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Kartik Madiraju

Fellow 2013-2014

blogs by Kartik Madiraju

Taste: Tel-Aviv, and Ein Gedi, Israel

Fran Lebowitz once said, ‘Food is an important part of a balanced diet.’ I agree. In some ways, I’d like to amend that statement by saying that food in many ways also offers insight into the complexity of conflict. Conflict has taken on an unsavoury flavour in the minds of the general public. My own

Through the Senses: Tel-Aviv and Afula, Israel

Sight The first things I see before getting to Israel are the stern faces of security guards at the gate. An experience unlike any other, makeshift kiosks set up with Bangkok airport security waiting to greet passengers. The tired faces—it is close to 12am and the stoic expressions of those who dictate boarding – suggest

Final Placement Journey Through the Senses: Tel-Aviv, Israel

Tel-Aviv, Israel As we move into my final placement on the Insight Collaborative Fellowship, I find myself at an interesting cross-roads. I have tried my best to relay to you stories, anecdotes, observations, and accomplishments, painfully aware that what I am experiencing first-hand, through my senses, will never be authentically captured in writing. That is

Last days in Palau: All Stories Come to A Close

Their Stories The other major deliverable of my work with Palau Conservation Society was a consultancy in assessing the potential for conflict over fisheries management, the various interests of stakeholders in the fisheries industry, and a strategy for helping communities engage in consensus-building and effective problem solving. At Insight Collaborative, one aspect of our training

Palau, The Workshop Story

As a site coordinator for Palau’s Protected Area Network, I have learned that one is not simply tasked with the protection and conservation of Palau’s ecological heritage, but also with the engagement of relevant parties in a rather interdisciplinary conservation effort. What I mean by this is that site coordinators cannot only be equipped with

My Work in Palau, Part II

Fisheries management in Palau, despite what one might expect to be a rather simple affair, given the nation’s small territory and even smaller population, is quite complex for a number reasons. I shall try to enumerate a few of them in this entry, but now is perhaps the time for me to say quite candidly

Koror, Palau-My Work Story, Part I

I have already given you a brief introduction to the work I am doing with Palau Conservation Society, and now that I have a rather robust picture of this placement, I want to dedicate more room here to the details of my work. Because of Palau’s complex political and legislative history, the jurisdiction and authority

Stories from Palau

I have had enough time in Palau to gain a basic understanding of the nation, its history and the quirks of daily life.

Stories from Palau (after a stop in Shanghai and Seoul)

This entry marks the end of my India placement, and the beginning of new exciting adventures in one of the most remote regions of the world: the islands of the South Pacific! Since I am in a new placement, with new information and experiences to share, the format of these entries will also change. I’m

These are the Places I’ll Remember All My Life

Approximately one month ago, I was asked by the <a href=”“>Uttarakhand Climate Change Centre</a>, a branch and subsidiary of Navdanya, to draft a report on the devastating flash floods that had taken place in June and July of 2013 in the state, displacing hundreds of thousands of people while taking over one thousand lives. It

Charlie’s Making Me Smile!

The Golden Temple, though named thus only colloquially, is mostly pure white marble. Our hotel was about 100 meters from the side entrance. Chalk this up as another benefit of being of Indian origin (or not so much of a benefit), but every 50 meters or so—and I wish I were exaggerating—either I was asked

Those ad-hoc trips you just have to love!

How many amongst us have dreamed of taking a world map, plastering it on a wall somewhere and flinging darts randomly at it, in the hopes that where those darts landed would decide the issue of where to travel? Let’s face it; the liberty to make such a decision on a whim is more fancy

Hmm, where have I landed?

Dehradun, India and Varanasi, India Haan, yeh main aaya kahan hu? (Hmm, where have I landed?) A Visit to the Himalayan Environmental Science and Conservation Organization While Dehradun is hardly the center for environmental scholarship in India, and not nearly amongst India’s busiest cities by any metric, Navdanya is not the lone ecologically-minded institution here.

I am but a traveler, my friends!

So I packed up all my things, pretty much just as I had unpacked them what seemed like only a few days ago. And like the four hobbits in J.R.R. Tolkien’s <a href=”“>The Lord of the Rings</a>, I found myself looking upon a familiar sight: Montreal, home sweet home. Despite my folks alluding to my

Closing Time

My last two weeks in Boston have actually gone by far more smoothly than I had initially expected – especially before my placement with Navdanya had been finalized. Something I have learned over the course of my higher education and during my Boston training placement is the importance of balancing expectations with the unanticipated. I

Waiting Game

In the midst of training, attending a conference in London and taking part in the AOSIS negotiation workshop in New York, I was trying to finalize my three placements. Into my fellowship and placement choices, I have woven the theme of environmental conflicts and the scales with which they are associated—from local to cross-boundary to

I Wanna Be a Part of It!

Towards the end of June, Insight Collaborative President David Seibel introduced me to Mr. Douglas Stone, Founder and CEO of Triad Consulting and co-author of the best-selling book on effective communication and strategic relationship management, Difficult Conversations. Since Mr. Stone is based in Cambridge, MA, I had the great opportunity to meet him in person—Mr.

Boarding Pass? Boredom Passed!

I love airports. Recycled air, labyrinthine gate and security arrangements, Duty Free stores that make it seem as though buying perfume, expensive watches, liquor and chocolate all in one go is routine, those last-call announcements that are more embarrassing than being called down to the Principal’s office in middle school…. Yes, all of that included:

Empty Boxes

Ready to Start! Empty boxes can signify many things, often the beginning or the end of something: you take out several empty boxes with the intention of packing away your life into them, to move off somewhere new and start fresh. I had a few of those kinds of empty boxes in Montreal before I

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