Author: John V Willshire

  • Books as friends

    I had a great catchup with Dave Gray today, during which we talked a little about a post on bookshelves I’d shared on LinkedIn a few days back, in particular which books sit next to each other. Gamestorming, the book Dave wrote with Sunni Brown and James Macanufo, sits here for me – more towards…

  • Refractive Fragmentation of the Social Web

    Refractive Fragmentation of the Social Web

    I responded to something Peter said this morning on Bluesky: I responded that, yes, I have been thinking about this too. And, as I’ve found useful over time, seeing the problem for individual and collective perspectives helps. Zoom in, zoom out, repeat. The problem is magnified in the macro; as much as you have your…

  • The Warp and the Weft

    I was at one of Dan Hon’s Hallway Tracks yesterday, featuring special guests Deb Chachra and Georgina Voss as they talked about their respective magnificent recent books, How Infrastructure Works and Systems Ultra. Held under Chatham House* rules, there were lots of brilliant questions and directions the ninety minutes took, both in conversation and in…

  • Shipping books with tone

    I was catching up with Phil yesterday, notionally about the Community Power Compass, though inevitably it became about many other things too. One of those things was the difference between the book version of The Dawn of Everything and the audiobook. I listened to the audiobook first, then bought the physical copy. Phil just has…

  • Return to UX London

    I am delighted to have been invited back to give one of the keynote talks at UX London this summer – details here – 18th-20th June. I have had a long-term love for Clearleft, the hosts, and invitations from them to speak have been instrumental moments in my career so far. The most pivotal, and…

  • The Rise of the Brainstorm Bots

    I was listening to The Life Scientific this morning, where the guest was Michael Wooldridge, professor of computing science at the University of Oxford, talking about AI and sentient robots. It’s a good listen; the part that stood out to me most was this… “One of the unexpected applications of this technology is brainstorming.  So traditionally,…

  • What is six-fingered text?

    This afternoon, I idly sketched out ‘there’s no such thing as six-fingered text’. Some of my work of late has taken a sudden AI twist. I mean, whose hasn’t… in the discursive, theoretical stage at least. Lots of people talking about it, nobody really doing it. And with good reason, perhaps. As conversations unfold, you realise just…

  • Digging into Regenerative Principles

    Digging into Regenerative Principles

    I just came across some notes I made from Nesta’s first Minister for the Future event back in June, which was on Food for the Future and the potential of regenerative agriculture. The original essay on the topic was written by Thomasina Miers, and she was joined by Tara Garnett (Director of TABLE) and Tom…

  • Futures: The Unit of Delivery is Action

    Futures: The Unit of Delivery is Action

    I remember this from the early days of GDS permeating its way across the UK digital culture and beyond; The Team is the Unit of Delivery. Getting a group of good people well working together towards well considered outcomes. In the last week or so, after a conversation with Samantha Culp, who’s writing a book…

  • WeWork… never worked

    WeWork… never worked

    This started as an aside on LinkedIn, but in the comments more stories started turning up, so capturing here for posterity. ——- WeWork has filed for bankrupt (FT). Quite some going for a company Ince valued at $47 billion. An unbelievable valuation. I have been grimly fascinated by the business for years, ever since I…

  • Resurrecting web marginalia

    Resurrecting web marginalia

    I’ve just spent a few minutes with Stephen Anderson‘s reflections on the Mighty Mind community experiment on Circle (which, as a platform… kinda sucks). Stephen wondered if the thing he actually wanted didn’t quite exist, and in amongst ideas threw out the term… wait for it… Webrings. The description from Wikipedia, if that doesn’t mean…

  • It helps open things out

    It helps open things out

    We launched Where The Light Gets In, a regenerative design field kit, last week in the Artefact Shop. It’s gone really well, driven in a good part by a LinkedIn post. Once upon a time, that would have been Twitter, but blog posts on a radically different social media landscape are for another day. We…