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Product designer and strategist. A rational optimist.

After having just dropped out of university, at 19-years-old; I received a line of advice that changed my life.

On one unforgettable evening, I got to attend a meal that sat some of the world’s leading experts on food health and safety. Each of them had flown in from different parts of the world, as they gathered for a board meeting for the scientific journal my father founded. During the dinner, one member of the board, Dr. Joseph Jen (who oversaw four agencies of the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the Bush administration) turned to me and asked what I…

After the finding out the devastating news about the passing of Chadwick Boseman this past weekend, I came across a clip of the actor speaking on his career in the HBO show: The Shop: Uninterrupted that gave me tremendous pause for thought.

“I had agents that, would give me things that, you know, are more stereotypical — you know, roles that I should take. [And those agents would say] You have to go in for this because it’s this director, or it’s this actor. But I want to work with that actor, but I don’t want to play that role…

Photography by Ivar Abrahamsen

Glancing out over the controls, Ken noticed he was about to pass the snowy-tip of the Ecuadorian volcano, Cotopaxi. He recalled the time it caught his eye shortly after getting his licence, during his first international outing. With admiration, he contemplated how nature was able to calm even the most destructive parts of itself — creating something beautiful from catastrophe.

The silent and nonjudgmental company of clouds would often have him asking: Where am I trying to go? But during this more sombre flight, Ken finally wanted to know — What am I trying to leave behind?

Between becoming the 22-year-old with their sh*t together, and now turning 23, I’ve had to face some hard realities.

One, of course, is that ‘having your sh*t together’ isn’t a state that you just unlock and keep. It requires you to consistently toe the line. To tirelessly continue to grow up. Sometimes faster and sooner than you’d like.

Nevertheless, my year was once again packed with many lessons that I found myself wanting to oust, in hopes of getting as much from reflecting upon them as I did last year.

And whilst it didn’t seem entirely appropriate to draw attention…

Taken during my birthday trip with friends in Antiparos, Greece

Bold title, right? The thing is, that until very recently, I actually hated the term to ‘have your sh*t together’.

I first heard it from a co-worker within the first month of joining a company at 19. They mentioned that they and other co-workers of mine had spent an entire evening, at a bar, trying to figure out my apparent put-together-ness. It was evident that there was a hint of annoyance in this remark. …

The limited time that life provides us with: encourages us to use it well. And whilst using time effectively is a powerful strategy for working with what you have; often this focus on productivity and usefulness from an early stage can trap many individuals into thinking they should have answers and should work from these answers. Whether you believe that the process of going through university prepares you entirely for your career in finance or thinking that impressing the right people is all that you require in order to progress; you are on an extremely costly path.

You are, in…

‘A room without books is like a body without a soul.’ – Marcus Tullius Cicero

Books can change your life.

And because of this, I believe we should give books our lives.

See, the brain acts much like a filter. It first observes everything in the world, but then begins the process of feeding the beholder of that brain with limited information. This information directly serves the person’s day-to-day priorities as it desperately acts on a kind of survival instinct. When concerned about the immediate down-to-earth tasks, the brain does little in its way to filter through patterns usually unseen.

There is a certain flow that can be obtained for select moments in life where everything moves together. It’s a peerless time when the weather perfectly reflects your mood, when the beat playing through your headphones intimately commentates on your stride and when your immediate audience of passers-by notice the external ora of your elevated spirit and smile toward you.

During this time, everything feels like solid ground. You build momentum. You complete tasks at a rate that previously seemed near impossible. This powerful flow gives you the ability to have confidence that everything is and will continue to work…

Me, trying to figure out the possibilities of such a device…

“We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work” — Thomas A. Edison

For years, working on side-projects has played a huge role in my life. There are many different reasons for this and in fact, for each project, the reason has altered due to circumstance.

When I was 14, I was at that beautiful spot every early-teen experiences in the UK. The time where secondary school is starting to become your life without the imminent pressures of exams or results orientated activities. In fact, school was simply about friends, laughs, practical jokes and those physical…

For my work, I always make sure that I create the best possible atmosphere and environment to be encompassed in.

Imagine dining in a highly-rated restaurant. It’s undeniable that the atmosphere plays a huge role in the subsequent enjoyment of your dining experience. If the music is playing too loud, you will struggle to talk to your dining partner. If the lights aren’t correctly dimmed, your attention wanders around the slightly bleak room, rather than focusing on the present conversation. These initially small downsides build and your overall meal satisfaction is spoiled. In the same way, the small details that…

Justin Campbell-Platt

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