Geography is what we make of it: A short reflection on 30 years of traveling the globe

Dear Antonio,

Thirty years ago this month, I stuffed a couple of suitcases and headed off to Germany to finish high school as an exchange student. I’d already lived in India, the UAE and New York, and it was time for another adventure. Just a few years earlier, the Berlin Wall had fallen and my parents took us there on an early winter holiday. I became a geopolitical junkie before I became a teen.

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Travel > Twitter

Three decades, three degrees, three TED talksseven books, one marriage, two children and more than 150 countries later, here I am: living in Singapore, but writing from São Paulo – still hungry to go anywhere, anytime. To know the world, you still have to be there. I travel, therefore I am.


Thirty years ago, one of my great heroes and mentors, Robert Kaplan, published a seminal essay titled “The Coming Anarchy.” I timed my reflection on his reportage and my own decades of analyzing global affairs – “The Coming Entropy” – to appear around its anniversary. I hope you find it interesting.

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Geographic Futurism for a Complex World

The first subject I formally learned in German instead of English was Erdkunde – GeographyThe textbook was hefty and banal, full of static, bland maps. Climate was mentioned, but not climate change. There were no Internet cables. Working with talented cartographers, data scientists and designers around the world, I’ve since set out to map the world as it really is: a rich layering of natural, political, functional and human geographies in a perpetually dynamic interplay.

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Can We Future-Proof Human Civilization?

In retrospect, then, it seems inevitable that I would found AlphaGeo, a geospatial data science platform that leverages AI tools to forecast how the drivers of today’s complexity (geopolitical tensions, industrial policies, demographic shifts, technological disruptions, climate volatility and more) will impact the “ground truth” around the world. We guide asset managers and governments towards more resilient investments and policies. If you want to future-proof humanity, join us!

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I hope to reconnect with many of you in the months ahead, and wish you a wonderful summer in the meantime. You can keep up on my latest writings and other news at


Keep traveling!


All the best,




[email protected]