Friends and colleagues,
One month ago today, I landed as a resident in London, England.
Chapter 9. My ninth iteration of professional work. After a search that lasted more than a year, I have joined an organization called Climate-KIC (www.climate-kic.org). As I have for the past two decades, I’ll be helping cities identify and pursue innovative new initiatives to improve their sustainability. In this case, the climate change focus is front and center in the name, but if we’re being honest, climate change has been a primary factor in this work for a long time.
Climate-KIC was launched by the European Union, as a stand-alone outfit with the freedom to innovate and accelerate actions independently of a larger, governmental organization. This approach doesn’t offer any magic so much as reflect the rapidly evolving landscape, in which public and private sector organizations lack the singular focus and purpose-built tools to deliver on the goals and capture the full spectrum of opportunities.
Does that mean I’ll be working throughout Europe? Yes, yes it does. I’m learning a lot about the process. My initial landing spot is London, but that may not be where I stay. For those who have been paying even a little attention the past two years, you may be wondering how working in London will go given the ongoing Brexit process, which is supposed to culminate in some new arrangements later this year. The short answer is ‘Stay tuned!’ Things no doubt will be fluid, and with Climate-KIC, I will have an opportunity to consider options throughout Europe, where they have 28 offices. In fact, we had initially agreed that I would start out in Paris, but they asked me to consider the first six months in London, as the visa into the UK would be faster to secure. We agreed to revisit from the other end of the process, which gives me a chance to explore a bit.
I am excited about the work, as always, but this move presents a really fascinating opportunity at this stage of life to experience another part of the world in a deeper way. Over the years I have spent a bit of time in many European cities. Now this work will provide a chance to work with and get to know them in different and deeper ways.
As the adventure unfolds, I hope the good things about our connected world enable me to continue to enjoy each of you. Here are ways to keep in touch and see how things are going in Europe. My good old email will continue to work, and I now have a new phone number.
Email - email@example.com, or if you want to connect on work, use firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone - +44 7760 887 175 - please note that if you have an iPhone, then iMessages are free no matter where you are
Instagram - @asgard2europe for pictures of the places, discoveries, and whimsy of daily life
Facebook - if we’re connected there, it’ll be good for sociable and fun sharing; I’ll continue to reduce heavy stuff, for all the reasons
Blog - www.abenevolentdespot.com is finally up and will be a place where I’ll try to regularly post about my work, current affairs, culture, rugby (trying to earn a press credential before the next World Cup), and writing projects; check it out, and give me feedback on what you see
Twitter - @TAOWhiteboard is there and I use it some, but really, Twitter is a terrible place, so you’ve been warned
One of the more heartening aspects of the past 15-20 years is having tools to help preserve connections with all the people I know and love. Please feel free to use them all to stay in touch this time as well! If you come visit, you will have a ready host, or at least one more person on the ground to provide you some local insights or at least a bit of social time.