- Producer at Wisdom.To: Wisdom.To is the Zero Marginal Cost path to Society Growth. It's about accelerating the evolution from Industrial Economy to Network Society and achieving the Global Village with 50 networks in 2-5 years. Simply, we thought we'd change the world!
- Digital Nomad: 'International Living' life model pursuing maximum life at minimum cost. Permanent traveler (1-2 months in each place). Review '2. Living / Favourite places' tab below for details of 'homes' and favourite places. My Facebook account shares some of the journey. Best life propositions are Koh Chang (Elephant Island), Thailand and Hanoi, Vietnam.
- Freelancer: business plans, financial models and forecasts, strategic/financial investor research, transaction projects ... and technology
- 4 point plan: living (minimum cost, maximum life, maximum health), work (productively and creatively), Life (with purpose), Love (passion) .... see tabs below for details, videos and links
Hi! My name is Marcus. This page will introduce me. Rather than a CV, I'll make it a little more personal. This could also be considered a 'Now' page. A 'Now' page provides a clear statement of what a person is focused on at this stage in their life. If you need it, my LinkedIn profile is here. Instant bookings/meetings can be arranged here.
I try to pursue as simple a life as possible. I focus on a basic 4 point plan (living, work, life and love) which provides money, time and clarity to contribute to family, purpose and contribution. All four elements need to be optimised and balanced to achieve life.
Like many others, it is difficult to achieve 'life' given the demands of the Industrial Economy on people and their families. I am passionate about 'International Living' (maximum life at minimum cost) and also believe there is a different way to organise society. Thus, my passion for Wisdom.To and accelerating evolution to a Network Society.
Quite simply, I choose to live somewhere that offers maximum life at minimum cost and locations which provide maximum creativity, productivity and life experience. I have 'homes' in Phuket, Thailand (Dad's place) and Hobart, Tasmania (mum's place) and family 'time' is very important to me. I also travel to other regular places and generally stay for 1 month in each place. It is my intention to change countries every 1-2 months as visa or mood requires. After a brief word on 'minimum cost, maximum life' travel, I'll provide a list of favourite places. Family and friends often join me on my travels and I live with them. I spend a lot of time with family.
Maximum life at minimum cost
International Living is my go to guide. They create lifestyles in many different countries around the world for about $2k a month. After 35 years, they have comprehensive research about 'more life, less cost' and having more time to devote to life (rather than survival). The path begins with an affordable cost structure.
For the last 18 months, South-East Asia has been my home. I usually spend 1-2 months in different places (including my Phuket 'home'). My experience of Asia is that I can reproduce the standard of living in Sydney at a fraction of the cost (< 10%). Rather than hotels, I stay at other types of accommodation (usually called hostels, homestays or bed and breakfasts) that offer collaborative work and living spaces. Each has everything a person could need and a lifestyle exceeding a typical western home. Everything is provided at a fixed day rate. They are really just like a conventional 'home', but come with everything including cleaning, kitchen, laundry, concierge, etc for a fixed day rate. In most cases, they could be considered shared 'mansions' and include facilitaties like movie rooms and pools. The shared living and working means that invaluable social contact is also available. You would be surprised at the lifestyle / cost ratio! It's an adventure to enjoy maximum life at minimum cost. Living in Asia offers maximum life at a fraction of the cost of the west. When I go back to the same places (I have a favourite place in Bangkok), I am welcomed warmly by familiar faces in these locations.
Health and well being
I neither smoke nor drink alcohol. I am fortunate to have high quality food everyday at the places I stay. No additional sugar. No snacks (except 1 icecream every now and again). No coffee. A focus on clean living!
I exercise when I can. Gyms are elusive! I do walk 1-2 hours every day and if I am staying near trails, I do love to go hiking. Nature is much more appealing that cities. Some cities are amazing (like Bangkok) and some are just to be endured.
Living in Asia does present one clear benefit. My equilibrium weight is 15kg lighter. After changing lifestyles, I lost this amount of weight within 12 months. I suspect that returning to an Industrial Economy lifestyle would see me regain 15kg and, ofcourse, stress associated with living in an Industrial Economy.
In Praise of The Quiet Life
A word on hostels - top 25% are collaborative living and working spaces!
Hostels have a perception amongst some people of dirty and cheap accommodation. Approximately, 25% of hostel customers might be the 'backpacker', dirty and cheap accommodation. I have stayed in these by mistake on occasion and promptly made a quick exit!. The top 25% of 'hostels' are collaborative living and workspaces.
