Friday, 29 March 2019

#ForTheWeb? FFS! #DigCit #Cybernat Mission to Help Recruit Elle... The Jambo?

Image result for waiting for superman
In 2017 my 7 year old son went on a mission as a #BeMorePirate spy guy to help recruit a P1 teddy called Ellie to go on a #DigCit trip to support a number of people and organisations that I was connected with at the time.

As the saying goes there is no 'I' in team (But there is a me), so we've dropped the I in Ellie... and with people like Asqa Mahmood encouraging young people like Shamina Begum to leave home to join ISIS, it might be an idea to call in some grown ups to help keep our kids safe online from the kind of threats that Begum faced. But who we gonna call?

Ghost Busters to help with all the people who hide behind anonymous accounts who dress as ghosts IRL?

Will we wait for superman? As the documentary about school reform highlights... He ain't coming.

A LOT has changed in both mine and my sons life since that Classroom Skype call and in the world of social media today... 

This includes the definition and nature of how we keep young people safe online. 

This post looks at some of these changes and is written in the hope that either politicians and/or people in my network will help to recruit @ElleTheJambo to see if she can help address some of these rather serious issues.

On the week that the web celebrated it's 30th Birthday and Tim Berners-Lee encouraged people to fight #ForTheWeb... by the end of the week a far right extreme hate group video'd their attack on mosques in Christchurch. 

The far right have been in the news almost every day since (Anna Soubry court case, Birmingham Mosques etc) 

#DigCit 2015 Vs 2019
In 2015 #DigCit was all about 

'Be the same person you are online as you are offline'


'If you've nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all'

In 2019 we have:
  • The US President surrounded by advisers who are going to jail
  • Shamina Begum losing her babies and 
  • The far rights online hate spilling onto our streets days after Tim Berners-Lee calls for people to fight #ForTheWeb. 

#DigCit & Politicians Part of the Problem? ...Definitely! 
You might expect politicians to be doing something about this, but they are not.

During the 2015 election the MPs were throwing their hands up saying 'What can we do about it?' (See Online Abuse I Blame the Politicians)

In 2019 not only are parties like The SNP doing nothing to reign in #Cybernats like 'Wings Over Scotland' (Rah! Rah! Rah! IndyRef...all the way from Bath?!)

...But Alex Samlond's support make people like this front page news by jumping to this 'kind, well mannered and model SNP supporters' (Bear in mind he's suing Ms Dugdale, so I'll err on the side of caution... Great guy!) defense by claiming that You Tube is politically biased.

The tribalism of groups like the 'Cybernats' Vs 'Tthe Yoons' not only suits these political parties BUT the (so called) political 'Leaders' seem to be following Mr Trumps playbook, according to the #FakeNews at least, as Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Jacob Rees-Mogg and other contenders for taking over Theresa May's role are speaking to Steve Bannon... who is openly declaring what his intentions are.

And even if #Cybernats like Wings Over Scotland were not being defended by the SNP and Bannon wasn't being courted by self interested Old Etonians like Boris & Gove... given the obsession (and MPs uselessness) with finding solutions for Brexit =

I would not expect any solutions regarding cleaning up 'The Wild West of the Internet' from this group any time soon. 

That is, of course,  if they were even to accept the facts regarding what is going on... which they are not!

On the BBC's This Week last night Frank Luntz highlighted the dangers... Only for Michael Portillo to dismiss the concerns and the threat out of hand. And YET! at the time of writing Tommy Robinson is trending as he is speaking at Nigel Farage's Ukip Brexit leave march.

(Scotland is Now 'Scotland is Open' message gets 2,000 Retweets... Tommy Robinson 16,000 and rising)

In 2015 I made an arguement where the politicans could be blamed for some of the problems associated with online abuse. 

In 2019 there is no change with this view... but with tragic situations like Shamina Begum and Christchurch, it's a lot more serious today!

'Network Effects' & 'Feedback Loops' Online = Creates 'Social Proof' Offline
In 2014 I was super supportive of The SNP and wrote 30+ posts in support of the party. 

But I was never supportive or The SNP or #IndyRef per se, but of the cultural conditions that the post vote momentum created.

Upon reflection, I realise that I wasn't even writing in support of The SNP/IndyRef... but was writing posts to detail what they needed to do to maintain the positivity of the extremely powerful 'Network Effects' and 'Feedback Loops' where a single event (The night the BNP came to town to celebrate the #NoThanks result) delivered record results for the SNP during #GE2015.

