James Piecowye thinking out loud

Ideas, inspiration and a bit of random.

A conversation with Richard Thaler

Posted on | October 14, 2017 | No Comments

Most people are aware that by day I am a professor at Zayed University and by night I am a talk radio host on dubaieye 103.8fm.

My night time vocation has allowed me to have some very interesting conversations with some very interesting people.

In 2009, a little while ago, I had the opportunity to speak to Professor Richard Thaler about his book Nudge.

Richard Thaler is simply a great guy and last week he won the Nobel Prize for Economics.

My conversation with Richard Thaler.

The takeaway from this conversation was that it is the little things that can make the big difference.

CreativeMornings Dubai, Compassion and the Ramadan Sharing Fridge Initative

Posted on | October 1, 2017 | No Comments

If you are not aware of www.creativemornings.com you really should find your way to the site and poke around.

I am part of the team here in Dubai that has managed to put on 29 breakfast events in the last 3 years.

The link to our Dubai event can be found here .

Well the last talk was simply amazing, really, absolutely inspiring and full of insight.

Janine Bensouda and Asmae Lemniei joined us and shared beyond expectation.

I took 2 things away from the talk.

  1. authenticity is vital, you need to be true to your ideas
  2. never underestimate the power of compassion if you give people a way to engage
  3. every action leads to more actions

The event was filmed in 360VR and traditional video that are still being processed but the event was also livestreamed on Facebook.

Give the talk a look and listen and tell me what you think.



Do I need the New Microsoft Surface Pro?

Posted on | October 1, 2017 | No Comments

Well, I have to be honest I probably don’t need to go and buy the New Surface Pro.

I am using an aging ASUS netbook with touch screen for my recording needs and a 2011 MacBook Pro for everything else.

I have an iPad that I never use and my other love, at the moment, is a Sony Xperia XZ Premium which is AMAZING.

So the 1st question I am asking myself is would I use the New Surface Pro?

The reality is my Mac is slowing down and getting a little tired and the ASUS while nice is not a good replacement for the Mac, but the New Surface Pro may actually be the best of my 2 current computers in 1.

And I have to be 100% honest I love a touch screen and can not understand why Apple is not putting touch screens in all their devices!

So, to get you started on my take on the Surface Pro have a listen to Microsoft talking about this new machine.

Click to hear my conversation with Microsoft.

And then I managed to play with the machine myself.

Click to hear Fouad asking me about my thoughts on the New Surface Pro.

So, in the end this is not a cheap option, there are all sorts of computers on offer that came in at the sub 2000 dhs mark.

I am also left scratching my head as to why Office is not simply included as a free option instead of a 30 day trial.

When all is said and done this is a true hybrid that has the functionality of a tablet and the guts of a laptop.

Because it is possible to add an external monitor and a keyboard, if you have the docking brick, I think this is a great option and one that I am seriously considering as I look to move away from my MacBook.

Love to hear what you think.

Thoughts on Trump?

Posted on | August 26, 2017 | No Comments

The President of the United States of America is if nothing else a person who ignites passion in people.

Granted the passion that Mr. Trump is igniting is at the extremes and the passion that is being ignited can be as divisive as it is uniting.

I think it is interesting to ponder the Trump Administration from well outside the US, here in the UAE.

Dr. James Kelley joined me on Nightline for a conversation about Mr. Trump.

It was interesting that the Canadian in the studio was optimistic about what might come of a Trump America and the American in the studio was a little more skeptical.


Click to listen to the podcast.



So, what are your thoughts on Mr. Trump?

The ME Indie Jukebox

Posted on | August 26, 2017 | No Comments

As you may or may not know I am the host of a radio show in Dubai that manages to feature indie recording artists every Wednesday.

This week it was my pleasure to have Big-Hass the Hip Hop blogger join me on the show.

Hass is very enthusiastic and seems to have an endless amount of knowledge and interest about indie music in the Middle East.

Click to get a listen to the podcast of the JUKEBOX.

I was absolutely blown away by this week’s playlist.

Abri & The Dreamfleet – We Fly

Jana D – Mouth Taped Shut

Narcy – Chobi Bryant (Prod Sandhill)

Omar Offendum – Years (Prod. Saud)

Ramy Essam Ft Malikah – Sign Bel

Alwan Sammany-Al-Dunia She?bani – Right By You

CreativeMornings Dubai August and Genius

Posted on | August 26, 2017 | No Comments

Another great CreativeMornings in Dubai and this month we were joined by Mr. Lorne Riely and the conversation was about genius.

The video is rough, fast forward in to get to the talk.

If you have never been to a CreativeMornings it is time!


My Canada

Posted on | June 21, 2017 | 1 Comment

I can’t tell you how many times I get asked what is it that set Canada as a country apart from others.

To me, this video says it all.

Tell a story

Posted on | June 19, 2017 | No Comments

There are so many ways to tell a story today.

With the boom of affordable mobile technology, a mobile phone, and internet or data you can create and disseminate so much so fast.

Sometimes it is nice to be a little more patient and construct something that brings together images, words and sound.

The NFB has pulled together a great project that tells simply great stories.

A nation is a collection of stories. Where they overlap, they represent a shared experience and an intergenerational legacy. In their uniqueness, they underscore just how varied our individual lives are.

Legacies 150 is a series of interactive photo and illustration essays reflecting on legacy and inheritance a century and a half into Canadian Confederation. These first-person stories explore where we come from, who we are, and what kind of nation we are becoming.

 This is really worth a look.

Alan Alda talks public speaking

Posted on | June 18, 2017 | No Comments

There are endless hours of great content on CBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio.

And I have to say q is better than ever.

Well, I happened on this absolutely fantastic interview with Alan Alda about public speaking.

And Tom Power really has a knack for the interview.

I love the part where Tom Power looks at his notes and Alan Alda calls him on it because Alan Alda lost his concentration.

What a great talk!

HR and youth the problem is simple

Posted on | May 13, 2017 | No Comments

I have been working with interns in Dubai since 2004.

Over this period I have had the opportunity to talk at length to both internship site supervisors and the students who are going out on internships.

I say all this to simply make the point that I know a little about what UAE national women are thinking about the workplace and their thoughts, good and bad, about internship sites.

Actually all the federal universities in the UAE have people doing exactly what I do, coordinating interns.

So why have I never been asked by anyone for my thoughts on getting fresh grads into the private sector or about their expectations from a workplace or what can be done to make the Emiratisation project work?

I do not have a definitive answer but I have a good idea what my fresh grads are thinking.

I think we are being failed by HR and the fact that they are not asking those with front line contact with the people they recruit what the perspective recruit is thinking.

Expectations are being created by brands from the outside and those expectations are not being followed through with when the recruit joins the organisation.

Organisations forget that the little things matter.

My last group of interns just returned to Zayed University and they had an interesting experience.

I wonder if the HR team at the organisations my interns were at had an exit interview with them?

I asked my interns what advice they would give to future interns and this advice is very useful from an organisational perspective as it helps the organisation to plan how it will create a positive experience for the student who we all know will talk about the good and bad of the internship.

Click here to listen to internship student advice.

My advice to HR as they think about the next crop of fresh graduates they want to recruit is simply talk to the people that have been with the students and guiding them through internships there are a lot of insights to be had.


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