Captain's Log Issue #93 - Blast Off
Julian Stodd, December 2019

‘To the Moon and Back’ launches today, around the world. I am excited to see how it lands, and more so to hear the reflections that others take away from it. As with much of my work, it is not a book with answers, so much as a structured space for reflection.

The Apollo programme was an example of overreach: beyond what technology could give us alone, but rather an expression of political power aligned with, or shaping, national pride. It was very much defining of it’s time, and probably only possible within it’s time. Today the world has changed, and whilst we will go back to the moon, it will not be for all Mankind.

We live in an increasingly global tribal world, united by greed, but divided by inequality.

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In The News

AI Research

I’m moving my research focus onto the next two modules of the Modern Learning programme, to explore AI and Machine Learning. This piece is typical McKinsey but provides a good perspective on scale, and the areas that early adopters are focussed upon.

My Writing

Community Building

This week I moved into the second full prototype of the Community Building Action Cards:

I also worked on the physical card sets, and will have the physical prototypes with me next week: I hope to use these with ten different Communities to refine them further.

I like the Cards because they are not very clever: they are simply about taking action. Something that takes thirty seconds, something direct and individual.

Story and Belief

I wrote one more piece in the series Domain to Dynamic, this one concerning Organisations as entities of story and belief: it explores how, if Organisations are no longer purely formal centres of power and infrastructure, their ability to change may be increasingly a matter of building social movements that rewrite it’s core narrative.


Whilst I only managed to write one piece in the series this week, I did complete some further illustrations, which I shared in this post.

The Hyperbole Filter

On a more playful note, I completed the first prototype delivery of the Learning Science module of the Modern Learning Capability Programme on Thursday, and encouraged delegates to build their ‘hyperbole filter’, a conceptual device that we can each own, to help us filter the truth from the dogma, the hyperbole from the evidence etc.

Blast Off

Finally, as mentioned above, I wrote a post to launch the Apollo book:

What I'm Thinking About

As the UK emerges from the General Election, battered and somewhat bloodied, one has to question whether the dominant expression of democracy has changed: away from a rather traditional model, with clear polarisation, into a more fluid and tribal structure, with more contextual alliances, and perhaps more than a whiff of reality TV about it.

To me it seems clear that at the very least we should be experimenting with more synchronous forms of sampling, or direct involvement in, democracy between election cycles, using technology. Not simply to hear more opinions, but to provide opportunity for creative and constructive engagement. Perhaps the aggregation of community led conversations, or more of a ‘working community’ approach to hammering out diversified solutions in local communities.

Certainly one of the trends of the Social Age is ‘local to global’, which should perhaps be reflected in our democracy.

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Copyright © 2019 Julian Stodd, All rights reserved.

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