Happy end-of-Gregorian-calendar-year holidays to everyone! Here, the gifts came early when Turkey's top-selling novelist and all-around goddess Elif Shafak named Tales from the Expat Harem among the 5 best books on Turkey, calling it "colorful, humanistic and sincere." Read an excerpt of Elif's foreword to the 2005 anthology. But what we love most about this time of year is the view ahead...and our chance to own it. As Nancy Duarte says: "The future isn't where you're going to go, it's what you invent.”
The best forward-looking news we've heard in a while: the economic crisis has a silver lining. This month we're pleased to introduce futurists who see the worldwide recession as a larger transformation -- where we all play an important role in deepening our relationship with wealth. And there's something we can do about it *right now*.
We've been taking ownership of our motivations this month: facing the ironic post-Communist response to Lady Gaga's anything-goes identity adventure. Copping to the lengths we'll go to become an insider. And learning how *not* to write about our 'happening prone' life.
We've also increased our stake in the Girl Effect campaign, blogging about the crucial role 12-year-old girls play in changing impoverished communities -- and ways we can make this precarious crossroads a safer place to launch a life.
AROUND THE WORLD & AROUND THE WEB
I'm psyched to be on the advisory board of Turkish Women's International Network, a brand new community of Turkophile pros revolving around the TED-like talks its members give. Consider applying if you have family, cultural or professional ties to Turks.
If you're a digital nomad, lifestyle designer or location independent (or wanna be!) this logistical community for the work-at-home-while-abroad lifestyle wants you: NuNomad.
Meanwhile Symbionomics invites people around the world to contribute video to their online forum about the making of our next economy: driven by creative entrepreneurs, leveraging mobile and social media, crowd-sourcing. Deadline to pledge financial support for their Kickstarter campaign is new year's eve. Talk about investing in the future...
Private equity adviser Hollis Wagenstein first crossed our path in New York during the Expat Harem book tour of 2006. Now the self-described "Turkaholic and Ottomaniac" has fun answering our question "What terms do you use to describe your cross-border life?" As the 'Pre-turk' awaits her new Turkish citizenship and speaks 'Turklish' with her husband, she says "If anyone else ever heard us using it, we'd probably wind up in strait-jackets!" Since her stepdaughter married a Puerto Rican that branch of the family calls themselves 'the Turkoricans'.
What are your neoculture predictions for the new year? Winners? Losers?