I see you BoatyMcBoatFace – Weeknote #161 – 1st April 2022

Spent most of the week in Manchester where I was attending the UCISA Leadership Conference. I am posting my (more in-depth) reflections and thoughts on the conference in separate blog posts.

Though the conference kicked off on the Tuesday, I had quite few lengthy meetings in my diary on Monday so I went up earlier to Manchester.

I went to the Jisc office in Manchester which was the first time in nearly three years. Since I was last there in September 2019 for a fleeting visit it has been refurbished.

I have never attended the UCISA Leadership conference before, but after the 2020 conference was cancelled, I was given the chance to attend the 2022 event. This was the third in-person conference I have attended since March 2020.

This year’s much-anticipated UCISA22 Leadership Conference will look ahead at the future challenges and opportunities for digital leaders in education. The theme of conference is Digital Leadership in a Post-Pandemic World. Recognising our sector continues to operate in an unprecedented period of sustained change, the programme seeks to empower our leaders to not only navigate current turbulence, but overcome the challenges you face, such as cybersecurity, sustainability, and recruitment.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I kind of expected that this would be a highly technical conference, about how technology can deliver transformation and I can say that what I experienced was not what I was expecting.

There was a great range of sessions, I did like the one What can your organisation learn from Formula 1?

Business models break, new ones develop, technology evolves, regulations are revised and customers alter buying habits. Every industry is witnessing change, and Formula 1 is no different; as a multi-billion dollar sport it has seen unprecedented change in the last 20 years. Above all, Formula One’s leadership teams have had to communicate, manage and implement transformation strategies, bringing their teams with them, ensuring that they make the most from embracing change.

Some great reflections on leadership and strategy.

Another highlight was the session by Mark Simpson, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Learning & Teaching, Teesside University entitled What’s your narrative? Building a compelling vision and dancing in the field.

As with previous conferences I got the Apple Pencil out and did some sketch notes on my iPad.

With three days at the conference, I didn’t have much time for other things. I missed the Wonkhe session on assessment, but have now got the slides and the recording.

Also I did see BoatyMcBoatFace making the news again.

On its first outing to the Antarctic, the £200m polar vessel – popularly known as Boaty McBoatface – has been smashing through thick frozen floes.

It reminded me of the fun we had with that back in the day when I was leading the digital capabilities project and how you should never ask the internet for anything.

My top tweet this week was this one as noticed by Adam Shoemaker.

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