David Jennings


David has been interested in self-organising since he first heard about semi-autonomous workgroups in Scandinavian manufacturing while studying Occupational Psychology in the 1980s. He went on to research worker cooperatives as part of the same degree. Most of David’s career has been focused on how people collaborate and learn through Internet technologies. In the 1990s David developed clusters of small and micro-businesses to form networks and ‘virtual companies’ that could compete with larger enterprises. More recently he has focused on helping clients create online learning experiences, mainly for professional development and other adult learning. 

Over the last seven years, David has led the creation, from scratch, and development of a suite of nine online courses for trade union organisers across Europe. The courses are tutor-supported and run several times a year in up to five different language versions. In parallel with this, David has been active for the last three years in Extinction Rebellion UK. He has worked partly in XR UK’s online training – Rebellion Academy – but mainly in the Self-Organising System (SOS) team, where he has participated in coaching, training, facilitating and writing guidance resources on distributing power through teams. He has focused on aligning XR UK’s group communications infrastructure with the principles and constitution for self-organising. 

Earlier, David worked for what is now the Department of Work and Pension (UK civil service) for eight years until 1995, at which point he was Principal Psychologist there. Since then he has been self-employed, working for clients including the European Trade Union Institute, STEM Learning, Nesta, British Standards Institute, learndirect and the Association for Learning Technology.

David is the author of Net, Blogs and Rock ‘n’ Roll: How digital discovery works and what it means for creators, consumers and culture (Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2007). He has also contributed to research publications in the fields of Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Human-Computer Interaction. David was Chair of the British Human-Computer Interaction Group (part of the British Computer Society) from 1995 to 1997, and was on the editorial board of the Interacting with Computers research journal for ten years.

David is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts. David holds degrees from the universities of Cambridge, Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam.