in Social Entrepreneurship

2012 in Review + Happy New Year!

With less than 12 hours to go in 2012, I’m finally writing this post. I’ve been thinking about how to sum up this year for about a month now. It’s been an intense and busy year! The easiest way to describe the highlights of this year: with pictures.

Leslie Forman's Social Entrepreneurship Class at UDD

This semester I taught Social Entrepreneurship, an elective course in English at Universidad del Desarrollo (UDD), a private university here in Chile. Half of my students were on exchange from Denmark, Germany, and Sweden, and the other half were Chilean business majors. This has been the biggest and most challenging project I’ve taken on this year. I’ve written a lot more about the experience and I will share this with you soon. Thanks Max for the photo.

My article was published in Forbes!

My article, “The Secret to Creativity and Productivity,” was published in Forbes. This concept has really helped me get more done and feel less stressed. Click the photo to read the article.

Diplomado en Creatividad e Innovacion

Diplomado en Creatividad e Innovacion. One of the best things I’ve done this year has been taking a postgraduate course on creativity and innovation in the design school of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, the top university in this country. Amazing course, amazing classmates. We learned so much about the process of creating innovation, from brainstorming to needfinding to research and development. I also made great friends in this class and I already miss them!

diplomado graduation photo

Here’s a photo from our diplomado graduation celebration a few days ago. Claudia, Paola, Berni (the head of the course), Tomás (the course assistant/coordinator), Meilin, me, Pamela, Darinka. Our class had 12 students and perhaps even more teachers.

How to Create Your International Career

I launched this free course on how to create your international career, as a “lean startup” approach to writing a book on this topic. I’ve been living, working, and studying overseas for about 6.5 of the past 8 years, and I really want to turn these experiences into a useful resource for people considering a similar path. Since launching this free course, I have connected with dozens of fellow global citizens. Thank you all for your thoughtful notes and helpful feedback. I really appreciate it. More soon!

Marcelo, Emma, Ben and me at a gorgeous restaurant in Chile's wine country.

When my brother was here in Chile, he and Emma and Marcelo and I traveled to visit Marcelo’s family in the countryside. Here we are at a gorgeous restaurant in Chile’s wine country.

I created this website for UnoCrea, a consultancy in Iquique in the north of Chile that offers innovation and training programs for companies and student groups. Click the image to visit the website.

I’m looking forward to visiting Iquique in March or April to lead a workshop for the students of MEC-U. I made this semi-ridiculous video to welcome everyone to the program.

I could add so many more: my parents’ visit to Chile in May, several fun trips to the beach, what I’ve been cooking and reading and thinking about.

But in the interest of space and honesty, I’d like to move on to what hasn’t been so good this year.

Doing way too many things at the same time.

For much of the year, I had four simultaneous part-time jobs, and was studying creativity and innovation, writing articles for several publications, and launching this free course on How to Create Your International Career. I could hardly sleep. My immune system basically shut down. I got sick midway through the semester, with a fever that turned into a cough that turned into bronchitis. I was ill for about a month altogether. I got behind on grading and preparation, and I couldn’t think about more than a week at a time.

I was pretty miserable and probably not a lot of fun to be around. I don’t want to live in an exhausted, coughing haze.

So yes, now and in 2013, I am scaling back my commitments and choosing projects more carefully.

I will be teaching a different course at the same university starting in March, and I really really want to write this book and get it out into the world before I turn 30 in January of 2014. So far I have a rough outline and lots of pages of transcribed interviews that I’ve fit into the outline. (Thank you Frann for helping me get to to this point.)

I’m sure there will be lots of opportunities to get involved with other projects, and perhaps I will take a few on, but my new mantra is…

… healthy.

My core desired feeling is to be healthy. To live with energy and enthusiasm. To get plenty of sleep and plenty of exercise. To be present. To do one thing at a time.

I don’t want to be a crazy Type-A overachiever who needs to do everything all at the same time, believing that busy = successful (thank you Michelle Ward for pinpointing this underlying automatic commitment.)

I’ve already started to make dramatic changes in my diet (green juice! little coffee.)

Thank you all for reading this blog, for supporting me through this crazy and wonderful year.

I wish you health, happiness, and joy in 2013.

Much love from Chile,


gorgeous sunset,  Santiago Chile

P.S. May 27: After two solid days of rain, the clouds opened, shining bright rays of sunset light over the Andes. <3


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  1. Congrats on all your successes this year! I’m wishing you a balanced, happy 2013 (and I’ll be eagerly awaiting your book!).

  2. Leslie, I *love* this. I was cheering you along as I read! What an exciting year you’ve had, though I can imagine it was exhausting. The deep in the bones, can’t think straight, totally forget to do laundry kind of exhausting. At least, that’s my experience :) Take as much time as you need to settle and recalibrate. I’m really excited to see what 2013 holds for you.

    Love from Dublin (where it’s cooold!),
    Clare x

  3. Super excited for your book! I 100% agree that health is one of the most important things in life. When I’m not healthy, I get less done and don’t feel as happy. Good idea to pare down. Also, just read your article that was published in Forbes… Nice work!

  4. Thanks ladies! I really appreciate your enthusiastic support. Hope 2013 is treating you well so far and I look forward to seeing what you create in the new year!


  5. Glad to stumble on your site!! I am also a global citizen. Been living in Manila for about 3 years, though I’m originally from the Philippines, i’m completely Americanized (as in, the token Asia chick) and forgot the language. I’m able to live here and work online through digital entrepreneurship. And I’ve had my blog up for awhile but I *still* am unsure what I’m doing with it! i.e. what community/niche I want to reach but seeing your blog has got me excited so maybe I’m getting closer. I’m rambling but I’m basically saying I think you’re awesome + social entrepreneurship is really interesting! Want to do more around this…

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