The ordinariness of hatred (and a request for help)

March 10, 2009

Our year 10 ethnographers did a great job today, gathering over 300 stories for the project and having a great time in the process. We took them to two “performances” one on knife crime and the other on the civil rights movement in the US in the 1960s. the reflections on both experiences were fascinating. At the end they spent time in the Slavery Museum, finding and telling stories about the exhibits which has the highest impact on them. Two of them wrote a poem about this exhibit and all provided intelligent comment. I must admit that this is the exhibit that scares me the most, its not a mock up its a real one. When you look close up you can see the crude hand stitching and your realise the sheer ordinariness of the creation of this symbol of hatred and fear. The experience of the middle passage moved several, although the multi-media exhibits with music and other images had some of the highest impact. I was impressed with the ability of the children to reflect on complex issues and situate them in their current communities. More on this project later as we complete the analysis and start a wider roll out.

In the mean time (and on a very prosaic level) we are trying to find a simple, cheap hand held device with a reasonable sized touch (or pen) screen with a good quality recording device built in. Anyone out there know of one?

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The Cynefin Company (formerly known as Cognitive Edge) was founded in 2005 by Dave Snowden. We believe in praxis and focus on building methods, tools and capability that apply the wisdom from Complex Adaptive Systems theory and other scientific disciplines in social systems. We are the world leader in developing management approaches (in society, government and industry) that empower organisations to absorb uncertainty, detect weak signals to enable sense-making in complex systems, act on the rich data, create resilience and, ultimately, thrive in a complex world.

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