🇳🇿 NZDT | Tue 29 Nov 11am – 12.30pm
Convert the time for your city
Reimagine Education ProjectVisit the Reimagine Education hub
I'm working on some cool stuff with partners that I look forward to sharing with you in due course.
Meanwhile, I'll also start using this space to share interesting and thought-provoking 'reimagine education' things I find on my travels. Here's three:
#1 - Beyond Sticky Notes
Site all about 'doing co-design for real'. Resources, courses, consulting and community. Run by a leader in participatory design who works across Australia and New Zealand, primarily in health and social care.
Co-design is about designing with, not for. It's a mindset as much as a method. It's about addressing the power imbalance between those who make important decisions about others lives, livelihoods and bodies and those people who will be most impacted by those decisions, but who often have little to no involvement.
The name instantly got my attention because it speaks to my deep-seated aversion to well-meaning but bullshit exercises that involve sticky notes and butcher's paper. I'm currently reading the book, which is excellent.
#2 - Policyware - world class public policy education for all
Another promising example of a tightly-scoped member/expert community that offers short, intensive and practical online cohort-based courses with an emphasis on current real-world problems in a specific field.
This one seems quite US-centric, but as someone who has previously trudged through a masters degree in public policy, I would have ditched the degree for something like this in a heartbeat, had it existed when I was studying.
#3 - HolonIQ - Education in 2030
HolonIQ is a must-follow market intelligence and analysis outfit for anyone interested in tracking macro trends in the education sector. Their work is classy, tuned-in and globally-oriented.
If you haven't heard of them, I'd suggest starting by exploring their 'Education in 2030' scenario analysis exercise, which frames five broad possible futures for the direction of education over the current decade. Many of my personal hopes and aspirations could probably be located in some version of Scenario #4, with a lot of asterisks and caveats:
Powered by declining transaction costs and ubiquitous connectivity, peer to peer exchange of goods and services has meant the disintermediation of the 'institution' in most industries. Learning online, through rich, personalised and human to human experiences dominates the post-secondary and skills training sectors.
🎙Still Curious PodcastVisit the Podcast hub
The quality-of-life upgrade is still ongoing (Season 1 is now complete and I am working through Season 2). I'm also doing some back-end work that will lay foundations for improvements in Season 3, which will start in early 2023.
Meanwhile, please enjoy the following freshly reupholstered episode pages, complete with full episode digests, audio highlights and interactive transcripts.
Assorted awesome links, just because.
Creative Elements is a podcast where Jay Clouse talks to people who make their living as creators about their journeys and the nuts-and-bolts of their day-to-day operations, business models and tech stacks. This episode hits different though and is my favourite so far. Guest Derek Sivers exudes grokkist energy and has an amazing take on how to follow your interests while also applying extreme focus.
Article about how a prisoner-run radio station on Death Row is breaking down isolation, creating community and making meaning. It's difficult reading but... oof.
Hat-tip to Grokkist member David Thomas for sharing this one.
I'm not a McDonald's regular, but even I know that the ice cream machine is always broken. The internet has done its thing and made a live interactive map of all McDonald's in the US so you can always know before you go. For my American readers, please know that most of us in Australia/New Zealand call it Maccas.
Harry Styles' original audition on X Factor from way back when. Moments like this are fun to watch because in a few minutes you can see both the incredible growth and also how much was already there the whole time.
Lively and wide-ranging analysis of what makes an Agatha Christie – the novels, the genre and the writer herself – and how to make sense of their enduring popularity.
Her small, local, middle-class white communities are rife with suspicion, infidelity, unease, and a sort of indefinable evil that permeates almost everybody and everything ... There are plenty of servants roaming the crime scenes, but at the end of the day, they are inevitably blameless—leaving the profession of murder to those who run the society in which they merely serve.