Archive for the ‘My Portfolio’ Category

New Year’s Resolution: Reducing my carbon footprint

January 3, 2012

Making my Resolution was pretty easy, figuring out how to implement and assess it, not so much.

I’ve been doing a bit of reading over the holidays, Bernstein’s Aquaponic Gardening, Coleman’s The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year Round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses and some of the blogsphere including Roberts’ Brutal Logic posts here  and here as well as some discussion about the “marketing” of climate change with scare tactics like Roberts vs. a gentler approach to reach the electorate, see two sides here and here.  I’ve also glanced into some alternate perspectives including Worstall at Forbes arguing that delay in addressing climate change can save money (I think his logic is faulty). Also supporting the go-slow path a friend recently wrote me “But considering that 50% of American’s make less then $26,000 a year [what with] buying food and paying rent…well there isn’t money for those high end [climate saving] purchases. You can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip.”

I’ve got my monthly utility bills from Avista for gas and electricity in 2010 and 2011 which gives me some baseline. Avista’s electricity comes from a mix of fuels, including coal, gas and nuclear. They give information that should let me adjust my KWH to the fraction that is carbon-based. I don’t have records of gallons of gasoline purchased. My house is heated with wood, which raises some different issues about pollution and I have no handle on the amount of wood I use or its carbon content. And then there is the issue of adjusting my use of heating energy to account for the weather in the 2011 and 2012 heating seasons. Avista gives degree days in its bills but with a wood stove, there are days when you just don’t heat because you are not around to stoke the stove.

So, I am going to make my Resolution more specific:

Regarding gasoline – I will track how many miles I drive and how much gas I use and return to this challenge in 2013.  I put log books in each vehicle to begin tracking miles and gallons purchased. I can use these logs to also record gas purchases for lawnmower, chain saw and the like.

I previously challenged myself to buy only one tank of gas a month, but that challenge is complicated by having multiple vehicles and by using the in-laws’ vehicles at times. To give me something I can assess for 2012, I will aim to buy no more that 150 gallons of gas for the white car and blue truck I drive and for my various gas powered tools. Bicycling around Moscow has shaved my waistline, this is a path to continue.

Regarding electricity and natural gas – Last January I was thinking about these issues in terms of “buy local” and how to shift my purchases from Avista to spending locally. I have experimented enough with a clothesline in the greenhouse that I can see some reduction in electricity use. I need to build on this effort to reduce our footprint with Avista.

Sharon Cousins has advocated solar ovens enough to get me to try one and to build one, but I’ve not lived with them enough to make any claims that I am substituting solar energy for Avista energy. This is a path to continue. I’ve played with a mud oven and retained heat cooking, again not enough to make any claims about substituting wood as my baking fuel. Recently I found a hybrid idea, retained heat solar oven. Something to explore designing into the shared use commercial kitchen I am building.

In the Peterson Barn Guesthouse, my next steps are probably to use solar to supplement space heating and in our house, I’m working on pre-heating our hot water with solar. Both projects are low budget, a fan and ducting to blow excess warm air from the greenhouse and a homebrew rooftop solar collector.







Reflection on a Real Hero’s Questions

October 4, 2011

I have blogged for years because I’ve seen the value of working in public in solving problems. However, I have seldom received helpful comments in my blog. Recently, I got some thought provoking questions and I’m appreciative for the opportunity to reflect.

I believe two things: (1) Peak oil has been reached and (2) human caused climate change is happening. Which means, (1) 20th century ideas of how the world works (powered by petroleum) must be adapted to new ways of living, powered by new energy sources and (2) to prevent the worst impacts of climate change the world needs to act quickly to reduce CO2 production. In Muddling Toward Frugality (1982), Warren Johnson argues that American democracy is best able to make change by slowly “muddling” (with all its contradictions) and that the need for sudden changes threatens democracy. Johnson urges us to start the transition to a new energy and consumption future decades ago. I understand muddling to require taking the time to ask questions, examine assumptions, try experiments and move forward in the fits and starts that opportunity presents. Muddling comes with contradictions inherent in its imperfect process.

When we bought our current house in 1993 I didn’t know about peak oil and global climate change or the term “Smart Growth”. I was attracted to a 1914 farmhouse on a funny shaped parcel of land, part of it zoned “Residential Office,” a commercial designation, and part zoned R2.

