(Community Matters) “We shape a better world.” What an extraordinary mantra for a design firm, one of the largest in the world. This from the Arup Group, who Business Week cites as the world’s 17th largest design firm with “work everywhere” including structural design for the Beijing Olympics stadium and the Sydney Opera House.
Our new friend, Taylor Keep, is in London completing one of their “Foresight & Innovation” projects – research on food, sustainability of the food supply and provocative thoughts launching important questions about food – especially, in Taylor’s mind, the intersection of food and energy policy.
Other foresight & innovation projects Arup has dedicated staff to, researched and published include urbanisation, demographics, water, climate change, waste and energy. It’s extraordinary that an engineering design firm has so long been so corporate social responsibility-minded. Taylor told us how these thought leadership pieces being created on critical global issues are used by staff and further engage clients.
After lunch, we followed Taylor to his offices to meet his boss, Chris Luebkeman. Chris is a scholar who taught engineering to architects at the preeminent schools, including MIT and moved to Arup to lead its research group. Not too many years after arriving, he launched its foresight and innovation group. Much more about all this, especially engaging to me as I’m writing an article about the CSR conference we held in Austin just two weeks ago. Alas, gotta get going. More perhaps later.
(Community Matters) Thanks, Cameron for connecting us to Taylor & Catherine Keep. Wow, what an outstanding young couple. They are living in London temporarily while Taylor completes a project for the Arup Group.
Catherine & Taylor Keep & ST at Amoul
I’ll get to Taylor’s very cool project at his very cool company. But, I have to talk about Amouls
– wow. Founded six years ago by a longtime Londoner born in Lebanon, Amoul’s is about the homecooking Amal (Amoul) Oakes was not able to find in London. I met her briefly and spent a bit of time speaking with her daughter, Zeina. They are certainly proponents of the slow food movement and believe in only using fresh ingredients. Luckily, at the end of 2008, Amoul published a cookbook of her favorite receipes. An exquisitely published book with a fine burlap cover, I couldn’t resist and I can’t wait to experiment – especially the chicken livers in pomegranate molasses and savoury lamb pies.
posting on Taylor’s project next.
(Community Matters) I sure hope I rescheduled the dinner party at a friends I just noticed on last night’s schedule. Good gosh, would that be a total wreck or what? Waiting to hear. No email from them, so assuming I did. Just can’t vividly recall.
We’ve arrived in London, teased by the first class concierge about an upgrade since the flight was thought to be oversold (didn’t happen but he upgraded me on my return – not bad for a $370 roundtrip ticket!), staying at a favorite in Covent Gardens, a quick nap, lunch with friends at Amoul on Warwick St. which serves all local/seasonal foods and is creating a buzz, then we’ll stroll through favorites, a light dinner and then the show.
Tickets are stacking up for excellent theatre – King Lear tonight at the Young Vic Theatre, Stovepipe tomorrow, Burnt by the Sun on Saturday, and I’m sure ST will do a Saturday matinee while I meet a goddaughter for lunch.
Weather much nicer here than in Austin. Much warmer than when we were here earlier this year. Back in same, old haunts and with the Pound worth only USD 1.35 vs mid-year’s 1.50 and 2.00 when here for Punchddrunk’s The Mask of the Red Death and the Donmar Warehouse’s Othello in Dec ’07.
Couldn’t resist – Stovepipe in London and $370 roundtrip tickets on Continental.
Thank you Jeffrey for taking care of my gay koi. No (big) parties!
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From Dr. Forgoine:
I am very proud to advise the district and the Austin community that
beginning July 1, 2009, I will assume the appointment as Distinguished
Presidential Scholar and Executive Director of the New Center on K-12
Assessment and Performance Management at the Education Testing Service
(ETS) of Princeton, New Jersey (see attached ETS announcement). This will
allow my wife, Kaye, and me to remain in Austin, and I will be focusing my
professional energy and passion on a critical component of education reform
and accountability, namely: student testing and data management.
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