Off the Internets for 30 Days

I’m getting off the internet for the next 30 days. Specifically I’m off Twitter, Facebook. I’ll stop watching the news, reading and writing blogs, watching TED etc. I will also keep email to a minimum – as in zero.

Why? I seem to be spending a lot of time online. Tweeting, reading, learning and just generally whiling away time. And I need to get that under control.
But this is not simply about time – it is also about dependence. This is also about freedom – unintended dependence is a horrible thing and I really can’t be having it. I need to know that I can decide when and why I go online.

It is also about understanding what needs being on the internet are being met and whether there are other ways to meet them.

Caveats. I work with tech and I also trade Forex. Both of these require connectivity and so I shall still be using the tools that I use in both of these endeavors. I will also use online search etc.

What I hope to learn: Why I go online and what needs of mine are being met. How can I be more effective at meeting them.

See you in 30 days. Maybe.

My Routine

I’ve had a few different routines over the last few months, but this one seems to have nailed it. I’m done tweaking it now and at least for the next few months, I think I can live with this. Hope this inspires someone.

At the start of the year, I decided what was important to me (aside from my family) and was determined to focus on them. I picked 3 things: Work, wellness and speaking Spanish. As the months have gone by, I have extended those to include playing the saxophone and worked that into my routine. A little practice everyday goes a long long way.

By the way, the (F) means it’s a ‘fast’ day – where I do a limited fast – typically only having two meals and not exceeding 600 kcals for the entire day. It’s working quite well. I feel healthier and less bloaty (though the reduction in bread is probably helping with that).

Also ‘lunch’ is generally spent hanging out with my sons when they get back from school.

routine

Stand and Deliver

One of my prized possessions is my sit/stand desk. I stand most of the day – typically more than I sit. I have definitely found this much more comfortable over the course of the day compared to sitting. I have a greater range of movements too and experienced a lot less back pain that I used to have. Although I have no data to back this up, I think standing has helped me be more productive.

Time for Work

Typically I end up doing about 36 hours of work a week – and it turns out to be really productive because I have made time for the things I also want to do more of. So I’m really at work for those hours. My focus has always been working smarter not necessary longer hours. One of the benefits of working from Spain (but not in Spain) is that I’m an hour ahead of the UK, so when I start my day at 9.30CET, I’m still ahead of the UK typical hours by 30 minutes – so if I have to chat with folk first thing in the morning, it is not too much of an issue.

Time for Play

I tend to dart into my social media platforms all through the day – it has been quite distracting – so this time, I built in 15 minutes between each slot to catch up on tweets and interesting posts to read. Between this and using queuing apps like Buffer, I seem to be doing OK. Also knowing I have made time to workout (that is what HIIT represents – High Intensity Interval Training), do some spanish lessons (with duolingo.com) and practice on my saxophone – my brain does not agitate and give in easily to distractions. Aside for the odd nap!

Flexibility

I tend to stick to my schedule fairly strictly – at least for the early days – but there is always room to be flexible. For example , my wife has a lunch date and I can easily swap my half-day on Friday to a Wednesday. Other times if I really need to play the sax to get a tune out of my head and just jam, then I’ll do that and adjust that day accordingly. Oh and let’s not forget the beach. Gotta go to the beach.

Also I try to be in bed and asleep by midnight and back up at 7:30 – ish. Might do some reading but mostly that just sends me to sleep!


What is important to you in your daily life and how do you make time for it? Would love to hear about your routine, please tweet me or comment below.


Shakespeare was wrong.

All the world isn’t a stage. In fact, it’s more like a wheel.

And all the men and women aren’t merely players. We are hamsters;

The same ideas and the same attitudes coming playing and replaying, over and over. Sometimes with a little altered, sometimes not.

So much in this world is repeated and recycled. Shame it is not more of the stuff we need recycling.

We Are Frogs in a Pot

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Image may be subject to copyright.

Climate change is a no brainer.

There are 6+ billion human frogs and untold number of other species in this pot we call earth and it is literally boiling –  slowly but surely.

Yet, some are noticing it and raising the alarm, others notice and wish it would go away and , by simple reason, there must be some who genuinely don’t think there is a problem – they are happily doing backstrokes while the temperature rises.

There are some who think that maybe something is happening and it’s all natural  – part of a rather long cycle that our current data doesn’t cover and there really is nothing to worry about. Personally I don’t buy this – even if this were true, the outcomes of those ‘natural’ long cyclic events have not been experienced in mankind’s time on Earth and from what we can observe so far, it will be catastrophic for us – all of us.

Personally, I think we are huge contributors to either the pace of the adverse changes or the intensity or both. Frankly, to think we played *no* role in it would be an enormous case of willful blindness. Ultimately it doesn’t matter whether we did – aside from figuring out what we are doing and reducing it – what matters now is that these changes are happening and we need to figure out how to cope with their effects in terms of avoiding mass destruction and loss of lives.

I’m really worried about this and feel pretty powerless mostly because it seems to me to be an all or nothing deal – either we all work to reduce the effects or we do nothing. Scary.


Are you worried by adverse climate change? Share them and let’s see what we can do together. Tweet or comment below.

On #TED: Saturn and Silk

My TED talks today are all about the future and how recent discoveries make that future every exciting indeed. They are also about discovering something new about some things that are very old. Here they are:

#1 – Carolyn Porco: Could a Saturn moon harbor life?

I love that we are exploring our solar system and that beyond the politics and scientific glory hunting there is serious exploration fueled by wide-eyed curiosity.

In this talk, Carolyn comes back to update TED viewers about some new and exciting discoveries her team – a joint effort by NASA and ESA – are making about Saturn. They have found elements that they believe encourage their hypothesis that Enceladus – one of Saturn’s moons – could sustain life. They found pretty complex chemical compositions when they analysed the material in what turns out to be geysers blowing from the surface of Enceladus. Benzene and formaldehyde are just some of the compounds they found. Even the ice crystals have been analysed – salt water!

Personally I believe it is wholly arrogant of human kind to believe we are the only ones out there. Life is more likely to exist than not (given that we exist) and this kind of research helps us get closer to realising what is out there.

What I really loved about this short talk was just how googoo seasoned scientists – who no doubt have to fight for funding from the bureaucrats – go for discoveries. It is reassuring for me to see that curiosity and deep passion for something still drive immense discovery.

My Key Learning: That I must remain curious about things and commit more time to understanding things – even those that are old and seemingly familiar – in deep detail.

#2 – Fiorenzo Omenetto: Silk, the ancient material of the future

In this talk Fiorenzo shares some of the discoveries he and his research team have made from one of the oldest materials that mankind has been using – silk.  This talk is simply breathtaking and I have found huge new respect both for the material and the people who study it.

Humans have been using silk in some form or other for over 5000 years and you might be forgiven for thinking that we had figured out all of its uses. But new tech allows us to dig further and rethink what we know about silk and find new and exciting ways to use it.

Silk is biodegradable, incredibly strong – like bullet stopping Kevlar – and biocompatible (meaning the body won’t reject it). Now with new tech – 3d printing – silk can form the basis for a new generation of medicines and medicine carriers. It can be printing into replacement bone without rejection. So many new uses of this ancient material.

I loved this talk because Fiorenzo was clearly passionate about his work and the life-changing potential (ok – not the styrofoam cup) that silk with new tech can offer us.

My Key Learning: Aside from a whole new and fascinating subject area for me to explore and gain some knowledge in, the big learning for me is there is plenty of innovation in old materials – especially when we have new means of exploring that old material. This is a huge lesson for me because it changes how I think of new capabilities. We might develop new innovation that helps us look farther into the future, but we should also be using it to look clearer into the past and explore existing materials better.


What did you learn from these talks? I’d love to hear your opinions, comment below or tweet!

What Does Being A 'Startup Founder' Mean to Me?

 

Over the last few months that I’ve been building my startup (ServiceChat – a platform to help businesses have better conversations with their customers on Twitter) – this topic has been my constant companion. I am continuously discovering what it means to me to be a founder.  There is no job description, no employee manual to tell you what to do or not do and actually no other experience to compare it to.

When I think back to all the jobs I’ve had – postman, video-tab-remover-guy, programmer, consulting coach, ‘startup founder’ is, by far, the hardest, most unrelenting, supremely challenging work I have ever done.  It is also, without a shadow of a doubt, the most satisfying endeavor I have ever undertaken.

I have distilled my current feelings about being a startup founder and this is what I think it means so far, for me at least:

Incredibly hard work, emotionally exhausting

When I took my indefinite sabbatical from my really lucrative and pretty fulfilling job of being a consultant agile coach, I knew enough of the startup world to know it was pretty hard work. I knew also it is unglamorous work that demands you do what you know and often what you don’t, to make progress. Often for very little or no pay!

