Mao, The Unknown Story. Jung Chang and Jon Halliday

MaoHard to believe the impact of one individual on so many generations and a national psyche, as well as the extent to which fundamental facts are simply unknown.  Woven within the context of Twentieth Century world history and given the role China – a fifth of the world’s population – is set to play on the world stage going forwards, a polemical yet humbling insight into the challenges facing the People’s Republic, past, present and future.  April 2014.


The Prudence Foundation: Santa Fe Rebuild, Post-Typhoon Yolanda, Philippines

BeforeAfterMuch afterSanta Fe, Bantayan IslandIn partnership with the Santa Fe municipal authority, Habitat for Humanity and Prudential’s CSR The Prudence Foundation, a team of 100+ Prudential Asia volunteers spent a week on Bantayan island, as part of the Typhoon Yolanda / Haiyan relief effort.  Targeting sustainable housing, as well as sustainable livelihoods, 135 disaster-resilient homes, 183 motorised fishing boats and 140 pedicabs were donated, as well as manpower to kick start the initiative.  On the building site itself it was more about human chaining bricks for substantial amounts of time; carrying sand / water / cement; mixing cement (7:5:1, in case you’re wondering); and laying bricks.  Surprisingly satisfying – if you need any walls building, please let me know.  March 2014.

[Really very unfortunate that the screenshot has frozen at this exact moment. Ndlr]

Single: Charity (Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan Recovery) [feat. Arnel Pineda]:

Sydney – The long way home

You will what you imagineSydney HarbourSydney Harbour SwimmingSydney HarbourSydney Harbour

Sydney Opera HousePaddington Houses

Sydney Opera HouseSwimming under the Harbour Bridge itself; the Bondi to Coogee cliff walk; the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, for the 19th Biennale of Sydney (theme: I’m not sure); and the wrought iron balconies and faded shutters of Paddington.  A buzzing city of contrasts – of open air and sky scrapers, anthropology in evidence and art that questions the future, of city bars and beach walks, of nature and steel.  March 2014.

Thank-you Cup Cakes

Thank-you cup cakesMini thank-you-cup-cakes to run around the office with, on Friday 14th March, after 4 wonderful and learning-filled years with Prudential Hong Kong.  ~18% year-on-year topline growth annually and ~25% headcount increase over the 4 year period, meaning important challenges and lessons around how to grow an organisation sustainably, in a way that’s healthy and rewarding for the people involved and the community in which you operate.

A privileged experience for which I’ll be forever grateful.  March 2014.