If the extent of the threat is not recognised and addressed, then the 'network effects,' 'feedback loops' and 'social proof' from Christchurch may well be set to have the same impact... but for hate groups.

As I've stated a number of times, the online momentum for #IndyRef in the last 2-3 weeks of the 'Yes' campaign influenced the offline, IRL rallies as they grew and grew and grew and saw the polls go over 40% for only the second time ever during the campaign.

The night of the vote with the rioting in Glasgow's George Square ignited the post vote movement.

As the book New Power highlights:
"Those on the side of the angels, who want to spread compassion, promote pluralism or defend science must grapple with a painful reality that New Power can supercharge hate and misinformation"

I would add to this a comment from Sam Conniff Allande's Be More Pirate Tedx Talk:
No One Is Coming to Save Us 

(Especially not those #Cybernat-supporting-Bannon-consulting-Brexit-Shambles pointless politicians)

Educators? Look for the Bright Spots... Help Recruit Elle
New Power highlights that after a number of false starts in creating a solution to effective ISIS recruiters like Asqa Mahmood includes educators who 'Connected Connectors' and 'Crowd Leaders' to build a network of positive messengers who create alternative narratives drawing people away from more extreme positions and amplifying messages of groups like religious leaders and their schools.

HOWEVER! Taking on people with opposing views and getting into a heated debate in the hope of 'dialing the conversation down' a little and looking for common ground (Even, as happened with one conversation I had the 'Let Begum rot' protagonist I was chatting to declared 'I wasn't looking for any common ground!' once we'd established some), is NOT easy! But it can be done.

But before we can expect educators to go from the current position of 

'If you've nothing nice to say don't say anything at all' 


'Hey that's not right' and/or 'I think you need a virtual hug'

Will need people to path-find some solutions to this.

Where to look for the bright spots?

If MPs are not actively adding to the problem with the future UK Prime Minister speaking to Steve Bannon... they are certainly doing nothing by advocating for people like 'Wings Over Scotland' and/or not calling out their own supporters who look to troll those who have a different political view. 

After all this is the democratic UK, not Alex Salmond's employers Russian based RT, where MSM highlights that it's a Russian sponsored propaganda channel  

Social Media does not come with the job for educators (Yet!) today. There is no remit for them to try to 'swarm' in an attempt to prevent people like Asqa Mahmood and protecting vulnerable people like Shamina Begum with the same 'sense of belonging' online that Mahmood clearly did.

Taking on Far Right groups, ISIS recruiters and political trolls like the #Cybernats could affect the educators digital footprint and end up getting them into trouble with their employers... even though a virtual hug could help them before it was too late: Imagine an educator providing an 'Alternative Narrative' in the way that a Muslim did with Ivan Humble (@NewDayStarts) to turn him away from The English Defense League.

I see a few brave educators like Justin Schleider (@SchleiderJustinwho are doing this and IMHO should be encouraged, supported and their example followed. I hope that educators like Justin will be collaborating with change agents and fellow 'Crowd Leaders' like Elle. 

Cybernats? Help Recruit Elle?
When experimenting with engaging with the 'Cybernats' (Engaging with them because I made a data prediction that - based on the data - The SNP were in trouble at the next election), I connected with someone who also got excited about the 2014 Yes/IndyRef/SNP movement for the same reasons that I did:

The potential for change and the participatory politics... but which never came.

If there is one group online that is not afraid to chase people away from a topic of conversation, it's those #Cybernats... what if they were turned into an SNP liability to a huge #IndyRef2 asset?

How easy would this be to do? IMHO Very!

Instead of attacking others who have an opposing - and perfectly legal and democratic - political view in the (Un) United Kingdom and/or (Less than) Great Britain's democracy... why not turn their willingness to have a fight online with those who are turning to violence offline and extreme groups like the far right?

Alt Right has been on spaces where our young people are for years and people like Michael Portillo say that the links are unconnected, yet Bannon openly declares that he wants to connect the far right across the world and the self interested, power hungry, Old Etonians of Gove/Boris/Ree-Mogg are speaking to this guy?!

No One Is Coming to Save Us #ForTheWeb #FFS #Cybernats Help Recruit @ElleTheJambo!  

