When I took on the role of Associate Dean for Student Success in the then newly-formed College of Global Futures, back in 2020, one of my priorities was to ensure we had a platform for exploring and articulating our identity as a new and evolving college.
As someone who’s been at the cutting edge of futures-thinking and scholarship for over two decades, I was acutely aware of how important a task lay ahead of us, and how challenging it is to take a transdisciplinary approach to building a more resilient, robust and promise filled future in today’s world. It was also very clear that, to build a coherent community and presence around what we were setting out to achieve, communication and engagement were going to be paramount.
The result was the Dean’s Blog, which launched in September 2020. Given my role in the college, I committed to refocusing my public writing on the blog, and to post a new piece each week.
Of course, there’s a world of difference between good intentions and actual actions, but I’m quite proud that I managed (in the main) to post weekly articles between September 2020 and September 2021! The posts weren’t necessarily deep or scholarly, but they helped share my own developing thinking around global futures, and the challenges and opportunities we faced in developing a college which is both relevant and impactful. They covered topics ranging from electric vehicles and predictive policing, to artificial intelligence, the ethics of brain machine interfaces, the pandemic, and much more.
Of course, such a schedule couldn’t last. My writing for other outlets and audiences was suffering, and I had a sneaky idea that no-one even realized the blog existed (it’s well hidden!). And so in September 2021 I began to refocus my attentions back on my regular writing/communication outlets. But the exercise was useful nevertheless in helping me develop and articulate my own ideas around where the college might find its identity and impact.
And now, this is my last post on the blog. As of July 1, I am stepping down as Associate Dean and going back to being a regular professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society. I’ll be focusing my time on my scholarship, teaching and thought leadership around technology innovation and the future, and refocusing on my leadership and impact here.
Of course, as a Dean’s Blog this wasn’t just a platform for my own thinking, and my hope is that others use it to explore what it means to be a College of Global Futures in a world where we are at a profound tipping point around how scientific, technological and social change determine the course of where we’re going. But that is someone else’s call.
All the best!