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.

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Episode 8 | Caitlin Tulloch evaluates the effectiveness of policy interventions

Caitlin Tulloch is a policy economist at the International Rescue Committee where she studies the cost effectiveness of policy intervention. It’s the sort of thing that wouldn’t initially seem to be, but actually is, novel in the area of humanitarian interventions. Caitlin’s background and work experience at JPAL also provides very useful context and understanding of the multiple “schools of thought” when it comes to development economics.

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Episode 7 | Pete Kalenik will fundamentally alter your perspectives on policing

An alumnus of the Chicago Public Schools, Concordia University Chicago, The University of Chicago, Northwestern University, University of Illinois at Chicago¬†and Loyala University Chicago, Pete makes for a very unusual police officer. But his range and depth of perspectives from academia, the US Army, and the Chicago Police Department make him uniquely qualified to help us understand the really complex issues around policing and law enforcement when we aren’t simply confirming our established notions of what policing today really is.

(To be clear, Pete’s perspective is not the official narrative, and he doesn’t speak for CPD in this conversation.)

  • Pete’s website and LinkedIn
  • “Service in Pursuit of a More Perfect Union Takes on Many Forms” by Pete at the Huffington Post
  • And finally, I love his #tag: #WeAllServe