The Death of Learning Groups

and the Birth of the Supportive Learning Community!

Posted by Mattias Axell on August 31, 2015

What have I Done Today?

I participated in the formation of learning groups today with Team 20. As many times before this one it was a long, fun but also frustrating process. It is recurring to me who fascinating it is with the fluxuations of energy levels in group dynamics, how they can change instantly from being so positive to quite anxious and insecure.

The learning entity we founded was seen more as a community platform for P2P learning rather than a rigid group. This is something I like, drawing from the good intentions of having a skill & competency mapping of our Kaospilot Outpost organisation in Cape Town between Feb-June 2015.

I had a reflective conversation with a group from the team at the new DOKK1 Library in Aarhus. It made a lot of great sense and I noticed the amount of sense it made for me to have this reflective talk as I could see it from a different perspecive.

During the evening I learnt more about HTML/CSS and how Git works with GitHub. I also did finished some of the preparations for my project grant application process which I look forward to do.

Paresev 1-A and Tow Plane with Crew and Pilot We founded a supportive community with different sets of skills and personalities to take us to new heights in learning.

What Tools have I Used?

  • Four-Player Model - Adapting to the nature of the conversation in our selection rounds.
  • Feedback - unstructured, in the shape of general compliments to:
    1. a person who spoke up airing frustrations.
    2. another person who lead a process in a respectable manner conscious of a rather provocative position in the system already having a learning group.
  • Dialogue - Mediating between two different dichotomies in a conversations where I experienced that neither parts were actually listening on deeper levels.
  • How Do I Start - Hacked the questionnaire exercise from the handout by doing it more as a mindmap than text document.
  • Scope Wheel - Added another area in my Scope Wheel with ‘skills and competencies’ to fit with the others being Sustainability, Open Source / Open Data & Design/Process.
  • GitHub - Learning how to use it for the first time. This is the first post I do so far to publish my Learning Journal!

What Surprised Me?

The raw and brutal honesty that came from two team members who let out their frustrations in plenum about our selection process was new at least to me. It was also very useful to try to break more from the past and change our narrative story of selection processes which I appreciated.

After a while in this trembling experience in the unknown I realised how set my mind was on my preferences for a rigid structure in a learning group. I have actually not been in a learning group where the regular meetup of a group has made me gain a lot of learning. Most of my learning has been in peer-to-peer conversations on specific topics. Diving deeply into theory, tools and execution is something I am looking forward to!

Further on during the evening I notice how much energy I still have to get things done after a long and tiring day. And also how much social interaction does to my work performance on a balanced level where a few interactions every now and then spurs my engagement and dedication in the work I do.

What keeps on surprises me is also my energy to engage and stay at school. This feeling of having too much on my plate right now comes back but I figure it is dependent on my attitude and how temporary this situation is. But I am getting into more balance soon again. Learning Git took a while.

Apollo 11 Welcome To cherish our successes as a multi-stakeholder organization selecting learning groups and changing our narrative is worth celebrating. Although they seem small today they might make a huge difference for each and everyone of us tomorrow. We may also remember to change as we are a learning organization.

Quote of the Day

"The first of these factors is the compelling urge of man to explore and to discover, the thrust of curiosity that leads men to try to go where no one has gone before. Most of the surface of the Earth has now been explored and men now turn on the exploration of outer space as their next objective."

What has Changed My Project?

My ideas of my final project are still in incubating research stages. I am looking forward to the coming days of extensive research with Mat Lincez from IdeaCouture in Toronto, Canada. I believe my thoughts around my ideas for concepts and value proposition will develop a lot during the upcoming days.

Photographs by NASA on The Commons.