The Peterson Barn Guesthouse is a cruck frame barn that I built on the RO zoned lot next to our house. In the 1500’s England was experiencing sufficient deforestation that building with crooked wood became common. I wanted to experiment with that response to resource scarcity, because I knew the modern response is to chip up small and crooked trees and glue them back together. I also planted a stand of cherry, oak and walnut so that my grandchildren would have beautiful timbers when it comes time to replace the Guesthouse.

At the time, I did not realize that by building the Guesthouse I was using Smart Growth principles of increasing the building density on our lot or creating a live-work situation in a B&B next to our house.

Back in the 90’s I discovered that my wife and I owned a lot equal in size to the world’s per capita allotment of arable land. That fact made me think that my lot should be able to raise all my food (at least on average) and I had a responsibility to make my share of land productive. That has been an elusive goal. We now have a large garden, I’m good at growing garlic and potatoes, and learning about tomatoes, grapes, cherries. Because our lot is hilly I planted apple and plum orchards (the peach didn’t work, the pears are fickle). But it turns out that managing the harvest and getting it stored for winter, is even harder than getting it grown. I’m still experimenting with how to organize and prioritize my life to preserve the harvest.

Around 2005 a friend made us a generous offer to partner on a Priest Lake cabin. She would provide the land, I would build a cabin, we’d own it 50-50. Around that time I read Kunsler’s The Long Emergency and concluded that it was a mistake to invest in that project — the deal was based on assumptions about oil and climate that I no longer believed.

Muddling is not a smooth process, situations and events shift its timing and direction. In my case, various plans to green our house and the barn were put on hold when WSU discontinued my position in December 2010. But that change gave me other opportunities to examine how I live and to try new experiments. I didn’t drive much when I was working, I took the bus to WSU, but I was never conscious of how or when I used the car. To become aware, I decided to ride my bicycle much more, and challenged myself to use only one tank of gas per month. I learned it is an easy challenge as long as I stay in town, but our week of family vacation to a friend’s cabin at Priest Lake blew my fuel budget for several months. We could live with less fuel, but as a family we are still muddling with the lifestyle change of not “getting away.”

Unemployment has given me the time to continue my experiments with low-tech cooking, building a new mud oven and a solar oven and tinkering forward toward a solar hot water system. Our Avista bills show that using a clothes line is saving energy, but in muddling fashion, its easier to hang a few barn sheets and towels than to switch my family over to hanging our clothes on the line.

A community’s muddling is not evenly practiced by all its members for many reasons, and I’ve come to believe that what is important is a good public discussion and even a healthy tension that leads to good questions about how we are moving forward. When Mayor Chaney appointed me to me to Moscow’s Planning and Zoning Commission I saw it as a chance to help that muddling process, moving the city toward future development that would be better suited to life without the petroleum and automobile use we’ve known. One of the opportunities for the City that I think is important is the abandoned railroad and industrial area located between downtown and the UI Campus. Around 1900 the City chose to use that land for railroads and grain industries, a choice that served it well for many years. But now that land is vacant and we get to make a choice for the next 100 years. I’ve explored how to create a mixed use development on that site, with higher density residential, live-work and commercial development but the economy and my lack of personal resources make it hard to see how to get started.

Shelley Bennett has argued that Eastside Marketplace is a neighborhood commercial center. I agree and spent time just after she bought the Mall helping her getting people to a community meeting to share visions for what is needed there. I never really thought about a food desert, but being able to walk to a grocery and several restaurants ensures I don’t live in one. Living close to Eastside is a demonstration of what I think are Smart Growth principles. Where Shelley and I disagree is I don’t think the neighborhood character of Eastside is enhanced by a regional shopping facility such as the Super Walmart proposed in 2005. The scale of that development seems to be to be poor planning in the context of what I believe about peak oil and climate change. Its not the way I think the City should commit its land for the next 100 years. It seems to me it would be wiser (as a UI student proposed at the time) to add mixed use residential to the SE of the Eastside and increase the number of people who can walk or bicycle to Eastside’s neighborhood shopping.

A conversation with Darin Saul at UI’s Sustainability Center got me thinking about the role of technology enabled communications. Historically, communication for collaboration in the marketplace was managed internal to large corporations. They set prices, decided when and what to buy and sell. What I realized from Darin is that the Internet and mobile technologies are keys to new forms of market collaboration. Perhaps these tools can lead to new means of market-making where small producers can meet the needs of a diverse array of consumers.

