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I am currently benefiting from the Transiency Program offered by FoAM. The Transiency program is designed to help creative people perform a transition in their personal and/or professional life. As a 25-year-old, fresh out of the school, why would I like to already perform a transition ? There are actually some reasons.

I have been involved in scientific/technical/engineering studies & work for seven years. Together with some moment of intense satisfaction, I also noticed a scary underlying long-term imabalance I would like to adress. This imbalance seems to come mainly from an extreme proportion of indoors mind-centered theoretical tasks. I would like to spend more time outdoors. I would like to have my body exercised through my work. And finally, I would like to get my hands dirty and learn practical down-to-earth know-hows.

I benefited from an excellent training in a very pleasant engineering school. However, I notice that I do not know how to fulfill my basic needs otherwise than by buying stuff. I don't know how to grow my own food. I don't know how to make or repair my own clothes. I don't know how to take care of my health in a preventive way, for instance, by enliving my body as much as my thoughts.

This is for the personal level.

On the intepersonal level, I live quite uncomfortably since I understood how every single action I was performing during the day was oppressing other people somewhere else.

Turning the heat on means extracting more oil, while global warming kills more and more people through Tropical storm, or while Romanian are beaten up and put into jail as they try to defend their homeland from well drilling oil companies.

Buying a computer means destroying essential ecosystems and polluting heavily groundwaters local populations are drinking. Is it possible, nowadays, to have a decent life without severely harming anyone ?

I guess self-sufficiency, and designing to reduce the need to consume are part of the answer. Which happily connects with the personal level desire for more outdoors body-involving practical activities. Perfect.

Let's get started !

Here are some more insights on my motivations and objectives within this program.

Lifestyle Re-Design

You may have understood it through the introduction, I basically am involved into a Lifestyle Re-Design experiment.

One essential step is to learn how to schedule my activities in order to reach my objectives. This schedule takes place on different timescales, from periods of several years to… daily activities. Although I have been trained on scheduling at mid- and long-term timescales, I was never teached how to balance my activities within a day top optimize effort, productivity and the most important enjoyment. For insights on this topic, you can have a look at my attempt at designing an optimal Daily Schedule Scheme.

Another essential component of this Lifestyle Re-Design is learning practical down-to-eart know-hows. More on this on my Know-Hows page.

Open Questions

I periodically update a Transiency Diary where I pile up various content in chronological order. This content varies from highly theoretical statements to methodological findings, including various quotes, experiment reports and working hypothesis. It may feature more questions than answers, so contributions in the form of comments are most welcome !

Personal Project Management

This Transiency is also my first attempt at leading a “long-term” personal project. I therefore design/test/iterate on project management methodologies. To help anyone deal with their own (too) ambitious projects, I will document this process as much as possible, hoping that it may be useful to someone.

Here are first insights on my Project definition and Documentation Strategy.

External Connections

If you are eager of fresh and crispy content, you can follow me on Twitter. I periodically post articles worth the reading.

Some of them may become Landmark Papers. These are articles which have shaped my current u/dis-topias. They either outline inspiring thoughts or actions helping to understand that change is possible, or shocking observations and analysis helping to understand better why change is desirable.

I periodically update a Pearltrees which displays Connected Projects. They are projects I stumbled upon during some online or real-life wanderings, and happened to kind of connect to in the spirit.

You don't like to read ?

Some pictures illustrating these activities will be posted on FoAM's Flickr account.


Don't hesitate to contact me: michka dot melo at gmail dot com.