Thursday, May 15, 2008

Chris Dow - Development Worker and Trainer for Dynamix

How old are you?

What’s your occupation and who do you work for?

I am a Development Worker and Trainer for Dynamix Ltd, a creative training worker co-operative. As we are worker, manager, owners I am also a Director of the company.

How long have been doing this?
7 years

What’s the best bit about your job?
There’s an incredible diversity day to day with my job so there’s never time to get in a rut and if you do, then you have a lot of power to change things as you are your own boss (as well as everybody else of course).

What’s the worst thing?
Communication can sometimes let us down as we all lead busy lives and training doesn’t just happen 9-5. As we are almost entirely dependent on fees for our work, when things go quiet it can get a bit scary as to whether we’ll have enough money for next months wages bill…but we have been going since 1989! There are crunch moments of responsibility too particularly with personnel issues when you wish you had a boss to deal with it….

What have the last 12 months been like for you?
It’s been a very busy time for us in the last 12 months. We’ve had 2 major contracts running, one with the Welsh Assembly delivering training around participation and one with Play Wales helping them to design play work training. As well as helping the project management of these contracts I’ve been sorting out the development of our own training space below our office, getting a new web site designed, filling in tenders……

What were you doing before?
I was a community based environmental projects officer for the local council.

What was your very first full-time job?
A countryside ranger for a local nature reserve.

Have you got any plans for the next 12 months you’d like to share with us?

Once we get the website online, we’d like to use it as a way of publishing some of our training activities – over the years we’ve designed a huge quantity of material, currently residing on our computer server. We’re also developing more international and European training. We are intending a redevelopment of a project around encouraging co-operatives and social enterprises in educational settings ( to see if we can help to make it a nationally available programme across the UK.

What do you do to relax?
Living on Gower is an ideal place to surf, hang out at the beach and walk along the cliffs. I’m also a keen musician too, listening and playing.

Who do you live with?
I live with my family (partner Kira and two children Max (5) and Alys (7))

Whereabouts do you live?
I live in a chalet type dwelling on Gower’s coast 10 minutes walk to the beach!

If you were Prime Minister, what’s the very first thing you do?

Devolve power to the counties – imagine the great Socialist Republic of Yorkshire (I come from Leeds originally)

Have you got any guilty carbon secrets?
I love skiing…I daren’t think about the impact of all those lifts and snow cannons, never mind getting there.

What have you done that you were most proud of?
I’ve tried to live with integrity and treat people as I’d like to be treated. Isn’t pride a sin though….

What are you most concerned about in the world at large?
Intolerance worries me….why can’t people just get on…..yes I know it isn’t that simple but come on……

Which person in the public eye do you most admire and why?
Hard to say. I admire people I know and generally speaking I don’t know anyone in the public eye. Is that a cop out? There are good people out there doing good things though….

What advice would you give to someone wishing to embark on the same sort of work as you?

You can do the same sort of work in all sort of organisations (teach or train), but if you want more control over your own destiny, in effect to be your own boss, co-operation is extremely empowering to individuals and a powerful movement for social change.

What’s your website address? or

What are your three favourite other websites? (for the surf report) (don’t know if it really makes a difference but it reminds you)
(because they need to play)

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