Bigger and Beta

Professor Eleonora Barbieri Masini asserts that “ambitions of a desirable future are embedded in the social structure from which they emerge”. A statement which is inherently true of my work for the UOW Digital Media Society. Here, our desires emerge from a need to sustain ourselves as a club, so that we may continue serving the needs of all BCM students. Thus, our desirable future of longevity stems from the social structure of the university club system from which we emerged.

I am currently undertaking a digital artefact which is a pastiche of micro tasks that combine to serve the short-term goals of the Digital Media Society. Our short-term goals have rapidly shifted due to COVID-19, so we are focusing on recruiting new executives to secure our short term future; because without this process, the society’s longevity is not possible. Moreover, after considering the feedback on my Pitch, the comments from Chris and discussions with fellow DMS executives, I have shifted the focus of my DA. Originally, I was making an onboarding portal for new executives but to make use of that, we have to jump the hurdle of recruiting those executives first.

Below is a video which outlines my project’s new direction, iterations it has undergone and the research which underpins it. After watching the video, please continue reading to get a full picture of the work which I am doing.

Operational Prototype

My DA consists of:

Select tweets, Facebook posts, and Instagram posts on the UOW DMS pages.

The UOW DMS website, which I have redesigned (see below) and added multiple pages to including resources and executive recruitment.

Evidence of engagement with a public audience

Through my DA I have successfully engaged with public audiences through social media posts. Evidence of this can be observed through the public and private feedback which my DA has received:

One iteration that I would like to note, is the introduction of short tutorial videos (below). In response to a question we received on twitter, I posted a short video which became very popular. This helped us identify a different way we could help BCM students with their learning.

Click the tweet to view the thread.

Iterations and response to feedback

As mentioned in the video, I have thoroughly utilised small audiences in private spaces to continually iterate this project. The primary example of this is a group chat appropriately named ‘Ooda’ which exists to provide fast feedback loops between myself and my peers so that we can rapidly prototype ideas.

Iterating my original DA

Celebrating success with our resources from our website

Another example of this is the ongoing support that Callum, the UOW DMS president has provided me with this project. I approached Callum with concerns about my original DA and we rapidly protoyped some ideas to form my new DA:

Furthermore, I took on board the comments I received on my project pitch. Upon the advice of Josh I also looked at marketing and recruitment. I approached tutors to keep an eye out for students who may be interested in the opportunity that we could then contact. What I came across was a blog post which explained how to recruit volunteers given that it is unpaid work. This heavily influenced the presentation of the Become an Executive Page; specifically this paragraph:

Elena also shared a wonderful paper about motivating club members which mentions Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Therefore, I have reevaluated our content in the short-term to suit the physiological needs of students because of isolation and the disruption of remote learning.

Overall, I have actively implemented any and all feedback I have received on my digital artefact. Most notably, this occured through my shift in research focus, iteration of my DA to focus on networking, resources, opportunities, supporting students, and recruiting new executives.

Revised project timeline

  • Week 8

    Meeting with BCM staff RE: BCM Town Meeting

    Add an Opportunities Page to website

  • Week 9

    BCM Town Meeting

    Add more resources to website

  • Week 10

    Start outputting marketing messages about becoming an executive

  • Week 11

    Continue recruitment campaign

    Begin compiling submission

  • Week 12

    Work on submission: essay which Callum’s 5-year plan and realigns it to our current environmental conditions (and a promotional video about becoming an executive if time allows).

  • Week 13

    Finalise submission

    Continue on with this work, after the subject finishes to realise medium and long-term goals


References

Bell W, 1998, ‘Making People Responsible: The Possible, the Probable, and the Preferable’, American Behavioral Scientist, vol. 43, no. 3, pp. 323-329.

Beer M, Finnström M and Schrader D, 2016, ‘Why Leadership Training Fails—and What to Do About It’, Harvard Business Review, (online blog), viewed 8 May 2020, <https://hbr.org/2016/10/why-leadership-training-fails-and-what-to-do-about-it>.

Masini E, 1997, ‘The Relationship Between Futures Studies and Social Sciences from the 60’s to the Present’, Society and Economy, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 121-142.

Moore C 2020, BCM325, ‘Futures Studies: Trajectories and Planning’, Lecture Notes, viewed 1 April 2020.

Moore C, 2019, ‘Multiple Futures Part 1’, online video, 30 March, viewed 7 April 2020, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5IpD0QHwa0>.

Moore C 2019, ‘Multiple Futures Part 2’, online video, 23 February, viewed 7 April 2020, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nU8JbEy-2QI>.

Featured image by Fábio Lucas on Unsplash

6 Replies to “Bigger and Beta”

  1. Hi Jasmyn. First off I am really happy with how you said you took Elena’s comments into consideration. Sometimes the harshest critiques are the ones that really kick us into gear. Only this semester have I actually started kind of seeing the kind of work that the DMS society has been doing and as a younger student in the 100 level subjects I can imagine being on this site would have been so helpful to my studies way back when, so I really wanted to commend all of the DMS for the work they do. During the Town Meeting I noticed how you and Callum really got most of the crowd that were there talking and it kind of gave me an idea as to how rather than tutors, the older students could really be the ones who get first and second years to step out of their comfort zone. https://blog.sharetolearn.com/curriculum-teaching-strategies/older-students-mentor-younger-students/
    This blog post kind of speaks about a similar idea, just because it’s a less formal and more comfortable way for students to speak openly about things they’re unsure about. While typically futurists don’t learn from past/other experiences rather look ahead, I think in some cases it can really help to get ideas out in the open. Your layout for the future of this project is awesome but I’m really wondering if you’re going to continue this coming up (not sure if DMS allow grad students to contribute but would love to know)? Can’t wait to see the final project!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First of all Jasmyn, so much respect for the amount of effort that you put into the research and work that you do both in your own studies as well as how much you do for people. Most people I know can usually do one or the other and you’re out here doing both!

    Feedback can be a tricky thing. Craig Hamilton in his book “Wisdom in Leadership” talks about it as a gift… some people will wrap it nicely while others will give it to you straight from the shop that they bought it from. Regardless it’s important to want feedback no matter how it’s wrapped as it is a gift after all. I really appreciate how you took on that feedback and owned it as I think there was definitely weight to what Elena shared with you. I think shifting your attention from medium planning to the short planning of just making sure that the DMS engine keeps running rather than looking down the tracks without realising there’s no one to keep the fuel going will be a helpful insight that you mentioned in your screenshots messages for sure.

    Reflecting on your leadership research it is important, given the nature of DMS in a uni context, to continue to grow leaders below you so that you can actually make yourself replaceable. While this article speaks into this in a business context I think it is still applicable to your situation: https://hiringandempowering.com/the-8-laws-of-replacing-yourself/

    While Craig Hamilton’s book mentioned earlier is based around Church leadership (I’ve been reading it because I’m currently leading the youth group at my church) it still has plenty of wisdom around structures ways to lead people well in a simple format to read each chapter and understand the point which I would also highly recommend.

    Again thanks for the work ethic you have and the way it affects the people around ya and I hope this is somewhat helpful for you and your DA!

    Liked by 1 person

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