#futureofwork evenings at @Truphone in November(ish)

As well as the sessions in Leeds, Helen and I are organising a series of events on the Future of Work and emerging technologies with our friend James Tagg of Truphone (his was the farm where we did Hacklands).

The subjects are the four areas that we’re focusing on at Tuttle these days with an emphasis on how they’re changing the world of work:

Artificial Intelligence – 10th November
Blockchains – 19th November
Drones Robots and the Internet of Things – 24th November
Virtual & Augmented Realities – 1st December

All the events are happening at the Truphone offices on 21st Floor of 25 Canada Square and since the clocks will have gone back by then, you’ll see the night-time version of the view of Docklands and beyond.

However, it is the conversation you will come for!  We’ll have a couple of contributions to kick things off at 6pm but then we’ll get into Open Space and you get to talk about what interests you.  Here’s some more blurb:

“Our relationship with work and technology is complicated.  We strive to reduce the difficulty and danger of work for people, but we want to keep our jobs-based economy.  For many people, work gives meaning to their lives and yet they hate their job.

In this series, we’ll be looking at the gap between advances in technology and our social capacity to deal with them, especially in the context of how work is changing.”

Also if you’re interested in this stuff, but not already a member of the Tuttle Group on Facebook, you should join.

Open Spaces in Leeds #futureofwork with @heroesofmobile

People of the North!  I’m going to be holding three, short(ish), daytime Open Space sessions in Leeds in the first week of November as part of a series of events organised by Helen Keegan and Heroes of the Mobile Fringe.

Come along and talk about the future!

The sessions (more details of each on their booking pages) are:

Future of Work
“How will you survive and thrive in the future of work?”
Tuesday 3rd Nov 10.00-12.30

Future of Mobile (inc. a talk from James Tagg of Truphone)
“What does the future of mobile hold for us?”
Wednesday 4th Nov 10.00-12.30

Future of Mobile Advertising (with Helen Keegan)
“What does the future of mobile advertising look like?”
Wednesday 4th Nov 15.00-17.30

All the events are at

aql Salem Bar
11-15 Hunslet Road
LS10 1JQ Leeds

If you can’t make daytime, but would like to say hello, come to Swedish Beers on the Tuesday night.

First Week In #TuttleCoWork

It’s a week since I decided to spend my work time in the public spaces of the National Theatre.  It’s been good.  I’ve turned up every day.  People have dropped by for a chat more than sitting and working together, which is OK and it’s been nice to see some unexpected faces.  My weekend was wiped out by a rotten cold and I’m not back at 100% yet but I’ve come in and done little bits of writing and audio editing.

I’ve wandered throughout the building and I’m finding some favourite spots.  The Olivier cafe area between level 2 and 3 is quiet a lot of the time, but popular with chatty staff meetings.  The wifi holds up all over – it’s not great for VOIP, it seems to dip up and down too much for that (I’m sure there are smartphones trying to connect all the time.)

There are lovely outside spaces on the balconies and the weather has been perfect.

I realised this morning that it’s turned into a bit of a duty, I feel like I’ve got to be there in case people show up, which is ridiculous, but it’s really helped me to have more of a routine and somewhere to go.  It also is good for me to be overhearing staff conversations and remembering just how many people it normally takes to get seemingly small things done so I can let myself off the hook for not achieving as much on my own.

It will continue.

Come work with me! #TuttleCoWork @NationalTheatre

The rest of this post is a lot of justification and explanation blurb – the core thing is this:

I’m planning to work in the public spaces of the National Theatre in London for the time being

and would love to have you along as a co-worker.  Check #TuttleCoWork on twitter, or you can SMS or DM me if you’re around and there are no details for today.

I wrote this last year about workspaces:

  1. We’ll work anywhere
    We recognise that no environment will ever be perfect, but we can make the most of any space that comes along.  Stop worrying about making somewhere that fits every need – keep it simple and we’ll adapt.
  2. But not necessarily the same “anywhere” everyday
    There is no single space or form of space in which people can best work.  There are times when conversation is required, there are times when the group needs to work quietly side by side and then there are times when everyone needs their own private space and total isolation.  So it can be anywhere, but it will not be the same anywhere all day everyday.

I can’t work at home.  I’ve tried, but there isn’t enough structure, there’s not enough room, there are too many distractions, too many little domestic tasks that could be done and do get done, in between dithering about whether to do them or do some “real work”.

Co-working spaces don’t work for me.  There’s just too much structure.  There’s probably a fee, which means I feel obliged to maximise my value for money – if the wifi stops working, I’m quickly and excessively indignant because I’m paying for a service.  If there isn’t a fee, then it’s too easy to become a cog in the machine of someone else’s business model.  It’s often hard to invite others in, informally.  There’s someone or something on the front door stopping just anyone walking in.

I moved Tuttle to the Southbank a couple of years ago and that works well.  We moved along the river this year to the National Theatre cafe, because it’s less likely to be disrupted than the RFH (which often gets rented out for big events), but also it’s slightly less welcoming (yeah, paradox!) and has more diversity in its spaces – there are tables you can work at and comfy bits and a cafe and they’re all pretty much all on top of each other.  It does have regular matinee performances which mean that the space is madly busy for about an hour at lunchtime, but otherwise it’s quiet with a gentle buzz.

So I’m experimenting with working here on weekdays for the time being.  And I’d love you to come too.