I easily put in sixty hours or more a week, work weekends and unsociable hours (the sky at 3am is beautiful!). All this whilst trying to be a half decent husband to a lovely wife and an attentive dad to four lovely people. Every spare minute I have is devoted to ServiceChat – building it, finding customers, crafting experiments to find customers, talking to customers, learning how to talk to customers, designing, developing , redesigning, strategizing, financializing (hey, that’s my word!). You name it, I do it because I’m a founder and it is what needs to be done.

And when I’m not working on my startup – I’m thinking about working on my startup!

Every success, every failure, every hope dashed, every dream realised is felt 100% by the founder. Praise does come, so does criticism – mostly from myself!
In any given day I go through the entire spectrum of emotions – fear, delight, sadness, anger and love. And that is just before lunch!

By the end of the day, I am not only physically tired, I’m also emotionally drained.

Requires focus, demands discipline

By nature, I’m easily distracted. This startup experience has shown me that starting is easy for me, I approach all new ideas with deep passion, huge excitement but I mostly suck at execution.
This is itself is great learning, because I now know what I need to improve on or buy in. Given that I’m building ServiceChat on a small budget, buying in an ace executioner is not really an option right now and besides, I need to get better at focusing and the discipline to focus.

Over the next few posts, I will share how I try and sustain my focus and train my discipline. Finding a focus is important because you bring all that you are to the challenge. You are present, some call it bringing your ‘A’ game, whatever you call it, you need it to be effective.  What has helped me hugely is creating a routine that I can stick to and form a habit around. The discipline to stick to it becomes easier as it becomes habitual.

Without focus, time will pass and nothing would have been done. I would be no closer to my vision, remaining ignorant of the learning I need to more forward.

And time is money – whether you are spending it or not!  ServiceChat is self funded, I moved to Spain (from England via Ireland) to extend my runway for a few more months, so every moment I am distracted, is cold hard cash that is burning away, inches of runway being lost to Father Time. But that is another story.

Deeply satisfying, hugely liberating

Being a founder is so deeply satisfying, I cannot find the words to articulate it as deeply as I feel it. Sure there are risks – it might not be viable, customers might not emerge from all the experiments. Finding those risks, facing up to them reaffirms my courage and encourages me to square up to the next scary thing. What a brilliant feeling!

Sure, there are dark undiscovered jungles in my map, big question marks about ‘what next? , ‘what if?’ and ‘how bad is it?’ . But discovering them, finding ways to answer the questions, learning what problems my startup could help solve and solving them are all satisfying things, at least for the curious mind.

Whether my startup succeeds as a sustainable business or not, I have learnt what professional liberation truly means. The freedom to learn and to explore. The freedom to take risks safely and to adjust the direction I take based on what I discover, the freedom to fail without the harsh judgements and condemnation of most traditional jobs.

As a founder, it will be damn near impossible for me to work ‘for’ someone else and be subject to their rules of how I work, when I work, what I do and how I do it. A wild bird is hard to cage, but an imprisoned bird that has experienced the freedom to soar unrestrained is almost impossible to re-imprison.

Feeling part of  something

What I continue to love about being in the startup community is that there is one – and it is rich in learning and support.  As a developer for nearly twenty years, I am used to the open source community, where ideas are freely shared and welcomed and I feel the same with the startup communities I have participated in.

I especially love the LeanStartup movement. Eric Ries (and to a large extent others like Steve Blank and Alex Osterwalder) has provided a manual that we can learn from and a common language that immediately connects us. Around it has grown a beautiful ecosystem to be part of, full of meetups, mashups, startup weekends, hackathons and so many community activities to help the starry eyed dreamers. They do help and support, but ultimately, as a founder, you have to go back and build your vision.  As a startup founder, I feel part of something revolutionary, almost like we are redefining the future of work as something driven by passion and is deeply humanised.

What does being a startup founder mean to other founders?

I was really interested to hear what other founders thought, so I asked around and here a few responses from my twitter shout out:

Hass Chapman (@hasschapman) from @TORCH_sh  –  “A very steep learning curve. Daily tests of commitment. Sacrifice. But also; Achievement. Pride. Enthusiasm.” 

