//Greening Saudi Arabia

Greening Saudi Arabia


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This Meeting’s Highlights
Program: Greening Saudi Arabia
Speaker: Mouna Ahmed Eusman
Meeting for the week of January 25th to January 31st, 2016

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Is this your first time to visit us? If so, welcome to our meeting!

Each Monday our week’s meeting is posted early in the morning, U.S. Pacific Time. These meetings are designed so that you can read and watch what we post anytime during the week. The entire meeting takes about 45 minutes to complete, with the video conference recording of the program being the bulk of the time.

Note that you can easily read this meeting with your favorite device, so feel free to take our meeting on the go with you; read it while on public transit, waiting in line for coffee, or even at the park! Please also make sure to complete the attendance form at the bottom and leave a comment. Enjoy!


president-rushton-bubble-leftMessage from the President

Welcome to a special week for the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley.

With this meeting, we begin our second year of operation. How cool is that? Your answer: “Extremely, mind-blowingly, epic cool, that is.”

Well done – that is indeed the right answer.

We are a group that welcomes the chance to celebrate innovation, entrepreneurship, and education, particularly in how these relate to making the world a better place. Whether through creative uses of technology internationally, or lending a hand to someone in need locally, we believe that we have a special power now to be of service at levels never seen before, and to tell those stories in powerful ways.

We hope you agree, and also hope you will find what’s below interesting and inspiring.

We’re glad you’re here!

Rotarian guests, we ask that you consider contributing something – whatever for you is the regular cost of a Rotary meal, perhaps – to the efforts of our club. Please choose one of the options below:

To pay via Google Wallet or PayPal, you’ll need to log in to your account with those companies.

Those of you who prefer a more traditional approach can mail a check made out to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley to our treasurer: ℅ Allen Thompson, 13500 Cascade Ct., Bakersfield CA 93314.

Non-Rotarian guests, there is no need for a donation from you. As we see it, your job is to simply enjoy what you read and watch, though at the end we do ask that you let us know you were here and also leave a comment letting us know what you think. This club is loaded with folks who love sharing ideas, and we look forward to your sharing yours!

Yours in service,

Rushton Hurley, President
Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley


The Power of Images

We believe that there is power in imagery, and that a great photo can inspire in its own unique way.

Camera Czar Keith
This one is from Sunday’s time at Point Reyes Seashore. And yes, it was as beautiful as that looks!

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The Power of Ideas

We welcome the chance to bring together ideas for making the world a better place, and tap the thoughts of thinkers near and far, modern and from the distant past.

Continuing with our celebration of our new year:

Genuine beginnings begin within us, even when they are brought to our attention by external opportunities.
William Throsby Bridges

May this week also allow you to bring something new to your life!


The Nature of the New

This commercial isn’t new, but the message is still as powerful.

Admit it – you felt sorry for the lamp, didn’t you?

One might walk away from this video thinking it trivializes what we have grown to love over time, but I think that’s missing an important point.

We sometimes feel like that lamp by the side of the road – passed by as new things come along, and replaced because we aren’t what’s shiny and new.

However, we, as Rotarians, however long we have been here, are not the lamp. What we are is the light – the light that lamps old and new shed to allow others to see new possibilities.

Let this be a week in which you bring light to those in need of seeing something new!

New Member Welcome!

It is our pleasure this week to bring a new member into our club! Members, you may remember Brian Liddicoat’s bio from a recent email, but we’ll include a personal description below to remind you.

Liddicoat1Brian Liddicoat

From Brian: “I’m a lawyer in Santa Cruz County. My law practice is focused on tech startups (both corporate formation and litigation) and real estate. I enjoy flying (I’m a single-engine instrument pilot) and hiking in the redwoods and mountains in the Bay Area. As a sidebar, I give talks on local railroad history (lots of train nuts around here). I used to have a lot of other hobbies, but then I suddenly had two kids and that was that.

I’ve been in Rotary for years but with commitments to my kids’ school, I can’t attend our Tuesday morning meetings any more. So, I’m very grateful to have Silicon Valley Rotary as a way to keep my Rotary flame alive.”

