“Historically, archives have excluded the stories of women, of people of colour, of the LGBTQI communities, of those inhabiting peripheries. The records of their lives have been discarded or lost, while those of small groups of powerful men have been carefully polished, even the smallest fragments collected and kept. Now the rest of us need to insist our stories matter. Today, thanks to social media, we can, but we must also keep records of those stories. And not just the stories of triumph, victory or visibility, but of the liminal moments of our lives, and of the long, grinding nature of reform, the bitter, often boring struggle for freedom.”Julia Baird, Phosphorescence
Hello friends and thank you for all your support over the past five years. Nomadic work is unexpected, exciting and enlightening in equal measure. Anchored by my personal ethics and driven by potentia I am continuing to follow lines of flight which are about autonomy and justice.
I am a changemaker.
I’ve decided to archive this website. I won’t close it down, because it tells the story of not only the last five years of changemaking but also of my journey as a thinker, since I started my Wordsmith blog in 2015. But in the process I’ve also become a social entrepreneur; two new start-ups which each have their own digital homes:
FE Constellations is about moving from good intentions to sustainable action. It’s a membership community designed for changemakers who are stuck in the system but have a deep desire to step into their potentia: gaining clarity through facilitated weekly spaces and deepening know-how in real time.
Thinking Cultures is about changing the world, thought by thought. Through certificated Thinking Environment training, bespoke organisational culture change programmes and the personal development programme The Essential Self, we help you to do the work on yourself, to do the work.
I’ll still be doing the work I think of as public philosophy. I’m shifting my writing to Joyful Practice and journalism to FE News. I’ll be continuing to do work that brings me joy, drawing together the threads of my career in education, community work and public health. I’ll always be part of JoyFE💛And I’ll continue as a one-woman social enterprise, aiming for 50% probono and dialling it down when the bills come in. An ethical capitalist.
So if there’s something you think we can work on together, drop me a line at email@example.com or contact me via WhatsApp or social media.
And I’ll be closing my Patreon at the end of July 2022, with deep gratitude for all of you who have kept me going through challenging times.
You can still find me on social media 😀
It’s not adieu, it’s not even au revoir. It’s just a new line of flight.
13 thoughts on “Taking Flight”
I have experienced first hand Lou’s unwavering passion and devotion towards education, thinking environment, she not only helped me to achieve goals that I didn’t think possible but also give me the confidence to persist and continue on a path.
Her skills and excellence in this field are effective and life changing. If you ever get the opportunity as I did then grab it with both hands you won’t regret it. She can help you to open new doors.
Wow Phil. Thank you x
The ‘Thinking Environment, as taught and used on Northern College teacher training courses, gives me a safe place to speak, uninterrupted, not shouted down or talked over. Because of that, I have developed the ability to properly Listen to others.
I am improved.
Thank you Steve – and you were pretty fine to start with 🙂 x
I have been very lucky to have had Lou as my tutor at Northern College. She is an inspiring, brave and intelligent woman who says what she REALLY thinks, not from the hip, but critically, reflectively and with respect for others. Her conviction is infectious and the ideas she shares with others will spread, even if it takes a little time.
I am very proud to have been part of Northern College and as a result my thinking has improved, there is no doubt . (Also note how I can now use commas thanks Lou! )
Thank you so much Kim. I’m grateful for your lovely words x
I worked with Lou for many years, and know her to be a passionate, talented, and very able adult educator. She inspires devotion from her students, can hold the whole room when she presents her ideas, and uses her undoubted power to change people’s lives for the better. Lou is also a brilliant thinker and writer . . . an impressive woman, to say the least!
Thank you so much Chris. I really appreciate these wonderful words x
What a spine tingling read Lou. You are a truly unique and inspirational women who has touched the hearts and changed the life’s of so many people. Your departure from Northern College is a great loss to present and future students, however, i’m certain that your next journey will benefit the life’s of everyone you meet along the way. You’ll always be remembered as ‘The Dancing Princess’.
Thank you so much Karen, that’s really lovely of you x
Very interesting to read Lou. A big commitment to education which I share.
Hi Lou, how are you doing. Always knew you would get on lass👋😊 It does not suprise me at all to read the comments and testimonies to your talent and skills. As you are and always have been such an inspiring speaker and caring person.
Ive lost touch with the people at NC sine I retired in 2015.how are they?
Just as an aside Jill and I were Mayor Mayoress of Chesterfield 2016/17 and they made me an Alderman when I stood down from public duties last year, which was quite humbling.
Just about to start my training as a speaker for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, which I’m really looking forward to and as they say retirement is for oldies
Take care and stay safe.
Lots of love
What a lovely lovely message to receive, Steve. It’s so lovely to hear from you 😀❤️ Glad to hear you and Jill are well and staying safe – and that you got to be Mayor! You so deserve that accolade, Alderman Brunt.
Northern College as we knew it was such a great place for us all to develop in different ways, I left in 2017 but I’ll always be grateful for the time there, especially those early years. We had some laughs, didn’t we? And tried to change the world in our own ways.
It’s good to not have to work for the man any more though. I like being a nomad, and it means that – in normal times – I can spend time with Fraser (now a young man of 24 living in Edinburgh).
Remember me to Jill and much love to you my friend, Lou xx ❤️❤️