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14 NOVEMBER 2014

NHS Innovation Diffusion: digital tools and social movements

"There is innovation inside the NHS. But innovations tend to stay local, failing to be adopted by other healthcare organisations or diffusing very slowly. This challenge is well recognised. But what's the problem? Given the assembled talents and good intentions of NHS staff, how can the systemic sum of innovation be so much less than its parts?

The NHS is sometimes described in terms of it's hierarchical structure. For my purposes it's useful to describe the current NHS using the language of philosopher–activists Deleuze & Guattari. In their terms, the NHS is a striated space marked by linear boundaries, restricted to a particular plane of activity in the space of all possible potentials[1]. For Deleuze & Guattari, like Foucault before them, power does not simply operate as a pyramid but in myriad multifaceted directions and relationships. Foucault said 'One doesn't have a power which is only in the hands of one person who exercises it alone... it is a machine in which everyone is caught, those who exercise power as much as those over whom it is exercised.. it becomes a machinery that noone owns'[2]. The overall effect is an institutional environment that acts to tame energies it is a social machine that produces conformity. As Deleuze & Guattari would say, the NHS is highly codified, where a code is a pattern of repeated acts. Of course, there are many situations where this is desirable–an ICU emergency needs a practiced response. But it doesn't make for a system that diffuses innovation.

Anyone who's returned from an innovation workshop and tried to applied new ideas in their NHS workplace has experienced this striation. It's the overlap in particular experience of all the dynamics that limit change: lack of autonomy in a hierarchical structure, the expectations of colleagues, the time it takes to deliver your daily targets, the lack of incentive, the lack of peer support, lack of sense of entitlement to change the way things are done all of which can combine to deliver an experiential straitjacket which is an impersonal affect, a pattern across the system and one that stifles diffusion as effectively as individual innovation.

The alternative is a system marked by flows, connections and zones of intensity. In the abstract terminology of Deleuze & Guattari, an innovative system would include smooth as well as striated spaces. Smooth space is occupied by intensities and events, by the continuous variation of free action. The characteristic experience of smooth space is short term, up close, with no fixed points of reference. I will try to show how the combination of social movements and digital technologies could blend smooth space with the more rigid boundaries and caste structures of the NHS in a way that aids the spread of innovation."

(Dan McQuillan, 2011)

[1] Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari (1980). A Thousand Plateaus. Trans. Brian Massumi. London and New York:Continuum, 2004.
[2] Foucault, Michel (1975). Discipline and Punish: the Birth of the Prison, New York: Random House.

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TAGS

2011 • a practiced response • an impersonal affect • change the way things are done • codified • conformityconnections • continuous variation • Dan McQuillan • diffusion • digital movements • digital technologiesevents • expectations of colleagues • experiential straitjacket • Felix Guattariflows • free action • Gilles Deleuze • healthcare organisations • hierarchical structure • ICU emergency • individual innovation • innovation diffusion • innovation workshop • innovative system • institutional environment • intensities • lack of autonomy • lack of incentive • limiting change • linear boundaries • local innovation • machinery • Michel Foucault • myriad multifaceted directions • myriad multifaceted relationships • NHS • no fixed points of reference • ownership • particular plane of activity • peer support • philosopher-activists • power • pyramid structure • sense of entitlement • short term • smooth spacesocial computing • social machine • social movements • spread innovation • striated space • striation • up close • zones of intensity

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
25 SEPTEMBER 2013

It's time to kill the idea that Amazon is killing independent bookstores

"Big bookstores are the ones most affected by Amazon's dominance. Borders is long gone. Barnes and Noble isn't in the best health. And Waterstones in Britain has started selling Kindles. The reason? There is very little difference between big, impersonal chain stores selling books and a big, impersonal website selling books. Independent retailers, on the other hand, have a lot to offer that Amazon cannot: niche coffee, atmosphere, serendipitous discoverability of new titles and authors, recommendations from knowledgable staff, signings and events, to name a few."

(Leo Mirani, 24 September 2013, Quartz)

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TAGS

Amazon KindleAmazon.comambience • American Booksellers Association • Barnes and Noblebooksellersbookstores • Borders (bookshop) • boutique • boutique-publishing • chain storecoffee shopconsumer behaviourconsumptiondiscoverabilityeconomies of scale • Espresso Book Machine • eventsexperience creation • impersonal experience • in-store experienceindependent retailers • knowledgeable staff • market dominancemonopoly • Nate Hoffelder • niche market • obscure titles • recommended by the retailerself-publishingserendipitous discoverabilityserendipityshopping behaviour • signings • small businessesstumbling acrossunexpected gemsWaterstones

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
20 SEPTEMBER 2013

The Mass Observation Archive: a UK social history writing project

"The Mass Observation Project (MOP) is a unique UK–based writing project which has been running since 1981. ... [it] differs from other similar social investigations because of its historical link to the original Mass Observation and because of its focus is on voluntary, self–motivated participation. It revives the early Mass Observation notion that everyone can participate in creating their own history or social science. The Mass Observers do not constitute a statistically representative sample of the population but can be seen as reporters or 'citizen journalists' who provide a window on their worlds.