Brian, our board and our members have approved your application and we welcome you into our club. As you have learned in the application process and from the content of our meetings, we expect you to share your ideas, contribute your time to worthy causes, support projects of this club and The Rotary Foundation, attend weekly and participate actively, and encourage all those who are working to improve communities around the world.

Liddicoat2Let our club’s focus on education, entrepreneurship, and innovation inform your thinking about possibilities for what you do.

Know that the members of this club are here to support you and work with you.

And finally, keep Rotary’s Four-Way Test in your heart.

The Four-Way Test of the things we think, say or do:

  • Is it the TRUTH?
  • Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  • Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

As you know from your experience in Rotary, you are part of an organization of over 1.2 million women and men in over 34,000 clubs around the world. Our motto is Service Above Self, our members are glad you are with us, and our belief is that you will help this club make great things happen!


Events & Projects

This section of our meeting is where you learn about both recent and upcoming events and projects our club is leading or supporting. We welcome guests to all of our events and service projects listed here.

Past Events Recap:

This past Sunday (Jan. 24) our club social was a hike at Point Reyes National Seashore. We’d expected clouds and cooler temperatures, but ended up with sunshine and warmth!

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Kudos also go out to Nate Gildart in Tokyo and Tzviatko Chiderov in Nairobi for joining in the online hangout early in the morning (Pacific time). Seriously fun getting to connect with folks all over the planet, it is!


Upcoming Events:

Did you miss our past events? Come join us for any of our upcoming events! Guests, you are welcome too!

All times are in Pacific Time (San Francisco, CA, USA time!)

Service as an eClub

As we see it, an important part of what we do as an eclub is to find ways that we can marry service using new technologies to our interests of innovation, entrepreneurship, and education.

Service Chair Andrew Taw has been working on several possibilities related to our helping entrepreneurs get their start-ups into the next gear. We are working to gather teams who can connect with these entrepreneurs using video conferencing tools. We should note that we are focusing on entrepreneurs who are building ideas that can build communities in some innovative way.

Our first effort along these lines is coming up in the beginning of February, and we’ll keep you posted. If you want to take a direct role, email President Rushton (president@siliconvalleyrotary.com), and he and Andrew will let you know how you can take part.


Sexy Salad Potluck & Wine in Livermore on Sun. February 21st, at noon

Come enjoy the local extension of Napa Valley in Livermore. We will be having a salad potluck at the awarding winning Retzlaff Vineyard Winery in Livermore on Sunday, February 21st, from noon to 2p. There will be live music and wine. This is a sexy salad potluck! Sexy salad is a way for communities to come together and give gratitude for good food and for good company. Members and guests should bring an ingredient to contribute to the salad. For example: you could bring a bowl of cranberries, a bowl of sliced steak, a bowl of cherry tomatoes, etc. We will be providing organic assorted greens, the salad dressing, along with plates and utensils. All members and guests are welcome to attend; this event is also friendly for anyone under 21 as well! (Though those not 21 or older can’t have wine, of course.)

Nightlife Exploration at the California Science Academy in San Francisco on Thursday, March 24th, at 7p

Come with our club to explore the amazing exhibits and experiences at the planetarium during the evening for California Science Academy’s Nightlife program! We will be meeting at the California Science Academy in San Francisco on Thursday, March 24th, at 7p for an exciting night of science adventures! Open to all members and guests. Tickets will be available for purchase. More details coming in early March.

More Socials!

You can sure expect more socials to be coming up! Members, if you are interested in helping plan socials, please reach out to President-Elect Mitty or leave a comment on this meeting. We would love to get you more involved with the social planning!


The World of Rotary

We are part of the Rotary International family, with over 1.2 million members in over 180 countries around the world. Rotary’s reach is global. Here we tell our members and guests about Rotary’s initiatives and events.

Rotary International President-elect John Germ revealed the 2016-17 Presidential Theme to be “Rotary Serving Humanity”.

