From: Prof. —- , Dean-for-Impact of Global Appropriation and Annexation Strategizing
To: Dr —- , E-Provost-in-Chief of Knowledge Commodification
Hey Dr —,
Just back from the Planet Pedagogy E-Xpo in the enterprising metropolis of Orong-Kosong, aka OK City. It was great to air it out with Prof —, Thought Architect of Snatching the Vision: Asia and Ms —, Vlog Navigator of viralchalk.org, the online news-trajector of our Supranational Commissariat. They’re doing a top gig of hoisting our visual ID all across the overseas matrix. Better still, their latest collaborative orbiting study predicts a 38.91% increase in applicants from Eastern Region IV. 🙂 I’ll fix a meet with Dr — of the Transterritorial Pastoral Care Bureau to explore the logistical upshootings for us next academic phase.
However, the real gold-plated find of the trip had nothing to do with the E-Xpo. I was invited to a supper conference with the Mayor of OK City, Mr Gattu, an enchanting and not undishy guy who looks like Al Pacino hybridized with Bruce Lee 😉 We got along from the moment he told me that, before entering politics, he’d spent twenty years as Head of Buzz Finessing and Participatory Derecruitment at OK City University. ‘Our ancestors have an adage,’ he said. ‘If I may attempt to translate?’
‘Of course,’ I beamed.
”Every problem we encounter in life, love or business administration can be solved with three-dimensional thinking.”
‘Whoaa!’ I exclaimed. ‘And once you’ve mastered three-dimensionality of thought you can conceptualise a three-dimensional box, which you can then start to think outside of.’
‘Right…’ frowned Mayor Gattu.
‘The box, I mean. You can think outside the-‘
‘Yes,’ said Mayor Gattu. ‘I got you the first time.’
Sitting down to food-storm, I had to explain what veganism was and politely refuse the local delicacy: stone-baked lesser moon rat’s uterus (how the poor darlings must suffer) . I instead opted for the organic, free-range, GM-free lemongrass and ilofit berry chowder. (I was later informed that the lemongrass was picked by the mouahizi caste of agrarian child slaves but, hey-ho, when in Rome and all that. And who am I to cast ethnocentric aspersions over authentically indigenous patterns of feeling and structures of exploiting?)
As I chowder-focused, I complimented Mayor Gattu on the peace and prettiness of his town. (Not unlike our town it’s gorgeously leafy with pedestrianized streets and a quaint little market, although it sells Cold War-era rifles and alligator carcasses instead of old typewriters and trout and watercress fish cakes.) Mayor Gattu said his first act in government was to pass an eco-ordinance that banned logging around the city limits and encouraged biodiversity in public parks. He then revealed something that gave me a system-shock. ‘We are proud to have zero percent crime in OK City.’
‘Zero percent? Did I hear you correctly?’ 😯
‘You did, Professor.’
I asked him how he’d achieved this and he replied in a discourse all of us will know and savour.
‘By utilizing creative and innovative knowledge services wedded to a robust executive toolbox, we set our law and order standards very high to fulfil the objective of raising the profile of ‘Brand OK City’ as a safe and sustainable humanity-hub of the now.’
As if such a detailed and substantial helicopter view needed further elaboration, Mayor Gattu went on to describe the fine-comb facets and small-print textures of his vision: ‘Those citizens who do not wish to nurture a productive relationship with our broader community by declining the self-empowerment on offer to them are managed out of the equation in a full-bodied fashion that is nonetheless sensitive to the diverse yet completely equal goals and aspirations of all individual stakeholders in our city.’
At this point, Mayor Gattu winked and touched a cup-sized bulge in his breast pocket. (I naturally assumed this was a Na-Zi-Cyst-511 Smartphone, manufactured by KonKom, a wholly home-grown enterprise on whose board Mayor Gattu himself sits. KonKom has flourished inside OK City’s state-of-the-art Export Processing Zone wherein companies operate tax-free and are exempt from paying the national minimum wage of 317,000 gulems/US$0.07 a day. KonKom is also responsible for the 892 CCTV cameras that surveil the fifteen square miles of the city).
‘Our OKLI,’ continued Mayor Gattu, ‘are next-gen social entrepreneurs’.
Now, I’ve brain-banked a lot of acronyms in my time, but I’d not heard this one before. I pitched him a guess. ‘Does OKLI stand for Orong-Kosong Leadership Ingenuity?’
‘Almost,’ said Mayor Gattu. ‘Orong-Kosong Liquidation Initiative. Some of our younger, less enfranchised citizens have organized themselves into a grass-roots action team that goes out into the community to right-size anti-social conduct. Did I already mention that it’s a creative and innovative solution that could be road-tested in almost any other urban context?’
( 🙂 I love a man who keeps saying the words ‘creative’ and ‘innovative’; it’s a clear evidence base for the proposition that he himself must be creative and innovative).
