Me, organizing a Journal? What?!

A non-academic peer-reviewed journal. An experiment in validity and rigour, in writing and storytelling. In providing a space for people to express themselves and an opportunity to co-create.

For me, it’s about putting all this talk of social collaboration into action, exploring ways that I can contribute, collaborate, co-create in a meaningful way. As an instructional designer I will also have my analytical hat on. How is this accomplished, received? What challenges behind productive networks and communities? I can read all about it (and in fact I have). However, I deeply believe in informal learning, experience being the mother of knowledge. It’s interesting how my current path is actually just a reemergence of a path I’ve been on for awhile (see photo of an article I found while going through my boxes during my visit back home to Canada).

 

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AKA “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” -Lao Tzu

I’m a person who has many, many ideas. Things I want to do, accomplish. I’ve always known I can’t do many things alone, but in practice I usually do work alone. Things don’t move fast enough for me, I get impatient. Then I go, go, go until I have no energy or interest left and move on to the next idea. This experience has been an exercise in purposeful collaboration for me. Actually collaborating, working out loud, asking for feedback on initial thoughts, learning what to expect from who in a new network of people.

Beyond the Journal is the building and fostering of a network of fellow collaborators, creative people who are genuinely interested in and open to working together without an expectation of immediate reciprocity in many different areas. Eliminating transaction from the equation and pushing the world towards altruism, towards a way of being that build relationships over time. That requires trust, transparency, courage. In a world of immediacy, surrounded by solutions, the answer to all of life’s problems, I am not looking for answers. I am looking for an opportunity to ask questions, and for others to ask me questions, to challenge me. Critical in the constructive sense.

I’ve come across the concept of ‘critical friendship’ in the last couple of months and my immediate reaction was “yes! Where has this been all my life?!” This is part of the process I am interested in using for this journal (shamelessly imitating the person who introduced me to this concept). I will be experiencing it as a friendee by writing a piece for one journal while simultaneously being a friender as I organize the peer review process for the Journal of the Social Age.

This experience has highlighted my strengths and made me work on those lesser known qualities (to myself and others). It’s a space I get to play in, where I test different ways of using the tools and tech available, different ways of finding people, of inviting collaboration, different versions of myself: the project manager me, the writer me, the mobiliser me.

The deadline for submissions is next week, and then the real adventure begins: prototyping the peer review process. What works, what doesn’t? What will we get, what will we need?

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