Give Elle a follow and/or share her call for people to use Twitter as a force for good (Like the early days of #IndyRef) and see what happens... A quick '5min favour' might even go a big way to cleaning up

"The Wild West of the Internet"

Saturday, 23 March 2019

#EdChatMod Google+ Forum... Thank You & See You at @GiveAndTakeInc Givitas?

Google+ closes down in a few weeks. One of my very first attempts at community building was an EdChat moderator G+ forum. 

I've revisited this community this week to share some thoughts about how social media and #DigCit has changed with the rise of hate groups etc ...and to encourage people to send our friends at #INZspirED a Virtual Hug.

#EdChatMod Forum & Nurph

In 2014 I curated lots of Edchat information and added all the Twitter Education Chats to Chat Salad and advocated for Twitter chat platform Nurph (Which I found out about from #CmgrHangout). I wrote this EdChat Resource Plan

After writing this report I created a G+ forum for EdChat moderators to share ideas on all aspects of hosting Twitter chats and working towards 4 main aims:

1) That we will do what we can to help promote everyone's EdChat
2) To curate information that will add value
3) To collaborate and co-ordinate on some EdChat admin
4) Drive the EdChat Agenda Forward

As with all first attempts this was a learning process and the forum has been quite quiet recently, but it was lovely to revisit one more time to share some posts in the hope of supporting our friends at #INZspirED with a Virtual Hug 

...And to try to raise awareness of how I feel #Digcit has changed since organising the UK #DigCitSummit for the movement's Co-Founders David Ryan Polgar and Marialice Curran in 2015 compared to social media today.
My 7 year old son's first blog post was about why he turned @BeMorePirate by breaking a little rule by skipping school to model the DigCitSummit Co-Founders aim that students 'Act Locally, Connect Globally'

#DigCitSummit @SpyQuest Mission to help recruit @ElliePrimary1

I'm glad that was the reason and it wasn't because he'd been recruited to join like Scottish school girl and ISIS recruiter Asqa Mahmood did with 15 year old Shamina Begum.

The message delivered on this mission to our Education Secretary was

Mr Swinney

We need, as educators & parents, to model
Digital Leaders for kids everywhere
To connect classrooms on Twitter and Skype
with educators & policy makers w
schools locally but we need to learn
& globally kids at Westquarter
Help Ellie

But if you read the first two words from each sentence the decoded messages reads.

"We need Digital Leaders To connect with educators & schools locally & globally. Help Ellie"

It would appear that keeping young people safe online in 2019 now includes ensuring students have a sense of belonging in their local community offline... to prevent them going looking for it in hate groups online, which then become tragic IRL decisions that see violence and death as a result.

Tech Story 2: The Wild West of the Internet… And the Digital Citizen ShipPhoto

I read New Power last May and it highlights how organisations like Alt Right have been on spaces like Reddit for years making angry people even angrier... putting the same 'Feedback Loops' & 'Network Effects' in place that led to 'Unprecedented swings' for the SNP 2015... And is affecting life offline now too

"The Reddit world is made up of its users, who skew young, male, and geeky, and do the upvoting, linking and commenting...In the months prior to the #RedditRevolt the CEO had tried to create new rules to shut down offensive content and hate speech on the site. Predictably, this had clashed with the somewhat outlaw, libertarian ethos of Reddit. Many suspected these efforts were not driven by a moment of moral awakening but rather were an effort to clean  up the site so it could be more easily monetised for advertisers. The speech that the CEO was targeting was extreme: Revenge porn, attacking transgender people, white supremacists... It was also easy to sense gender dynamics at play on a platform whose users were mostly male" 

"Brian recalls why he chose to become a volunteer moderator when the site introduced them 'You got to build a community. You build a policy structure that keeps it thriving, keeps it going. That's why Reddit was successful. You feel like you own it"

Courtnie talks about her identity as a super users like this: 'Reddit is my community center, it's my YMCA'"

"Reddit also has a big impact on politics - research has shown that Reddit was one of the most important online spaces for Alt-Right Trump supporters to congregate and coordinate as they successfully wages the so called "meme wars" on social media during the 2016 elections...Reddit Co-Founder Steve Huffman estimated that users they looked to silence, the 'toxic 0.2%' who polluted the space for everyone else. " New Power

I've made an attempt at sharing New Power case studies in a way that might engage even the youngest of audiences by wondering how the Toy Stories characters would fair without any #DigCit guidance, it was fun to write: Tech Story 2: The Wild West of the Internet… And the Digital Citizen Ship

Ian Gibsom (@GibsonI) is looking at doing a #NewPowerEducation book club and people from further afield will be able to Skype in to join the discussion, if there's enough interest in hosting some kind of event to discuss these ideas.

