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Ras Albert Williams

An inquiry into my systems practice for managing systemic change (Part 4)

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Edited by Albert Williams, Tuesday, 30 Jan 2018, 13:01

Invitation to investigate the link between Social Learning Systems and Communities of practice and disaster risk reduction and recovery.

Greetings all,

Let me take this opportunity to wish each and everyone of you a happy new year.

Introduction

With part two of TU812- Managing systemic change: Inquiry, action and interaction, under the bridge, and a heavily thumbed and lined Systems Practice: How to act in situations of uncertainty and complexity in a climate change world.  We turn our attention to to the wider involvement of the systems thinker in the inquiry into to Social learning systems and Communities of practice.

Although  I know that the submission date for TMA 03 is a few weeks away: March 22, 2018, Question 1 (b) asks us to reference sources, and provide evidence that a situation of interest that you have identified as in need of social learning has /is being discuss(ed) The question suggests that third-party perspectives could be obtained from one-one discussions, with family or friends, or in forums such as the module forum or among your peers in the workplace.

What we want to do

In light of this assignment, I am inviting fellow students who have previous experience of being a victim of a disaster, directly or indirectly; or who has been a volunteer in the aftermath or been involved with the management of resources to respond to a disaster. Alternatively, this post is for anyone who has a deep interest in environmental matters, particularly in discussing the issues around social learning systems  and Communities of practice as it relates to disaster risk reduction and recovery.

To begin, here is a graphical representation of the complex relationships between islands of the Caribbean, who share a common boundary of the Caribbean sea  and the atlantic Ocean geographically. However, the social history and development of each island or subsets of islands, within the Caribbean archipelago, could not be more varied on the question of  international relations, and colonial and post-colonial regulatory frameworks that governed how the British, French, Dutch and American governments responded during and in the wake the 2017 North Atlantic Hurricane season. In this scenario, we have many actors, including the survivors and the Caribbean diaspora. As well as a host of  humanitarian organisations and world bodies and agencies.

Background

The Commonwealth of Dominica was struck by Hurricane Maria on the 18-19th of September, 2017 which was perhaps the worst North Atlantic hurricane season on record. I was born in the UK, and lived in Dominica between 1972 and 2004 during which time I survived  Hurricane David in 1979.

Two major hurricanes ripped through the Caribbean with two weeks last year: Hurricane Irma on September 6 which killed over 134 persons and caused catastrophic damage in Barbuda, Saint Barthelemy, Sint Martin, Anguilla. the British Virgin Islands, United States Virgin Islands, Cuba and Florida. Two weeks later, Hurricane Maria, a category 5 hurricane almost totally obliterated  Dominica leaving over 96 persons dead or missing.

Questions

1 What lessons have been learned from this hurricane season?

2.What are your views on  climate-change?

3. Is there a case for the intervention of  Social learning Systems in the  Caribbean?

Final thoughts

Below is graphical representation taken from an IRIN News  article entitled Hurricane response: Caribbean disaster agency comes of age.

I decided to share this because it somewhat focuses the mind on on what we are discussing.  I sincerely hope that this thread will generate some discussion of the subject stated above in the days and weeks to come prior to our tutorial  on February 12 where I am looking forward to more guidance on getting to grips with the contribution of Sir Geoffrey Vickers, Donald Schön and others with this very illuminating aspect of managing systemic change.

Regards

Albert

A schematic representation of how European countries responded to hurricane disaster in the  Caribbean in 2017

                                                               A post-disaster map of Caribbean politics and aid status (IRIN. 2017)

 

References 

IRIN. (2017). Hurricane response: Caribbean disaster agency comes of age. [online] Available at: https://www.irinnews.org/analysis/2017/09/28/hurricane-response-caribbean-disaster-agency-comes-age [Accessed 30 Jan. 2018].

IRIN. (2017). Hurricane response: Caribbean disaster agency comes of age. [online] Available at: https://www.irinnews.org/analysis/2017/09/28/hurricane-response-caribbean-disaster-agency-comes-age [Accessed 30 Jan. 2018].

Euan McKirdy, C. (2018). Dominica PM: Hurricane Maria ‘devastates’ island. [online] CNN. Available at: https://edition.cnn.com/2017/09/18/americas/atlantic-storms-maria-jose-lee/index.html [Accessed 30 Jan. 2018].