Mayor Gattu fixed me with his dreamy, core-competent eyes. ‘I’d love to road-test it in your context, Professor. You’d soon find that, in your institutional ambit, zero tolerance + max mindfulness = win-win situation.’
His charm was a change agent; my heart leapt right out of its bandwidth. 8D ‘I love this golden idea shower we’re having,’ I muttered.
Not buying out of eye contact, Mayor Gattu reached over and gave me a playful pinch on my elbow (this, apparently, is a folkloric flirting practice dating back to at least 700 BCE.) ‘If you drive this stake into the ground, Professor, be sure to put 175% into it.’
I felt faint and almost went off-line. Luckily, I was snapped back into user-focus by a text message from my driver. I pressured Mayor Gattu’s flesh, assuring him that I’d take his best practices on board.
‘It’ll be the best kind of value-added syncretic ritual,’ he said by way of farewell.
Back at the hotel, I jaw-shared the developments with Prof —. Would he get in alignment with me and appreciate the transcultural potentials for Snatching the Vision: Asia? No-go.
‘In spite of all the pros,’ he protested, ‘there are clear ethical cons to adapting the Mayor’s integrated approach to our institution. The elephant in the room here is-‘
‘I think that’s an inappropriately Orientalist idiom,’ I warned him, as an actual elephant lurched past the window.
‘But we can’t be an 800-pound gorilla about this,’ he said. I elevated my eyebrows. He blushed and hand-gripped his face. ‘All right,’ he sighed, ‘let’s compromise this. If it flies with the E-Provost back in the metropole then I’ll help it grow wings out here on the periphery’.
So Dr —, at the very least, I trust my proposal to piggyback on Mayor Gattu’s blue sky thinking levitates a few centimetres off the ground? 😐 I truly think this will be the post-Kuhnian paradigm shift we so badly need to hit bullseyes on all our student attendance non-negotiables.
The nanosecond I touched down back home, I started pushing things forward. I did some road-mapping and dummy-testing with Mr —, our Jefe-at-Large of Risk, Securitocracy and Panopticism. He was blissful about taking it to the next level. So much so, in fact, that I took the liberty of execing the process – I assumed you would rubber-stamp it anywise 🙂 – and have now established our very own University Liquidation Initiative (ULI). I’m pleased to announce that it’s been operational since about dawn today.
I know that the £17,502 question on your lips is how we gonna fund-roll this? As you know, Dr —, due to our third quarter budget rationalization, annual bursaries for our graduate students are now precisely equivalent to what an OK City child lemongrass-picker earns in a lifetime. So I got permission from Mrs —, our adroit Outerinvestment Mogul, to pull some pound signs out of our Private Sector Acceleration Portfolio (I had no idea about the whopping ROIs on our Monsanto, Nestlé and Haliburton shares!) I’ve offered this low-hanging fruit as a coin-shaped incentive to our PhD platoon and a good seventeen of them are now swelling the ranks of the ULI. To exemplify, let me quote our Risk Jefe Mr — on some of the shiny offerings. (Please excuse his somewhat subaltern register).
- “£150 for caning it into the city centre on a manky scooter and chinning the lazy hipster dreg a few times for skipping three lectures on the trot.
- £275 for luzzing a petrol bomb through the skiving little tosser’s window and hoping that his slummy little buy-to-let isn’t so riddled with mildew that it fails to explode.
- £400 for cyber-bullying the din-lo to the brink of suicide…”
(Etc etc. If Mr — were one of my students, I think I’d mark him down for his showy diction and prolix sentences, but I digress).
If this narrative sounds a bit too innovative and creative – even for our institution – self-reassure that this implementation model gives us full deniability. In other words, now the ULI has hit the ground running, none of its hits will ever trace back to you, me or we in the driving seat of this leverage-maxing, multi-tasking, best-of-breeding, perfect-storming, leg-having, never-ball-dropping, up-to-the-plate-stepping, horizontalizing, hot-buttonizing pilot scheme that I am sure the finest edu-entrepreneurs of all time, from Aristotle to AC Grayling, would have been proud to smart-captain at full speed-load.
Keep thinking in multicolour,
Prof. —- , 🙂
Dean-for-Impact of Global Appropriation and Annexation Strategizing
E-PS, almost forgot! 😮 The Board of Chieftains has ruled that, if the ULI is to bring scaleable value to the table, then our hard-cheesed criteria must apply to staff as well as students. I’m advised of five faculty members who took more leave than they were entitled to last year. Moreover, these same persons all have a string of unexplained absences from third year E-Vocational Pathfinding Seminars. I don’t want to worry you, Dr —, but you and I number among the bad apples. :-0
The ULI Steering Troika wants our heads to roll. It’s rallying the troops and the troops are keeping their powder dry. My plan B is to jet back to OK City first thing tomorrow and take up a consultancy role in Mayor Gattu’s administration. What’s your plan B, Dr —? In today’s highly competitive marketplace-of-ideas, daggers are drawn, bombshells are dropped and academic service providers seldom dodge a bullet when ambushed at point-blank range…