#DigCit and Keeping Kids Safe Online ACEing Made to Stick:
ISIS Recruiter Asqa Mahmood & Educator 'Swarms'

The reason I shared that article in the #INZspirED Virtual Hug Tweet is because the advice of having positive messengers and alternative narratives is the advice US Counter Terrorism recommends regarding tackling people like Scottish School Girl Aqsa Mahmood (who was one of ISIS best recruiters)... and recruited Shamina Begum, More heartache for the families involved, more lives lost!

"After these false starts, the United States began to realise it needed to take a different approach. CSCC coordinator Alberto Fernandez laid out a new direction, speaking to Congress in 2015:

"You need to find a way to form loose, open source communities of interest or swarms that can swarm back and push back against the ISIS message. It's not an impossible thing to do. It can be done"

The new inter-agency Global Engagement Centre is trying to make this happen. Discarding the top down hectoring tone of the Think Again Turn Away campaign, the centre is trying to build a "Network of positive messengers" to share not just counter narratives, but alternative narratives drawing people away for more extreme positions, amplifying the messages of its partners, from religious leaders to schools." New Power extract at the end of this post
Please Retweet to send #INZspirED a Virtual Hug

How EDL Member turned his back on the group - after a hug from a Muslim
I'm a fan of High Impact/Low Cost Vs High Cost/Low Impact ideas and interventions. Compare how a hug is all that it took to turn Ivan Humble (@NewDayStarts) to turn away from the English Defense League.

But, at the same time, note how Ivan was recruited... his life wasn't in the best place -> he posted a racist tweet -> and someone was on the phone within 15 mins providing him with a sense of belonging

From the Suffolk coastal town of Lowestoft, Ivan was back in 2009 a stay-at-home single dad of two.

“At that time my personal life was a bit erratic," he said

"I was a single dad with two kids, I had bad depression and a break down a few years before. I was on benefits, I had normal struggles with everyone else.”

He posted a comment online and within 15 minutes had been contacted by someone from the EDL and soon joined, rapidly becoming the regional organiser for East Anglia.

“I felt a sense of belonging with them and when I got into the secret groups, that was when the magic happened, not that you call it magic," he said.

“No one person radicalised me. If I blame any one for my radicalisation it would be Anjem Choudary because I bought into his interpretation of Islam, just like many other people.”

What Kind of Leader are You? Education Crowd Leaders

New Power Crowd Leader Quiz
This a fun quiz... if you do take a moment to complete it and decide to share the result on Twitter, feel free to share on the thread below. There are some policy makers in the Tweet and, you never know, the engagment might see them reply and join the conversation.

Fight for #ForTheWeb and The Well
My closing remarks at the 2016 #DigCitSummitUK event was based on The Well's mantra of You Own Your Words. 
After spending 10 years on The Well Howard Rhiengold found the place predictable... when I read Katie Hafner's The Well in 2015, I felt that social media would be heading in the same direction.

Earlier in the month I asked Howard if he felt that Facebook could be 'Unslummed' of all the hatred...

His reply = I wasn't wrong, which is why I'm exploring @GiveAndTakeInc Givitas

(@CordyM's mentor and featured in the 2016 closing keynote at ISTE)

This was one of my first attempts to create a community space and it will be closing in a few weeks. Thank you to all the EdChatMods who spent their time on this G+ Community.

I wanted to let people know where I will be going next and also wanted to post some thoughts on the terrible events in New Zealand and elsewhere with the rise of the far right and provide some suggestions that Educators might want to consider.

I'll be using @AdamMGrant's @GiveAndTakeInc 'Givitas' platform and posted my first '5 min favour' request recently and has led to meeting some great new contacts and interesting links and resources.

William Jenkins on Twitter
My First Request on @GiveAndTakeInc's Givitas... Hopefully See You There!

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Pirate Code 2.0, Misfits, Well Beings... And #DigCit

It's International Women's Day today. 

This is a day that four years ago, through being connected with Sarah Thomas (@SarahDaTeechur) and her #SXSWEdu Minority Women in Tech #DigiDiversity session, I connected with some people that I might not otherwise have met, who helped me to continue supporting the first international #DigCitSummit.

