The specifics may vary, but I have no reason to doubt the general backstory of the stunner I'm holding: a weaver from deep within the Middle Atlas Mountains poured her hopes and dreams into this Moroccan rug design. Ismail Tazi, '11, now founder and CEO of Oum Rugs, comes from a family with generations of roots in Fes, the oldest of Morocco’s imperial cities. His passion for his country and his work is utterly genuine. His Thunderbird certificate and collaboration with Bob Girvin, '13 and TIAA Premier member, and Abby DeLaney, '12 further validate his credentials. The elephant in the room, of course is that I personally have no way of proving the rug’s authenticity. My knowledge of Moroccan rugmaking will never equal Tazi’s. Whether perusing a souk in Marrakesh or visiting a rug store in an upscale western mall, how can I know a given carpet is the real thing? And why should I care? Read the full story.
The woman in the grocery line? She’s a freelance copywriter, substitute teacher and life coach. Your neighbor? He’s an independent management consultant who books gigs for his band. The comedian you’re watching on-stage has a CPA and a 5-star rating on Upwork. Your waiter works handyman gigs. And your Uber driver? She takes call-outs on weekends to pay off her MBA faster. John Bevell, ’12, has seen this workforce wave from afar and plans to ride it. How much of a role will the gig economy play in the future of work? Are you ready for this sea change? Read the full story.
Columbian fíncas housing fields of Arabica - nourished by volcanic soil and sheltered by cloud-covered skies – sprout the berries that make Colombian coffee one of the most preferred across the world. Yet, 57% of those Colombian beans are produced by small-farm producers living at subsistence level while their developed-country roasters and retailers harvest the majority of profits. It’s a division of spoils that Karl Wienhold ’13 and C’pher Gresham ‘14 aim to rebalance. Is the trade-off between financial success and social impact truly unavoidable? Read the full story.
Most Thunderbirds acknowledge that each of us carries great responsibility to look after each other and the societies where we live and work. We are trained to be highly insightful and more sensitive to the world and its needs. And our global preparation provokes inherently broader and deeper demands to lend ourselves to compassionate community service. Unfortunately, quarterly shareholder demands - a lá Milton Friedman - can distract us from that calling. Building his animal health and veterinary diagnostic laboratory in New Zealand and the South Pacific, Kent Dietemeyer, '76 sought a different path. Why does he advocate the value set you'll see every day in his actions, but not in his literature? Read the full story here.
It’s always something.
You may recall this plot: Strange incidents on the fictional Isla Nublar spook the investors of a “biological preserve” named Jurassic Park. Ian Malcolm, a consultant and chaos theorist, emphatically foreshadows the park’s collapse. Why? “…It is an unsustainable simple structure bluntly forced upon a complex system.” (Crichton). Cue the corporate espionage, tropical storm, and dinosaurs that “have somehow been breeding against the park geneticists' design!” (Wikipedia) Mayhem, murder, and Hollywood millions ensue. Those crazy T-Rex clones. You can’t turn your back for a second....or can you? That’s the question David Lee, MIM ‘97 confronted when reading the Crichton novel. Read the full story here.
Early morning, Amman. As the sounds of morning prayer fade into sunrise, a father of two pays neighborhood children to collect empty plastic drink bottles strewn mindlessly on Zahran Street. His purpose? To bind and mold those discarded bottles until they form infrastructure that will embrace human weight. Covered in fabrics and other attractive wrappings, they morph into ottomans, chairs and other marketable – and beautiful – furniture pieces. Items that, in turn, help sustain his own family, prosper his community and even help sustain the environment. In 2017, a group of Thunderbirds including David Roman (EMGM '16), Evan Mackie (EMGM '16), Stan Duvall (EMBA '12), and Ashraf Halawani (EMBA '13) met to explore: How much entrepreneurship can bloom in this oft-stigmatized desert region? Read the full story.
Most researchers argue that Millennials are born between 1980 and 1996. Yet, the Pew Research Center, perhaps the most authoritative perspective, puts Millennials between 1977 and 1992. With it being 2017 now, there are 40 year-old Millennials. A group of men and women nearing their middle ages, and this group continues to be referred to as entitled, worthless, killing industries, and many more. This myth has been spread by gurus and accepted by the masses: Millennials are unmanageable in corporations because they are impatient, lazy and entitled as a result of bad parenting, addiction to cellphones and Facebook depression. Richie Norton, '13 asks, do you accept this myth? Read the full story here.
Spacefaring - surprisingly, it’s not all rocket science. International political risk matters to space programs just like its terrestrial counterpart, global trade. Your first impression of the International Space Station (ISS) may be a complex, orbiting laboratory, but it is also a collaborative effort of several nations with a common goal. The next collaborative effort needed in space is inhabiting Mars. Eric Johnson, '92, helps answer the question, what would it take to reach and sustain human life on Mars? Read the full story here.
When Hugo Chavezwas elected, you could sense the seismic shifts about to occur. In May 1999, his boss at ADL called Jess Dods, '75. into her office. She had been the Minister of Finance under the previous president, Rafael Caldera, and she understood the political storm approaching. She told Jess that Chavez, upon hearing that a North American had an office at PDVSA, grew very angry and said in no uncertain terms, “Get that American out of my country”... What does one do after receiving a direct mandate from the country's supreme leader to leave? Read the full story here.