I grew up in a religious family but I am not particularly religious. I believe that there is (are) some Supreme Being(s) above us, but I consider the religious narrative and beliefs of organized religion to be fiction; albeit fiction with many useful lessons, but nevertheless, fiction.
One of my favorite … More >
“Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.” — Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince
For six and a half years I served as a public official on the California Coastal Commission. Since it’s been a year since I resigned, it’s time to tell a few stories about what I learned as … More >
“Oh, what a tangled web we weave…when first we practice to deceive.” — Walter Scott, Marmion
Last week I got an email last week from a New York VC asking for advice about building a house in the California Coastal Zone. For six and a half years I served as a public … More >
Last week I returned from my second trip to Africa in one month, this time to Ethiopia. I went there as an advisory board member of Food Secure, a large EU research consortium on food security. This was my first time in East Africa, Addis is about 3000 feet above … More >
This week I returned from my fourth trip to Africa, this time to the Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire, but I gave up on pronouncing it…). I went for a project of ICARF and Mars Chocolate, aiming to understand how to improve cocoa productivity there, but I learned much more about … More >
Last Friday we celebrated the graduation ceremony of the 13th year of the Beahrs Environmental Leadership Program [ELP], a three week summer program that targets up-and-coming environmental professionals. The ELP has 502 alumni from 102 countries, and the geographic composition of the participants changes over time. This year we had … More >
Recently I learned one of my dear colleagues, Bob Evenson from Yale University, passed away. Bob grew up on a farm in the Minnesota and got his PhD at the University of Chicago. He became a leading development economist, and taught for more than 30 years mostly at Yale.
My early … More >
Our new program, the Master of Development Practice, emphasizes ‘sustainability’ — but what exactly is it?
Last week, we hosted a panel of 5 faculty experts to address this question. It was agreed that sustainability means that all humans are able to maintain a decent standard of living, akin to say, … More >
Today, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he will resign from his ministry at the end of the month, citing declining strength in his advanced age. His Papacy began in 2005 and many of his written messages reflect upon the global economic and financial crisis that characterized the world to which he ministered.
Most notably, his … More >