Week Nine: The Anniversary

I did work Monday and Tuesday but truth be told I was still a bit jet-lagged and while I seem to have been busy I can’t really remember much about what I was doing!

Wednesday evening I attended the party to celebrate the 20th anniversary of mySociety at the Conway Hall in London. It was a lovely event with all the great and good from two decades of civic tech and it was nice to catch up with former colleagues and old friends alike. mySociety have done an enormous amount of amazing and important stuff in those 20 years – Louise gave an amazing speech summarising the various eras of that work – and as an organisation it really has set the standard for this kind of activity worldwide. All that said I have complicated feelings about my brief time working for the organisation and they were leaking through on the night so I slipped out early. I really struggled to find my feet when I worked there as much as I admired the mission and liked the people. To this day I am not sure why I found it so uncomfortable but I really did – and I doubt my diabetes diagnosis, initial crisis and subsequent lifestyle change helped but it was more than that. I just didn’t fit and found the needs of the role leaned into my weakness rather than my strengths. Anyway it wasn’t a happy time – especially the final three or four months – but I did learn a lot and am still proud to have at least tried to help them on their journey (even if notably little of *that* era made the speech!).

Thursday I did my first full-on, long day since before Covid. I had my first meeting at 09.00 and got home to my flat in Bristol at 23.45. It was worth it though. I had lovely conversations with Stuart and James, a really productive and useful workshop with the Open Referral team where we really collectively nailed the roadmap for the next phase of the project. There are a nice mix of recommendations emerging that fall into some tidy themes with supporting evidence – honestly it was great and so nice to be back in a room with people scribbling stuff on a whiteboard!

As an aside to that workshop I had shared the dotEveryone Definition of Done with the team in advance as a primer on how I like to structure and plan a final report and as is my nature I mentioned this on – all – the socials. It was a huge hit! It got unusually high engagement on every platform and I am really pleased that I brought it to a few peoples attention as it is brilliant.

To close off the day I was one of the speakers at the Local Digital community meetup giving a lightning talk about our Open Referral work. It was a really interesting set of speakers with talks that touched upon adult and social care, housing, digital planning, improving self-serve directories and lots of references to data standards – as I was up last I was able to do the trick of referring back to earlier talks and points which made it all seem a bit slicker than it was

After my talk a couple of people came up to talk to me and say incredibly nice things about my blogging and my openness professionally that really did get this old Grinch heart beating. At this point I don’t really know how to operate any other way but I do suspect it grates on some people and closes down as many commercial avenues as it opens so it is nice to hear that some people do appreciate it. Really helped me get to the end of the night as I was knackered!

Sadly I have to miss the Product for the People unconference in Manchester next week as it is my nans funeral. I hope everyone has an amazing day and remember to give thanks (as it is Thanksgiving…I did have a little icebreaker I was going to do!).

I went to watch ‘The Marvels’ this morning and it is an absolute travesty that it has been such a box office disaster so far. It is fun, funny, exciting and sweet with some genuinely lovely moments. Iman Vellini is a joy as Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel and Samuel L. Jackson reprieves his portrayal of Nick Fury after the dreadful Secret Invasion.

Honestly I can only assume it is a combination of Marvel fatigue and Marvel fandom misogyny but as a 50 year old, white, straight, long time comic book fan who as seen every Marvel movie and TV show (more than once in most cases) – so in other words the worst possible demographic – I can say it is better than → 

The Incredible Hulk (2008)

Iron Man 2 (2010)

Thor (2011)

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Doctor Strange (2016)

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

WandaVision (2021) [Disney Plus]

Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021) [Disney Plus]

Black Widow (2021)

Eternals (2021)

Moon Knight (2022) [Disney Plus]

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)

Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)

She-Hulk (2022) [Disney Plus]

Werewolf By Night (2022) [Disney Plus]

Guardians of the Galaxy Christmas Special (2022) [Disney Plus]

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)

Secret Invasion (2023) [Disney Plus]

If the performance of this movie stops us getting a Young Avengers movie with Kamala and Kate Bishop I’ll be PISSED!

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