Category Archives: Practical philosophy

Embodied perception and the Bristol Swing Festival

Bristol Swing Festival is unique among swing dancing festivals because it offers the chance to learn circus skills alongside learning to dance. One of the things that I love about coming to…

Close-up of winding gear for a sluice gate

Analogue skills: fogotten powers

We live in a time of rapid and accelerating technological change. It is the age of digital, big data and smart technology. The digital zeitgeist is presented with a benign…

The Margherita Principle for decision-making

I’ve been promising friends this post for some time, especially those that have eaten in a restaurant with me recently. In the season of good will and consumption, this rule…

The Happy Grid: prioritise your action list in a more fulfilling way

The Happy Grid is a technique I devised a few months ago to help me use short and long-term happiness as a guide for daily decision making. Since I’ve been…

Packing lists are sexy

I love packing. But until four years ago, I hated it. I would put off packing my bags, leave it to the last minute, forget things, bring the wrong things,…

3 safety valves for high-pressure decisions

One of the things that I’m learning through the design and creativity coaching sessions that I am running with engineers is that it is not a lack of design skills…

Hazel vs. Hornbeam (the fate of best-laid plans)

  A recent weekend of conservation work Hazel Hill Woods has revealed to me another woodland analogy for the struggles of daily life, and how we might overcome them. I…

Follow the deer tracks, who knows where they’ll lead

Every time I go to the woods I find new insight or inspiration that I can use in my teaching. Today’s comes from deer tracks. I know the main tracks…

Photo of a buggy with a shopping caddy attached to the back carring two large bags of washing

A systems engineering approach to parenting

In 2012, as I was preparing to begin my parental leave, one of my colleagues told me about an engineer he knew in New Zealand who quit their job in…

Setting my landfill targets for the year ahead

My New Year’s resolution for 2015 is to reduce my waste to landfill. I realised as soon as I came up with this resolution that I didn’t really know what…