Biweeknotes: S2 E8

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I’m definitively a summer person — I have no love for autumn, despite it being full of birthdays (incl mine)and fun things like thanksgiving and halloween. But I’m grateful for the return of school, and the end of the drought on Vancouver Island, and having our first visitors in our new home. So, welcome September. Nice to see you.

Three things that I’ve worked on:

  • I co-presented a keynote at the Public Sector Network virtual DevOps conference. As a non-techy, DevOps is a topic that I am not comfortable speaking to at all, but for my part of the presentation I just focused on what I know and it was fine. I’ve found that in virtual mediums, I actually don’t mind public speaking. Maybe it’s that I can’t actually see most of the audience, or I feel more able to read from my notes. So I’m grateful for these opportunities to practice and get more comfortable with it.
  • I’m in the process of putting together a co-design panel of our users — and crossing my fingers that there will be decent uptake from our community.
  • I’ve offered to revive the Human Centred Design community in the BC government. The communities I’ve known and participated in before have been largely structured communities that run conference-style events and although I’ve learned a lot from those communities, I think it’s too much work for people when there’s no dedicated community resource. So the challenge is: How to make a community that is low effort but still impactful? Self-sustaining but still offers structure and expertise? Although I’m happy to gather the momentum, I don’t want to own it or be the only one making decision on this so I’ve designed a workshop for a small group of people to start figuring out the why and how of this community together.

Three things I’ve struggled with:

  • Languishing — I didn’t identify with this until I saw the ted talk this week. It explains a lot.
  • Seeing burnout. I don’t feel burnt out myself, but I’ve been noticing it everywhere lately, in current and former colleagues. It’s troubling. It makes me feel like I should be helping, or like I am missing something because I’m not burned out. Mostly it makes me feel like we should all be doing more to change our work cultures, but feeling helpless because …. how?
  • On a related note, I feel bad for reaching out to people, setting up meetings, asking questions, because I’m contributing to their burnout. I know I shouldn’t but … sigh.

Three things that have inspired me:

  • This twitter thread on how to design for the unknowns is excellent and really helpful.
  • I’ve had a lot of different coffee chats with people outside of my immediate team lately and it’s been so lovely and awesome. It reminds me to do more of these.
  • GDS’s old It’s Ok To …. poster has been making the rounds on social media again recently because google did something eerily similar. And though ripping off work is bad, I’m glad for the reminder. This is one of my favourite workplace things ever.

Reading, listening, watching

  • Currently reading “The Girl with the Louding Voice” by Abi Dare and just finished “Klara and the Sun” by Kazuo Ishiguro. Both are really powerful.
  • This recent This American Life episode is excellent, particularly the first story.
  • I’ve been in the mood for something light lately so have been watching Superstore which is really cute and funny and has genuinely made me laugh out loud many times. I’ve also been watching (and enjoying) Nine Perfect Strangers, despite bad reviews. I read the book last year and surprisingly really liked it.


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September 11, 2021 at 03:41AM

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