My background and credentials
For most of my life of around fifty and a half years I have had the pleasure and privilege to live close to Nature, while also enjoying the benefit of and exposure to typical modern influences, among which was the completion of a doctoral thesis about technology determinism and its impact upon humankind. For a career, I first have been working as a university lecturer and subsequently spent the last twenty-two years as a public servant, and as a part-time academic. Of course, even while I have specialized as a Ph.D., I am in my soul a generalist and the only professional choice I ever honored was to acquire a set of soft skills at the start of my career, and to continue honing these skills for the benefit of people, places and things around me and farther afield. Having taken early retirement from the City of Cape Town, South Africa, as a public servant I am now active as a freelancing Chief Technology Officer in the field of technology consultancy, as well as presenting my time and my services as a conversationist to the wider public. I know this must appear as a very uncommon career choice, but I have a passion for sharing, for helping and for developing people interested in the wide array of topics I have specialized in over the last thirty years of my professional career. I consciously chose to develop these passions into a next career, i.e. that of a conversationist, and present a portfolio of conversations anchored in my personal educational and professional background which I deem uncommon and typically inaccessible to the general public, hence Uncommon Conversations.
I started my academic career with a BA degree in humanities and political science at the University of Stellenbosch, located in close proximity to Cape Town. I added honors and master's degrees in environmental science (Geography), and later followed these up with B Tech and M Tech degrees in Business Administration at the University of South Africa. I then completed a Ph.D. in Business Administration (focusing on Management of Technology) at the Business School of the University of Stellenbosch, and I am now completing a BA LLB degree in law, again at the University of South Africa. I have also been focusing on alternative dispute resolution, and have just completed a formal internationally accredited mediation course via the University of Cape Town, skillfully presented by an experienced and reputable mediation institution known as Mediation in Motion. Apart from an active profile on LinkedIn, I have been speaking on conference podiums, publishing formally, and serving respectively as a senate member of a tertiary educational institution, mentor, associate of the Institute for Futures Research at the Business School of the University of Stellenbosch, and as an active alumnus of the Business school. I have many, many interests, but I’d say that top of mind are, respectively, natural history with specific interests in plant intelligence, insects, eco-studies and San rock art, sociology, anthropology and the history of the Civil Rights movement, birding, mountain biking and, slightly lower down, yet still strong are landscape photography, stargazing, camping, and cooking.