Archive for August, 2007|Monthly archive page

Globie, the Students for Global Wellness logo

In Uncategorized on August 28, 2007 at 1:53 am

This is the Students for Global Wellness logo, Globie. It was drawn by Evan Berger, and I digitized it in Illustrator. It looks pretty cool now.



Economic Development in Terms of Medicine

In Development, Economy, Poverty on August 27, 2007 at 3:23 am

I’ve been thinking about Africa a lot lately, and most recently in terms of medicine. I’ve been dreaming up an idea of an organization that I would like to establish. It’s a business/organization hybrid, but it is founded on a business-like model. The organization invests in a community in return for labor from the citizens of that community. The profit (if any) would cycle back into the company to fund projects and other needed services. Here is the basic idea for my business/organization (from now on I will refer to it as an organization):

The organization builds houses, hospitals, schools, banks, roads, any infrastructure needed by the community.

The citizens buy a house from the organization (but must pay off the zero-interest mortgage) and work at the organization until the mortgage is paid-in-full.

In compensation for working at the organization, the employee receives healthcare for their family, schooling for their children, and a salary. The salary will be enough to pay for food, water, clothing, anything they need. Anything left over will go towards the mortgage, and savings.

Once the employee has paid off the remainder of the mortgage they will no longer be obligated to work for the organization any further.

Employees (or former-employees) that wish to start their own business can apply for a micro-loan. Upon approval, the organization will work with the entrepreneur to develop a business plan, find a location, build the business, and turn a profit. The entrepreneur can apply for a larger micro-loan later if they wish to expand their business. The business owner must pay back all ero-interest loans and invest a percentage in the revolving-fund-micro-loan system. I replicated the micro-loan system that World Vision uses because I think it is a perfect system for encouraging business growth.

Also, the organization will set up a scholarship for the top students that will pay for all, or the majority, of tuition to a university. This is on the condition that they return to the community and try to apply their degree there. If they become doctors, then they will work in the hospital; if the are engineers, then they will work on developing the community, and surrounding communities; etc…

But the whole point of the organization is to leave once the community can sustain itself. This is when I began thinking of it in medical terms.

When a body is damaged and has lost a substantial amount of blood, the body’s natural healing system is mostly useless. Blood is a vital aspect of the healing system: without it no nutrients can reach the damaged parts, and no healing can occur.

My organization would act in the same way as a blood transfusion. It would help support the natural healing system and function in place of the original blood. Once the body is healthy enough it would begin to replace the foreign blood with it’s own and sustain itself.

That is the goal of my organization: to promote and enable economic growth in developing nations.

Let me know what you think, I would love to hear criticisms and praises alike!

TEDTalk: Africa as an Investment

In Africa, Economy, TED on August 22, 2007 at 1:35 am

Occasionally I will bug you with semi-long lectures. These will be from TED, an amazing site for exploring new ideas and view points. Please to enjoy!

Decay on Campus

In Computers, Poverty on August 21, 2007 at 8:17 pm

I got a call today from my best friend, Paul Klein, who recently moved to DC to attend American University. He visited a local middle-school to help clean up in the days before classes begin. I was surprised to find that it had impacted him as much as it did. His voice shuddered as he described the decay on campus: a burnt out locker, charred with ash, still as dirty as it was 2 months ago when school let out; mold, encrusted to the walls. He cleaned out a storage room and found an unopened package for Mac OS 7. OS 7 has been discontinued for a decade now, so what was it’s purpose there? I hope it wasn’t still being used because I’m not even sure if OS 7 can connect to the internet.This is just an example of some schools that lack even basic funding. At Emerald Ridge (the high school I attended) we had so many computers that we were storing them in the mezzanine above the project areas! Now why couldn’t ER donate these computers to another school? I’m sure there’s no real reason, just red tape.Paul told me that he can’t just stand by and do nothing, so he went to Best Buy, bought a camera, and is going to make a short documentary to show what the condition of the school. Lucky for him that he is going to school to be a filmmaker, so this falls right in line with what he wants to do. And lucky for him that I’m going to be much closer to our old high school. I’m going to try to get it shown at Emerald Ridge and see if we could get ER to adopt that middle school. There’s no reason that we should have too many computers, and they too few.


In TED on August 21, 2007 at 9:01 am

Ok, so I’m gonna write something cool here… soon. But I’ve been up for almost 24 hours now and I’ve got things to do. Go to the bank, buy a book, pack 132 Jones Soda bottle into garbage bags… my daily routine. So I promise I will work on that if you promise to visit ted.com. See, I even provided the link, just click it already.