Her #SXSWEdu session saw me connect with Declara CEO Ramona Pierson and VP James Stanbridge (@Stanbridge)... and led to my first paid role as a Community Manager.

Being connected with James and Ramona meant that I was able to remain involved UK Digital Citizenship Summit in 2016.

A question that I have posed to James since then is:

"What is the value of an introduction?"

As someone who many in my network tell me I'm a great connector, seeing how some of the introductions I've made have had an impact, reflecting on my involvement with 'Connected Educator Appreciation Day #CEduAD... and having just read my Mind Time Connector profile, this remains an unanswered question. 

A lot has changed since the 'First Pirate Council Meeting' that established this event and my closing remarks.


However, if we look at the past we can see that some of the rocks that were hit were not only predictable (Perhaps even inevitable)... but can also help inform what the future of Digital Citizenship and how the Wild West of the Internet will either 

1) Get settled or 
2) Become a ghost town as people move elsewhere.

(Laugh all you like at the second point but before you do... Ever heard of Ames or Inktomi? Or take a look at Friends Reunited, MySpace, RedditRevolt, Blue Note Jazz post-Nora Jones etc).

My last post, Biz Stone's New Rules, included examples from Stewart Brand (@StewartBrand) and Larry Brilliant's (@LarryBrilliant) early online community 'The Well' and looked at Digital Citizenship along with Twitter founder Biz Stone's (@Biz) 'New Rules' from his fantastic book Things a Little Bird Told Me.

This post looks at some articles and books that I've read that confirm their findings through the projects and movements I've been involved with... as well as how digital citizenship and collaboration today appears to be following the trajectory of the Well Beings' experiences.

I've been involved with a few movements with loose informal collaboration with people I met by chance encounters and shared interests online.

I hope some of these experiences might help some of the Be More Pirate (@BeMorePirate) groups out there... Even the misfit crews!

Image result for misfit pirates

My closing comments with one of these movements was completely, totally and utterly inspired by The Well's mantra of You Own Your Words:
#DigCitSummitUK Closing Remarks.

In addition to this, the first thing that I
always do before collaborating with anyone (Whether in a formal or informal capacity) is ask: 
  • Does this organisation know what their core values are?
    (If you're ever in an interview ask the interviewer/CEO/HoD what their ideal employee looks like and assess how much they then waffle... How can you excel if your line manager doesn't know what excelling in the role they're hiring for looks like?)
Since 2014/5 anyone I've 'collaborated' with have indeed had their core values on their website... but, as part of the learning curve, these values turned out to be nothing more than cat posters.

Some of these organisations went so far as to make financial agreements and other assurances... but were broken. 

Try calling people out on this on social media and/or to explain things from your perspective and have people see you being the one in the wrong?! 

"So you said you'd pay me for my time... But didn't, and I'm the unreasonable one? Really?"

Well f**k off social media and the 'Fake Friends' you find there! Little wonder growth for these platforms has slowed!

As I highlight in my last post, it was actually heartening to see the reaction on social media with Brendan Rodgers making a career it highlighted how unreasonable & illogical social media has become. 

"You traded immortality for mediocrity. Never a Celt. Always a fraud" Was the banner at a recent game

This from fans about someone that some football commentators are suggesting 

"Will be up there with one of the greatest managers in terms of Celtic's success he brought the club"

In the last few weeks on social media there has also been misfires with: 
  • Bebe Rhexha losing control of her fans and asking for calm with people trolling her dad
  • Lady Gaga's loyal fans trolling Bradley Cooper's ex-wife
  • The Tory party and the racist facebook supporters page where MPs apparently have links to them.
  • Trump on any given day and any given topic.
However, if we return to The Well and resources like Marc Smith's (@Marc_Smith) 'Voices from The Well' and Howard Rheingold's (@HRheingold) experiences, they highlight that encountering takers/fakers online is not new.

In his #OctTribe NodeXL presentation Marc Smith highlights that there are some neighborhoods online that you may not want to visit.

My hope is that the next project I work on will be a neighborhood that the Takers/Fakers won't be wanting to visit 'Here Be Dragons' for that group is what I hope the NodeXL map will say. 

But how to deal with and internalise a couple of projects that, while they did get results (And others benefited from)... but either it was the wrong people or the core values and mission didn't quite stand up to a @BeMorePirate adventure and #NewPower storm? 

Just after I read Be More Pirate (@BeMorePirate), the book New Power was recommended to me.

