Creating the jobs of the future with Lou Mycroft
Published on 20.06.19
Last month, we were lucky enough to welcome Lou Mycroft, thinking environment coach, nomad, and storyteller as our keynote in a ‘Creating the jobs of the future’ session here in HCA. Lou’s work crosses boundaries of teaching, research and creative practice in all their various dimensions. Lou introduced us to the concepts of ‘potestas’ and
Last month, we were lucky enough to welcome Lou Mycroft, thinking environment coach, nomad, and storyteller as our keynote in a ‘Creating the jobs of the future’ session here in HCA. Lou’s work crosses boundaries of teaching, research and creative practice in all their various dimensions.
Lou introduced us to the concepts of ‘potestas’ and ‘potentia’. From the philosopher Spinoza, these are ways of understanding different types, of power. Potestas is a structured type of power that can impose control and potentia a freer, more rhizomatic type of power which can free and liberate. Lou stressed that we must negotiate between these power-structures; find personal paths.
Thinking about pathways led us to discuss cartography, and how it is essential for us to map our journeys forwards in a way that liberates rather than expects us to follow pre-destined trajectories. Lou encouraged us to think about ‘lines of flight’, another Deleuzian term (like rhizome) which looks at how individuals and communities can choose their direction; sometimes choosing new journeys to follow and creating their futures.
These different ways of thinking are particularly relevant to creative students in the 21st Century, in a world where ‘creativity’ is crucial to the world of work, and the jobs of the future but difficult to define as a skill or attribute.
We need to make sure we future-proof our career trajectories in an increasingly automated landscape. Dreaming our lines of flight is a type of thinking which supports us to create the jobs which no-one has thought of yet. And part of this is understanding our anchor points – pause points on our journeys which give us time to think, reflect and articulate who and where we are. Anchor points might also be enacted in the digital; for example, as a website or blogging space.
Potentially, our ‘constellations of practice’ (Mycroft, 2019) are also practical ways of finding the ‘potentia’ which help us to turn our mapped out flight-lines into lived realities.
Lou has used digital spaces to create ‘constellations of practice’ which join up national conversations around teaching and research and is currently engaged not just with her PhD research but in bringing together many advanced practitioners across the UK.
If anyone is interested in exploring Lou’s complex ideas further, we recommend that you read more about her journey on her blog, where she writes about ‘Becoming Nomad’.