What’s in a Name?

I like concepts such as Mobile Life and The Network Society much better than Embedded, Pervasive, Ambient and Ubiquitous technology. Seamless Force seems to me a much interesting concept than Network-Centric Warfare. Names matter because with them comes associations, contexts and underlying metaphors.

Yesterday I presented an outline of a course at the Swedish National Defence College. I have given the course the name “Embedded”. The name is in English, signalling its international focus. To be embedded is to be in something larger than yourself, but continuing to be a separate entity. This is very much the case when you do field research during peacekeeping and crisis management operations, which the course is all about.

Appreciative Inquiry and storytelling are used in several ways as a pedagogical foundation. The basic pulse for the course is when the participants meet and first listen to an inspirational presentation from someone with experience from the field, talking about common dilemmas. Examples of dilemmas are who should be selected for interviews, how to minimise risk for yourself and the ones you talk to while at the same time gather good data, and how to be of immediate use but also perform research for the future. After such a presentation, the group uses the AI workshop format to share experiences and extract Lessons Learned to be put in a handbook. The examination task is to put together a plan for how to conduct a field research trip. Hopefully, the participants also realise that they can use Appreciative Inquiry as a technique and approach in their research but also when directly supporting the organisation they are embedded in.

Do you know of any similar course with respect to content or pedagogy? Write a comment and let me know!

PS. Thank you Mum for the wonderful winter rose!

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