Only 25% of hostel customers (when I have stayed in them) are backpackers. Most hostel customers are professionals and older people that simply prefer the company and diversity offered by shared living areas and people from all over the world. If the temperature drops below -20 degrees in Canada, Asia is flooded with 30 and 40 year old engineers. They are high quality, clean and the internet keeps them accountable in real-time.
A bad review can drop revenue in the following weeks of months by 20-50%. This means the hostel managers need to be focused on customer satisfaction every day. The best hostel could be compared with 3-4 star hotels.
Cheap accommodation does not mean low quality
Most hostels make their money from selling tours. The accommodation is important but not the main game. Some hostels will charge $5 a night knowing that 50% of their customers will also spend $50-100 on tours while they are there. The accommodation price is a means to get people in the door, but they make money on the tours. This means that quality accommodation (like a shared 'mansion') can be available at ridiculously low prices.
Best places to retire rankings: Malaysia (#5), Thailand (#7), Cambodia (#17), Vietnam (#19)
A menu of places to live, travel and experience - family, friends and my daughter
I generally stay in the same places. I love the familiarity. The places I stay include family homes (Parents in Phuket Thailand and Hobart Tasmania), friends around the world and hostels. In the last 18 months, I have traveled to Laos, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, The Philippines, Cambodia. Interestingly, these places are some of the best places to retire. Malaysia (#5), Thailand (#7), Cambodia (#17) and Vietnam (#19) offer high quality living, health care and infrastructure.
These 'Favourite places' offer a quality and safe place to live, work and share quality experiences with family and friends. This page also serves as a way to share experiences with my daughter and offer her a menu of places she can come and visit. Oh! What fun!
I have 2 'family' homes - Phuket, Thailand and Hobart, Tasmania
My mum and step-dad has a home in Hobart Tasmania (see details below). My dad and step-mum have a home in Phuket, Thailand (see details below). Like homes everywhere in the world, most bedrooms in houses are empty and family is always welcome. There is Wisdom in sharing accommodation.
Phuket, Thailand ... Dad's place
Phuket is where family comes together
The most fabulous time of my life was Christmas in 2014. Family from Australia (Queensland and Tasmania), Germany and Malta all descended on Phuket for a fabulous Christmas dinner hosted by Mamie, my step mum. Mamie is a fabulous step-mum, cook and host for all.It was a very special time for all. My step brother from Brisbane had recently had a baby and my step-brother from Malta also made a last minute trip to join us all. My dad and step-mum decided to renew their wedding vows with a impromptu buddhist blessing at the local temple. It was a very special time!
As an added bonus, the family doctor is an ex-head of trauma surgery for a large group of Bangkok hospitals. Very handy, just in case you need some emergency surgery (like stitches, brain surgery or a kidney transplant!). Although, world class medical care is available at International hospitals 20 minutes away. It's also gated expat communuity and the house is surrounded by a high wall.
30m tourists visit Thailand and 10m visit Phuket
According to the Phuket Gazette, “As 2015 drew to a close, the Kingdom was preparing to welcome its 29 millionth visitor at Suvarnabhumi Airport, a new record that even exceeded the country’s official target of 28.8 million visits for the year. A large number of these visitors – roughly a third by official estimates – paid a visit to Phuket. ...'Tourists simply don’t care about Thai politics,' ".
Hobart, Australia ... Mum's place
After a lifetime of hard and continuous work, my mum and step-dad retired to Tasmania. They have a 3 bedroom home on the side of a hill at Kingston Beach in Tasmania and a remarkable 180 degree view overlooking the ocean, golf course, valley and a mountain (on the left). A few years ago, Kingston Beach was named as the best suburb in Australia. A beautiful home and easy retirement is a just reward for a life of hard work and prudence. There are also solar panels on the roof that mean they never get a power bill. In fact, they sell power to the grid! Amazing! Like all home in the western world, there is plenty of extra space for guests. Family and friends are all welcome to stay!
Tasmania is one of the most beautiful and pristine places in the world.
Mum and stepdad's house in Hobart
Other places to live, visit and experience
Hanoi is one of my favourite cities in the most interesting and vibrant of countries. It is truly amazing and highly recommended. I stay at the most amazing place and, in the low season, at an amazing price. It's probably 4 star accommodation at a budget price (in low season). I could live in this place.
Green Mango Hotel - high quality, unique accommodation at a ridiculous price
Koh Chang, Thailand ... the best place I have ever been?
