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Back again

Havent blogged for five months … this is the way that blogs die. However, this one has just come back to life. No excuse for silence, but several reasons:

1. working hard on Alternative Worlds. A lot of coding, a lot of data.

2. ran several complex exercises for clients, including some in nice warm places – eg Singapore, Italy.

3. contributed (with others) a paper on large exercises to the 40th anniverary issue of the International Journal of Simulation and Gaming. (It hasnt yet appeared, but may be appearing shortly here.)

4. my chapter on How to make exercises more consistent about to be published by Nova in Strategising resilenece and reducing vulnerability

5. been involved in the Node London process, to try to hold another season of new media art in London in 2010. Our priority is to build a good website for which we have an Arts Council grant. One of our recent meetings was held in Whitechapel Gallery as part of an exhibition, so I suppose that made me into a happening. Certainly quite a few people trooped through and solemly watched us.

6. put together (though it is still woefully devoid of content) a website for SAGSET. (Built with WordPress and has several useful features.)

7. starting a project with the boys school to try to improve facilities for Gifted and Talented children. (The government makes reassuring noises about provision for this vital minorty group, but the schools dont always seem to hear them. Theres a kind of inverse snobbery which thinks, yes, they may be a minority, but I should be so lucky. However, thats not the point.) Anyway, thanks to one enthusiastic teacher in particular, it looks like we are starting to get something off the ground.

8. sitting on a British Standards Institute (BSI) panel which is trying to produce a paper describing a standard for how to hold an emergency response, or business continuity, exercise. The standards bureaucracy and behind-the-scenes intrigue reminds me of Diplomatic Service days, but we are getting some useful things done.

Most recently, I heard two days ago that we have won an award from the Technology Strategy Board for AW. The TSB say: “We invest in projects involving business and researchers working together to deliver successful new technology-based products and services. Over 700 CR&D projects have received investment since 2004, amounting to over £1 billion (about half from ourselves and half from the businesses involved).” and their objective is to “drive a step change in the successful commercial exploitation of the nations deep well of knowledge and creativity.” Our award is not large, in money terms, but it enables us to work with a respected university (Birkbeck College, and particulary Dr Peter Trim at the Centre for Management and Interdisciplinary Studies, which has a history of exprtise on resilience issues, particularly on information infrastrucutre. This will help us to deepen the content of AW and make it more effective still. It is also a mark of appreciation and recognition that could not have come at a better time.

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