After almost eight years at Outlandish, I’ve decided to step down as a Member and explore what else is out there as a Collaborator. Why? you might ask; there’s a few reasons.

“Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.”

If you’ve spoken to me in the last 18 months, you know life’s been a little manic, particularly the last six months! Besides all the moving parts and changes, the heart of the bedlam was deriving from all the uncertainty in my life.

Anyone that knows me knows I enjoy a sure thing, at least, I used to. Before 2023 started I sought out sureness. I would avoid uncertainty and stick to what I knew. I told myself it was my preference but in reality, the unknown was a bit terrifying.

The last six months have taught me how to appreciate the unknown. I was pushing against the grain at first, sticking to old habits and longing for assurance, but over time, and with the support of some wonderful colleagues, I leant into it.

The result? Well I’m a lot less terrified of the unknown. I have enjoyed the experience and I’ve grown with it. The way I approach uncertainty has evolved. My perspective has changed and I now actively look for opportunities that are less comfortable. I would now rather push through uncertainty, discomfort and growing pains, than stay put being comfortable as an old shoe!

“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”

I was new to the world of tech when I joined Outlandish. I joined as a junior developer, having completed Founders and Coders, and I was expecting to become a mid-level, full stack developer after a few years. Little did I know, that was not in the stars!

When I joined I threw myself in, wholeheartedly, because I aligned with what the organisation was trying to do. I wanted to be valuable and I worked hard to make that happen. Honestly, it wasn’t easy. But I learned by doing, and do I did! I don’t think anyone could have predicted that almost eight years later I’d have been a business owner, digital producer and be working towards being a UX designer. 

Needless to say, I have learned loads and I learned by doing. I now think I have done all there is to do at Outlandish and I’ve run out of new things to do. I miss that, and I’m itching to throw myself into something new, vibrant and a bit scary to learn as I go. 

“Knowledge is power. Sharing knowledge is the key to unlocking that power.”

During my time here, I have managed and sponsored some of the largest, most exciting projects at Outlandish. I have developed skills in facilitation, consent based decision making and communication coaching. I have deepened my understanding of co-operatives and how to work collaboratively (and effectively). I have worked with multi-disciplinary teams, handled a wide range of various requirements and encountered all different user types. I have learned how to help individuals, teams and organisations define their goals, identify their needs and prioritise features to achieve these quickly and effectively. I have delivered a number of environmentally focussed projects, digital campaigns and data heavy tools that aim to engage, educate and mobilise audiences to benefit themselves, their constituencies and the world.

Why am I telling you all this? I think it’s important to reflect on how much I have done, held and learnt since starting at Outlandish. I have always wanted to do good since joining the world of tech. I wanted, and continue to want, to use my skills to shake things up, disrupting power and work towards making positive systemic change and social impact to create a better world. I am also a true believer that absolute power corrupts absolutely, and the truth is that I have held a lot of power at Outlandish for quite a while. Healthy power, but nonetheless, power. I believe that sharing what I know will also help me to grow, for in learning I will teach and in teaching I will learn.

Outlandish has not just been my place of work for me, it’s been my home, family, friends, pride and joy for the best part of a decade. I have met some wonderfully inspirational individuals that have helped me become the person I am today; far too many to list here, but you know who you are and I appreciate you and the impact you’ve had on me. 

I will always be grateful for the time I have had at Outlandish and I’m excited for my new role as collaborator, finding new ways of working and different types of work. This isn’t goodbye, more a change of perspective.