As we transition away from petroleum I don’t think we will go back to the horse and buggy used by the builders of my house — we will leave petroleum with science and technology and communications tools that we’ve developed for a future we are still inventing.

Back in June I wrote this summary of my thinking about what to do now about climate change. I think it is a description of my own muddling: grab the low hanging fruit, try to avoid locking in the wrong long-term choices, and resurrect old knowledge and methods to test how they might apply today. Inherent in that will be contradictions, things that ideally would be changed, but practically aren’t changeable now. I reconcile those contradictions by hoping we are always asking good questions and challenging old assumptions.

Building my first solar oven

October 1, 2011

I celebrated the Fall Equinox by building and testing my first solar oven. One of those projects I’d been thinking about all summer and the waning sun motivated.

It was a project made of scraps. I had the plywood box from a WSU Auction. The 1/2 inch reflective insulation was left from building garage doors on Peterson Barn Guesthouse. It took a little practice to recover my (ca. High School) glass cutting skills, but they allowed me to re-use a piece of glass from a defunct cold frame.

The lid still needs a reflective treatment and a means to prop it at an angle to reflect into the box. As it was, I got 3 cups of beans and water to 135F from 11AM till 3PM. Needed another hour simmering on the stove to finish cooking them.

I needed to rotate the box to track the sun. To reduce that need, I want to think about wings that will bounce light from the side — ultimately having a bit of a light funnel.

Questions from a Real Hero

September 24, 2011

This item was left as a comment to an unrelated blog post and was moved from there to here.

I have been following your various postings for some time and have a few questions for you that I would appreciate if you answer in a public forum preferably by posting and replying to these questions on your website.
1.      You claim to be a proponent of “Smart Growth”  and yet you live in a large suburban house on a large lot with another smaller house next door. Also, from what I can tell you have a cabin up north. How do you reconcile this?
2.      You claim to be a proponent of various forms of social justice however you seem to support things that arguably would make life more difficult for your average person either in the Moscow Pullman area or in general.  For instance you oppose “big box” stores and “sprawl” but do not explain how smart growth or businesses such as the Coop will make life easier for people of modest means.  Also, along those lines do you have any real research to substantiate your claims? For instance by having restrictive zoning in Moscow and Pullman has that actually reduced environmental impact and housing affordability? Or do the upper middle class folks still own big suburban homes in town while the lower income people have to commute in from elsewhere because they cannot afford to live in the area?
3.      You make a number of commentaries about a variety of subjects ranging from education to environmental policy and economics. Do you have any specific expertise in these areas?
4.      On your Facebook page you mention that you are “gainfully unemployed” and that you are only willing to take a job that fits your desire to be “socially responsible”. I am curious first people who do not have jobs usually cannot afford to live, let alone in big suburban houses, if you are not employed where does your money come from? Second, how do you think that someone like for instance an unemployed mechanic or logger who cannot  find any work even if they are willing to travel and take a job they don’t necessarily like feels about you describing yourself as “gainfully unemployed”?
5.      Many of your positions such as your preference for organic food, or your dislike of cars and any other number of things you seem to support seem honestly to me to be more like fashion statements and icons of an upper middle class individual who has never really been uncomfortable in their life or has not really considered what the world would be like if all of their “preferences” came to complete and total fruition. You also, seem to ignore little hypocrisies of your own existence. As I questioned above you have no problem owning multiple houses or for that matter using highly environmentally intensive electronics  to do most of your work, while at the same time telling the rest of us that we should make do with less. How exactly is this not the same brand of elitism that you seem to accuse many conservatives and other people of?
As I said before I would appreciate you posting and replying to these questions. I believe in holding people accountable for what they say and how they live.
Best regards,
Real Hero


Author : Real Hero (IP: ,
E-mail :
Whois  :

Co-op Job Application

July 1, 2011

I am a finalist for the Moscow Food Co-op General Manager. As the process goes public, they are asking us to write responses to 3 questions. Mine are below.

1) Why do you want this job?
I’m excited to be considered for the position as GM because I believe the mission and strategic directions of the Co-op are urgently important for Moscow’s long term sustainability. I want to help the Co-op contribute to our community’s successful transition through these changing economic/energy/climate times.

