As every child knows, if you use lemon juice as ink, the writing is invisible until you hold the paper up to a flame. The Oxford Praxis Forum, which I have been involved with since its inception, is a bit like that. Many events and projects have been hosted since 2011, they have been mostly invisible. There has been little sense of a whole.
We want to change that. The hope is that ‘The Journal of Messy Thinking’ will be our candle flame. At its most basic, The Journal will be a kind of in-house magazine. It will be an on-line space where Praxis members (which is itself quite a messy concept) can see and share information about what they have been doing and thinking about. But we imagine it can be more than that. Our hunch is that it can also serve to make Praxis aware of itself. And, as Nobel prize winning biologist, Francisco Varela said: “the way to make a biological system more healthy is connect more of it to itself”.
We don’t know how this will work, but given the title we have chosen, there is no shame in that. Our aim is to discover what it might become through action and reflection, rather than designing what it is through abstract thinking and planning.
So it won’t be long before, rather than telling you to watch this space, we will be inviting you to come and play in it.