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74. James Jorgensen (LGB 1987)

Posted By Alumni Office, mardi, 25 novembre 2014
James Jorgensen1. How long did you spend at Ecolint?
From 1978 to 1987 (I.B. completion).

2. How did you come to attend Ecolint in the first place?
My father worked for Digital Equipment Corporation in Norway and we were supposed to move to Iran but the revolution broke out as we were getting ready to do so. Geneva was presented as an alternative which he happily accepted.

3. Which teacher had the biggest impact on you and how?
Many great teachers, but Mr Dorsay, Mr Sharpe and Mr Kerswell had the most positive impact. Mostly it was a healthy combination of positive encouragement and a wry perspective on things that made them likeable and the received wisdom memorable.

4. What was your favourite spot on campus and why?
Window sill of the cafeteria – a great niche for reading, sketching and contemplating life.

5. What was your favourite place in the wider region, and why?
Société Nautique de Genève. Through Felicity Leach and rowing at the SNG I had exposure to and closer contact with the Swiss community. It made the whole Ecolint experience feel less insular and detached, more like ‘home’.

6. Describe your life today, where you live and what you do.
I live near the beach outside of Santa Cruz, California with my wife Saghi (from Iran). I am a partner in a small industrial design company and do most of my work from home. Primarily we collaborate with larger companies to do aerospace work dealing with modifications for special missions aircraft, but we’ve worked on everything from guitars to orbital rockets. Before this I spent 9 years as an architect and 6 years as a test pilot/design engineer for a small start-up.

7. What should be Ecolint's top priority as it approaches its 100th anniversary?
Build on the I.B. programme to extend it to a greater audience. As a model for education that provides critical exposure to a variety of information and ideas at a formative time of life, it really works. I would discourage any attempt to get rid of the more tactile and visual arts. These are critical to any design and engineering endeavour and could stand to be integrated that way to a greater degree. Computer Aided Design (CAD), 3D printing and robotics are changing the world. These technologies and their implications need to be understood to better navigate the future.

8. What "words of wisdom" would you pass on to today's Ecolint students?
Ecolint is as good as it gets. You will never get the breadth of exposure to people and activites in as idyllic a setting as you are experiencing right now. If you choose to leave Geneva, there is a significant chance that you will regret it. If you must leave, remember what it was like, and try to make wherever you go more like it. It’s bound to make the world a better place.

9. What has been the biggest impact of your Ecolint education on your life?
It has caused me to see things from all points of view. It has transformed any sense of nationalism into a dated concept, worth celebrating with a meal, but certainly not worth killing or dying for.



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