Tuesday, September 1, 2015
How did you come with the idea of opening the first “philanthropub” ever?
Really it came about as a dream to start a nonprofit. Not a pub. The pub idea just came as an answer to a question: “What does the community need?” There were lots of things we thought we could do, but we realized there were already dozens of nonprofits across the city trying to meet the needs of the community. But they were struggling. Finances are always the most important, and simultaneously least important departments of any nonprofit. Their challenge is to accomplish the mission of the npo, but they are often hindered by the task of raising funds simply to keep going. This is where the idea of the business came in. Why not start a business that could raise funds and awareness for these organizations, simply by running a successful business? Allowing the nonprofits to focus on their mission, and we can focus on the fundraising. This is where the idea germinated from.
The Pub idea came about because…Portland. Portland, Oregon is “Beervana”. We have more breweries than any other city in the world. For us, it was simply connecting the dots.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Thank you for being the first in Europe to interview me. I will be interested to hear what a European audience thinks of my story.
In the year 2000, I was introduced to the lifestyle via a boyfriend who showed me the early Internet societies on AOL (America On Line). My initial education of the D/s arts (dominance/submission) also took place in early underground chat rooms where I met a few amazing individuals in real life. I was never keen on the American BDSM societies, but did try to work within them for a time after I was first outed in 2003 by local media. I learned the vicious world of politics in underground kink societies before I practiced above ground in the real political arena where it matters. There’s a fun section in my book detailing the first time I visited a BDSM club three hours away from Indianapolis, Indiana in Chicago, Illinois. My book details many of my other early lifestyle D/s (Dominance/submission) adventures and how that journey led to my decision to go pro against the many internal moral obstacles I would have to reconcile to do so.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Can you tell us a little about your background as an artist?
I started drawing cartoons from a very early age. Then beginning of the nineties I got involved in the upcoming electronic dance music movement, designing hundreds of record covers and flyers and doing live-paintings etc. I started making paintings and over time these paintings evolved into large scale sculptures and installations, which provide a surreal mirror for our society. Creating dystopian Utopias, such as for instance Checkpoint Dreamyourtopia - a border control checkpoint to enter your own dreams. For years I used to destroy my big projects. I feel that when a project, or art, a new youth movement or a new piece of music comes into the world it has a certain kind of power, or magic. Eventually that magic fades, and it turns into a business, and starts earning money. In order to preserve that magic, I blew up projects, set them on fire, or smashed them to pieces, preserving that energy, and turning it into a kind of Urban Myth. These installations are turning more and more into interactive performances, and this year I am working on my first theater play.
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
What’s the book The Physics of Wall Street all about?
The Physics of Wall Street tells the story of how, over the last hundred years, an increasing number of ideas—and, since the late 1970s, people as well—from fields such as physics and mathematics have migrated to finance. These new ideas have changed how financial markets work in profound and lasting ways, and so if we want to understand financial markets, as investors or as policy-makers, we need to understand the role that physics and mathematics has come to play. Most importantly, I argue that, if used carefully, these ideas can provide very effective tools for investors. But they also introduce significant new risks, including some that contributed to the 2007-08 financial crisis. One of my main goals in the book is to give some insight into how we can use these tools more effectively, and hopefully avoid future crises.
Friday, October 18, 2013
Can you tell us about your background working in Finance and how did you come with the idea of writing The Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance – Hacking the Future of Money book?
In 2008 I undertook a somewhat subversive anthropological adventure into the financial sector in London. I ended up working for two years as a derivatives broker. Derivatives are large financial bets, and brokers spend all their time trying to convince large corporations and banks to use them. I learned a lot about the financial system and since leaving have continued to explore various aspects of the system. In the wake of the Occupy protests I was asked by Pluto Press to write a guide for activists on how the financial sector works, and how one can go about improving it.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
It seems that during the last few years, controversy and “in your face” attitude have been used in several social related marketing campaigns. (France’s AIDES campaigns, Camp Okutta for Children online videos, MTV’s Sex is no accident…). What do you think about that trend? Do you think there must be a limit or, if the cause is noble, the marketer can be as provocative as he/she wants?
I think that provocation gets old, faster and faster. I’m not sure that doing good gives you the moral right to be obnoxious, but either way, it’s not going work for much longer.
What’s the most groundbreaking or outstanding social related marketing campaign that you’ve ever seen?
I’m more interested in what works than what’s cool. Kiva works, no doubt about it. AmeriCorps. The Peace Corps. Doctors without Borders…
Monday, August 12, 2013
You are not even 30 years old but you already have experience as an award-winning journalist, a social entrepreneur, a scientific educator and you’re also a well-known activist among other things. That’s very impressive, can you tell us a little about your academic and professional background?
That's funny, see when I was a kid my teachers thought I wasn't good enough, and that I should give up studying and the best I could hope for was working on some repetitive and stupid job. I didn't listen to them. At 16 I won a full scholarship for a prestigious and highly selective international college, the UWC, whose mission is to "make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future." I went into hacking and social engineering, sustainability, I started various non-profits, grassroots social movements, and I did many different jobs. I worked as manager in an IT company, system administrator, web developer and designer, journalist, social media strategist, event organiser, even screenwriter and director in a video production company. I got my BSc in Computer Science, then I won another full scholarship for the graduate study program at Singularity University, in the NASA Ames research Park in Silicon Valley, from which I graduated last summer. Now I give lectures at universities and Fortune 500 companies all over the world and I have my own startup in New York. If I had listened to some of my teachers, I would have been sweeping the floors of the school, or at best working at a monotonous office job 9-5.