Weeknotes for March 20th, 2020

Virtual – that word dominated this week. With the question: how do we shift what we are doing to virtual? The new normal, we start the week with no idea where it will end.

Over the previous weekend, I had decided to cancel Better Bankside, the excellent venue I had booked in London for the 26th. Transitioning The Workshop Lab to The (Virtual) Workshop Lab, making this the first full-day workshop that I’ve delivered virtually. It’s also the first workshop that I’ve sold nearly all the tickets. Immediately after updating the website and related content on Monday, The Prime Minister was announcing that we all need to start working remotely and stop gathering unnecessarily. Timing is everything.

Also, Monday, Allison Corkery at the Center for Economic and Social Rights, inquired about transitioning their face to face final strategy workshop into a virtual one. All staff were now working remotely, and they have just one final hurdle before they finalise their new strategy. It seemed quite a challenge, but by the end of the week, we’d managed to craft a draft agenda for a three-day workshop, three hours a day, that will hopefully help them finalise their strategy. We shall see as we will start the workshop on Monday the 23rd.

And then Tuesday, a request from Heather Leson and Shaun Hazeldine at IFRC to support a virtual workshop on innovative approaches to COVID-19. On Wednesday, we ran the workshop, and ended up with 84 participants in 20 ‘virtual’ breakout rooms:

The week continued with lots of requests for advice on shifting to virtual, and thinking about how to keep networks, coalitions, collaborations programmes and projects moving forward without coming together face to face, another new normal.

We even have virtual hugs. I remember an old friend saying to me once “relationships never end, they only change” – and this is just as true with colleagues as anyone else. This week saw Rachel Rank step aside at 360Giving to give way to new leadership with Tania Cohen taking over. Looking forward to continuing working on The Data Champions Programme with Tania and collaborating with Rachel Rank as she starts a new chapter.

Also published the outputs from the two online discussions that we held last week – the Data Literacy Consortium on ‘Adapting Existing Materials‘ and our Network-Centric Resources Project on ‘Indicators of Success‘.