It’s an informal arrangement.  I don’t know how long it will last.  I don’t know how much time I’ll spend here, but I’m making a commitment to try it and an invitation to you to join me if I’m here, or work here alone if I’m not.

If you’re thinking of coming, it’s probably best to send me a text or DM me on twitter (my phone number is in the left-hand sidebar of this blog)  but I will also try to remember to tweet that I’m here, and which bit I’m in, with the #TuttleCo hashtag and tweet again when I’m leaving.

This is not (just) an invitation to conversation (Tuttle on Friday is a great place for that)  I shall probably have stuff to get on with and you should bring something too, but I promise not to just blank you and stick my ear buds in.

I’d be especially thrilled if people working elsewhere in the building decide to come and join me.

Thinking about Decentralization is hard

So my article on block chains and the potential for disruption in financial services is published today on Contributoria.com

I’ve had lots of lovely feedback, thank you.  But it does show for me that we’ve got a long way to go in thinking about decentralized models for anything at all.  Our experience of decentralizing media, for example, has been that we started out with high hopes of revolution and found that what happened was  our tools were co-opted by the big players and new players came along who used blog technology to build a new kind of newspaper – cheaper to run, but still along the same lines: we’re going to collect all the stuff and sell advertising off the back of it and we’re in competition with everyone else who tries to do the same.

I do think that decentralizing finance is a different matter, but maybe we’ll just build decentralized markets that are supposed to belong to the participants but then get taken over by the incumbents.  That’s what we’re trying to guard against with the stuff around mycelia.  Maybe extractive capitalism is just too strong, or maybe we just need to get better at helping people think in decentralized models.  I’m aware of the irony that the partially decentralized publishing platform that paid me for writing it is folding after 21 months.

Mycelia: a chance to build a distributed metadata commons for/with musicians

This is a thing that came up at #tuttle last week and I’m ashamed that I haven’t written it up yet, but here it is.

Mycelia is Imogen Heap‘s name for her project to reboot music production and publishing as a “Fair Trade for music environment with a simple one-stop-shop-portal to upload my freshly recorded music, verified and stamped, into the world, with the confidence I’m getting the best deal out there, without having to get lawyers involved.”  That quotation comes from the first of two articles published last month on Forbes.com.  If you’re at all interested in the music business, you should read them both.

My interpretation of it is this – artists will have a way to share their work while retaining control over credit for the works; the assignment of rights of copying, distribution and sale; and how payment by listeners makes its way fairly back to those who made the work.  It implies to me a blockchain-based smart contract platform (don’t worry too much about what that means, the important bits are it is not centralised, transparent and very hard to tamper with and which can have rules embedded in it about eg ownership, rights, payment etc) for metadata about music.

It’s a distributed metadata commons for musicians (and possibly a model for other artists too).

That’s great.  As long as it’s musicians doing it for themselves.  But they are not the only actors in this scenario.  Music Industry Professionals (the ones who have been running the business side of things rather than the creative) stand to lose out here.  Again.  The involvement of the old-skool corporate music biz raises the fear of a tragedy of the Mycelia commons and hard-coding of 20th Century practices into our new fair network-based thing.

I believe that this thing needs to have the chance to grow without commercial interference from corporations, so I’d like us to discuss how that could happen.  How can we defend, govern and manage this emerging metadata commons?  What sort of licencing could or should apply to re-use of the data, for example?

I’d like to get some people together to talk this through (yes probably in one place at the same time and that means London) and take the thinking forward as soon as we can, and preferably before this event at the end of September.

I think we need:

  • Working musos who have successfully ridden the first wave of disruption;
  • Lawyers with an interest in music rights;
  • Academics looking at new models for creative industries;
  • Representatives from organisations interested in open data and digital rights; and
  • Technology experts who get how this might all hang together.

Is that you?  Can we get together soon?  Get in touch.  I’ll be looking for a venue and trying to set a date over the next week.  Could you provide a venue?  Great!

Do you understand this better than me?  Where are you writing about it?  If you haven’t written anything yet, could you please write something and link to this post?

Thank you, lovelies.


Why is this a thing, why does something so cool need defending?  Because it’s open and most vulnerable to influence by vested interests early on.  When we started #tuttle it was like “everyone come along and be part of it, you can do whatever you want” and so some people be like “woah there’s this great open thing where I can do whatever I want so I’m going to hard sell my shit and use this thing to capture new customers and their eyeballs forever!”  and so we had to establish that even though it looks like there are no rules, there are some things that you need not to do in order to let the commons bloom and continue to be fruitful for everyone.  That’s what I’m aiming for here, not fighting anyone, but setting up some expected norms as defences against the natural urges of capital.

Podcast with @leashless : Blockchain, Smart Contracts and The Social Need for Jobs.

Today I chatted with Vinay Gupta about the impending (when? when?) arrival of full white collar automation.  Along the way we talked about ethereum, smart contracts, social attachment to jobs as a means of making one’s living and the internet of things.

This is part of my work on my Contributoria article “The City of London. Eaten by Code, Replaced by Robots?” which will be published at the beginning of September.  If you’d like to be interviewed for this piece or you know someone else who could represent the views of non-tech City workers, please let me know.

Other useful links for you to click as you listen:


I'm the founder of the Tuttle Club and fascinated by organisation. I enjoy making social art and building communities, if you'd like some help from me feel free to e-mail me: Lloyd dot Davis at Gmail dot Com or call +44 (0)79191 82825


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