Erik, a necessary topic which you prep for further debate. Thank you.

There have been various airings and thoughts on this matter as you say, and not unlike so many educators I’ve been squinting at it in articles such as the uberisation and fusion approach to education.

As a previous journalist at the BBC/ABC News (South Africa) and web coder, amongst others, the passage of time has brought this issue into sharp relief in these uncertain times. I agree broadly with what you say, though we could share a warm British beer and drill farther into your points.

For instance in #teamwork, broadcast journalists learning TV requires teamwork. Similarly, entrepreneurship has been the bedrock of freelancers pitching endlessly for work whilst managing their accounts. And ethics, were would the journalism industry be without such alacrity? Yes, we could debate this last point at length.

Sometimes, I think our current lexicon of terms is insufficient to describe the new hence we get bogged down with meanings ascribed to existing practices. I get your point then. Ethics in the face of social media requires renewed focus. Is attribution a cover to say the unsaid? And team work could encompass a military analogy in the use of small elite teams. Everyone’s a generalist, everyone has specialist skills and is aware of the fundamentals of the other, and is capable of agile, creative problem solving.

That moment when Apollo 13 makes it way back home, epitomised in Ron Howard’s 1995 film and Gary Sinese (Ken Mattingly) creatively thinks through myriad solutions is perhaps it. If so, then these methodologies we search for exist — all be it sometimes in other industries. Design thinking is an example of this. Native digital thinkers invariably practise an ad hoc model, I argue.

I graduated firstly in Applied Chemistry and would later have the pleasure of working as an artist in residence for a venerable UK institution. I see deep intrinsic value in the Lab approach which is different to what US thinker Donald Schon frame in several professions as technical rationality -a systemic way of how things should be.

This year we’re formally adopting for the first time the Lab approach to bring different values and knowledge to our MA students. We’ve started a relationship with industry partners, and the challenges are interesting.

The lab is an experimental ecosystem and hence student deliverables shouldn’t necessarily be rewarded by outcomes, but iterations of working methodologies towards trying, failing, prototyping and sometimes small gains. Failure, though an uninvited consequence of experimentation, is seldom rewarded in education. It goes against a common sense approach.

This process, however, may be familiar to PhD practitioners. Could we slice of sections of the doctorate process, so theory is not a fixed framed process of “it must be done this way”, but is acknowledged in the LAB as critical creative mapping. The value of history, which Best Seller Yuval Noah Harari points to in his book Homo Deus is about liberating us from past mistakes. We must know the past to appreciate the future to ensure we can creatively frame the present. Not as easy, perhaps as it sounds.

I think I feel a piece riffing of your points coming on. I’ll order those beers.



Top Writer & Creative Technologist, Int. Award Winner. Cinemajournalist. Cardiff Uni @jomec. PhD (Dublin). Visiting Prof UBC, Ex BBC/C4News. Apple profiled.

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