Meet Sami Osman, Policy Manager

October 8, 2012


1. What drives your environmental work and activism?

Two things – an ultra-conservatism (the green kind) when it comes to resource usage and a keen interest in applying carbon revenues to social development goals. Both of these stemming from my child-hood in sub-Saharan Africa, where there was simply not enough to go around for there to be anything to waste.

2. What is one of your most exciting and rewarding achievements?

Being accepted into law school. My last two years of high school were really tough, due to personal and family circumstances, so opening that envelope and seeing my scores, was like receiving a ticket to freedom. The future seemed to open up in front of me, promising a world full of light and life.

3. Who is your hero (or someone you admire greatly)?

My father. As a boy he walked two days to get to his uncles house, where he stayed so that he could go to school. He borrowed one robe from his uncle, so that on alternate days he could wash his own. He was the first from his village to attend high school, going on to receive University scholarships in Japan and Russia. Throughout his life he has remained pious, always seeking and sharing knowledge, embodying a gentle compassion and kindness.

4. What are your favorite and frequently visited websites?

Do email providers and search engines count? Hotmail and google follow me everywhere, collecting and selling my thoughts and data, keeping me plugged in and occupied. “Lovely morning, lovely view” says the train driver as we cross over the 110.

5. What was your most recent “That oughta be a law!” thought?

N/A, I’m an anarchist.

6. What is a tip you’d like to share for leading a more sustainable life?

Read, listen, learn, take the time to analyze your default positions… Are these really necessary, helpful to me, who or what do these affect? Ask yourself whether you really care about any of this ‘sustainability’ stuff anyways. If you do… then there are many many simple little things which can make your life easier and more productive (ie less resources used for the same levels of output).

7. Please share a personal story that ties in with one of the Reserve’s protocol sectors (ie story about your experiences composting, enjoying a forest, recycling your refrigerator)

One day I was mining coal, it was very dirty. So I stopped and planted a tree. Not true.

8. If you could spend one week in a natural area in the U.S., where would it be?

A treck up to Big Sur would be a great start.

9. What environmental book do you think should be required reading in schools?

I don’t know any – but “The End of Charity” (by Nic Frances) is an easy to read and inspiring intro into to carbon finance.

10. What is your favorite meal?

One shared with good people.

11. What is something about you that your professional peers would be surprised to learn?

It’s a secret.