wrapping up 2016.

happiness-jarIt’s been exciting, surprising, generous, and unpredictable 2016. I traveled the cities and places I never been before, I had wonderful collaborations worldwide, I learned a lot about myself and others, I started to change my old habits and implement new ones.

At the beginning of the year, I won the best dissertation award for 2015. That is the first PhD related award I got and I’m very grateful and happy, that years I spent on the research, it makes sense to other people as well. Working in academia is nice, however, I rather see myself working on projects and with organizations that make the difference in the world. And so it happened.

Last summer, I started to work for the Basic Internet Foundation as a digital equality advisor and I’m very happy and grateful that I can deploy my skills and expertise for a higher cause of helping people worldwide. This month we won a nice budget from the National Council of Norway for the project of connecting the unconnected 4.000 villages in Tanzania. I wrote about the Foundation and my work there on the Global Voices. Also, I did a research on the societal aspects and implications of the Internet of Things (IoT). I am very grateful to be included in something that is happening around us and that, indeed, present our near future.

I am continuing with the tradition of giving back and donating to those who need; this time beside the usual donations, I included the project in Ethiopia called Give a Child in Africa the Gift of Reading, because of children and literacy matter.

I shared with you ten things I learned in the past ten years of my professional life, and blogging. On a personal note, some good and challenging (at the times) things happened that made me re-examine how I nourish my body. At the moment, I am 6 weeks sugar-free and 8 weeks dairy-free (I plan to stay that way) and I feel great. Anyone interested in further story, I can write about it in some of my future posts.

Also, this photo of the happiness jar – it deserves a separate post. I believe that the happiness is not one time or huge event that will keep you happy throughout the year or that it is something we wait for us to happen. Instead, I believe that the life is made with zillions of little happiness tiny moments, situations and people that contribute in a sustainable way to our well-being on all levels. I proved myself how happy and grateful I was and I am in the past year; I plan to keep this happiness jar tradition in 2017.

I won’t comment the events on a global level, this is my 2016 wrap-up, as you all know – most of them were unexpected and ugly (good luck my friends in America and England). Many great people, artists have left us. I cannot look forward enough to new 2017 year. I wish you all the happiness, health, and joy in it! Cheers to 2017!