• Compass points

    Life turns on a dime

    Face value

    How I engaged with my era

    I've worked for more than two decades with the UN, predominantly in conflict and catastrophe. But I take an entrepreneurial style to all my work, in pursuit of fresh thinking and excellent outcomes. I wrote a critically acclaimed book, and my aesthetic was honed by art, by conversation, and by wielding a camera. I’ve worked in NGOs and the arts, I've designed and built homes and gardens, I’ve started businesses, and I recently ran a global communications team for one of the UN agencies. Above all, I’m a father, a friend, a meaning-driven, optimistic mammal, and a fairly ordinary Joe who’s seen some of the best and worst of human behaviour.

    The challenge

    My father was born in a world of 2 billion...

    Global warming, nuclear proliferation, and the unknowable evolution of AI demands the best from our global and civic organisations. In my career I've witnessed the growing complexity of daily life, driven by science and technology. People detect very instinctively that the world is changing, yet the answers aren’t coming. Raw political populism has trumped our dawdling policy makers. The more complex and chaotic, the less individuals are able to absorb the information we need to make good decisions – and the more swift, adaptable, intelligent, and ethical our civic and grand organisations must be, if we are to respond to our era’s vacuum. Individually, that means leadership excellence, self-knowledge, empathy, an ability to manage conflict, and clearly communicated vision.

    Managing the everyday

    As Sugarman says, “Nothing beats reality”

    Hard work breeds skill, but then there's exposure to opportunity – particularly if you take risks – and then acceptance of the reality that ensues. The more risk you take on, the more luck and acceptance you need (guess the reverse?). I meditate, practice yoga, eat sensibly, and exercise regularly to boost my chances of remaining sober and calm in an unsettling world. I also abide by the Stoics, whose philosophy helps to keep a sort of even keel when black clouds and rough seas threaten to swamp us, and Ecclesiastes, surely among the finest pieces of wisdom literature.

    About you

    Gen-Z might be our best yet...

    This epoch risks becoming one of winners and losers. Yet, although filled with momentous challenge, these are the best of times. The generation graduating from schools and colleges are born into a lateral-thinking world, and they see webs, networks, potential and synchronicities which older people often miss. Although gladdened by conversations with the young, this new generation spawned in advanced economies, and the rising middle classes in developing economies, face redefined problems that require new philosophies of being, fresh perspectives, and a need for balance between gritty realism and a resolve to continue doing better. After all, they are the ones who will have to reconcile differences, ensure stability, and cultivate community on earth.

    The Sucker’s Break

    Podcast (under development) and blog

    Podcast technology is the best thing to happen to broadcasting and intelligent communication in three generations. I'm endlessly curious about what makes us ordinary folk tick, so I’m going to explore this through a podcast "The Sucker’s Break” (provisional title :-) ~ W.C. Fields was one of the great comedians). I recently read what comes as close to a 'theory of everything' that encompasses the darkest of the world I've witnessed. But I also want to explore the resolute altruism I've seen, and the human capacity for self-sacrifice even when an individual doesn't directly benefit from an action.

  • Select reviews for my book

    The Cage

     

    “A parable of the World, the Flesh, and the Devil"

    THE SPECTATOR

    (best summer reading 2011)

     

    "An excellent account"

    THE ECONOMIST

     

    "This powerful book is a reminder of the price countries pay for flawed choices"

    THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

     

    "Weiss provides harrowing details, as well as insight"

    FOREIGN AFFAIRS

    (book of the day, April 2016)

     

    "A striking account"

    THE SUNDAY TIMES

     

    "Unpicks the roots of the problem"

    THE LITERARY REVIEW"

     

    "This shattering tale of savagery lifts the veil

    and helps us understand"

    NOAM CHOMSKY

     

    "Tightly-written, clear-eyed, a riveting cautionary tale.

    A must-read"

    JON LEE ANDERSON

    New Yorker staff writer

     

    "A compellingly readable account...

    scrupulously even handed"

    GARETH EVANS

    fmr Australian Foreign Minister

     

    ‘"Essential reading"

    THE AUSTRALIAN

     

    "Deeply informed, humane and compassionate… a beautifully articulated insight into the human experience."

    THE INTERCEPT

    (Best Summer Reading List 2015)

     

    "A knockout blow. No wonder the government had it taken off the shelves; it does not want you to read it"

    THE ISLAND (Sri Lanka)

     

    Public service

     

     

    I'm a strategic communications professional with more than two decades experience in dynamic multi-cultural environments. In Bosnia in 1997 I was a part of the Organization for Security and Cooperation's creative elections team, producing evidence-based national and international mass-media campaigns grounded in post-war complexities. I then managed large communications operations for the UN in Bosnia and Kosovo, before deploying for a year to Pakistan and Afghanistan in the days following 9/11. As UNICEF's Chief of Emergency Communications based in New York, I had boots-on-the-ground in Darfur as the Janjaweed raids grew; Gaza during the First Intifada; Northern Uganda during the Lord's Resistance Army rampages; Haiti at the Aristide coup; and other theatres of conflict and natural disaster in Africa, India, Central and South Asia, the Caucasus, and the Middle East. I was a UN first responder to Aceh in 2004, guiding initial aid operations. I spearheaded the UN’s communications effort in the final three years of Sri Lanka’s civil war, devising innovative analysis teams to leverage evidence in support of UN humanitarian and development operations, and deploying strategic communications to help resolve hostage, political, and public diplomatic crises. I then wrote a critically acclaimed book of social, historical, and geopolitical analysis, The Cage: The Fight for Sri Lanka and the Last Days of the Tamil Tigers.” In recent years I was a founding member of a public/private war crimes investigative body, an executive journalist for an internet-based start up multi-media company, and a board director of ActionAid Australia. Between 2015-2018 I led UN-Habitat's global communications with a 30-strong team from Nairobi, designing innovative communications strategies for Syria and Afghanistan, and driving the organisation’s communications for their once-in-20-years universal jamboree in Ecuador. As a young man I cut my teeth in radio and investigative journalism in Australia, New Guinea, the Czech Republic, Bosnia and Kosovo on issues as diverse as filicide, ethnic cleansing, the environment, and indigenous affairs. Between UN engagements I was a visiting scholar at Sydney University’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (department of Political Science), and an adjunct professor at Griffith University’s Asia Institute (department of Government). I have a BA in philosophy, anthropology, and history and an MA in International Relations, and I'm currently a senior fellow with the ART Organisation with a focus on media and violent extremism.

  • The Cage: The Fight for Sri Lanka and the Last Days of the Tamil Tigers

     

    "More than 20,000 copies sold ..."

    Available in print, audio, and Kindle editions

     

    UK and rest of world

    US and Canada

    Australasia

  • Media

    Channel 4 UK

    ABC TV

    Interview

    A part of a friend's documentary

    Lecture

    Australian National University

    New York Times

    Announcing a 'bloodbath' during the war.

  • Podcast

    The Sucker’s Break (currently under production)

    Eduardo Moreno

    Photographer

    Award winning photographer, architect, sociologist, author, and art collector, Eduardo’s day job is Director of Research for one of the UN’s great agencies.

    Zdenek Weiss

    Immigrant (and my father)

    Lawyer, diesel mechanic, Bohemian and father, my old man rode the waves and troughs of life.

     

     

  • The Blog

    The Sucker’s Break

    December 2, 2018
    December 1, 2018
    December 1, 2018
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