Specifically I want to help the Co-op to facilitate the food-awareness of members/ shoppers and the success of local growers and producers. This addresses two aspects of food security that concern me: 1. As fuel prices rise, people in our community may be forced to choose between food and other necessities. Knowing how to use bulk and local fresh foods will be important to achieving good nutrition. 2. A local food economy could buffer our community from shocks from global food markets and our long supply lines.

I also value the ways the Co-op leverages its resources to help the community in other ways. Examples include Dime in Time, a micro fund raising mechanism and co-marketing with Fish People and local growers. I will encourage activities that support the Co-op community without detracting from the mission as a natural food cooperative.

2) Give us a brief history of your experiences to help us understand what you bring to the position.
The GM is much more than chief retailer. To implement the Co-op’s Strategic Plan, the GM must work within a complex ecology, responding to the Board, helping managers, and serving as the Co-op’s representative to multiple stakeholders, including member-owners and other shoppers, suppliers, and the wider Moscow community.

I have many years of experience that prepare me for the complex role of GM, including:

  • As Palouse Prairie School’s Board Chair, I learned to implement the Co-op’s “policy governance” model.
  • For the last 10 years at WSU I have supported the success of professional managers via peer-coaching and serving as a sounding board and strategist.
  • My last years at WSU focused on a variety of assessment strategies and I will use assessment data to aid decision-making by the Co-op team.
  • I learn quickly, can persuade diverse audiences and get the job done, as I demonstrated founding Palouse Prairie School.
  • As a member of Moscow’s Planning and Zoning Commission I bring experiences with the City and see the Co-op as a key anchor store downtown.
  • Palouse Prairie School’s consultants taught me to facilitate collaborative work and problem-solving, which I will use to further the goal of making the Co-op Moscow’s best workplace.
  • I have led seven barn raisings and am able to help a diverse group learn, work and have fun together.

3)  What is your vision of our Co-op’s future?
The Co-op is progressing toward its Sustainability strategic goal. The store could produce hot water and electricity with roof-mounted collectors, but the payback periods will be long. I will help the Co-op own its building so it can explore these long-term investments.

I envision a financially healthy Co-op that chooses to how to focus its resources to advance its member-owner’s goals.

I will help the Community Food Works partnership increase engagement and education about food systems and local food options.

Initiatives to encourage non-motorized shopping trips are laudable, but the Co-op serves a wider region than Moscow. As GM I will explore if satellite ventures in other towns can strengthen the Co-op community, reduce shopper travel, and compliment existing local merchants.

Sodexo is struggling to meeting its contract to serve 15% local foods at UI. This may be because local growers operate on a different scale than Sodexo. In keeping with the Co-op’s goal to develop and support the local sustainable food economy, I will partner in exploring ways to create local markets at larger scales to meet institutional needs.

Recently the size of the Newsletter was reduced. I will develop New Media methods to preserve the editorial richness at lower production costs.

Nils Peterson Co-op Resume

Sharpening focus on my job search

April 6, 2011

I started writing this blog post a week ago to help me think about what I wanted to do next (which might be my next job). One of the things it has helped me articulate is the kind of job that attracts me is one with problems to solve that I find interesting. More and more, the problems that seem interesting are ones that touch on some aspect of community sustainability. It might work out that its a politcal problem or an infrastructural one or creating something new, but at the end of the day, I think I want to be able to look and say I helped make our community a more sustainable place in ways that impact the quality of people’s lives and the success of our city.

As a result of reflection on my job search so far, here are some things I believe about Jobs I’m Not Interested In:

Out of town on-site work: I got an interview for a job in Lewiston and found another that looked challenging, but both required 40 hrs in Lewiston. Add commute time and I will be effectively isolating myself from the Moscow community. I did this kind of commuter work for two years in Oregon and found I was not a member of the town where I worked or the one where I slept. Conclusion: Engaging with Moscow community is an important a value.

Field Organizer for the Idaho Democratic Party: I am more interested in working on the problems that Moscow faces locally and think these will be better addressed by non-partisan local organizing. Conclusion: Focus is wrong for the kind of work I think is important.

