The review below tells the story as well as I ever could here in an intro. Let me just say that Roger Raufer was one of the great teachers in my life when I was learning the ropes in the energy and technology economics world. Because he thinks about technology systems for a living, many of our conversations over the years have found us discussing global futures and technology advances on the horizon. More often than not, Roger has been on the money with his predictions. Roger is the first person I ever heard give a cogent and meaningful talk about climate change — that was back in the early 1980s. But if you really want an earful, get Dr. Raufer to tell you about China. He’s been advising the United Nations and numerous Chinese organizations for the past two decades.
So, to have him do a write up on his opinions about some of the creative work I’ve been doing over the past few years is quite an honor and a treat. Anyone who thinks that engineers aren’t creative geniuses with broad integrated interests, needs to meet my friend here.
By Roger Raufer, PhD
Many years ago I was standing in the bookstore at Beijing Airport, thumbing through a paperback that offered a collection of Harvard Business Reviewarticles…. and came across one written by one of my former students. It was entitled “Recycling for Profit: The New Green Business Frontier” (HBR, Nov. 1993), by David Biddle – a former student who’s evolved into a friend & colleague I’ve now known for close to thirty years. David spent many years wearing a number of different private-sector and NGO hats in the energy/environment arena, and eventually ended up running the City of Philadelphia’s municipal recycling program. (One of my fondest memories as a UN speaker was sharing the stage with singing bottles & cans…. courtesy of one of his team’s recycling productions.)
I always knew about his technical and managerial skills, but about ten years ago he completely surprised me by handing over the first draft of a novel he had written — a psychedelic, sex-drugs-and-rock-and-roll thriller. I read the draft on a trip to Guiyang, China – and sent him a note from there with some comments about the plot, characters, etc., with the conclusion: “I’m rather in awe about [what you’ve done]…. I really did enjoy your book.”
In late 2011, Dave surprised me once again….. this time by quitting his municipal government job to become a full-time author. He published the psychedelic novel (Beyond the Will of God) and a book of short stories (Trying to Care), and on this trip I was reading his second book of short stories, Implosions of America. Dave himself described the stories pretty aptly: “Some are meditations and ruminations, some are allegories, and some are opportunities for the reader to look inside the mind of men who have imploded emotionally and are trying to find their way out of the rubble.” Like his two previous works, I enjoyed this one very much. His short stories can be stark and spare, & very real-to-life….. and I’m looking forward to his next book, coming out soon.
You can follow Dave on his blog(s)…. and you might also be interested to know that his son Jesse was a first round draft pick by the Philadelphia Phillies, and is now climbing his way through the team’s minor league farm system. He’s a talented pitcher getting great reviews, and we look forward to seeing him – hopefully sometime very soon! – in Citizens Bank Park.
– Roger Raufer, July 3, 2013
Follow Roger’s travels at: http://roger-raufer.com/WordPress. He is living quite an extraordinary professional life.