IN. 2017)

 


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Ras Albert Williams

You have been awarded a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Computing and Information Technology

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Edited by Albert Williams, Sunday, 4 Dec 2016, 11:28


And so the moment that I had been preparing for for so long had arrived November 28th this week, to earn my degree. A journey that started in 2009, and finally arrived in 2016. Well, you can imagine the sense of achievement that my wife and I felt when the news from Open University  reached us that I had passed my final module, TM470- The  computing and IT project, and that I had been awarded a third-class, Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Computing and Information Technology. It may not be a distinction, but the knowledge and awareness of the world of computing and information technology that I have obtained,  has made me more not only more marketable in the market place, but given me skills for life to continue learning. As this fascinating field continues break new grounds, affecting every sphere of human existence. For me the next step is to continue this quest and follow on with a Masters. From  November 1st,  I have started post-graduate studies starting with T848, Managing technological innovation. 

I expect to complete all the requirements for the  F36 MSc Technology Management by 2019, which is not that far of a journey as was B62, BSc (Hons) Computing and IT . Furthermore the study skills that I have begun to learn during my undergraduate studies will continue to be sharpened, as well as my knowledge of things digital will continue to expand. The  MSc Technology Management, as the name implies, is a managerial module. Other modules in this 'taught' masters' build on the two compulsory modules: T848 and T849 Strategic capabilities for technological innovation, which  I am already signed up to, begins on  May 1st, 2017 and leads to a post-graduate certificate.

To wrap up,  I just want to say congratulations to all my fellow undergraduates who along with me must be feeling the same way  I am. I want to thank my wife, Tempie for her love and support of the last 6 years. Studying is a way of life in our household. My wife and I have many projects at various stages of development in our portfolio, and she also is a student of the Open University.

The next step for me then is to make up my mind whether  I should attend a graduation ceremony, and if so, where. Brighton or London?  For me that is a minor matter. I am too busy getting my head around  technological innovation. Moving up to post-graduate studies, is like moving up from primary school to high school. Especially in my present module--a  lot more options for online tutorials, and a lot more extra reading. As well as a lot more project/report type tutor marked assignments (TMAs) and end of module assignments, rather than an examination.

I want to end by thanking my Facebook family, friends, fans, family who all made my degree announcement on Facebook very special. 

This is all for now.

Have a great day.


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Ras Albert Williams

BSc Honours degree, post graduate studies...all systems go!

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Edited by Albert Williams, Monday, 17 Oct 2016, 09:20

Hi fellow Open University learners, and others who may read this.

Admittingly, it is has been quite a while since my last post  (Tuesday, 8 Sep 2015) Well a lot of studying has come and gone since then.Some of my study materail

A quick recap. I successfully passed  T325-Technologies for digital media and submitted my final Computing and IT project required for  TM470.

At the moment, I am awaiting the results of the project which will give me the 360 credit points that Ii need to qualify for my  BSc Hons in Computing and  IT.

Nevertheless,  I am starting a post graduate module: T848- Managing Technology innovation on November 1st, 2016, as /i technically already have enough credits for an ordinary degree!

In retrospect, my journey into Computing and IT has been a great eye opener for me. The skills and awareness that  I have gained of the industry is enabling me to view my own many interests--literature, music, video/television, music, amateuer radio etc in new and fascinating ways.

T325 in particularly was so intriguing, that my wife and decided to pursue a 'foundation licence' for amateur radio which  I am proud to say that we passed. Radio technology and computing go hand in hand. Especially, the way that mobile phones are able to communicate wirelessly.

I also found the  computing and IT project a stimulating exercise. It was a lot of work, but preparing my chosen project,    An Information Technology Security guide for end-users: An overview of best practices to mitigate cyber-attacks at the front-end in an enterprise environment, with special emphasis on the implications of firewalls  was quite a challenging experience. One that led me to a deeper appreciation of the security aspects of information technology and even beyond. For this reason, I am also looking at pursuing the  CCNA certification at some point

However, right now, as I said above, I am preparing for the post graduate module T848- Managing Technology innovation.  For someone who is not even working in the industry, leaves me with a slightly over-inflated sense of pride that I can still hold my own with others who say that they work in this and that technology company. 

I would like to think that soon, or by the time  I have finished F36- Masters in Technology Management that I will be well placed to make my contribution to the sector. Both here in the United kingdom, and in the Caribbean.

To go any further without acknowledging the support of my dear  wife, Tempie, who also is an Open University student, would be a gross oversight. So thank you Tempie for all your support. I want to thank to my tutors of all the modules that  I have read, and last but not least, the Open University itself for being that great academic, long-distance, learning institution that it is.

What an opportunity this is, to self-fund my own tertiary education. The advantages to me to have a view of the bigger picture that a university education provides is the springboard for bigger dreams.

In closing, I am really looking forward to my post graduate studies.

So until next time

Take care everyone.

Regards

Albert

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