About This Blog

About This Blog

The esteemed psychologist Kurt Lewin once said, “There is nothing so practical as a good theory.” And that’s precisely what interests me: more-deeply understanding our humanity — by taking our theories, and observing how they perform at their limits — so that we can strive to make the world an even better place.

I’m a fairly recent grad of the cross MPA-MBA program at Harvard’s Kennedy School and MIT’s Sloan School, where my goal was to take data science and IT and see how they might help in crafting social policy. In fact I feel pretty comfortable in saying technology motivates me — I’ve been trying my hand at hacking with various systems for, well, a good part of life now.

But what’s technology without really thinking about the people it aims to help? It was on a college project in Cuba when I first experienced being among people living in widespread destitution — kids would stop me on the street and ask for the things I was wearing: my hat, my necklace; I gave everything away I could.

And I was furious. I knew that charity wouldn’t ultimately help here; in the long run these kids’ circumstances would persist.

Klimax Concert, Parque Metropolitano
Havana, Cuba, March 2002

And so I promised myself in that moment that I would contribute somehow to building new tools — tools for enabling a greater and deeper dialog, tools that might prompt fresh ideas.

We need more understanding around what works and what doesn’t. We face issues that are structural, and that are system-level and endure in the face of isolated treatments.

The thoughts on this blog stem from my own journey so far in searching for ways that I can help as we pursue this understanding.

– Neil Alexander McQuarrie

 

Reactions, thoughts? Please leave a comment below or email me at neil@neilalex.com. Thank you for your interest!

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