1. Name

Jim Jackson

2. Role

PhD candidate

3. Mac or PC?

A PC works best for me just now, but it’s not like a religious commitment.

4. What is your favourite book?

I don’t have one favourite – there are too many good books out there. Anna Karenina, Gilead, The Age of Innocence, Cultural Amnesia… if I answered the question next week I’d probably give you a different list. However I consistently find myself turning to Etty Hillesum’s Diary & Letters for inspiration.

5. How did you get here?

Serendipity. After working in the City and in technical engineering I came across the HCT group while studying Creative Writing & Personal Development at the university. I liked the people and hung around after I’d completed the MA.

6. What are you working on right now?

A couple of things. I’m working with my colleague Ellie on The Green Revolution Project, developing an educational game based around the lives of small-scale African Farmers. Just now I’m playing around with numbers for hazards, crop yields and nutrition, trying to avoid killing off everyone before they’ve had the chance to learn something. To date my PhD research work has been concerned with how reflection might be fostered in a multi-user gaming environment, though I’m thinking about moving into a new area of study.

7. Where do you take your inspiration from?

Mainly from the people around me – my family, friends and work colleagues. I also find stepping outside the area in which I’m working gives me new ideas and perspectives.

8. What is the biggest challenge you face in your work?

Staying focused on one area of research; not losing sight of the research questions while chasing down solutions to real-world problems.

9. What else do you like to do?

I enjoy reading, photography and exercise – mainly at the gym these days though I’d like to start running again. I also spend many hours each week neglecting my garden.

10. What’s next for you?

I’ve always had a keen interest in human development – what helps us change, the things that can cause us to get stuck – so work in this area would be a possibility. But given my track record, probably something unexpected.