During the inaugural New Power Virtual Gathering (at 7:29secs) last July, the authors highlighted that New Power is like a muscle:

Q) When you’ve thought of giving up… what have you done to hang in there?

“The failures are sometimes more important than the victories… use it to refocus. Do you go back to core values… or get de-motivated? Chase those storms… Being grounded in the community. You know, the collaboration. Think about those kids in the cave. Those kids got through that because of that solidarity and that sense of community. Those New Power models, when done right really enable and that can get you through those periods in the wilderness” Jeremy Heimans

"It feels like a very big defeat if you try something new and it doesn’t work out… We all have defeat after defeat after defeat…New Power is like a muscle you have to strengthen it again and again and again, and that’s how you become more resilient" Henry Timms 

Workplaces, Coffee Shops and Neighbors 

So defeat is to be expected and the previous two movements were simply workouts. Fine! 

Next... Compare life online with life offline and IRL. 

Sit in any coffee shop on any given day and you will hear people talk about friends, former friends, 'frenimies,' colleagues, neighbors talking about others behind their backs.

Open a newspaper on any given day and you'll read about the current US President bad mouthing someone; or the splits that exist in the UK Conservative and Labour Parties... some going so far as to leave to play TIG

Why on earth do we think that online is going to be any different?! 
If/when disagreements or different narratives crop up with people who have collaborated through loose association/affiliation the past (In education this could be with Twitter chats or organising Edcamps/unconferences) then, as Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil points out, it's no wonder there's something of an adolescent period... Especially if there was little/no digital citizenship taught in school.

"We’ve had thousands of years to hone our person-to-person interactions, but only 20 years of social media. 

“Offline, we have all these cues from facial expressions to body language to pitch… whereas online we discuss things only through text. I think we shouldn’t be surprised that we’re having so much difficulty in finding the right way to discuss and cooperate online.”

As our online behaviour develops, we may well introduce subtle signals, digital equivalents of facial cues, to help smooth online discussions. 

In the meantime, the advice for dealing with online abuse is to stay calm, it’s not your fault. Don’t retaliate but block and ignore bullies, or if you feel up to it, tell them to stop.

If social media as we know it is going to survive, the companies running these platforms are going to have to keep steering their algorithms, perhaps informed by behavioural science, to encourage cooperation rather than division, positive online experiences rather than abuse. 

As users, we too may well learn to adapt to this new communication environment so that civil and productive interaction remains the norm online as it is offline.
“I’m optimistic,” Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil says. “This is just a different game and we have to evolve.” 
Why Good People Turn Bad Online

My issue with collaborating with people online has not been one of bullying but I have felt up to questioning their words Vs their action and have encouraged the takers/fakers to stop - online and in private communications!

So it has involved a good deal of fakery, whether people saying one thing... but doing another and/or simply being 'Fake Friends.' The data suggests this is affecting collaboration everywhere online.

The data I've explored suggests my experiences are not isolated... and the impact could be significant with issues like educators and burnout.

The difference as far as I'm concerned is that I am willing to exercise some #NewPower muscle - as well as the New Power Value of 'Radical Transparency' - not to be intentionally controversial, but as I have a feeling this is will be a necessary skill  if 'The Wild West of the Internet' is going to get settled. (More on this in the next few posts). 

As far as the future of digital citizenship and online collaboration is concerned I found myself (unsurprisingly given who the author is) agreeing lots to this statement... And the entire article!

"Community forming - Twitter is not a community, but it's an ecology in which communities can emerge" Howard Rheingold via his fantastic Twitter Literacy: Knowing How to Use it is Key

I can't help how others react but I can decide how I choose to react to their actions and behaviours... and my #NewPower 'Radical Transparency' and #BeMorePirate rule breaking muscles are developed enough to not 'play nice' by quietly move on... only to hear about others who fall into the same trap (And hope that I'm able to deal with the consequences!)

At the same time I am learning all the time and have to accept the challenges that appear to come from being one of Myers-Briggs #INFJ's... which truly is an insane learning curve!! 

The books and articles I've read have helped lots recently (old and new) last night I read Adam Grant's (@AdamMGrant) 'The Creative Power of Misfits'

"Gather some people together to give their frustration a voice. Put them on offense, not defense, by asking them to attack the problems they see. And then invite them to run with their best ideas" Pixar's Brad Bird via Adam Grant.

There are a number of ways that I hope that all these experiences and articles will come together.

