Posted by: thebluemusicblog | February 10, 2013

PARTICLES COLLIDE IN THE OFFICE

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A visit to the CERN Laboratory in the autumn was extremely interesting and fascinating. The European Organization for Nuclear Research, is the biggest particle physics laboratory in the world, based in Geneva.

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Accelarating Science refers both to the fascinating research on the Big Bang and making real progress in scientific research as well as refers to the specific work in the CERN laboratory in Geneva, throwing or accelerating particles in huge circles in the HADRIAN Collider.

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All the time since the last blog post has been devoted to questions on very different levels, often starting with the above, existential level asking: WHAT ARE WE? WHERE DO WE COME FROM? WHERE ARE WE GOING?  We have had staff meeting in Geneva, not far away from the CERN Laboratory, with invited guests from time to time, but basically that means that Jose and Carlos are joining us from India and Kenya and together with Selma, Romulo and myself we are sitting together to develop concepts and strategies, tactics and action plans and preparing events lying ahead of us in the near future up to 18months ahead to the World Council 2014. Suzanne is working on the budget, Jacqueline is preparing for the annual audit and Claude-Alain is preparing for the Big Change  in our web based communication and working very closely with our new and young expert in social media and general communication, Samuel. We work hard from morning till late afternoon, sometimes into the late evenings. It is inspiring, it is intense, it is very, very fruitful. At the end of the process we all have a strong feeling of ownership to concepts and plans and action steps, and we know that we pretty much have internalized the same content and that we are ready to travel the world again with a consistent message, so that the whole movement will have the same content shared for consultation and feedback.

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All the above photos are from the CERN laboratory for particle physics, and the above illustration depicts the HADRIAN Collider, an accelerator, a very impressive construction, a tunnel covering a 17 km circle 100 metres down below the ground in Geneva, sending particles around in a phenomenal speed and accelerating them so that particles from time to time collide and explode, and in a split of a moment, the shortest time possible to measure by computers, the scientists  record how the particles react and respond, and in this way we are coming closer to what happened during the “Big Bang”, the moment when matter came into existence. Being aware that this description will not satisfy the purest of science, at least it gives an easy to understand version of what exciting research is happening at the CERN laboratory in Geneva. When the particles collide, it looks like this:

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And this is what the HADRIAN Collider looks like, deep down in the ground of Geneva, as the tunnel circles in a wide distance, with several underground stations for acceleration of the particles to keep them in the highest possible speed:

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On the 4th of July last summer the Higgs Boson particle was eventually found. A British scientist called Higgs Boson decided that this kind of particle had to exist to make it possible to explain fundamental scientific theories. He said that in 1964, and in 2012 inside the HADRIAN Collider it was eventually discovered. Fantastic results! The working title “God particle” makes us think of the moment of creation, but to be honest it is a short version of “That God-damned particle” that nobody seemed to be able to find!

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I recommend all of you to pay a visit to CERN next time you are in Geneva, it is well worth a visit, but be aware that the best is to book a place on a scheduled tour of the centre well in advance.

Pretty existential questions are being researched at CERN, and the same in Clos Belmont 12 where  the John R. Mott House is situated. Sometimes we are dealing with a multitude of important particles, and they are circulating in a certain speed, as we are dealing with them one after one. Sometimes they collide and we have quite creative explosions, eye openers, lateral thinking, new discoveries. The last month we have discussed the Playbook with all its key elements of the NEW WAY work plan for 2013-14, updates on where we are in implementation of the strategy, plans for Image&Impact, status of the Change Agent fundraising, Wake the Giant Campaign. We are planning in details for the meetings of International Secretaries, the meeting of National General Secretaries in England starting Monday 11th of February, planning for the GST meeting in Jericho, the Executive Committee meeting in Jericho and not the least for the World Council in Estes Park 2014. At that point we thought it was time for a break and celebrated a delayed Christmas lunch at my home, see below:

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Next morning we continued with a number of new particles. We evaluated the work of our two excellent consultants, especially working with our communication strategies, and we planned for the transfer from paper based communication to web based communication and generally social media.

Then we turned to One Million Youth Voices, the gigantic research on young people we have decided to undertake in the coming months and years, more information to be shared in the near future! On we went to Alternative Tourism, the quality of the planned Change Agent trainings, job description for Change Agents and  recruitment of Mentors. And finally we turned to the process for development of a new strategy for 2014-18, a consultative process starting with the Executive Committee and  involving all National Movements and other levels of the YMCA. A very constructive staff meeting was inspired by a visit from Fredrik Glad Gjernes from Global, Norway together with his staff Ellen. We shared a number of inspirational particles from Change Agent  recruitment, funding and training and they told us about their very interesting initiative Stop Poverty.  Below you can see a photo of Fredrik in the middle behind together with a group of Communication for Change, organized by the Norwegian YMCA/YWCA. More about this in my next blog post, and about the meeting of International Secretaries and a two days work session with Professor Fred Coalter from Belfast, a renowned expert on scientific research, assisting us  with the One Million Youth Voices research.

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