Thursday, 20 March 2008

Of chance encounters and on-the-spot arguments

Poorly-tended as this blog is, it is perhaps necessary to state that there is a post coming up on open courseware and the 'skills agenda', an agenda being enthused and pushed for by the various policy wonks and think tank researchers I have presented my ideas to, and about which I have some (hopefully interesting) thoughts.

This aside, I am impelled to report the mother of chance encounters occuring in the basement of the Wellcome Trust earlier today. A key objective of any advocacy project of this kind is to secure a formal representation with the minister concerned and his advisors (in this case Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, John Denham, his junior minister Bill Rammell, and Denham's special advisor Andy Westwood). In the context of this mini-goal of mine, to be walking through the Wellcome Trust building and to see a sign pointing downstairs 'DIUS Ministers/Board away day', the blood no doubt starts to pump a little harder.

Needless to say, I considered the least stupid option would be to rush upstairs, print off one of my articles (in this case an earlier, more thorough draft of a piece I've written for Public Policy Research), bomb downstairs and try my luck. Of course, I had to speak to a man while he was emptying his bladder, which I would in no other circumstances do, but I sensed that this was justifiable, given an imperative to give exposure to decision-makers of ideas that may well transform the economy of knowledge, skills and educational opportunity in Britain. More on which, later.

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