Thing 23: What’s next?

You’ve made it; this is the final Thing!

fireworks in the distance
But... my samples were in that lab!

Thank you all for following the programme, and congratulations for sticking with it to Thing 23. We’re sure you’ve found it tough to keep going at times, especially if you’re new to blogging, social media or many of the tools. And we know you’re trying to fit 174 other things into your week.

man in a ball pit
When they said academia meant juggling a lot of different responsibities...

So for our final Thing we’re not going to introduce any new tools or concepts, but just encourage you to reflect on what you’ve learned from the course, and perhaps have a conversation with your pod about where you’d like to go from here. We’d love it if some of the connections you’ve made carry on into the future. This might also be a good time to visit some of the websites created by fellow participants. We’ll make a list of links in the forum.

You should shortly receive an email to repeat these congratulations, and invite you to complete a short feedback questionnaire and focus group, so that we can make things even better for next year. You are, of course, welcome to join us again.

We also have a unique digital badge for anyone who has completed the course (details in the email, or contact Mike for information – – perfect for adorning your up-to-date LinkedIn profile, or similar.

Finally, we asked some of our core team of organisers to ‘say a few words’ and share their own hopes and delights about the programme. We’d love to hear yours on the questionnaire or the forum, too. Thanks for all your creativity and industry this year – it’s been great!

Sign saying 'make today tolerable'

Maria Northcote (Avondale)

Hello 23 Things colleagues around the world – down under, up over and everywhere in between,

As a newbie to the 23 Things program, I’d like to say a big thank you to the facilitators for guiding me along through the last few months. I’ve learnt a lot from you all.

I’ve also learned a lot from the participants in the program and from the program itself. Because this was the first year that my Avondale colleagues and HDR candidates participated in the program, I’d like to send my appreciation to the Avondale participants as well as the other participants around the world. The saying, the more the merrier, is definitely relevant to this engaging online program.

Looking forward to our paths crossing again in 2022.



Sarah Stein (Otago):

What are my 23T highlights and hopes?

First, admiration for colleagues who have contributed blogs this year. Such a wealth of knowledge and expertise! I have learned so much. In addition, I never cease to be amazed the ability of our bloggers to use the written word with just the right tone to strike a balance between the informal and the formal. A real skill that I am hoping one day to be able to get the hang of myself!

Second, I have high admiration for everyone who has signed up for 23T this year. I love to see the enthusiasm and interest! I like to see that people are conscious of their own capacity and feel relaxed enough to interact, or not, to be active or a bit more relaxed. And those of you who have strived hard to enthuse fellow pod members, my virtual ‘hat’ goes off to you! While we are thrilled to see active engagement in 23T, we are just as thrilled when we find out that participants are getting something out of the course without feeling the need to be visibly active. 23T was never intended to be a course that checks up on how active you are. You will already get enough of that in your formal work/study.

Finally, I am so lucky to be working with a tremendous bunch of people from across the world. What a thrill to chat and work with people as keen as I am to work on such a fabulous project. Many thanks to the 23T team: Mike, Swapna, Kim, Christian, Maria and KwongNui. I am certainly looking forward to hearing about the experiences of everyone who is participating in 23T this year and to being involved again next year!

Kwong Nui Sim (AUT):

Thank you everyone for participating in 23 Things International 2021 and congratulations to those who have completed 23 Things successfully. For those who haven’t, no worries, take your time as the programme is meant to be self-led 😊 Some highlights for me:

a. Exceptional programme team members behind the scene; the regular catch up is one of my most favourite meetings on my schedule.

b. Positive participation from each partner institution; it’s heart-warming to welcome nearly 400 of you on board.

Moving forward, I hope the partner institutions will extend to every continent in order to enrich the participants’ international exposure further but for the time being, l hope you find the programme is beneficial to you to a certain extent.

Christian Gilliam (Cambridge)

This has been by far the best 23Things I have had the privilege to be a part of. Being international was clearly a virtue. Connecting with researchers and research across the global can only but enhance our understanding of our work, its relevance and its utility. Indeed, I know many of you found new friendships, networks and ideas to build on. I hope you continue to so, and that you find meaningful ways to apply what you have learnt. I have certainly learned many knew things (machine learning for example!). Best wishes from me in your future endeavours.

Mike Rose (Surrey)

No one said the programme was easy:

Enough weblinks to make you feel queasy.

As the closing bell rings

Over 23 Things

I just hope it was more learnéd than sleazy.

Thank you to everyone for a fab year again – participants, contributors and organisers. My challenge to you is to keep going with the explorations you have begun, and don’t be afraid to involve us if we can help!

Stay Curious

With a chorus of applause and good wishes,

Swapna, Kim, Known Nui, Maria, Christian, Sarah and Mike

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