After completing secondary education, Roger spent the next fifteen
years in various activities, including a lengthy spell as a carpenter/erector in the heavy construction industry.
In 1980 he decided to return to full-time education, which led to a
degree in the School of Independent Studies at Lancaster University. It
was during this time that he was able to gain a more interdisciplinary
understanding, and began to pick up some of the insights from the
systems and cybernetics tradition. Working under the supervision of
Peter Checkland, Roger looked at the emancipatory claims for systems
approaches in management science, from the perspective of ideas in
anthropology, history of science and radical philosophy. He was also
introduced to contemporary work in second-order cybernetics.
After graduating in 1985, Roger gained a place at Aston Business School,
where, supervised by Raul Espejo he attempted to synthesise first and
second order cybernetics, largely focusing on the ideas of Stafford Beer
and Humberto Maturana. He took as his context for the predominantly
theoretical thesis, the imminent arrival of a global and ubiquitous
Roger gained his doctorate in 1989, and started working with Denis Adams
at the then Liverpool Polytechnic, as part of an initiative to establish
Liverpool as a centre for systems-oriented management studies. In the
course of this work, he began a collaboration with Roy Stringer on the
development of digital materials enable distance teaching and learning.
This helped establish the Liverpool John Moores University's Learning
Methods Unit under its director, Peter Fowler.
One of the outcomes of this period was the development of 'Theseus'
model for complex information delivered over a digital medium, as well
as the building of concrete products, such as the 'Cytofocus' Laserdisk.
As a result of the success of 'Cytofocus', the university decided to set
up a commercial company to further develop content for digital
platforms, and in 1995, both Roy and Roger became founding members of
Amaze Limited. Following an MBO in 1997, Roger was a main board member
and Development Director, conceptualising and building graphical user
interfaces and navigation methodologies derived from a non-page
metaphor, for example, variations of the icosahedron as used by Stafford
Beer in the team syntegration process.
In May 2000, Roger, together with Roy, left Amaze to establish 'Emergent
Form', a company dedicated to explore and build products that better
exploit the novel potential of the Internet and future broad-band