Category Archives: What is action research?

“Everything I’ve ever done has ultimately failed”

One of the positive experiences to come from the pandemic is the chance to connect with people across the world with common interests in systems change.  In many webinars and video conferences, it’s pleasing and affirming to find that there … Continue reading

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Appreciative Facilitation Invitation to join an on-line action learning set

“I believe that emotions urge us to action, so action learning has to dive into the emotional landscape of the present at all times. If we stay in denial of our emotions, we are susceptible to endless anxiety and stuckness”. … Continue reading

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Collective Leadership – Exploring new territories for evaluation

I spent time this summer writing about evaluation.  It’s been good to immerse myself in reading and thinking about what complexity and collaboration mean for how we evaluate public programmes and interventions. The focus has been Workforce Scotland’s Collective Leadership … Continue reading

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What can we do with our stories? Reflections from the Faroes

In my efforts to refresh my social theory and develop new perspectives on evaluation I recently attended a social constructivism conference on Communication, Collaboration and Relationships in the Faroe Islands[1].  I’d be alerted to this opportunity by one of the … Continue reading

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Where nothing is clear, and everything keeps changing – new territories for evaluation

Greetings from the Faroe Islands.  In my efforts to develop new perspectives on evaluation I’m attending a conference on Communication, Collaboration and Relationships.  This is my annual dose of CPD – like many people from the UK, this is new … Continue reading

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“The cynicism that passes for sophistication”

I’m not sure when or how I first encountered Appreciative Inquiry.  But I do remember going to an Imagine Chicago conference in 2002 with a group of community activists from Edinburgh.  We had a thoroughly exciting time, meeting appreciative inquirers … Continue reading

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Reigniting Evaluation – Unfolding Stories

Today about 24 people gathered in Edinburgh to explore what they value about evaluation, as part of the 2018 Fire Starter Festival. Working with our own stories of experience of evaluation at it’s best, we identified what values and qualities … Continue reading

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When are you ever not prototyping?

I’m co-hosting an event at the forthcoming Fire Starter Festival.  We want to ignite conversations about learning-in-action to stimulate thinking about how evaluation practices might flourish to promote learning and innovation. We put prototyping in the title as a deliberate … Continue reading

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Are we working well together?

I often ask myself ‘is this worthwhile work?’ And this guest blog for Space Unlimited is some part of a response; it describes a recent highlight of a stimulating week when I took part in a Space Unlimited Lasting Change … Continue reading

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Is this the best it can be?

I’ve very much enjoyed being involved in the development of this new toolkit for Creative Scotland. The ideas and approaches were developed from desk research and  action research, with seven pilot partnerships of artists, partners and participants using the tools  … Continue reading

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