It has to change

I love the new podcast by Rob Rees, (who I am a massive fan of) and Elena Duggan – Appetite for Change. Rob is always good to listen to and I have learnt so much from him over the past few years. Each episode has been brilliant, and I encourage you to listen to them all. Rob and Elena are finding such knowledgeable and committed humans that work with food to make the world a better place. They ask brilliant questions and create an intimate conversation. Suitable for people who eat.

My favourite so far has been the latest with Cat Clarke. You hear the passion for connection and learning in her voice as she relates how far she goes to make a difference in the lives of her students. I had so many moments while listening to this of feeling the truth of her words in my gut. Here’s a recent article about her impact as a teacher –

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09-16/deadly-bush-foods-dinner-served-up-by-tully-students/11510554

One of the points Cat makes is that the education system has to change and she mentions some of the barriers as well as her approaches with great humility.

21 July 2019

I finished ‘Everybody Lies – What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are‘ by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz this week. It was about how, as you might imagine, when we are speaking to a person, we tell them what we think they want to hear, or base our response on who we want them to think we are. Our searches and big data from sites like Google, Facebook and the multitude of sources that we leave evidence about who we are on, as well as what we do, that is tracked by our devices, will reveal a different truth.

Some of the examples he uses to demonstrate his knowledge are not what I would focus on if I had the knowledge to access the data, but the methodology is what I found inspiring. There are so many great questions that data could answer. When you add AI to the mix, the potentials are boundless. In Stephens-Davidowitz’s conclusion he says

“Social science is becoming a real science, and this new real science is poised to improve our lives.”

I started trying to learn data analysis and only completed one unit. The maths and the language were difficult, but I can’t help but feel if I learnt this language and the formulas it would be helpful to respond more thoughtfully and meaningfully to our community. At the very least it would give me more direction to further test in.

Is data analysis a part of social science study at our Universities? Perhaps it would be a valuable addition. I found this MOOC and have enrolled but I may have to finish the other other one I started to have the skills to do it.

I had a little play with Google Trends . I think I could lose many hours on that site and may in the future. You can look up searches based on years, geography and compare search terms – see below.

There have been trials and errors in the time I’ve worked in my current role. I feel grateful to have the opportunity to learn as much as I’ve learnt in this last six years. There is so much more to learn.

One of the tools he discussed was data doppelgangers, which led me to read this – https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/06/data-doppelgangers-and-the-uncanny-valley-of-personalization/372780/ and who hasn’t wondered about the ad targeting. This article is 5 years old so I imagine a lot of progress has been made since then.

There are existing resources like – https://data.gov.au/ which is open data from the government. I had a look at the Latrobe Valley sources available. There was nothing there from Department of Education, DSS or DHHS. There is a lot of other information available, some of it quite old. I will take more time to see what I can learn.

This book was recommended on the Impact Boom podcast – Bradley Clair & Nicholas Kamols On How To Power On With Your Social Enterprise. These two guys have been doing amazing work around the planet with recycled electronics and it’s a great story. There’s references in the podcast to some great social enterprise projects in schools that Tom Allen has worked on. I’ve previously read Bold and have started Abundance by Peter Diamandis & Steven Kotler, so the final recommended book to read from this podcast is 21 Lessons For The 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari.

Impact Boom posted this week 60 Recommended books that global changemakers are reading in 2019 , there are some great books I’ve read on it but many many more to read.

On Friday night I saw this post from Rob Rees, who is a mentor I have had access to this year. He delivered the Kitchen Challenge program at The VRI earlier this year and I have seen a lot of growth in the participants that did the course. I have been thinking about it and reflecting on how we can shift our projects from hybrid non-profit to social enterprise. It’s not a new thought but the clarity of this image cut through some confusion I feel when I hear the term ‘social enterprise’ applied to government funded projects.