Marc Cooper (@auxbuss) from fndout.com –  “freedom, destiny, change I want to see, daily confronting daemons, sacrifice, awesome. Not for everyone.”

Enovia Bedford (@accessoryremix) from mixieManagement.com –  Being start-up founder allows me to improve systems of the past and produce similiar products in a sustainable way.”

What does being a startup founder mean to you?

It does not matter whether you are contemplating starting a startup or just starting up or whether you are a tried and tested founder, we each bring a unique perspective to this gig and I would love to hear and share what you think?

Do you find it exhausting?
What are the sacrifices you are making to be a startup founder?
What are you learning?
Are you enjoying it?

Comment here, on the FounderSync forums or holler at me on @mhsutton. I also share my daily startup experiences on my personal blog at http://mhsutton.me

Keep dreaming, keep scheming!

My First Big Bike Ride

After almost a year of having my road bike – that I fondly call Monsieur Defy – I have started exploring the great rides around where we live.

I had done 2 earlier rides, a 3km down and up the mountain road to my village and an 8km down and up the other side of the mountain (towards Restabal).

But today I went a little loco and did the 20km loop Pinos-Restabal-Melegis-Talara-Beznar-Pinos ride which I found here.

I feel so proud of myself – my determination and my fitness – which I wasn’t too sure I had! So many times I wanted to stop and walk my bike and I didn’t – progress!

Here are the pics.


I don’t mean to preach – but please if you aren’t currently doing any regular exercise, consider starting. It doesn’t need to be major – just something that keeps you sweaty and out of breath for 20 minutes every other day. Life is more beautiful when you are fitter.

Do you ride a road bike, what was your first ride. I’d love to hear about it – tweet or comment below. Happy trails.

#MyDailyTED – On Cities Being the Future

I watched only one TED talk today and it was everything a great talk should be – insightful, impassioned, well delivered, humorous and deeply engaging. To say it has inspired me is an understatement. As a result of this talk I have some new and exciting learning to make and perhaps a new movement to join. Would love to hear what you think about this talk.

#1 Benjamin Barber: Why mayors should rule the world

The challenges that face our modern world are increasingly trans-national – they traverse borders and airspace. From terrorism to pandemics to climate change – the modern challenges facing humanity require, perhaps more than ever, that human beings work better together.

Benjamin’s suggestion that our political systems that have hardly changed in 400 years are not up to the task of addressing our modern challenges is a strong and reasonable point.

The main thrust of this talk is that cities is where people live their lives, they are the coalface of civic life. With 50+ percent of the world’s population living in cities (70% in the western countries), he may be right. And government of cities requires a much more pragmatic leadership than countries. The feedback from things not working right in a city are almost immediate and mayors do not have the luxury of delay or aloofness that presidents and prime ministers have.

Benjamin clearly knows his stuff, he has studied the policies and government of many prominent mayors and many others I hadn’t even heard of.

I really liked this talk because Benjamin’s central points made total sense to me. The business of national government has become so far removed from everyday life, there is very little connection with people anymore. Mayors – the embodiment of local connections – need a deep understanding of the community they govern. Although he didn’t mention a single drawback of any mayors’ policies or any problems that cities have,as a result of having a mayor – there are undoubtedly many.

There were some aspects that I am still puzzled about, namely:

  • There are far more cities than countries and some cities are bigger than some countries.
    At what point does population make city governance as disconnected as national governance?
  • There are still borders, if not jurisdictions. Even if these are only ‘city limits’. What extends beyond them in terms of mayoral responsibility.
  • What form do the relationships between cities take – treaties?

Actually I don’t think mayors should rule the world. I think that more needs to be done to overhaul our national political structures to reconnect it with communities. Communities are not part of the countries – they are the country.

I think there is much to learn about how cities work – and how they don’t – and how mayors work and the nature of decentralisation. So rather than swap one set of political structures for another, I am leaning towards re-imagining a new structure that is community centered, with institutions that have representation at their very core.

My key learning: I learned that we must question the suitability of old tools to new problems. Infact I think that we are best advised to understand whether our problem is new or not as a first step to trying to solve it. I do not believe this is talked about enough – especially with regard to political structures, democracy and the power of the people.


What questions is this talk inspiring in you? Have nation states outlived their usefulness, is there a need for more localised and pragmatic city leadership? I’d love to hear your opinions, comment below or tweet!

