When the going gets weird, the weird go pro (2017 life update, part II)

man on grass hill in Astoria

I haven’t put this out there publicly yet, but should! I left Microsoft (and NYC) last week after 3+ years on the Technology and Civic Engagement team. I was extremely fortunate to get to serve on that team and learn about creating social impact at the scale of a giant tech company. The team, now Microsoft Cities, is in great shape — they’re expanding to more US cities, and will be covering more areas of social and civic impact work. I’m still deeply supportive of their work, if I can be of assistance connecting.

For a while now, I’ve been eager to get back to creating things myself, and I’m now in a great place where I can incubate projects again. Right now, I’m parked up in a beautiful place next to the ocean in Gloucester, MA. I’m going to hit the proverbial road and travel Latin America this winter, as well. Hit me up if you’d like to cross paths somewhere great. Ideally I find somewhere to park up relatively quickly.

Some of my upcoming work will go through the newly formed Bad Idea Factory, a creative collective of people building things to make you thinking face emoji. You can follow along with that crew’s misadventures on the popular microblogging service Twitter.

In terms of what I’m going to work on…here are a handful, in various stages of progress:

  • Revive and radically open up my puzzle states project to bring popular attention to the state legislators gerrymandering away our elections.
  • Build a web app to automatically track all of your giving across nonprofits, crowdfunders, and political campaigns. This one exists in alpha form, thanks to Justin Nowell. Hit me up if you’d be interested in trying it out.
  • Something, anything to detect capture more methane and buy us time to produce less carbon.
  • Make a game app that makes saving money anywhere near as fun as spending it.
  • Build a tool that helps people maintain a large number of healthy relationships, in excess of the Dunbar number, that isn’t a CRM or transactional, sales-based relationship model.
  • Publish more travel and freelance writing and photography.
  • Develop a noise sensor that lets you know midnight audio levels in the house you’re about to buy or rent.
  • See if we can invent washing machine filters that keep synthetic microplastics out of our oceans / oysters.
  • A bunch of random art projects to track your path across maps, an emoji alethiometer, turn street grids into sheet music, etc.

So, I plan to stay busy, while also adopting a healthier work-life balance and learning Spanish? Needless to say, I probably need to narrow that list down, but get in touch if you’re interested in collaborating. Or just want to get beers in a nice place together somewhere.

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