Adam Grant's article is full of rebellious Black Sheep, Misfit Pirate types... Which brings me onto a huge lesson I learnt from Sam Conniff Allande's (@SamConniff) book 'Be More Pirate' when I read it last May:

"In the workshops we run, the second stage is where things really get started, we break into crews and a sense of mutiny begins to fill the room. Making new rules can be complex, but that's not where we start; the first thing to do is get a crew to choose the one rule they collectively most want to break, and then begin the task of remaking it. 

In this challenge, we've seen things get pretty heated; crews fight, split, re-form and commit to actual rule breaking there and then. We find when you really reconnect with that rule you know needs breaking, and actual alternatives begin to emerge, with a crew ready to try to change them, pirates begin to get serious.

So, to give you your own taste of the challenge in the sessions, please take a few minutes to answer the following question:
  • If you could break any rule, what would it be? And how would you remake it?
    For Me It Would Be: Get educators to collaborate beyond the 4 walls of the school more.
IWD2019 Eureka Moment (via Adam Grant) ...With a dash of Be More Pirate's Make Shit Up!
This post was written and published... Then I was looking for a quote by Suffragette Lucy Stone in Adam Grant's book 'Originals' for International Women's Day, and was reminded that Lucy formed collaborations and alliances with other marginalised groups - like ethnic minorities and the temperance movement. 

Not all of these alliances worked out as the values, ideology and methods for affecting change differed greatly... Some had a negative impact on Stone's reputation as well as the momentum of the movement.

But she eventually succeeded when the movement formed alliances when the values were aligned as well as the mission.

A topical IWD2019 example from history about the importance of getting the 'Core Values,' 'Pirate Code,' as well as the mission, purpose, manifesto 100% right!! 

"Adam Grant labels this tendency of change agents to fight each other as the narcissism of small differences" via @RebelsAtWork Rebels at Work and the Narcissism of Small Differences

It is precisely the minor differences in people who are otherwise alike that form the basis of feelings of strangeness and hostility between them. Sigmund Freud

I was also dealt (Yet) another blow earlier in the week... (I REALLY don't know how many more I can take!!) but, for the third time this week, an article shared by Adam Grant helped - which highlighted the huge difference a kind word can make. 

Scrolling through the #IWD2019 tweets and it's full of people who took a stand for what they believed in and faced resistance. So just like #IWD2015... #IDWD2019 *Just Might* have made ALL the difference!

Which brings us nicely onto another question that Be More Pirate asks and, as students are set to break the rules on the issue of Climate Change on the 15th March, an example that they might like from Biz Stone.
  • When did you first stand up to Power? 

    For me it was:
    1) Telling an employer his company was in latter stages of Jim Collins '5 Stages of Decline'
    2) To tell Matt Hancock and Nick Boles that FELTAG wasn't going to achieve it's goals
Be More Pirate for Kids  
Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone... and The No Homework Policy
All three of my kids have now stood up to authority and for any rebellious young Pirates and/or any Twitter addicts out there here's a conversation that Twitter founder Biz Stone had as detailed in "Things a Little Bird Told Me" (Chapter 13):

"Matt was loading his backpack up with books. I was dumping all my books from my backpack into my locker, not to be seen again until the next day.

As I closed my locker and it was apparent to Matt that I had no books, not to mention a backpack, Matt asked me how I was going to do my homework.

"Oh" I said "I have a no homework policy"

Matt looked incredulous. He laughed nervously. "You're joking"

"Matt," I said, having a little fun with him. "This is America. We can do whatever we want. Freedom. I have a No Homework Policy and it's great.

I shut my locker with unusual emphasis and headed to lacrosse practice, unencumbered.

I wasn't against rules per se; I just liked to look at the big picture. Staying up until 4am wasn't realistic. Something had to give.

Other questions that Be More Pirate explores includes:

  • Who out there would you most like to take down?
    For Me It's: Lost in the Ghetto 
    (Jane Jacobs and The Well shows us how)
  • What principles, values or ideals are you willing to fight for?
    For Me It's: Using Core Values to Find a Brand's Voice
  • Who is the scariest, most difficult, controversial or provocative audience for your story?
    For Me It's: The Political Classes... So many Edu initiatives and still we have this situation?!
So, as the inaugural Be More Pirate meet up took place last month, I hope my taking the time to detail some of these experiences and sharing these awesome links might prove of some use with their #BeMorePirate 'good trouble' star wars style rebellions.

