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Research Networks (example and possible next steps)

Continuing the discussion from Roles, redux:

I want to mention that part of my $DAYJOB is to coordinate something called the “AI and Data Analysis Network” (at Oxford Brookes University). There are five such research networks in total:

  • Children and Young people;
  • Artifical Intelligence and data;
  • Healthy Ageing and Care;
  • Inclusion, Diversity, and Gender;
  • Creative industries research and innovation

It occurred to me recently that the AIDAN network addresses an organizational need that other orgs also feel (sometimes in their pocketbook). E.g., here’s some info from Business Insider:

Headline: There’s a golden opportunity for entrepreneurs to break into the $76.4 billion edtech market (Paywalled; please email me if you want a PDF copy.)


A February 2020 McKinsey & Company survey found that 87% of more than 1,000 employers said they’re either experiencing skill gaps in their workforce now or they expect to have them in a few years. … In 2019, Amazon launched a $700 million initiative to train employees in non-technical roles on technical skills. Companies like PwC, Verizon, and Accenture followed suit with similar proclamations.

I can see how what I’m doing with AIDAN has the chance to offer some significant business value for Brookes — just because they are a university doesn’t make them immune from the need for upskilling!

This leads me to wonder: (1) what do the other networks offer that are of approximately-similar value at the university? and (2) how could we develop networks that are also broadly similar to these, but that operate internationally, creating value for many different kinds of organizations and people?

It seems to me that this activity:

"Document empirically how people are actually filling the ‘roles’ here."

…could contribute to such network-building. The structure I used at Brookes was simply to ask people to register interest in the various networks, listing both What they can bring to the network, and What they would like to get from the network. (As such this relates to the idea of an “OGM Marketplace”, but now breaks it up into potentially overlapping sectors.)

tl;dr: I propose some super-simple OGM-wide network-building activities.