August 12, 2008

Doing it first, making trouble and inspiring some change

4ip At the end of the month I join Channel 4's 4iP as Digital Commissioner for Scotland and Northern Ireland, helping the Channel reinvent public service broadcasting through the £50m ($100m) pilot fund.

It's time to reinvent the mainstream.

It's not television, it's not broadcasting. It's about harnessing the networks that are out there, virtual or real-world, and creating new models of interaction for an audience that, increasingly, is online rather than on the box.

For about six years I've been working in social media and gaming from an education perspective. Latterly I've been developing new ways of better involving the profession and the public in developing conversations, resources and networks. For the past year, I've tried to share my vision for how participation culture needs to underpin our largest educational and technological ventures. I'm grateful to my wonderful colleagues over the years at Learning and Teaching Scotland and particularly the colleagues in East Lothian Council who have helped my work become ever more challenging, enrichening, enjoyable.

But it's time for a change, and the scope for ingenuity in this participative age, in one of the world's most innovative television corporations, couldn't have come along at a more exciting time.

Along with colleagues in centres throughout the UK and part-funded with some superb partners, I'm looking forward to commissioning exciting, groundbreaking and intriguing content and platforms that break rules, which move forward where others have hesitated. We're even going to start investing in some of the companies of the kind that have defined Channel 4 content over the past 25 years. Best of all is that many of the talented individuals and organisations that read this blog will probably make superb potential candidates for the 4iP ThinkTank - come and join us in shaping the future. In some ways it's all change, in other ways some things just don't change:

Do it first
Channel 4 has become synonymous with pushing limits, and with our freedom we should keep doing just that.

Make trouble
While we won't make trouble for the sake of it, a season with no trouble is one with too little creative risk.

Inspire change
Channel 4 wants to challenge the views of the world and open minds.

Education continues to be a fertile area for new ideas and exploitations of technology, and learning and interacting with others on projects is still very much my passion. I'll continue to scour the landscape for ideas and will continue to be a place where I share those finds and my views on learning. But now, folks, it's going to be very much outside the echo chamber. You have been warned...


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Sounds delicious. Looking forward to seeing what you do. Best of luck!

In our time, it seems that every single institution needs to be pushed into new spaces. I hope you plan on keeping blogging (even if somewhere new) and letting us know how change looks somewhere else. We can all learn from getting an outside view.

Brilliant news Ewan. Best of luck with the new venture and I'm looking forward to being annoyed!

Great news Ewan, congratulations.

Look forward to catching up with you in your new role!


Very apposite title - as you say, some things just don't change. But that's your USP. Oh, and the voice, of course ;o)


Excellent news, Ewan. Good luck at C4. Do you have to call everyone "dwahling" now?

Will we see you in Belfast then (eTwinning team)

Well done Ewan you'll be missed greatly in your current role -

In your new role there is lot's needed doing for big people around vocational skills and broader essential skills.

Channel 4 could really make have an amazing impact

Let's get going

Congratulations Ewan. Keep pushing the envelope.

Congratulations! Very Good news. Best wishes


I'm doing a little 'well-done-Ewan' dance - tasty news fella!

Congratulations and good luck, Ewan. I look forward to reading and hearing about how things develop.

Congratulations Ewan!

Congrats Ewan, all the best in the new post!


Congratulations. I'm so pleased to hear about your new appointment, when you can take your energy and excitement onto an even wider canvas. Don't forget us still slogging away in education - but go out there and challenge all the existing preconceptions.

This role seems made for you - and such good fortune couldn't happen to a nicer bloke.

This is really excellent news! Congratulations, Ewan.

Congrats Ewan! Very exciting news.

very excited about you joining our merry crew! And yes, there is *much* trouble to be caused... ;-)

Toutes mes félicitations Ewan! C'est une superbe opportunité de développement, qui me fait penser au discour de Kennedy 'We stand at the edge of a New Frontier—the frontier of unfulfilled hopes and dreams...' Ce à quoi de Gaulle aurait pu répondre 'Vaste programme!'
Bonne chance pour le futur et dans l'espoir de pouvoir continuer à lire ta prose sur edu.blogs

Congratulations. Well done

Hi Ewan,

Congratulations - well deserved I'm sure. I can't wait to see what you come up with. Glad we got you at IWMW just in time ;-)


Great news Ewan! Sounds like an exciting project which I'm sure you'll be perfect for.

Congrats & best of luck Ewan - You'll have a ball - here's to brave programming + integrity! Regards to all John D

Well done Ewan! That sounds amazing! I'm sure you'll really enjoy your new role! Anna

Couldn't agree more with oomments above-best wishes; this sounds an exciting venture!

Congratulations, Ewan!

Congratulations Ewan - looking forward to hearing more about this exciting new turn in your life!

-Sally F

Fantastic news! Well done! Great to know that Scotland will be so ably represented

Congratulations Ewan. I look forward to reading your writings in your new career.

Congratulations Ewan. I look forward to reading your writings in your new career.

Wow!!! Looking forward to doing business with you.

I am very excited for you Ewan...and very jealous! How wonderful to be involved in such a project from the ground level up. I'm not sure I view it as change but rather the opportunity to help make the transition to an inevitable future smoother and more exciting. Best wishes in your new ventures!

Is anyone else a little uneasy with this adulation - especially Ewan!

I am reminded of Erich Fromm's book-

To have or to be.

Could we have more emphasis on the latter?

Congratulations Ewan! Channel 4 will be the better for their wise choice.

One of the fantastic things about blogging is that, although you're moving to a new sphere, we won't lose touch with you or your ideas, because you'll still be writing here. You'll still be a force in Education. In another, pre web2 world, you would have been visible to us only from a distance.

I look forward to your view of the forest from a different tree.

@Geoff - I've never had a goodbye from a place of work until now (never had a permanent job that lasted more than 23 months) so I'll take it for the meanwhile ;-)

Well Ewan, enjoy the goodbyes and encouragement then, and may I add my best wishes !

If it was me, I'd be cringing at the thought that I was so special in so many people's eyes. I'd be feeling quite sad.

However - It's your party and . . . .

Perhaps I'm seeing this world back to front!


What a great way of looking at things. Best wishes from Texas.

best wishes. I often visit your blog to check I am still on track with the latest developments. I have quoted some of your post on my own blog. It relates back to stuff I picked up at Ulearn 07 in Auckland on gaming.

Keep up the good work

Well done on your appointment. Great to see Scotland has got itself such a clued-up commissioner in place for 4ip. We're still waiting here in the West Midlands to see who our commissioner will be but I only hope they have the same pedigree as yourself.

Well done.


Congratulations Ewan on new job

Make sure you connect with my old Colleague Louise Brown - top folks in C4

Talk Soon

Congratulation Ewan. All the best. We continue to use a lot of what u showed us.

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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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