Bottlingfog in Colour

bottledfog2 Bottlingfog is the ‘handle’ that I chose many years ago for my Twitter and Blog posts. As I often say, it was inspired by the persistent fog along the escarpment near my home-town of Wollongong. I frequently encountered this fog in early-morning and late-night drives to and from Sydney when I was on the committee developing the Australian Knowledge Management Standard from 2001-2005.  The fog became a metaphor for the confusion and diverse perceptions among members of the committee. Trying to come to a consensus for the Standard was likened to attempts to ‘bottle fog’. In 2005, the Australian KM Standard was eventually published. It was quite revolutionary and continues to have an impact in organisations who adopt it.

While the traffic congestion and parking options in Sydney have deteriorated, the train service from Wollongong continues to improve. These days I do most commutes to Sydney by train where I can get some uninterrupted time to catch up on emails and other odd jobs on my laptop. The coastal scenery from the train is wonderful on this trip which takes a little over an hour. However, there is about half an hour during the trip when there is an internet black out. If I have nothing I can work on offline, my mind then wanders into the many topics that interest me and on which I work.

My research colleagues advise me that I spread my attention too widely and that I should focus my energies more narrowly. While this is sound advice for someone wanting to get a head in academia, I am now semi retires and in a position to follow my own passions.


My current short bio refers to two main areas of research: my ‘grey’ and ‘green themes’. However, I do have other topics in which I dabble. So, I am now broadening the spectrum to acknowledge what I really do and identify these by colour :

Grey is my colour for my work on positive ageing and my social enterprise Living Connected which runs programs for digital inclusion of engaged, active and independent elders.

Green is my colour for sustainable development where I work on projects that will save the planet and humanity. I believe that developed nations to do most of the heavy lifting to reduce Green House Gas pollution of the atmosphere, lands and oceans allowing less developed nations to catch up.

Black identifies my endeavours to respect the wisdom of our first peoples, listening to their voices and learning from their centuries of experience of living on the great southern land where we live together. We must empower their communities to maintain culture as we close the gap.

Pink identifies my interest in gender equity, which in my experience is often amplified by other sources of discrimination (race, age, sexual preference). There is a need to balance the needs of individuals versus those of society as a whole.

Blue identifies my concern for, and contribution to, the future beyond my lifetime.  I look into a blue-sky future where my descendants, student and others whose lives I have influences reap the consequences of what my generation has done and accept responsibility for what they do in their lives.

Gold is part of my national identity, the green and gold of Australian. Blue and gold are the colours of Wollongong my home town and also my favourite sports team, the Parramatta Eels.

White light is composed of all colours of the spectrum and represents my interest in complexity.  I am particular fascinated by the ideas of complex adaptive systems and seek to find ways to research and to deal with wicked problems which have competing requirements and too many interacting components to ever be able to predict future states and events.

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