Hello Again Elysa and Florin

My name is Florin and I’ll be one of the new Program Assistants for the Terry Project this summer. To give you a quick bio, I hail from the land of Ontario and am going into my final year of Mechanical Engineering. I have been passionately involved with Engineers Without Borders for four years now both in Canada and as well in Zambia and Ghana. Over the years I’ve worked with small-scale African farmers, ran a business in Africa’s largest industrial slum, held a stop sign on a construction site for months on end, and worked for a certain oil company that is having a mildly unfortunate event in the Gulf of Mexico right now. I’ll leave it there with personal stuff and expand more on it in further blog posts.

My interests generally lie in international development, social entrepreneurship, the interface between technology and society, education for global citizenship, rugby, baking bread, ultimate Frisbee, and cycling. I’ll probably post interesting thoughts and ideas on all of the above, and more!

Now, in following with Elysa’s Q&A style:

What is one word to describe yourself?

Entrepreneur.

If you could swim in a sea of something, what would it be?

Maybe we should re-phrase this question as “what would I do this weekend if I had $400 in disposable income?”

I would spend my days moseying about in a swimming pool of butter chicken. Yum!

If you could interview a historical figure who would it be and why?

I would want to interview Terry Fox. Given that he was my age when he did his famous run for charity, I’m super impressed and inspired by what someone our age can achieve!

If you could only eat one fruit or vegetable for the rest of your life what would it be?

This is a challenge. There isn’t any one fruit or vegetable that I would gladly embrace that would not give me horrible stomach aches if it was the sole component of my diet. Anyways, I would have to choose between avocado, cherries, mango, and lychee fruit. Maybe I could puree them into a delicious slurry and call it one fruit/vegetable?

If you could be any cartoon character who would you be and why?

I think I’d like to be the XKCD stick man with the bowler hat. Oh the fun he gets himself into!

When was the last time you told a lie?

I don’t generally lie. Not because I’m a good person, but because I’m such a bad liar there’s no sense in trying. Try me…

What is the random thing you have on you at all times?

Don’t go anywhere without my lip-chap! I’m not that big of a fan really, but once you start you can’t put it down since it dries out your lips even more! I have a bit of a theory that the Chap-Stick Corporation originally mixed trace amounts of various addictive compounds into the batches and has been sucking dollars from my wallet ever since.

Who is a thinker that you admire most and why?

I was greatly saddened recently to learn that the economist C.K. Prahalad passed away. He was a renowned corporate management expert who helped shape some of the biggest companies in the world.

Prahalad wrote a bestseller called “Fortune and the Bottom of the Pyramid” which has greatly influenced my career ambitions. The premise of his idea is that the four billion poorest people of the world, those at the bottom of the pyramid, should not be seen as victims of poverty who struggle to stay alive. Rather, we must consider the bottom of the pyramid as innovative, hard-working entrepreneurs and value-conscious consumers.

Thinking of the Global South in this way promotes relationships of dignity and partnership, and is an approach to poverty reduction that I want to be a part of.

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