Organization with antithetical mission: I got an interview as a grant writer with an organization that engages in research related to an number of areas that are not sustainable. They are trying to green those technologies, but it strikes me that they are trapped in an assumption, because of their discipline, that the technologies are warranted. It certainly seems that their work is not at the heart of what I understand sustainability for Moscow to mean. Conclusion: Make sure the focus is squarely on the problems as I understand them and the problems are situated within the scope of my community.

Computing support: Lots of people think I’m a computer guy. In the 90’s I did quite a bit of that, but I don’t stick my head under the hood much anymore. Conclusion: Computers and networks as platforms to aid individuals and communities in learning and problem-solving are where my interest lie. I’m not interested in the problems of fixing them.

Buying BookPeople: Its been suggested that I buy BookPeople. An interesting way to get a job, certainly beats trying to start a new business. I had a tiny role in Twice Sold Tales back in the early 90s, enough to know that I don’t see book stores as a problem I want to solve.

Schweitzer. I’ve looked at their jobs list. I even applied for a couple jobs (they have a super easy application process that is equally fast at rejecting me). Improving the power grid has some important sustainability implications, but the jobs I’ve seen are not focused on aiding our community. I’ve not tried again because I don’t see them describing a problem that interests me.

Working for WSU: I’ve worked there 26 years and because I just retired from there, they will only take me back 40% time and only in special cases. Pullman is close enough to still be connected to Moscow community. Right now they don’t seem to have any problems they are interested in my help solving.

Chasing a water leak

March 25, 2011

About 8:30AM Thurs March 17 we got a call from the City Water Dept that our water meter was “spinning,” ie, the meter reader thought we had a leak. No telling when it started, perhaps the 9-below night in Feb. The City reads meters in November and March but not between.

My daughter Karina and I went to investigate. It took a little doing to decide which of 3 meters, but then we saw the red hand on the gage zooming around like a second hand on a watch.

Our house was built in 1910. The water used to come from a shallow well located in a concrete pit in the yard. Judging from the concrete in the pit, I’m guessing it dates from the 1940s. Iron pipe ran from the well to the house and a faucet in the yard.

When we bought the house in 1993 the well tested high in nitrates so the house was connected to City water. The plumber ran a new line down from Pine Cone St to the existing faucet and tied into the existing system. He cut off the well from the system. The result is water flows in through a shutoff valve where the old faucet was, over to the well, and back to the house. All in old iron pipes.

I shut off the valve between old and new and the meter stopped spinning. I shut off the valve under the house and turned on the valve between old and new. The meter spun again. Conclusion, the old pipes had failed outside, not under the house. Lucky for us we hadn’t left the house earlier that morning.

The simplest plan was to install 60 feet of new water line, leaving the iron pipes buried in the yard, but cut off from the system. I called the DIG-line and scheduled a Ditch Witch at MBS for Saturday 20th at noon. My daughter had fun with the upside down paint marking the route for the new line.

Leaving the water shut off, we set about seeing how much fun we could still have on Spring Break.

Saturday dawned with 2 inches of snow falling. About 10AM I shoveled the back deck, which needed to be dismantled to allow 12 feet of hand digging among electric, sewer, old water and an unknown iron pipe to reach the crawl space under the back porch.

Gustaf Sarkkinen, Odd Jobs! joined the effort. He went down the access hatch to inspect and found several iron pipes that were rusty and weeping, but not leaking, at locations beyond the shut off valve. We decided to replace them as well.

We decided not to get the Ditch Witch Saturday, because we were having enough fun in the snow and mud hand digging and the weather was closing in. It snowed again that night.

water line going under back porchSunday I got the digging machine about 10AM and and Gustaf picked up parts. We had the trench in and began removing the old supply line so we could slide the new PEX through its hole under the foundations. A few feet of hand digging with a garden trowel in the crawl space and we got the new pipe in.  Gustaf hooked up the line while I began back filling the ditch. By mid-afternoon we again had water to the house’s shut off valve, but a couple of the old pipes beyond the valve had been disturbed and were leaking.

Gustaf cut out the pipes in the middle of some runs of soft copper while I went to Spence for parts. We learned our first lesson – the new Sharp Bite fittings don’t go on soft copper. Neither do solder fittings, you need compression fittings, so off to TriState because Spence was closed. With our new parts, Gustaf went down the hatch and discovered the pipe was not really 1/2 inch copper as he’d believed but 5/8 inch.

