Episode 10 | David Akinin is helping urbanize Namibia

This week’s guest, David Akinin, spoke to me from Namibia, where he has boldly embarked on the mission to help urbanization. Unlike the mindset of foreign intervention, aid, or charity, David’s motive is to satisfy customers (small as the promises might be) and deliver good returns for his investors. (The token reference to Namibia if you’re struggling with your geography:  this.)

David’s journey from banking in Venezuela to America, France, Switzerland, Chile, and Namibia is breathtaking, and I found myself reflecting on what he said in passing, about being one of 3,000+ students in a classroom:

And that’s what we are… just a number, until we make something out of it.

I also thought that David’s story about the intern that didn’t get the job because an analyst thought that the intern’s habit of touching his chair was an invasion of his private space is important as it is unfortunate. When foreign students look at US internships that don’t translate to full time jobs, cultural norms may well be at play. Still, as David says

We don’t lose out on the opportunities that are in front of us; we lose out on the opportunities that we do not create for ourselves.

Other people and things we talked about: Franciso Martin, who has a very impressive background; and Rise Pakistan.

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