An update of sorts

[Summary: I’m heading into full time study, and Practical Participation welcomes Bill Badham as our work continues to grow]

I’ve been informally sharing the news in tweets and conversations for a while now – but I realise I’ve been remiss in keeping readers of this blog up-to-date with a couple of big changes for me. So – here’s the news:

In two weeks I start a full time MSc at the Oxford Internet Institute and St Cross College – studying for a taught course in the ‘Social Science of the Internet’. I’ve been wanting to return to University to spend some quality time studying and building by research skills for a while now – and so I’m extremely excited about the opportunity to spend the next 10 months deepening my understanding of both social scientific methods and contemporary scholarship of the internet (and of course, to get back into student life…)

Practical Participation
When I discovered I was heading back to University I thought that might mean a drop in activity for Practical Participation, the consultancy organisation which has emerged from, and acted as a vehicle for, my work over the last couple of years.

However, it turns out that is not to be – and next week Bill Badham will be joining as a co-director of Practical Participation, as we expand and refocus our work on supporting and catalysing action around youth participation and the ethical, effective use of social technology in participation and work with young people.

Bill is not only a thought and practice leader in his deep commitment to children’s rights and to youth participation, but he has also been my friend, mentor and colleague for the last 10 years – so I’m delighted that Bill is on board shaping the future of Practical Participation.

MSc + Practical Participation
Of course, as I’ll be studying full-time, my work with Practical Participation may take on a slightly different form. Whilst Bill will be out actively supporting organisations in their youth engagement work, I’ll be focussing on catalysing action around digital youth work & participation – working in-between times of study to carry on delivering innovation projects and get involved in developing and delivering training.

So –

  • I may be a bit slower getting back to work related e-mails & less able to make meetings & conferences during term-time;
  • But, look out for exciting new development emerging as we find out how best to use Practical Participation to create and catalyse social change;

Plus, keep an eye out for the new Practical Participation website and blog coming soon.

And Oxford Sing…
And whilst I’m talking of exciting developments, there is one I can’t take credit for, but which I’m still pretty chuffed about. As well as helping out with the work of Practical Participation, making our recent house move work smooth as anything, and taking on tricky task of making me take a full weeks holiday last week – my wife Rachel has been launching her own freelance community enterprise – now running singing for health and community music workshops across and around Oxford.

The journey continues…