The rest of this post... For no reason in particular ;) Includes Sam Conniff Allande's suggestions for his Pirate Code 2.0 from Be More Pirate. Give and Take's Manifesto is worth a read too.

Article 1 – Make Shit Up
Article 2 – Business Plans Are Dead
Article 3 – Make the Citizen Shift
Article 4 – Take Happiness Seriously
Article 5 – Adopt the New Work Manifesto 
Article 6 – Embrace Diversity to Raise Your Game

Article 1 – Make Shit Up
All captains and crews profoundly expect, respect, celebrate and appreciate the art of strategically, structurally, intuitively and instantly making shit up. Not irresponsible imaginings, reckless reimaginings and certainly not false or fake news. We champion creative solution finding and positive problems solving based on available facts, the moment of opportunity and the power of practiced intuition. When indecision is not an option, when change is constant and nothing is normal, we’re proudly comfortable to rationally and rapidly develop, test and implement solutions on the spot. We learn from our mistakes, even if we don’t celebrate them, and use them to make making it up better.

Article 2 – Business Plans Are Dead
We challenge a century old static format as the best structure for the fluid future of our organizations, projects, dreams and schemes. We believe in motivating manifesto that makes clear our vision and we follow a concise but responsive roadmap with agile measures of accountability. We believe in collaborative ‘working’ and adaptive formats that are regularly used and reviewed in collaboration with not just the whole crew but even our customers, beneficiaries and stakeholders, to openly evaluate success, failure and future scenario planning. No captain will produce a ‘plan’ for only a narrow audience, or a moment in time, only for it to gather dust in an inbox ignored or unused by the crew.

More predictable -> Less Predictable
Profit -> Purpose
Hierarchies -> Networks
Controlling -> Empowering
Planning -> Experimentation
Privacy -> Transparency

Article 3 – Make the Citizen Shift

It’s time to evolve the human race beyond the mindset of solely a ‘consumer’ and the dangerous, destructive and limited relationships it has created. We will perform a forced reset on the language of consumerism that in turn will help us to develop more interesting, involved, interactive, mutually respectful and naturally more beneficial, respectful and rewarding relationships between our organizations, our audiences and finite resources of our world. All pirates undertake to advance the evolution of the idea of ‘the citizen’ as the dominant defining thought of our audiences and communities, and of our future.

Article 4 – Take Happiness Seriously

We take happiness seriously, and give deep happiness the place and importance it deserves. We see happiness as a strategic driver for success, productivity and creative output, but also as a strategic objective in and of itself. We do not believe happiness is a nice-to-have, we believe it is a need-to-have. We make happiness a starting point, not just an end point; we use our intention to achieve happiness to inform the decisions we make, the environments we create and the projects we undertake. We endeavour to measure, manage and share the proof we accumulate that happiness is symbiotic with great work, great impact, great relationships and greater effectiveness. We do not conform to a one-size-fits all happiness, nor expect to be happy every day, but accept and respect the right to make happiness the goal.

Article 5 – Adopt the New Work Manifesto
We demand to love work, we demand to lean as we work, we demand to be proud of what we do and demand to have the tools and support to give us every chance to do it well. We demand that our work make us and the people in our community better, not worse, we expect to be rewarded for our creativity, to establish friendships, fulfillment and knowledge and the financial compensation we are worth and expect this to cover our needs. We want life/work balance, not the other way round. We intend to live up to the promise of technology, efficiency and flexibility. We commit to understanding our own inner engineering for effectiveness and refuse to submit to conditions, clocks or cultures that don’t get the best out of us. We expect the people and organizations we work with to involve us in created the core values and that we then align them to a “Noble cause.” We will break the tyranny of emails, meetings, to do lists and any other anachronistic trappings of an old way of working, if they don’t work for us, and we won’t stop until we’re judged on our output, not input.

Article 6 – Embrace Diversity to Raise Your Game
We believe diversity of thought, background, experience and understanding is a driver of competitive advantage, creativity and productive cultures. We who desire to create projects, products, content and campaigns for the future, know the importance of reflecting the future we want to see, one of interconnected, collaborative, communicative, creatively colliding cultures. We commit to recruitment that opens doors to more than the usual suspects, we will go the extra mile to find the talent that might not have found us. We commit to accepting we all have prejudices, and then commit to challenging them, along with expanding our own filter bubbles and stretching our unconscious biases to breaking point.