An advisory group (or 'editorial board') for the PIElink?

Taking it forward from here

We must now expect, and we can plan in earnest, for Robin's retirement as editor of the PIElink - later this year. Robin intended to fully hand over the reins by Xmas 2022, if not sooner. But recent development with his health mean that we must now tackle this handover sooner.

The lunchtime forums of March 2022 therefore discussed the future of the PIElink, after Robin's retirement not just as editor here, but as the key theorist and overall 'steward' of PIEs.

The videos in the side panel explain the ideas Robin has, in a characteristically informal and  lively style. But here, for those that prefer the written word, is Robin's proposal, in brief:

"What I would like to see is a small group – probably just one to two dozen individuals, who would be willing in principle to be part of an editorial/advisory board for the future direction of the PIElink - and especially the more interactive 'community of practice' possibilities such as the forums and SIGs, webinars and similar.

"That is to say, the purpose of this group would not be to run the website and the discussions, but simply to advise whoever IS doing so on what is happening ‘in the field’ – what issues need addressing.

"But with a broadly-based editorial or advisory group to represent the full range of interest in PIEs, it could then be workable for one single agency to take on the day-to-day running of the site. If that agency was a social enterprise, with an assets lock, it can then attract philanthropic investment, to allow it to even expand beyond what one person on their own (me) can do....".


Keeping it real

"The time commitment involved overall in participating in the group would have to be no more than is compatible with the members' ‘day job’ – the point being that they are bringing their real world knowledge to the table.   In fact, preferably their involvement should be something actually positive for their work, something they benefit from.

"This may help ensure that those who are there to represent the views and experience of the staff and services – and users - of a particular agency or sector are not in a conflict of priorities over the time they might devote to it.

"So I would anticipate that live, ‘real time’ meetings of the board would be every two or three months; and that all meetings would be virtual, with no travel time to include. However, in between these meetings there is likely to be some further time commitment, by email and/or live streamed conversations, over particular issues".

NB: As things stand, there is no organisation as yet identified that might provide the 'production team', for the advisory group to advise. Without such a team, there may not be a PIElink; but there may still be real value in a co-ordinating body of some kind.


And why do it?

"This level of participation might be attractive for agencies whose primary role and raison d’etre is to represent the views of services in their sector. They may expect to benefit both from having a say in the direction of PIEs and the PIElink, and for the opportunity to confer and learn from others in parallel fields.

"Nevertheless, some of the more advanced provider agencies do see themselves as having a role in promoting innovative practice outside and beyond their own services, and they may equally welcome the same opportunity to confer and learn from others in parallel fields."


An advisory group

Although advising on developments with the PIElink as a community of practice website will be the primary role of the editorial board,  there is an important potential secondary role that follows quite naturally from that – to advise on the development of the Pizazz and the PIE Abacus.

In the four years since its publication, the Pizazz on paper has gained users and momentum – now even a growing evidence base for effectiveness – as an instrument for ‘front-line led’ service development.

But the software version the PIE Abacus, now allows us to take this further, in developing whole agency embedding, but also in using the Pizazz approach in networks, including in locality networks to address more systemic 'hindrances’.

The Pizazz and the PIE Abacus themselves also need to keep evolving, responsive to innovation and creativity in the field; and the editorial board may well prove to be a useful sounding board for future development in the software, and the guidance on its use.

Further background reading/listening/viewing

And now a word for our sponsors : HERE


A quick summary of one possible future:


A still more imaginative future possibility: vocational training


And a thought on three ways to retire:


Licences, costs, and the Abacus income re-investment strategy:


FAQ costs and sustainability : HERE



Background thinking and business plans

The PIElink sustainability plans A,B & C, in a nutshell:  HERE (2019 update)

A briefing on future options for the PIElink: activities, ambitions, sequences, time commitment and ‘products’ : HERE

Beyond the outline (company structures)  :  HERE

Is this the future of academic publishing? HERE

Is this the future of vocational training? : HERE

ow audio-visuals can add value to academic publishing   :  HERE

The homelessness sector as beneficiaries :  HERE

Plan B : company structures, shareholders and an editorial advisory board :  HERE

Advisory group members: HERE