Swimming against Brexit

Serbia’s main broadsheet newspaper Politika asked me to write something about Brexit. Since the article was published a) two weeks ago, b) in Serbian, and c) only in hard copy, I don’t think anybody will be too worried if I publish the English language version…

Becalmed in British waters

Today my home country votes on its future. It feels strange to type that phrase “home country”, because I haven’t lived there on a permanent basis for a long time; for so long, in fact, that I am not allowed to take part in that…

How do we get from here to there? The Futures of Humanitarianism

Crossposted at Medium.com. In the last ten years there has been a small explosion of forecasts seeking to identify the major trends that will affect relief and development organisations, and to describe how those organisations might prepare to address those trends. Most of these reports…

Beating Hindsight: Forecasting for Humanitarian Planning and Preparedness

Why is the future important? All human endeavours are based on forecasting, i.e. attempts to narrow down possible future outcomes to a manageable range. We generally find forecasting extremely challenging due to psychological biases and cultural conditioning, but recent research has shown that better forecasting…

the small print

Originally shortlisted for SFX magazine’s The Writing Dead competition last year, I tag this short story as “John Grisham with zombie subcontractors”, but feel free to disagree. I started working at the Where Value Corporation on the same day that my first wife died. I…

Imperial Designs

I’ve given a few talks in Belgrade this year – The Cut and Paste City and The Lonely Planet Guide to Uqbar – and most recently Imperial Designs for the Bricolage Lab series hosted at Nova Iskra. I told everybody at Bricolage that I would…

AidCoin: a revolution in humanitarian financing

Introduction The World Humanitarian Summit has opened up a space for debate in the humanitarian sector. Questions about how humanitarian action is financed — where the money comes from, the channels through which it goes, and the way in which it is finally disbursed — have been the focus…

Time under water

You think of these migraines as something outside yourself. When you wake from that afternoon hibernation, you think to yourself: “Is it gone yet?” No, it hasn’t gone yet. It rides you like guilt, bearing you down. It throbs and writhes just beneath the skin…

Es-Tu, Charlie?

I’m deeply sorry for those killed in the attack on Charlie Hebdo and its aftermath, and for the pain of their families and friends. I have to say these things in advance of anything else I write, because – well, because those are the things…