“I believe everyone recognizes the opportunity to serve Rotary for what it truly is: not a small opportunity, but a great one; an opportunity of a lifetime to change the world for the better, forever through Rotary’s service to humanity,” said Germ.

Read more about the theme announcement or watch the theme announcement video here: https://www.rotary.org/myrotary/en/news-media/news-features/germ-reveals-rotary-serving-humanity-2016-17-presidential-theme


Service Survey

We at the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley work hard to make the world a better place. This happens via big projects and little acts of kindness, and we tell each other about it. Why? To brag? Certainly not! Instead, we believe that sharing cool stories of helping others can inspire us to find new ways to do good in our communities.

Were you inspired to do something, small or large, to help others recently? If so, please tell us about it through our service survey, below.

Next week we’ll report on what folks have been up to – let’s get everyone contributing a story in order to maximize the inspirational value!

The Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley Service Survey


Happy Dollars

Happy Dollars is the segment of our meeting where anyone can choose to make a voluntary donation to tell us a short story about something good that has happened to them this past week. Maybe someone paid for your coffee, gave you a ride somewhere, or you got a job promotion. This is your chance to brag about it or give a shout-out to someone deserving, while giving some of that karma back to our community.

How much should you give? It could be a single dollar, and that’s perfectly fine. If you’re really excited about something, though, feel free to toss in more!

from member Catherine Liu ($50)
Club fund for happy hours. [Awesome!]

Fill out my online form.


No birthdays this week, but Mark Dohn, we have you on our radar for early February!


The Tidbit

Every week, we feature a new tech tidbit or life hack to make something easier, more convenient, or more fun!

We’re big fans of mapping software, and those of you with an Android or iOS device who want to use Google Maps when offline (think when you hit data dead zones or traveling) may enjoy this one from CNET:

CNET How To – Access Google Maps offline


A Little Humor

We believe laughter is like medicine. We believe peace is easier when one is laughing.

Here’s our weekly, and often weak, attempt to elicit a chuckle.

I know a guy who’s addicted to brake fluid. He says he can stop any time.

Make sure you stop this week to find something to laugh about!


Selected Comments from Last Week

Each week we ask our members and guests to share their thoughts on the program, and even respond to each other’s comments. Using the Disqus system at the bottom of the page, you can share your thoughts. Log in using a Disqus account you create, but you can also use your Facebook, Twitter, or Google accounts – just click the drop-down arrow next to “Login” on the right side of that section.

We look forward to reading your ideas!

Here are some selected comments from last week’s meeting:

“Mark, thanks for sharing your story with us. I really enjoy hearing about alternative ways of doing education, and your approach of making it easier for children to discover their interests and passions seems to be very impactful. Getting students to feel more connected to the real world and giving them the freedom to work on meaningful projects is very cool.
I particularly liked the example with the video call. This makes me wonder if this technology could be used to easily connect students from different continents, to build more cultural understanding and respect. In addition, perhaps this could be an interesting way of doing remote mentoring – imagine a young professional in New York, mentoring a student in Cape Town!”

From member Nathan Gildart (Japan, USA):

“Mark, what a super program! Thank you. Mass education in many ways is broken in many ways. Giving students the opportunity to apply in real life the concepts they study in school with intrinsically motivating projects is a positive step. It needs to be embedded in curriculums. (and then supported) Being a teacher, I find students DO have a greater sense of motivation when they are given autonomy over a project, due to that empowerment, which leads to a greater commitment, and that to greater self-esteems. It sounds like WIGUP is achieving this. A point I found interesting is that as they “crack their code” throughout the program they move from more local projects to global ones. Very cool. Sweetland’s Optikey software (and his altruism) is simply brilliant. Love Keith’s photo, too. Clever idea and nicely executed.”

From guest Ferheen Abbasi (California, USA):

“Mark, thank you for presenting your incredible views on education! Many parents coerce their children onto specific paths without truly asking their child what they want to do and without understanding what their child is passionate about. For example, social justice became an incredibly important part of my life but I only began exploring this concept in college. I wish civil engagement was truly taught in school! If I were to have been a student in your program, I would have been able to find and engage in this passion earlier in my life! Thank you for this amazing program.”