Monday AM Gustaf arrived with 5/8 compression fittings. They did not fit. He took a sample of pipe to McCoy’s to see what fittings and knowledge they had. Lesson #2: when soft copper pipe freezes it expands to a size that won’t work with any fitting. The solution is to dismantle more of the system until you reach an unfrozen section or a joint that does not expand. So, we got a chance to remove more of the old pipes under the house. Another trip to MBS for parts.

Monday afternoon I called the City Water Dept and shared that we had the problem solved and asked how to appeal our big water bill then I took my first shower in days. The water ran rusty for 2 days.

Tuesday I put a new ground line on our electric system (we’d found the old ground tied to the hot water line and then finished filling the trench. On Wed I got the access under back porch crawl space re-closed and the deck re-assembled. Life is back to normal after a week.

Thinking Sustainable – Buy Local, Lend Local

January 20, 2011

20 years ago a farmer friend approached me. He wanted to buy a business in Moscow, but being August, his reserves were all tapped out until after harvesting and selling his crop. For a few months I fancied myself the owner of a used book store.

Later the Moscow Food COOP raised funds to move and expand by seeking local private lenders. I was tapped out at the time, but it planted a seed and I wanted to be a local lender again.

Recently I got the chance to be help another local business wanting to expand. I can tell you that the satisfaction seeing the business grow is sweeter than just earning interest in the bank.

All this is coming into focus again. We are doing our taxes on the Peterson Barn Guesthouse and I charted the way the business spends its money. I lumped things into Local (eg Moscow), Idaho (eg statewide), and National (eg everything else). Avista is our biggest National expense and seeing this, it has me thinking about converting it to a local expense.

In this case, to reduce spending with Avista we need to make the barn more energy efficient and self-reliant (eg, more solar and sustainable). That will take some spending, a chunk of which could be local labor. And that will take some capital, which could be local. And the expense of paying for that capital would be local spending, rather than national, keeping more of the money in the community.

Next step: Decide what energy efficiency steps can be taken and what they might cost implemented in local and sustainable ways.

SODO Moscow web strategy

December 26, 2010

At the urging of Karen Lewis (“you need a web page”) and after checking around and having the real estate broker alert the property owner, I launched SODO Moscow site. You can learn more about SODO there. This post is a place to pull together my web strategy thinking.

Karen’s suggestion to work in public fit what I had been learning at WSU in my work with student ePortfolios (see Learning Portfolio Strategy: Be Public). Another part of working in public is to work where the community interested in your problem is already working. For this project, Facebook seemed a logical place. I created a FB group SODO Moscow after exploring the idea of creating a new FB account and using its personal page or creating a FB page. I choose the group approach because it seemed to allow its members the most equal footing in a collaborative space.

One of the things we learned at CTLT was that a learner’s portfolio needs to deliberately build “Google Juice” around its problem to attract a community of collaborators (why else work in public?). The decision to use Facebook worked against gaining Google Juice, because Facebook is a private island that Google does not index. The SODO Moscow blog in Blogger was chosen as a Google friendly place to be the public anchor for the project.

Updating my resume to reflect who I am

December 7, 2010

WSU is providing me the opportunity to reflect on who I am and what I want to do, and importantly, how to communicate those ideas. As I previously noted, a resume (here) spanning 30 years of work is poorly suited to either communicate the themes of that work or to span the transition in that work from print journals to blogs and wikis. For example, here is a whiteboard where I tried to capture a timeline of the ideas and problems I was working on across my work life and personal life from 2000 to 2008.

Left end of whiteboard timeline small Right end of whiteboard timeline small

The last two years, working on the Harvesting Gradebook, has had me thinking about the impact of the Internet on learning and higher education as presently constituted. My focus swings between learners getting feedback to aid the learning and learning being credentialed (assessment for and of learning).

I am not formally credentialed for almost all the work I’ve done in the last 30 years — my credentials from that work  and are community based.

Jayme Community CredentialJacobson created this graphic to help describe four different model implementations of the university. I now see the bottom right element of that graphic has a problem (reproduced at left). Regarding credentialing it says “the employer gets what they help design.”

But what if the learner is trying to join a community that hasn’t designed credentialing criteria? What if the learner is trying to forge a community around a problem?

That is my situation. I have a variety of experiences, but they are not specific to the new “sustainable Moscow” work that is my passion. I need a way to create a CV that converts my experiences into credentials that a new community values.