The material is solicited in response to 'directives' or open–ended questions sent to them by post or email three times a year. The directives contain two or three broad themes which cover both very personal issues and wider political and social issues and events.

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TAGS

1937198120th century21st century • Charles Madge • citizen journalismconfessioncultural heritagediagramdiary • directives • drawingseventseveryday lifehistorical archiveshistorical chronicles • Humphrey Jennings • letterslistlongitudinal studymapMass Observation Project (MOP)material culture • memoir • open-ended questionsopinion • ordinary people • personal experiencephotographsplacespolitical issuesposterity • press cutting • qualitative researchresearch resourcesself knowledge • self-identity • self-revelationsocial historysocial issuessocial researchstatistically representative samplestoriessubjectivitytheir storiesthematic patterns • Tom Harrisson • UK • University of Sussex • voluntary participationwriting project

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
21 JULY 2013

Validity Concepts in Research: an Integrative Approach

"Research involves drawing upon elements and relations from three basic domains: (a) a conceptual domain, which includes concepts and relations considered in abstract form, (b) a methodological domain, which includes instruments and techniques for obtaining observations and for relating sets of observations; and (c) a substantive domain, which includes events, processes, and phenomenon in the 'real' world.

Any research project must contain elements and relations from each of these domains. Thus, it is not possible to conduct research, without some method, some concept (or set of concepts), and some event or process. Elements and relations from each of these domains are not all combined simultaneously. Research generally proceeds by combining two of the domains, to form some structure, and subsequently incorporating (i.e., integrating) the third domain with the developed structure. With three domains, there are at least three patterns for combining the domains. Those three ways represent three distinct research paths; and they pose different advantages and limitations for the investigator."

(David Brinberg, 1982)

David Brinberg (1982) ,"Validity Concepts in Research: an Integrative Approach", in NA – Advances in Consumer Research Volume 09, eds. Andrew Mitchell, Ann Abor, MI : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 40–44.

TAGS

1982 • abstract form • academic research • advantages and limitations • analytic technique • Association for Consumer Research • concepts and ideas • concepts and relations • conceptual domain • David Brinberg • events • forms of validity • instruments and techniques • integrative scholarshipintegrative techniqueinterrelationships • investigator • knowledge domain • measuring device • methodological domain • obtaining observations • phenomenon • processes • real world • relating observations • relationsresearch designresearch method • research paths • research processresearch projectresearch strategiesresearcher • substantive domain • theory buildingUniversity of Marylandvalid knowledgevalid scholarshipvalidity

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
22 JANUARY 2012

HiBROW: a collection of videos for arts enthusiasts

"The British based film–maker Don Boyd, HiBROW's founder, has gathered a wide range of established professionals in the international arts industries, to be called Curators to create content exclusively for HiBROW. Three years of research and development has resulted in the successful production of over 80 hours of professionally produced High Definition video. HiBROW's content will be refreshed every month, and is radically different to current broadcast television and other online content. Available free, it is professionally produced, contemporary and original. With unique access our teams have captured behind–the–scenes rehearsals, work in progress and interviews. HiBROW has relationships with some of the world's great arts institutions and is building new ones with those who want to use our platform to expose larger audiences to their work. These embrace a very broad range of international artistic talent including Vasily Petrenko, Russia's young conductor, Dominic Hill, artistic director of Glasgow's Citizens Theatre, Newton Aduaka, Nigeria's young film director, Raf Bonachela, Spain's great choreographer, Gavin Turk, the British artist, Margaret Attwood, Canada's great novelist, and Britain's great spy author John Le Carré. Their contributions have allowed HiBROW to fashion intimate films of entire performances of new plays, concerts, exhibitions, and literary events all of which have subsequently received glowing critical reviews."

(Don Boyd)

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TAGS

artart galleriesartistic talent • arts enthusiasts • arts industries • arts institutionsbackstagebehind-the-scenesbroadcast televisioncinemacollection • concert hall • concerts • create content • critical reviews • curatordance • Dominic Hill • Don Boyd • eventsexhibitionsfestivalsfilmmaker • Gavin Turk • HiBROW • Hibrowsers • interviews • John Le Carre • literary events • literature • Margaret Attwood • music • new plays • Newton Aduaka • online contentperformances • previews • productions • Raf Bonachela • rehearsals • the artstheatre • Vasily Petrenko • videoswork in progress

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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