Moscow, United Nations and, mostly, Mapbox

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Too long since I have last updated this blog. Turns out working at a startup eats most of your time… On top of being with my head down learning a pushing work with Satellite images, I have been quite busy with long runs, trips far away, the UN, the World Economic Forum, Yale, … I don´t know where is the limit, but I know where it is not ;)

Yale University Module

In October I attended the “Foundations for Leadership in the 21st Century: Impact” module at Yale University. This was organized by the Yale University and the WEF YGL network. The course was interesting, with very good teachers talking about economy, health care, conflict resolution, law, … I felt very lucky for such opportunity. One of our speakers, Bob Shiller was few days short of knowing he got the Nobel Prize in Economics. I also really enjoyed the talk by Barry_Nalebuff and the “Honest Tea” story.

Chicago marathon

I flew to Chicago for the marathon. Arrived the previous evening. Went to the expo to pick up the bib and get excited, then to my favorite vegan restaurant there for a very early and generous dinner, and went to bed super early. Woke up, light breakfast and a short brisk walk to the start line to wake up the body. It was pretty cold but watching the sunrise over the lake was amazing. Security was very high, and lots of people.

I had not build enough training for the race, and had done my first triathlon 4 weeks before… but I felt good and started a bit faster than 8:30 min/mile. I felt great, so I went faster little by little and by the half marathon I was going 7:30 min/mile. I paid it, and the last 2 miles were very hard and 50% walking (~10 min/mile). It was quite sad that, becuase of the Boston bombs, the last strech was closed off to the public, so crossing the line was pretty much in silence. Overall my time was 3:38:07. A full 13 minutes faster than my previous PR.

Moscow Discovery trip

Also in October I went to Moscow with the World Economic Forum’s network of “Young Global Leaders”. Huge kudos to Yana Peel and Yan Yanovskiy and their team who organized the whole event. The goal of the trip was to crash learn about this complex and vast country. We met with governmental officials, ambassadors from other countries, newspaper owners, TV channel directors, NGOs, corporations, artists, … Fellow YGL Saleem Ali wrote about it in some detail.

I´m still processing all I have learnt, but I can safely say I do have a much better understanding of the complexity and diversity of issues and opportunities in this country. The end part of the trip was to attend a World Economic Forum regional meeting, where roughly 25% of the attendees where YGL. Truly honored to be part of this network.

UN meeting

I was invited to participate as expert advisor to a scoping meeting for an upcoming UNEP Index on environment. Collaborating with the UN is something I´ve done on the sidelines for a while, and that has been on my mind for a long time and having such an opportunity was extremely interesting.

The UN paid my trip and all expenses to attend the weeklong working sessions in Geneva. It was a pleasure to meet an discuss with experts from literally all around the world, and I truly believe my contribution brought a signal that otherwise would not be present. My experience interacting with the private sector having come from academia, the focus on pragmatism and incremental growth, the data driven answers to early focused questions… This was the essence of my intervention and during the focus groups.

Bonus. The last day I was able to reconnect with an old friend, Rebecca, who is now working at CERN. It was awesome to do a visit to the cavern and talk particle physics for a change.


I have kept myself busy most of the time with Mapbox. Learning, processing, shipping. Repeat.

Some of the things I have written about on our company blog:

and much more to come

Putting the Google Glasses to my president

Yeah, that happened, but probably deserves a blog post of it´s own. [soon]

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