Isn't it funny, that when we look back on experiences, we always think that 'if only I was doing that now - I would be so much more prepared'. But then, we know that when we look back in a year, two, ten, twenty, we will think, 'Man, I didn't know much then'. This post has taken me 8 years to write, and I am sure if I had started sooner that maybe the path would look different. But only today, can I write this post, exactly how it is.
Are you excited and sure about being an urban citizen in the 21st Century?
We all have the right to be confident. I really mean that, and I don't use the word 'right' loosely. I believe that most things in life are a privilege (queue #firstworldproblems). But having confidence in ourselves and the decisions we make about the environment and technology is such an important part of our global citizenship.
Right. - a moral entitlement to have or do something
Confident. - having full assurance,having no uncertainty about one's own abilities.
I was in my first year of university in 2007, when I first started dreaming about our role as humans in the world. I was completing a Bachelors Degree in Science and I loved learning the ins and outs of the environment. How the plants of Western Australia have evolved to survive is blow your mind breath taking. So I began scheming about how we could make the most of all the glorious public spaces of our cities, in a way that we urban citizens could be connected to the environment. The New York Urban Highline is a world class example and my favourite so far.
Missed Blog #1 - Titled Paving the Way, about the use of public space to connect us to the environment and our community. Actually, I was clearing out my old email account between drafts of this post and found the original Tumblr page still live.
At this time, I was loving learning, but I didn't have much energy to pursue other things; restricted by Glandular Fever after a gap year in Europe and still regaining my confidence after some teenage challenges. So during university I was quickly distracted by boyfriends, travel and writing a thesis. If I could speak to anyone entering university, it would be to make the most of every situation presented to you, actually chase them down. Try lots of new things, explore all of your areas of interest, you never know what you will stumble upon. Finally, that the point in university is less about the topic, and more about analytical thinking, effective writing, communication and taking risks.
Chapter 1 complete - I have a thorough knowledge of systems, processes and the environment.
Straight out of university, I join a global mining company. I quickly realised that I am too extroverted and a lover of people to be an environmental adviser, Quote - "What Amy, do the plants not talk back?". Thankfully I had leaders that could see my potential for broader business and organisational strategy and I was able to stay on in a range of business and organisational design roles.
Game changer #2, I met a colleague in my first year of work that completely disrupted my thinking about how we fit into the environment. That Iife isn't about us and it, we are just as much part of the environment as any tree, ant or whale. Suddenly my peers were telling me I was a terrible environmentalist, I got tired of Fly In Fly Out working, I picked up a CIO magazine in the Virgin Australia Business Lounge and my boyfriend (now Husband) gave me What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly. I was hooked on all things technology by the end of 2012.
Missed Blog #2 - The Technology Nutritionist: Helping people understand the pro's and the con's of the digital revolution.
My childhood confidence re-emerged as I entered the workforce. In fact, I was very surprised to start work and see a lack of confidence in many of my female peer group. Realising that we have not all had the same experiences leading into adulthood, that equip us for that environment, especially one filled with men.
Missed Blog #3 - Right to Confidence: Equipping girls in the 21st century to enter the workforce.
In 2014, as I prepared to leave my first corporate workplace, I read a book that finally solidified my ad hoc thinking of the previous seven years. Following the Bible, Out of Control by Kevin Kelly has provided my framework of reference for understanding and living with confidence in our world.
Suddenly I knew that my knowledge of the environment and systems had also prepared me to understand the role of technology our lives. Again, that it isn't about us and it. That technology and humans are completely intertwined in network, systems and feedback loops. Evolving each other mutually. The most amazing part of it all being, that the further we evolve with technology, the more that we are reflecting natural biology as a human race. However the risks remain the same, as the stewards of the earth, our decisions must consider long-term sustainability for ourselves and future generations.
Also in the lead up to leaving my job, I was not satisfied quitting without knowing the exact reasons why and knowing I had done everything I could to make improvements. So I developed a five-pillar tool for evaluating how happy you are in your job.
Missed Blog #4 - Joie du Work: Is it time to make changes or time to find a new job?
Chapter 2 complete - I emerge from working in a multinational organisation knowing that I need to be in a role that works daily with people, allows for creative thinking and is influential. With no idea in what area or capacity (maybe something to do with technology?). Oh, and that I would love to help young women be confident and reach their full potential.
I have spent much of the last six months in exploration, while also establishing my Dad's online presence. Allowing myself to cross options off the list, refine some or add extras. The first I clarified through working for a local UAV manufacturing company, I now realise I care more about the application of a technology than the technology itself.
Secondly, after a few days in Jakarta, I realised that I could bring together my knowledge of the environment with my passion for people, (and intention to study Medicine for the first 17 years of my life) in the path of environmental health. I am yet to identify how that might look, but I am excited to think about it. It really had never crossed my mind as something to pursue, I think it is something to do with living in one of the cleanest cities in the world.
Chapter 3 begins - I love working directly with people. I love making complexity easy to understand. I love finding solutions, especially when it involves the application of some cool technology.
I believe in women and the powerful and beautiful role they play in this world, and that to ensure all our ladies reach their potential we need to equip them at a time when they are breaking into independence (ages 15-25).
I believe that we can all do something to understand how we can make changes to get joy from any job.
I believe that with the right understanding we can confidently make decisions about how we interact within our environment - both with biology and technology. Making us Urban Citizens in the 21st Century.
Therefore, I present to you www.amyjspringer.com - a place that you can come when you don't quite understand where you fit in the world of technology, or you need help to build your confidence, or you aren't happy at work and need a tool to help you realise what you can do about it.
Ultimately, I want to help unruffle life, because you have a right to live it confidently.