john anner

author, international development expert, fundraising strategist and avid explorer

Time for Reinvention

family, cycling, valuesJohn AnnerComment

After nearly 13 years with Thrive Networks (formerly the East Meets West Foundation) I have moved into a new stage of pleasant anticipation. Everyone wants to know the same thing about me: "What are you doing next?" I honestly don't know. What I do know is that my life is undergoing some interesting changes. My oldest daughter has graduated from college and my next two are heading off to their own college adventure in August 2016. All certainties are now faded; there is no reason to live in this overpriced cottage in Albany, which we bought to get access to the school system. My work at Thrive Networks is finished. So what am I doing? Basically, I'm waiting for the universe to bring me something wonderful.

I'm also convalescing from a bad bicycle accident, which resulted in a broken pelvis. Two weeks on the couch, and yesterday was the big day -- I was able to switch from crutches to a cane. I figure the modest increase in localized pain was worth the trade-off of being able to carry a glass of wine in one hand as I limped from kitchen to living room. I have an interesting post in mind, something to do with the micro-second moment when you are about to crash, know it's going to be a bad one, and suddenly time slows down to where you can observe, almost from the outside, the slender moments before, during and after impact. Time then rushes to catch up, as you drag yourself groaning out of the roadway.

At the same time, I am in the final formatting stages of finishing my PhD. I had no idea that writing a dissertation was 50% research, 50% writing, and 50% formatting, but there you have it. You can't graduate if the decimal points on your statistical tables are not perfectly in line, and god forbid should you forget an Oxford comma, no matter what you learned in journalism school. It turned out to be fascinating and I'm very glad I did it. My research uses inferential statistics to ask the question, "Is there a positive correlation between the use of impact measurement techniques and the success of social enterprises?"

I'm keeping the results a secret for now, although my guess is that the good folks at B-Lab will be very interested to understand what I have learned. Sooner or later, I will get around to writing this up in more user-friendly format than that required by adherence to the APA style book. I've temporarily given up on making short-term plans, but somewhere in the next few months I hope to a) be able to walk again, b) start training for the next bicycle racing season, c) get official sign-off on my dissertation, and d) see what interesting mishegoss the universe drags in the back door.