When I talk about “true believers” I am NOT talking about a syndrome. To me “true believers” are people who deeply believe in their values and act according to them. They do things because they are convinced that these are the right things to do – no matter if money comes with it or not. They “serve” society and change the world for the good. Mike Dawson truely is one. And we desperately need more of them! Especially in places like Afghanistan where corruption is natural and corporate and national interests dominate.
And Mike is a NERD. I introduced him before in this blogpost. Since 5 years he is living and working in Afghanistan. He is CEO of Paiwastoon, a private company with 30 employees. Their mission: Making IT work for Afghanistan. Mike himself is driving a car around in Kabul (totally unusual NOT to have a driver), he really goes to areas where you normally only go in a military convoi (their olpc project is in the Taliban region near the Pakistan boarder), he speaks the language and has – so to say – totally adapted to Afghanistan.
In this interview Mike explains with his very British sense of humour why he is in Afghanistan, he shares insights related to the Afghan education system, he tells us about “realities” in Afghan life and gives us some reasons why private companies – im comparison to NGOs – may have advantages in getting things done.
For me one of the most complelling interviews I’ve ever did.