This site contains the archives of my travel blogs from 2010-2016.

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Saturday, December 07, 2013

Going West

Eventually, Finnish summer came to an end.  

In late August I welcomed American friends to Helsinki.  

Caleigh, Garrett and I strolled the sunny, windy green streets of Helsinki and visited plenty of seaside cafes where we always picked patios with the best views of the archipelago.  Angry skies signaled the changing season.

In September, I moved from one of the southernmost downtown neighborhoods to northern Helsinki where I was warmly welcomed into the home of a beloved Finnish family. With five young boys in the house, I was once again in my element amid the hustle and bustle of family life.  For those of you who watched my Shirah Learns Finnish videos, I assure you that my new young (non-English-speaking) language teachers did their job well!

The autumn colors were spectacular this year!  Here's a view from Hietaniemi.

Now for the Going West part...

In early 2013 I became acquainted with Finnish cybernetics researcher Sakari Virkki, during an industry project in a course called Creative Business Strategies.  As I learned more about 00R, the resource allocation system he developed during two decades of research and development, the possibilities of deploying this technology started to boggle my mind.  I wrote an article for the Huffington Post which described the efforts of one organization* to apply the system in Europe.
*They called it "Parasite", not 00R

Sakari and I spent hours and hours over the course of many months, putting together a framework for the mobilization of this most efficient resource allocation model.  In August 2013, we launched Competence Map Solutions, a U.S. corporation and resource allocation think tank designed to help redeem flailing western economies by powering grassroots financial reform.

As we begin to work with Tea Partiers and those Occupying Wall Street, we note that the undertaking to allocate limited resources efficiently and more effectively is an issue that bridges political lines and sidesteps polarizing ideologies. 

Our agenda entails promoting transparency (in financial markets and elsewhere) and freedom to act (i.e. personal liberty to apply one's skills, knowledge, and ideas). 

To support that agenda, we cite our database of 250 million measurable factors influencing the stock market, which produce the quantitative data to show:

- why transparency is more efficient than regulation,
- why our individual differences make economic sense,
- why it's important to allow room for people to experiment freely with new ideas, and
- why grassroots, community-based resource management is better than a large centralized model.

In fact, the effectiveness of 00R as a resource allocation system has proven itself in the most rigorous, competitive environment there is for testing such a system: the stock market.  Even we are surprised by 00R's spectacular performance.

How does grassroots financial reform work? 
The model entails pulling your assets out from big bank management,
 - because, really, you don't want the likes of these people and these people and these people managing your money -  

and getting together with your friends and neighbors to put your assets under the management of trustworthy, transparent local asset management firms
in our network, to whom we deliver the top competence on Wall Street,
for a super-competitive, super-transparent annual fee of 1% assets under management.

So we put on our entrepreneurial boots and headed west ... to America!  The CMS 2013 US Tour started at the American Association of Individual Investors conference in Orlando in mid-November.  Not only did we get to meet Nobel prize winner Robert Shiller there, Florida was good to us all around.  The balmy, tropical days were a wonderful escape from Helsinki's ever-growing-darker days. 

Sakari and Shirah go west to Orlando; St. Augustine, Florida

A jellyfish's-eye view of the Daytona Beach boardwalk

Beautiful antique cannons at Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, FL (constructed 1672).  Speculating on the accuracy of these war machines, we think they contribute more as copper ornaments.

We spent Thanksgiving in Nashville, home to my alma mater Belmont University and very, very good family friends. A blessed time to spend on American soil, in wonderful company!

A November visit to Cheekwood Botanical Gardens 
The drive up to Virginia was beautiful, some of the most compelling countryside we've seen on the trip so far.  Introducing a Finn to Southern-style cooking, e.g. Cracker Barrel, has been fun!

A small eastern Tennessee town at the foot of the Smokey Mountains

Snapping this photo from the grave site of President John F. Kennedy this week, the words below, inscribed in a granite wall, caught my eye. I looked out over white headstones standing watch over our nation's capitol, and in the deep silence of Arlington I heard freedom ringing.

... In the long history of the world only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger.  I do not shrink from this responsibility; I welcome it.
The energy - the faith - the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it. And the glow from that fire can truly light the world... 
- President John F. Kennedy -
Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961

We'll end our Fall Tour in New York City come late December, when Sakari flies back to spend the winter holidays with his beautiful wife and kids in Finland, and I head the opposite direction to be with my family in Oregon.  We'll be back on the road on the West Coast in Spring 2014.

Meanwhile, I encourage you to get involved in re-calibrating our financial ecosystem.  We're using competence to re-allocate knowledge.  Knowledge is power, and the "grassroots" approach means that the power is in your hands.

Our first two blog posts debunk The Myth of the Simplified Market and The Myth of the Superhero Investor.

Getting America's financial ecosystem back in order is everyone's concern.


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