I live and work primarily in Bristol which I love, and where I actively support a variety of local initiatives, particularly In-Rhythm, DMAC UK (Dance, Music, Arts Collective), Tribe of Doris, The Centre for Thriving Places, and the Bristol Pound.
Freelance since 1994, I set up wwwolf in the early 1990s as a vehicle for creative online collaborations, mainly in website design and development, and facilitation of ‘asynchronous’ online discussion fora. In time this expanded into a variety of communications and IT-related areas, particularly event support and management, and specifically dance classes and workshops.
A few things I do / have done
- web developer – I work primarily in WordPress, building websites using a combination of carefully chosen plugins and customised CSS, PHP and HTML;
- web designer – while I like to work with other professionals, I also design simple sites myself, especially where needs are straightforward and the budget limited (I did it all myself for years, but teamwork is a lot more fun);
- information science – an MSc from City University taught about structuring and accessing information, especially how to help people find out what they need (first!), and then find it;
- information technology – since about 1976, including programming, hardware, and small office networks (I still do some Mac IT support); always focussed on technology as a tool.
- event promotion & admin – primarily for both workshops and ongoing classes, including mailing list management and related community-building & support;
- sound engineering – ‘IRL’, both for the workshops/classes and for occasional other one-off events; recently also online, both ‘livestreaming’ IRL events, and engineering (live) quality streaming sound for online events;
- training & facilitation – as a co-trainer with Be The Change Initiative I learned about group work, about myself – and made wonderful and enduring connections;
- journalism – as researcher, ultimately Editor of an investment management journal, I still engage with content as well as the geekery, with an eye for typos and grammatical howlers 😉
- teaching – I wrote and facilitated the Holistic Economics module of the Centre for Human Ecology‘s MSc course (my first degree was Natural Sciences and Economics… and I rebelled early);
- banking & finance – first in a retail bank, then in the City of London, as a consultant/data-cruncher in institutional investment management.
I am a dancer, and am so lucky to increasingly make this part of my work! It brings together the event organisation (both physical and online), sound and lighting, and ultimately teaching. See in-rhythm.com for more… and watch this space 😉
And I wrote and recorded music, was a (very) amateur body-builder then keen cyclist, and am passionate about certain Japanese animation (particularly the films of Studio Ghibli) and the extraordinary writings of the late Ursula K Le Guin and (yes, a cliche for a geek) Sir Terry Pratchett.
I have learned a lot from Wolves, not all of it pretty, all of it powerful. People have dramatically different responses simply to the word ‘Wolf’ – for me the first thing I think of is Family (‘pack’!) and I’m very proud of mine – including my mother Marion Ralls, who was Secretary of the Campaign for the Scottish Parliament at the time of the successful Scottish devolution referendum in 1997 (see archive copy of CSCOPARL – incidentally the first website I ever built!) and my lovely sister Dr Jane Ralls, a GP and Lifelong Social Justice and Equity advocate and wildlife volunteer and activist in Australia.
And coming back to wolves… see, for example: livingwithwolves.org