Easter Week in the Life of a Digital Pioneer



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Easter 2019.  It's been quite a week.  I have been developing the next steps for my NHS supported Digital Pioneer process from a location in the heart of the Scottish borders where my family have been helping out with the annual lambing adventures.   

There have been early morning starts, blustery and sunny hillsides, large amounts of food for the working team and lots of good conversations, In between times I have been researching digital options and wrestling with high tech decisions about the software requirements of the next step stages for the I Matter Project within the Kendal Integrated Care Community and wider Morecambe Bay CCG area where we are looking forward to sharing I Matter thinking with the Mental Health Champions networks.  

So much is possible with digital technology and yet after 20 years in this field of trying to connect digital opportunities with clinical needs and realities I know just how sensitive and complex the process of delivering real results for those who are most vulnerable and marginalised can really be.   The details really matter and clarity about exactly what you want to achieve is key.   I gave myself Easter as a period to research carefully and make some key decisions about next steps.    The world I am in is full of fast changing solutions and yet individual systems all have their own quirks and challenges and this is why large amounts of funds can sometimes disappear into what can seem like black holes.  

Astonishingly in this process I have had wonderful, humorous and helpful exchanges with technical support staff in Bangladesh, Delhi, Gloucester, Lancaster and California.  Though the signal was occasionally a little hit and miss, the conversations I have had with Hafsa and Ami and Darshan and Steve and Madison, were as if I  were just down the road, not on my blowy hillside.  

Each of these helpful people has in different ways gone out of their way to help when they saw what the I Matter Project was all about.  All of them seemed to connect with the need for us to find ways to do a better job at caring for our children and families.   And that has been really heart warming.

However the moment that stood out for me this week was the David Attenborough film in which he and others spoke passionately about the need for us to take action NOW mindful of the individual impact of small and large choices on the planet as a whole.    I was taken by the image of Greta Thunberg, sitting on her own outside parliament explaining that if no-one else was going to take action on these important issues, she would have to do what she could.    It is impossible not to feel inspired.   

So, this week  I have come to a clearer understanding of how these discussions about climate change are all connected with the I Matter message and the importance of the health of our adult-child relationships and the importance of carefully nurturing healthy development in children.   The current paradox is clearly however that some of the actions that we have taken as a global community have made possible these incredible opportunties for globally connected relationship but they are those that also have within them the seeds of alarming potential threats.  

Now it is my view that if we want to learn to live together on this planet, a key quality that we need to cultivate in our children and in ourselves is AWARENESS - this involves consciousness of self, and of other and of community and of the similarities that bind us as we search for a way forward in our lives. 

So in my Easter global and local reflections I have concluded that the digital solutions that are most helpful are those that embrace complexity and support flexiblity and engagement and meaningful - global and local - relationship building over time.  The digital has to support a learning journey for individuals in which things - both digital and personal and professional  -are often imperfect but perfectly good enough for now!

So as we get started with the new term, the I Matter digital offer still has many things that could be improved but the core structures and relationships are now in place on which to build and with lots of intent to keep learning, I am looking forward to the next steps!

I hope you will share information about our work and courses and encourage people to sign up for our I Matter news  


Dear You:  Dear Debbie,  What's an Avatar?    Letter #1
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