From member Shags Shagrin (California, USA):

“Congrats to us and kudos to our fearless leader, Rushton, on our first full year of weekly meetings. How many of us have perfect attendance? It’s easy to do, especially as an eClub! Photos – love them both. OptiKey – amazing — get Julius into Rotary (if he isn’t already, and into ours). Fun birthday reference to Little Richard. I met him in line at the Cleveland (OH) airport going through security. He was in a wheelchair behind me. I looked over and recognized him, so I said “Little Richard, I love your work.” He replied, “Thank you.” and we smiled at each other. With a child who has screen credits, it’s nice to be able to acknowledge celebrity without going nuts or bringing attention to it. He seemed to be quite appreciative. And Mark — thanks for professing that education and learning are not always the same.”



The Program

Each week we share the stories of people working to make the world a better place, no matter where they are in order to inspire those everywhere else. This week we hear from Mouna Ahmed Eusman, co-founder of the Naqaa Sustainability Solutions.

Mouna Ahmed Eusman was born and raised in Saudi Arabia, though her family is originally from Djibouti. She is a young social entrepreneur and sustainable development practitioner with a special focus on environmental sustainability. In 2010 as a fresh university graduate, she co-founded Naqaa Sustainability Solutions – the first social enterprise in Saudi Arabia led by young women that strives to promote and implement environmental sustainability practices in the Saudi Arabia community.

Mouna received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Dar Al-Hekma University in Jeddah, and earned her Master’s Degree in development practice from the Paris Institute of Political Studies – Sciences Po. Also, Mouna has a certificate in Sustainable Environmental Management from the University of California, Berkeley. She is a skilled project manager, social entrepreneurship trainer and mentor, and has participated in several international events, such as Rio +20, and the G20 civil summit in Moscow. Mouna speaks Arabic, English, Somali and is learning French.

Mouna will share with our club her story in starting Naqaa, the first social start-up promoting environmental protection in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is the largest oil production country in the world, but there is no strong enforcement of environmental law and practices. She will describe her experiences and challenges in introducing a new service in the market, focusing on approaches being used by Naqaa to convince businesses to start recycling programs.

Members and guests, welcome Mouna!

Mouna Ahmed Eusman – Greening Saudi Arabia


– Naqaa website: http://naqaa.com.sa/
– Naqaa blog: https://naqaaenterprise.wordpress.com/
we have a blog where we post all the activities and campaigns we’ve organized and took part in it.
– Project A Greener 2013 it is about Social media monthly post with environmental information quote for the purpose of inspiring a greener 2013 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.521431207900964.124346.131320263578729&type=3
– #GreenSaudiRevolutionWeek
– Video about the unique environmental sustainability Mural in Jeddah https://vimeo.com/66187538
– Video Naqaa highlights the going green in Saudi Arabia https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cu6FsC9gmM


Upcoming Programs

Now that you have completed watching this week’s program and meeting, here are some programs that you can expect in the coming weeks.

• Week of Feb 1st: Coworking, Creative Spaces, and the Rise of the Sharing Economy
• Week of Feb 8th: Invest in the Life of a Child


You’re Almost Done! One last thing: The Attendance Survey..

Thanks for reading and watching this week’s meeting. You have two last things to do before you’re done. First, we have a very short attendance survey below for you to fill out to record your attendance.

Visiting Rotarians, this is how you can get an email receipt to pass along to your club’s secretary as proof that you’ve attended our meeting if you need it for makeups.

Non-Rotarian Guests, we would love to see who is dropping by our meetings! This part is optional for you though.

More importantly, for all members and guests — we strongly recommend and ask that you leave a comment below in our comments area below. Tell us how you enjoyed the program. Ask this week’s speaker any questions you might have. Or just stop by and say hello and tell us where you’re from!

Fill out my online form.
2016-01-28T16:23:14+00:00January 25th, 2016|20 Comments