Koh Chang is, quite possibly, the most remarkable tourist destination and place to live I have been. It is a real jewel. I unique blend of island, mountains, beaches, jungle, rainforest, waterfalls, supermarkets, quality accommodation (cheap and unique experience). This place is truly unique. This can be added to the places I visit regularly every year.
A day at one of the waterfalls is my most memorable (see Facebook for photos and videos).
The first photo below is the best photo I have ever taken. It is of Klong Prao beach and the sunset.
Sapa, Vietnam (Where heaven meets earth!)
Sapa, Vietnam lives up to it's nickname of 'Where heaven meets earth'. The most memorable event in my life was watching a view of the valley during sunrise at the Go Sapa Hostel in Sapa Vietnam. The clouds that had settled in the valley during the night danced around in the swirling winds and slowly disappeared over an hour. The colors went from orange to gold to yellow. I think I have a video ... I'll post it!
Sapa is Awesome
Sapa: Where Heaven meets earth?
Things to do in Sapa
Tioman Island, Malaysia (tropical island, swarming fish off the beach, turtle nesting grounds)
Tioman Island is exquisite. It was named the world's best island in the 1970's. It is realtively undeveloped. The most remarkable experience is Tioman is walking off the beach into waist high water about 50m from shore and have hundreds of fish teeming around you. The water is crystal clear. You can hike across the island through jungle over about two hours. On the eastern coast, there are some more remarkable beaches and a turtle nesting ground/refuge. Internet is poor and intermittent. There are monkeys that walk around the pathways. It is a tropical island! Beautiful, and relatively undeveloped.
Cameron Highlands, Malaysia (tea plantations, 14 trails, 2 waterfalls, cool climate)
I spent 6 weeks in the Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. The Cameron Highlands is about a 4 hour bus ride north of Kuala Lumpur. It is much cooler than KL. There are 14 trails that encompass a diversity of hiking/walking experiences. Each is about 2-6 hours hike. Over 6 weeks I have done them all. Remarkable!
One hike stands out. I joined 10 other people for Trail #1. It was a hike up the the tallest mountain/hill in the area for about an hour to the mobile phone tower at the top. We then followed the road down. We visited the Mossy Forest, strolled through vegetable gardens, strawberry farms and tea plantations. We visited the commercial Boh tea company which has a large facility for tourists. This particular area was in a beutiful green valley with tea growing on all sides. We then strolled another 4 km to the third and most northern town of the Cameron Highlands and returned to our starting point in Tanah Rata. Tanah Rata is the southern most town in the Cameron Highlands. A truly magical day full of diversity of landscape and experience.
Kuala Lumpur (a great city connected by cheap flights to everything else)
Kuala Lumpur could be considered just another Asian city. That was my impression for the first few weeks I was there. However, I really grew to appreciate it. It is very modern and offers a diversity of interesting experiences. The Botanical Gardens in the middle of the city are beautiful. Public transport is all integrated with one smart card. It is easy to get around.
It also offers the cheapest way to experience a Formula One Grand Prix. I didn't make it last year, but hope to get there in 2016.
Chiang Mai (Romyen Garden Resort)
Chiang Mai is meant to be a cooler Thailand destination. It is a little cooler, but not by a significant degree. It is a worthy destination for a few days.
I stayed at the for a few weeks. Romyen is about 20km from Chiang Mai and is a very quiet place. There are a few things to do. The most memorable experience is the food cooked by the owner of Romyen every night. I took pictures of dinner every day for 30 days ... you can see these pictures on the Romyen web site!
Hiring a scooter is always an amazing experience full of adventure, particularly if you have someone to share the experience with. An impromptu scooter ride up the mountain to the temple was rewarded with impromptu participation in a Buddhist cermeny and a personal wat blessing from one of the monks. I will never forget the temperature change as I rode down the mountain that night. A strong contrast in temparature between top and bottom.
A quality place to live provides a foundation for creative and productive work.
We all work! I read somewhere that 80% of people believe that their work could be automated and they will finish their lives feeling unfulfilled.
I want fulfilling work. Selfish? Probably! A lower cost structure provides the opportunity to move from survival to contribution much faster.
I have worked in some amazing places that have inspired some 'flow' creativity.
How to find Fulfilling Work
How to find a Meaningful Job
Life. Why are we here? I am not on an existential journey. I simply believe we all have a purpose and an opportunity to make a contribution. This purpose can be close (parenting a child) or global (changing the world). I believe I have found mine. More accurately, it found me and lashed the millstone around my neck! LOL!
