Daniel’s 2015 Sabbatical

"Carl Schleicher Eine Streitfrage aus dem Talmud" by Carl Schleicher (fl. c. 1859 – after 1871) - Dorotheum. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Carl_Schleicher_Eine_Streitfrage_aus_dem_Talmud.jpg#/media/File:Carl_Schleicher_Eine_Streitfrage_aus_dem_Talmud.jpg

Daniel’s 2015 Sabbatical: Study Time!

After four years of helping build and lead the Asia office of estorm, I’m taking sabbatical journey for a few months. I’ll still be doing some side projects – more on that for another post.

I’ll be committing myself to some scholarly activities like reading up about Sufism in Indonesia, making pâte brisée, and learning how to better apply foresight & strategic planning. It’s an ambitious list, but I’m gonna make some old school Talmudic scholars jealous.

Here’s some of things I’ll be up to:

1. Making a Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

This guys knows what’s up. I need to learn from him:

2. Studying Foresight & Future Studies (more)

Both my career in tech/marketing and academic studies in war studies and risk management have taught me to appreciate long term thinking.

I’ve been fortunate enough to do some scenario planning and foresight workshops, but this is something I’d like to spend more time doing as a career. I  have a long way to go and I’m looking forward to reading up and re-reading some key foresight books:

  • Shock of the Old by David Edgerton
  • The Art of the Long View by Peter Schwartz (re-read)
  • Power and Love: A Theory of Social Change by Adam Kahane (re-read)
  • Thinking about the Future: Guidelines for Strategic Foresight by Andy Hines, & Peter Bishop
  • The Art of Conjecture by Bertrand de Jouvenel
  • The Image of the Future by Fred Polak

3. How to Write & Writing on Future Stuff

Over 17-18 years of writing for businesses have absolutely destroyed my writing abilities. I am now only limited to writing in jargonic, bulletpointed, and PowerPointed phrases like this:

Daniel Riveong’s goals will be implemented by:

  • Leveraging books to help optimize writing capabilities for key market segments
  • Utilizing hands-on best-of-breed learning approaches to expand writing capabilities

Combin the above atrocity  with my grammar, which has fallen into a dark abyss, and you will see how my ability to articulate has imploded. Alas! I send deep apologies to the English language, Mrs. Koppet (my English high school teacher), and the Chicago Manual of Style.

I’ll be practicing my writing and focus on writing articles related to foresight:

  • Long-term impact of technology impact on Asia
  • Long-term impact of technology and governance

4. Knowing my Science Fiction

I’ve always been more of a Russophile & Slavophile. Indeed, my homeboys are Dostoevsky, Hrabil, Sheyngart. But it’s long past due for me to diversify my reading and get into science fiction more. Here’s my target list.

  • Air by Geoff Ryman
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  • River of Gods by Ian McDonald (re-read)
  • Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
  • Neuromancer by William Gibson
  • The Time Machine by H.W. Wells
  • The Foundation by Isaac Asimov

5. Brushing-up on Islam and Indonesia

I was once an avid reader of all things related to religion and history. It’s time for me to revisit that within the context of the region I’m in. It’s gonna make for tough reading, so I’m going light with only the following books:

  • Mystic Synthesis in Java by M.C. Ricklefs
  • The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History by Ibn Khaldun
  • The Makings of Indonesian Islam: Orientalism and the Narration of a Sufi Past by Michael Laffan

6. Finding out about new Music


So this “people stop listening to new music at 33” study hit me hard. Sadly, I’ve been stuck listening to music from 1990-2005, basically Beirut, DeVotchKa, Regina Spektor, Ghostland Observatory, Ani DiFranco, Yeah Yeah Yeah, and the like. It’s time to live again.

I’ve signed-up for Spotify Premium (that’s what the kids do right?), taking up Hype Machine again, and will be asking kids these days what they’re listening to. To make this actionable, my goal is to attempt to do three 2-hour long playlists with only new music (well, new to me) for the following: Working Out, Studying, and Fancy-Adult-Parties-(like-with-wine-and-stuff)-That-I-Will-Never-Have.


“Carl Schleicher Eine Streitfrage aus dem Talmud” by Carl Schleicher (fl. c. 1859 – after 1871) – Dorotheum. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Carl_Schleicher_Eine_Streitfrage_aus_dem_Talmud.jpg#/media/File:Carl_Schleicher_Eine_Streitfrage_aus_dem_Talmud.jpg


  1. Great to read about your challenging plans for the coming year Daniel! I’ll try to follow, in particular your exploration of new music and the technology stuff….Cheers!
    Peter (UGL)


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