You may have read about the unconference, the conference for people who don’t go to conferences. A lot of people are getting excited about them on Twitter – and with good reason. The unconference is potentially the most exciting development in the NHS since the invention of the forward view, the template and the IT placemat.

The editor has returned fresh from a weekend retreat with the spiritual leaders of the NHS Future Fabness Seminary (NHS FFS). All the fresh new ideas – or unthoughts – that follow are their intellectual property.

The unblog

So welcome to the unblog, the blog alternative for discerning people who find conventional blogs tiresome. Don’t settle for dull and predictable words when you can be part of a social movement united by a common desire for innovative unwords.

Words need to evolve and if they won’t get on with it, then it’s up to us to help them along. Any word whose meaning doesn’t change simply doesn’t deserve to be used. Sense can only take us so far.

Should words stay still simply so we can understand them? Not if the price of comprehension is stagnation. Meaning is important, but not at the expense of transformational change.  

Unthinking the thinkable

That’s why we need to break with the stale innovation practices of the past. We need to discard the old models and build new ones using Blu-tac and Post-it notes at speed-dating workshops and change-a-thons. We need to learn to make a difference without failing. And vice versa.

We need to unthink the thinkable and abandon worn out concepts of bookings, delegates and healthy options at lunchtime.

Forget discredited notions of turning up to listen to people speak and show slides. Now you can watch them type and share the latest infographics and hashtags instead.

In future no one will need to concentrate for more than 30 seconds. No one will know that you’re still in your pyjamas. No one will know that you’ve put your phone on mute and gone out for a walk. That’s the power of digital.


It’s all about putting the “un” back in “exciting”, “interesting” and “believable”; rejecting linear notions of beginnings, middles and ends; subverting traditional organisations, processes and systems to create organic mind storms, self-configuring thought nodes and dynamic change clusters.

If the last generation was about turning ideas on their head, the next one is about turning them back again. There is no right or wrong way up, but we owe it to ourselves to keep turning.

Uneditor: Julian Patterson 


Reproduced here at TrainingPrimaryCare.com by kind permission of Julian Patterson