Ticket to ride winning strategies – weekend engineering works

This week’s Weekend Engineering Works post is about Ticket to Ride winning strategies. The game involves racing against other players to build a network of railway lines across different counties and continents. What I find exciting about the game is the recreation of an age of bold and adventurous engineering: the railway era. I particular enjoy building routes that I have travelled down in real life. But what I enjoy most is dreaming up winning strategies, and then testing them out.

In this post I describe my few of my more successful Ticket to Ride wining strategies. Alongside, as you might expect from this blog, I’ve also provided some wider musings on their philosophical implications.

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The magic moment when learning and teaching come alive

It is the moment I look for on my training courses. It is when participants switch from general interest in the topic or material to a moment of clarity about where they are now, what they want to be able to do and what stands in their way. For me this is when teaching and learning come alive because we have clarity of purpose, a goal which provides both motivation and a clear end point and a challenge that we can sink our teeth into.

When we reach these conditions we can enter into a space of joint experimentation (as my colleague Søren Willert would call it) where neither of us necessarily know what is going to happen but we have confidence that our efforts will be worthwhile.

#15 Show-notes – Oliver Broadbent interview by Alexie Sommer – Creativity, climate and clowning

Photograph shows Oliver Broadbent leading a swing dance lesson at Pete the Monkey Festival with the Mudflappers.Image used to create link between teaching swing dancing and creativity training for engineers

I spend most of my time designing creativity training for engineers. In this episode we flip the format. Alexie Sommer, Independent Design and Communication Director and collaborator on many of my projects interviews me about why I set up Eiffel Over and Constructivist Ltd, and what our plans are for designing creativity training for engineers in 2020. We get into:

  • Techniques for teaching creativity
  • Our programme of training support people tackling the climate emergency
  • And what engineers might learn from clowns.

Listen on Apple Podcasts , Sticher or by download here

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Olafur Eliasson at the Tate + reflections on my own work

This week I have had the feeling that I have been struggling recently to find focus on my creative work. I have lots of projects on at the moment, and I am not satisfied that I am being able to draw a cohesive thread between them. I think this is important because I subscribe to the idea that to have impact on your work, you need to be regularly adding to it in a disciplined way – always adding momentum to the fly-wheel, as Jim Collins puts it.

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A reminder about the imminent climate catastrophe and how we should educate engineers to prepare for it

[The following text is adapted from the after-dinner speech I gave at the University of Edinburgh Engineering Faculty’s away day. It was originally titled ‘How problem-based learning can save the world and make you happy too’. But I have renamed it ‘A reminder about the imminent climate catastrophe and how we should educate engineers to prepare for it’]

Tonight’s engagement is my first since I took a summer sabbatical, which I planned to use to work on a book. Those plans changed in my first week away when I got involved in the Extinction Rebellion summer uprising in Bristol. That experience of direct action and the reaction it caused prompted me to read much more about climate breakdown, models for political change, the implications of societal collapse, the role of engineers to help minimise impacts and deal with upheaval in our own communities and the role of the people that teach engineers.

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Notes from IStructE Academics’ Conference 2018

There was great energy at today’s IStructE Academics’ Conference, the theme of which was Creativity and Conceptual Design.
If you are visiting this site for the first time, it may have been thanks to Chris Wise’s kind recommendation in his keynote presentation – thanks so much Chris.
I presented a session on how to have ideas. Usually when I’m billed with this title, I run a workshop on idea generation, but I thought for once, I would stand up and say what I think about the subject. I’m glad I did because it seemed warmly received. It was also a chance to talk through themes that will be included in the chapter I am writing in a book on scheme design – more details to follow.

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