For a lot of people, 2016 was a "terrible" year. Some have referred to it as "the worst year" in human history. I am going to have to agree to disagree. Sure, some things did not go as planned for some people, me being one of them. But 2016 was a time to reflect, appreciate and refocus for all of us. I'm an eternal optimist, and I've been in a group of thinkers and educators who have predicted 2016 events for some time now. Even if 2016 was hard to handle, it's up to us as designers and sustainability advocates to make 2017 better. And if 2016 was so bad, it shouldn't be that difficult to make 2017 better.


10 Lessons Learned:

  1. We can't rely on others to make things happen for us.
  2. We have to get involved.
  3. We must be proactive about our education, career management and personal branding.
  4. We must be more careful with what we share on social media.
  5. We've got a lot of work to do, but we absolutely CAN do it!
  6. We know what's wrong with our political system.
  7. We have access to so much information and technology.
  8. We are able to instantly crowd source solutions from diverse demographics and engage dissonant or otherwise unengaged young people.
  9. We know that we must take care of our aging and elderly, tapping into their knowledge bases and providing them opportunities to realize their continued relevance.
  10. We must plan for 2017, remain optimistic, take charge of the big problems, and never stop growing.


2016 was a difficult year for me as well, but these difficulties simply proved to be more opportunities for me to rise above circumstances and setbacks and dig deep to find out what is truly of value to me. 2016 marked completion of my first year of graduate studies, an experience that never ceases to humble me. It marked a project transition, where I left a project that I had worked on for two years. It also marked the reinvention of Biotic Design, an idea that was birthed during my undergraduate studies at California College of the Arts nearly 8 years ago. 2016 reminded me that we are all connected, and we are all in this together. 2016 reminded me truly, that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.

What good did 2016 bring you? What areas did you succeed or grow in? What goals did you accomplish? What personal progress did you make?

2017 will be even better for me. Hopefully it will mark the completion of my graduate studies and architecture license exams. I will start the year off with new employment opportunities and two new off-the-grid design/build projects in California. (More on those in January!)


Remember: there are always ways to make a difference and THRIVE. Stay focused, remember what's important, and NEVER EVER give up.