Daily #TED: The Rise of the Super Rich, Dancing Bears, Love and Thank you

Today I watched 4 talks totalling just under 30 minutes. The first was direct and the other three where on a 15 minute playlist of ‘inspiring’ talks. Here they are:

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#1 Chrystia Freeland: The rise of the new global super-rich

Since the 1950’s the rise of the super-rich (the top 1%) has been rising more than steadily. Chrystia’s observation the gap between the top 0.1% and the next group along (the next 0.9%) is even more interesting. She goes on to provide some numbers to back this up.

She offers some reasons for the rise – the internet,  crony capitalism and globalisation. The main problems with this skewed distribution is the misuse of political power and the influence of established and emerging plutocrats.

Though I knew of this topic already, it was interesting to hear Chrystia’s perspective and supporting data.Really interesting was the education of the rich and how it is designed deliberately to capitalise and grow their wealth – through the Stanfords and Harvards of the world.

My key learning: There is not just the ‘rich’ anymore. There is also now the ‘super-rich’. The rich and super-rich intend on staying so and approach the education of their progeny accordingly. How will the scales ever be be balanced – should they?

#2 Kartick Satyanarayan: How we rescued the “dancing” bears”


This talk was incredible! The story of how a small group of dedicated and passionate conservationists focused on the problem of bears baited and captured, their spirit broken by a desperately poor and mostly illiterate tribe in India.

Some of the captured bears are sold to be made into traditional medicines in the far east. Others are kept as performing animals – dancing bears – to earn their captor and owner much needed money.

What I really loved hearing about in this talk was the holistic approach the conservationists took. The bears were essentially economic objects – versus food or entertainment – for their captors and the conservationists designed alternative forms of economic activities for each of the bear captors in exchange for the imprisoned bears.

Astounded to hear that they succeeded in their mission to find, free and rehome all 1200 dancing bears in India – wow!

My key learning: For best results – equitable to all concerned, least confrontational – work to understand and address the causes of the problem you are trying to fix, as well as trying to address the main problem. By offering seed capital to previous bear owners, the conservationists address the primary cause of the bear capturing.
Also, it brought home to me that there are often more stakeholders in a problem than we are conditioned to see.

When I first watched the talk, I considered the villagers cruel and undeserving of any help. Yet they are stakeholders in the solution – it has to work for them to work for the bears. I felt deeply humbled and grateful to Kartick’s talk that I was able to challenge my thinking.

#3 Hannah Brencher: Love letters to strangers

I’m all for unrequited love for humanity but I struggled to get beyond Hannah’s overlyrical waxing. I love the idea of writing people letters and generally anything that one human being can do to help another through a desperate time.

Why desperate? Because I think I would have to be emotionally desperate to fully appreciate and receive the love that a complete stranger expresses in an unsolicited letter.

Maybe that says more about me than it does the world.

Also I think that love, even if unrequited, must still connect with a need the receiver has – otherwise it is a noble waste. For example, if I have a need for a friend to listen and I receive a letter that does not address that need (letters by definition do not) then it really is pointless. This may be a utilitarian view of love but one that resonates deeply with me.

My key learning: Nevertheless I learnt something from Hannah’s talk, more a reaffirmation of something I already knew – that the world is full of amazing stories and even in this age of super fast digital communications, there is still a place for analog that communicates love through the time and care someone takes to do something like write a letter.

#4 Laura Trice: Remember to say thank you

Saying ‘thank you’ has become so blaise now that it might as well be meaningless. Laura’s talk explores what it means to say ‘thank you’ and to display/demonstrate genuine appreciation. I found the stories from her work with mental illness fascinating about how some of the problems she hears about have , at the their core, the person not feeling appreciated.

Very interesting for me was Laura’s suggestion that people own their need for appreciation. This resonates deeply with me and my journey in Non Violent Communication. By communicating this need, we make it easier for others to have the permission to say ‘thank you’ to us.

My key learning: Laura’s talk really brought it home to me that people still fundamentally value appreciation and regardless of the words, sincerity is the key. Also I learnt that who is saying the ‘thank you’ is often as important as what it is being said for.

I make a point to say thank you to my sons every night as I put them to bed and to praise them for trying their best today. This talk reminded me to expand that to my wife and others who make my life happier everyday.


What did you learn from these talks? How did they move you? I’d love to hear your opinions, comment below or tweet!

