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Academic


I completed my thesis in the summer of 2011. This project investigated the effects that war and instability can have on agricultural production decisions (specifically, management of soil quality through crop choices and production intensity) via perceived property threats and market disturbances. Academically, theoretical developments point to empirical challenges. Otherwise, the project allowed me to dedicate time to developing analytical and technical tools from the field of resource economics to better understand conflict, development and the relationship between agriculture, the environment and economic welfare. Together with previous international experience, this has put me in a position to evaluate strategies for practical applications with respect to these types of problematics, specifically in terms of market failures and value chain and logistical challenges in agricultural capital and inputs. Many thanks to Markus Herrmann, other colleagues and professors for their time and encouragement, and to the FQRSC, which contributed to financial support for the research project. The final document is available here.


Commercial

1) French/Spanish to English translation services; English editing services, particularly for individuals with French, Spanish or Mandarin as a first or second mother tongue. My field of specialization is economic research. Further details are available here.

2) In the summer of 2011, I engaged in a trial run of a potential business partnership with an established business in the tourism sector in Yunnan, China. I had difficulties putting my previous years of experience in the sector and international travel experience into action, but I learned a lot about challenges involved in partnerships with small family business. From August 2011 to April 2012, I aimed to develop relationships with Chinese and Turkish suppliers of agricultural equipment and to identify 1-2 communities in Mali or Burkina Faso with an interest in using market mechanisms to improve their access to capital, chemical and biological inputs. On the supplier side, networking was difficult in the absence of a clearly defined market of end users. On the demand side, I believe that expectations of aid rather than trade effectively made it impossible to break the ice on a market evaluation in the absence of a significant slush fund. A bilingual (French/Mandarin) Chinese assistant or partner would presumably put forward a face of business and market solutions, but at the moment I am inclined to let those who are more heavily involved in this area of activity do their thing. I did have many opportunities to improve my understanding of development challenges along the way. This was a (somewhat anticipated) worst case scenario outcome that I believe has significantly improved my ability to provide very high calibre editing and translation services for research relating to economic and social development, particularly in poorer countries.

3) Over the last 12 months, I have made significant progress in my oral and reading comprehension skills in Spanish and Portuguese. I expect these additional language skills will improve my ability to successfully perform other entrepreneurial and work-related activities in the near future. I have recently opened the doors to the study of Hindi and Sanskrit, in part out of general interest, in part in order to access historical spiritual knowledge, and also to strengthen my ability to communicate effectively to diverse audiences in the English language. In due time ... At the very least, these language skills will make it much easier to enjoy consuming natural and cultural goods of the respective regions that are used in. Ideally, strong potential in language will open up further entrepreneurial and/or career related opportunities.

4) I always enjoy thinking up other interesting projects, and I'm often as interested in just seeing good things get done as I am in being the person who gets them done. As such, helping people match their skills and interests with the right projects and people is something that I hope to become increasingly effective at.


Community 

Organizations I support and volunteer for if/when the time and place work for me (activities having engaged in or planning to engage in)
- SensibleBC.ca (as needed)
- Fairvote.ca (cavassing during campaigns, occasional availability for various office and clerical tasks)
- Greenparty.ca (canvassing, run for office if no available alternatives, through online activism and discussion)
- WorldVision.org (a no-obligation base of free translation and editing services for annual reporting at a national office)
- UN Online Volunteering (occasional support for communications projects: research, writing, editing and translation)
- GivingYourselfAway.org (Mission: Raise the bar. The Giving Yourself Away "internship" Project offers significant educational value through limited recruitment efforts, and has much potential for growth)
- TruthTopowerS.org (an anti-Nazi anti-Brainwashing group that seeks to collect 50,000 historical accounts of organized stalking, electronic harassment, in order to minimize the risk of a repeat in case we forget about such things by a later date)
- Anti-Brainwashing League (an organization with a simple objective: establish widespread public awareness of mind influencing technologies as a precursor to lobbying for the introduction of anti-brainwashing curriculum into high school education)
- add your organization to the list: inspire me.


Creative

While in Morocco, Spain and Portugal in the winter and spring of 2013, I ironed out some old musical concepts and tried to improve upon at least one musical theme arising from improvisation-oriented exercises each day. Given that I think about stuff, the combination of thinking about stuff and playing music was bound to go somewhere. The outputs resulted in the content which forms the basis for two albums, or a double album if you prefer to call it that. One of these songs appears among the offerings made available through a CBC Music artists portal. Improvised tracks, early works in progress, B-side tracks, etc. are to be made available for free download. Polished tracks or simple beauties, with lyrics, production, etc., are available for download at sliding scale price. I am also maintaining a blog, sometimes more regularly than others.