This month, I’m interviewing a couple more people for S P A C E | Winter 2023, ‘An Ecology of the Moment,’ before we start new things for 2024.

One is a really fun Q&A with a Human Resources director, CC. Quite cool. I’m enjoying editing this Q&A for S P A C E as it’s full of valuable data on how the role of HR has shifted.

The expanding role of Human Resources: ‘What does HR do?’

We’re talking about ‘People Operations.’

It’s so neat to understand more about how the role of the Human Resources teams has expanded and shifted to get more wellbeing into the programming and up the ante for those who are in charge of recruiting talent, and keeping people engaged where they are. I personally became interested in this when I saw how much the past work I was doing in design and brand identity design was overlapping with what I see as an emerging need, today. People need to feel like their work matters.

I used to uncover the goals and align teams, to find out the ‘why’ of organizations and get groups talking together about what really truly mattered to them.

I did that for every client project at Design Kompany that I found myself talking about later, in ways coming to understand that the value of ‘brand identity design’ for the clients I recall enjoying DK’s home-made process to figure things out clearly with me wasn’t the actual image (logo mark, brand identity design) itself that we created for them to use to market themselves. Rather, it was the process itself. Looking inward. Getting to the big idea of what matters most and what ‘counts’. That.

There were so many moments of seeing people’s eyes light up with the fabulous ‘a-ha’ of arriving at a clear understanding of why they’re different, what matters to them, what values they want to project, and be very authentic about all this, too. I think ‘authentic’ is a buzzword but I find myself gravitating towards people in these conversations for the zine and with the people who read the zine, too, who actually are. Real.

Realness counts.

I hope to share ‘People Operations’ in the next issue of S P A C E. As this zine is a weekly, that means… next Tuesday.

When it’s ready, I’ll put this issue of S P A C E in the shop.


Battambang and beyond

The other story I’m excited about at the moment is a light interview with a Battambang native I met recently at an event both of us were part of as ‘innovation consultants.’ Pretty neat. I found out that he had studied abroad in China, taught himself a million things from YouTube as a kid, and skipped school to play FPS games instead as a teen. What all of that felt like, and what it felt like coming ‘home’ from his time abroad are all part of the story, ‘Going Places.’

KSL is in his mid-twenties, yet, as S P A C E has found with people in this new generation, seems to possess a world of wisdom in the way he sees, interprets, and evaluates. He’s intentional, S P A C E surmises, about what works best for him. (This is unusual to find in Southeast Asia, where I normally encounter youth who are enmeshed in the ‘society-knows-best’ sort of thinking. Maybe that’s why I write this zine. To discover. New perspectives. And share them, weekly. In the zine.)


Why S P A C E?

When you keep moving and changing and growing based on all the things you find out in the areas where you go, your outlook shifts. But, so many people can’t ‘see’ that. So we adjust in our own ways. Some of us have crisscrossed so many roads that this kind of thing becomes second nature.

Yet, for those of us who keep on pressing forward (versus going ‘back)’, it’s a relief to discover pockets in the world where others, too, are re-imagining what they feel, think, see, and are choosing to become in the flux of identity reinventing.

All right then. Have a good new year, ladies and gentlemen. See you on the other side.

S P A C E is a weekly zine. Learn more here.