I’d planned to go to Birmingham for a big New Year’s Eve party tonight, but find myself full of a cold and home alone, having just waved my two housemates off on their way to said party. So I’m making myself feel better by writing a list of things I’m going to get done in 2013.
Fieldwork is a new venture with my good friend and new business partner, Loz Ives. We’ve worked on various collaborative projects over the last 12 months, and enjoy working together. We have complimentary skills (designer and developer), and similar ideas about the things we want to make and why we need to make them. We started our experiment in November this year, and it’s just getting going, which feels like ideal timing to make 2013 a big year for Fieldwork.
We’ve got a lot of stuff to get in place, and so far we (me especially) have been a bit too bogged down in client work to get our in-house Fieldwork projects off the ground. Here’s what I want to get done in the early part of next year:
- New website up and running. Loz has already done some beautiful design work for this – I just need to get it implemented!
- A dedicated site for a Fieldwork code repository, where we’ll release open-source code with full docs and demos.
- Our manifesto. This has been brewing for some time – it’s time to bite the bullet and get version 1.0 written up and published.
- A physical project. We have tons of ideas for potential projects involving physical components, like robots, light boards and various drawing and pattern-making machines. I want to get one of these built and documented soon.
- Pitch 10 free ideas to organisations we’d like to work with.
There are some other, less well formed and less pressing ideas I’d like to explore with Fieldwork in 2013 too:
- A schools project, taking our process for problem solving and prototyping into a school to work with pupils to work on their school and community.
- Experiments in Making Things – a project to inspire people to make things. The first step in making things that make the world more like you want it to be is a love of making things, tinkering and experimenting. We might start with a product, a box of things for making, or something.
Good for Nothing
I love being a part of the Good for Nothing community, and thoroughly enjoy being a member of the crew organising the new Manchester chapter. GfN aligns with so many of my own ideas about the future – change, work, people, networks, to name the first few that come to mind – that I can’t imagine not being actively involved. Here’s what I want to get done with the Manchester GfN community in 2013:
- Grow the community. We’ve done one gig and one (very low-key) social so far – time to start growing the community now.
- 3 more gigs.
- Regular socials.
- Experiment with mini-gigs. Loz, Mark and I have chatted about trying out mini-GfN gigs – 4 hours after work on a week night, one cause, one (small) team, see how far we can get. This might work as a way to continue or finish off work from a main gig.
Good for Nothing is spreading across the UK, and the community is growing quickly. I think it’s important to keep the growing network well connected in ways that matter, and I think this happens best when we share spaces together, work on missions together, and chat over food/beer together. In 2013 I’m going to attend one weekend gig in each UK GfN chapter and get stuck in.
Connecting the Dots
It seems that there are more amazing people doing more amazing things to make a better world than ever before – real grass-roots projects with tangible effects for real people. This feels like an exciting and important time to be making things, observing, learning and connecting the dots.
I have this (admittedly rather vague) idea that we’ll see some real tipping points once we figure out how to connect these things better. I have no idea how we do that yet, but I do have a simple way in which I’d like to explore it:
- Take two things (projects, people, resources, technologies, etc.) and connect them in some meaningful way.
As I write that down, it feels far too simple and obvious. We’re already doing this all over the place. I have a gut feeling, however, that focussing on this simplicity, and being careful not to allow other complexities to creep in, might highlight some important things. If nothing else, I think I might learn something.
Needs work, I know. Get in touch if you have any thoughts.
Riding my Bike
A couple of weeks ago, I told a couple of my cycling fiends that I’d like to get race-fit again for the 2013 racing season. They laughed — I’m notorious for not doing enough training! I’m 35 now, and if I don’t have a go this time, It’s only going to get harder, so 2013 it is. I know what I need to do, and now that I have a good commute (to Fieldwork HQ in central Manchester), I have no excuse not to put the miles in.
Despite being full of snot on New Year’s Eve, 2013 is going to be a big year.
Happy New Year!