That purpose is Wisdom (wisdom.to) and I fortunate to have have found kindred spirits that share my passion and excitement about the possibilities before us.
What is Wisdom? It was hard to articulate for a very long time. It's getting easier!
Our world is changing. A group of us see a long overdue Shift in social, political and economic structures used to organise society. These structures organise society to serve all the people within it. We see a different way and describe the Shift as an evolution, albeit rapid, from Industrial Economy to Network Society. The Industrial Economy organises society by breaking it into little pieces and centralising power and prosperity in government and industry at high marginal cost. This is obsolete. Network Society uses Zero Marginal Cost technologies (internet, mobile phones, open source software, blockchainified databases, wisdomnetworks) to organise society in horizontal cloud networks. The power and prosperity is distributed amongst the people.
We join an emerging array of people from a variety of isolated movements (global consciousness, poltics) in a single wave to literally change the world. We have the rather practical objective of using software to organise society. Others are focussed on complementary and equally important aspects of the Shift that lies before us.
For deeper details on wisdom, I recommend one of the 20+ countries (like Malaysia) for which a wisdom plan and groups have been created. Wisdom plans are also available for many sectors within society (like health).Our recent article The ‘School of Life’ (videos): ‘The Perfect Country’, ‘How to improve Capitalism’ and others … social and psychological support for Network Society? The ‘School of Life’ (videos): ‘The Perfect Country’, ‘How to improve Capitalism’ and others … social and psychological support for Network Society? groups some of the relevant Alain de Botton videos on this topic. The footer of the wisdom.to web site also lists items to learn mroe about wisdom in a structured way.
I also belong to the 'Open Data Working Group' at the Open Government Partnership which allows me to share 'Wisdom' with more than 1,100 people in 85 countries all working toward 'Open Government' around the world. The OGP Wisdom page provides a specific summary for my OGP colleagues.
The Perfect Country
Simply, I want to 'love and be loved'. Alain de Botton describes this best in a series of videos. Enough said!
I am comfortable being single, married, divorced, but would prefer 'married'. It's just how I am programmed.
But, there are also good reasons to stay single (as explained in the Youtube video on the right).
Loving and Being Loved
Reasons to remain single
In every moment, there is a choice between love and fear.
A journey from crazy to nirvana?
Fabulous video! (on the right) .... another unique, pragmatic and practical insight into being human and relationships from Alain de Botton. He playfully argues that love needs to be reinvented from the naive, mutual mindreading inspired by an unrealistic 'Romanticism' to a commitment to mutual education with each partner guiding the other from their crazy insanity to nirvana. A fun and profound presentation.
Alain de Botton - The Future Of The Way We Live, Love And Work
Additional points to the plan ... built upon the foundation!
The 4 basic living, work, life and love points create a strong foundation. They provide a foundation to love, creativity, productivity and contribution. I am excited by the possibilities and my other points of focus are below.
Daughter - love her like crazy!
My daughter lives with her mother in Australia. My daughter is enchanting. My ex-wife is exceptional. I was fortunate to spend large amounts of my daughters life with her, but 'things' change. If I was closer, then she would be my primary purpose.
In my 'International Living' configuration, it presents some challenges as a father to maintain the relationship and ensure that she knows she is dearly loved. I have put a lot of thought into this. We have regular contact by phone, but there is more that can be done.
I have built a little web site that I post to every week. Humorously, it's tagline is "A father's wisdom, make-up tips, travel diary and other thoughts for his enchanting daughter". It's a different way to contribute and interact and expands upon the voice call exponentially.
The other opportunity for contribution is 'International adventures'. My daughter can gain important experiences by joining me on school holidays in different locations. Adventures! Cameron Highlands, Sapa Vietnam, Tioman Island come to mind as offering different, but rich experiences.
I have stayed in a diversity of places. 90% of the time they have been collaborative living and work places of a standard equivalent to lifestyle, house or work place in a typical 'Industrial Economy'.
Wisdom may have a need for a permanent place for workshops and events. Perhaps, we will establish a "Wisdom Village" in a single location for people to have workshops, events, dinner, quiet evenings under the stars. i have had some remarkable experiences and conversations in my travels. Perhaps, there will be one "Wisdom Village" where the wisdom team congregates. Perhaps, there will be many "Wisdom Villages" around the world where like-minded people can come together.