Breakfast with #TED: The Threat of Agriculture, Less Stuff and Hope for Veterans.

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For my TED talks today, I used the nifty tool on ted.com to pick 3 persuasive talks that made up 30 minutes in total. I love this part of ted because it creates my own playlist – no faffing. Each talk is not necessarily on the same theme and this is another thing that delights me – the diversity. The talks can challenge and stimulate different parts of my brain and emotions.

#1 Jonathan Foley: The other inconvenient truth

This talk was loong! I discovered it could have been shorter because Jonathan gave his really compelling talk with strong supporting statistics and imagery and then halfway through, showed an ‘explainer’ video that basically said the same thing again. I thought this was a little overkill.

The talk was on the threat of our current pace and scale of global agricultural production to  the world’s climate and water sources. It had some really startling statistics – more than 40% of the best land on Earth is used for agriculture and most of the world’s fresh water – 70% – is used to grow stuff. Alot of the agriculture is grow food for livestock – a lot for beef production. This is not  farm land waiting to be cultivated, a lot of it is pristine rainforest that is deforested to create farm land. Basically the land mass used to plant stuff or keep animals is basically the size South America and Africa – combined!

Food is a huge part of this agriculture, but there is also a growing amount for bio-fuels. And population growth is creating a pressure for more food. Increasingly wealth is changing diets – veggies are out, meats are in.

With the problem well defined – Jonathan’s call to action is that there must now be collaboration between seemingly competing approaches – organic farming, industrial agriculture and  environment conservation – to come up with a way that we can feed the world without destroying it. Ideas around improving yields, do better with less, but sustainably (so not GMO!).

This talk also inspired me to look into another aspect of the problem – food waste. Whilst we seek efficiency in production, there is still a fundamental problem with how much food that is produced is wasted. My gut tells me that there are huge problems with waste due to ineffective distribution of the food and this is something I would like to explore more.

My key learning:  there is power in showing the big picture – for connecting ‘localised’ problems and showing the global picture. Also, ultimately our complex problems need collaboration between competing models to come up with something sustainable. There are no silver bullets and no single answer.

#2 Graham Hill: Less stuff, more happiness

Graham’s talk was about having less stuff because it’s cheaper, takes up less space and generally less stressful. All great reasons in my opinion. As someone who has moved country I definitely value the ‘less stuff’ mantra. Also there is something very liberating from not having stuff. What do they really give us. Do they make us happier?

I really loved the focus on design – this is, I think, the plug that Graham was pushing. His website – Lifeedited.com – is all about seeking more from less. More money, space, time and ultimately, happiness from having less stuff. He showed off a render of his apartment (in Manhattan!) with elements from a design competition. Fold-into-the-wall beds, moving walls and a coffee table that grew into a dinner table that seats 10! All very impressive.

My key learning – less is more. Actually the previous talk really connects with this too. I think that seeking to make smaller things is a only part of the message. Many small things are almost as bad as a few big things. Design is awesome, but we must first break this addiction to shiny stuff.

#3 Jake Wood: A new mission for veterans — disaster relief

This talk really gave me an ‘ah-ha’ moment. It is very America focused in its tone and perhaps in the severity of the problem – that young veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan not being successfully reintegrated into society after they have left the military.

Jake, as a veteran himself, offers a persuasive account of the challenges that veterans face in dealing with a return to civilian life. Even as military loving as America is, once you’re back, you are pretty much left to fend for yourself, the support systems and camaraderie is often absent and veterans face emotional problems as a result.

The really interesting thing is what Jake and others in his organisation are doing. Deploying ex service personnel to help in disaster areas like Haiti, Chilé and Pakistan for example. This very common-sense pairing of problems presents brilliant solution to both. Veterans often have the skills and the attitudes to make a difference in disasters. Their need to be of service and to derive some self worth from being in service are also met.

This talk really connected two personal experiences for me. First, my brother Peter who has served in humanitarian relief in Haiti and other places. The challenges and devastation he has witnessed, yet still driven to help. The second is the son of a client – who was deployed as a Marine to Afghanistan and , at 22, is emotionally damaged by his experienced and struggled to reintegrate into civilian life.

My key learning: some problems are their own solution when combined. The sense of service and the need for self worth are powerful human factors and we disregard them at our peril.

 

What did you learn from these talks? What have any of the talks persuaded you to do or explore? I’d love to hear your opinions, comment below or tweet!