Andy's Vision - Bringing to fruition the accomplishment of a life mission. 

The process of creating and fulfilling my vision has been a process that has been very involved, deliberate and some times challenging. However, it has also been incredibly interesting, sometimes exciting and rewarding. I wouldn't have done it any other way - it has all been a process, of essentially creating my life as a living sculpture, or artwork. And I am not nearly complete, it seems sometimes to have just begun. Below I present two aspects of this "Vision" process. One the left is the steps, and my version of writing a Vision/Mission and on the right column are a summary of jobs and life experiences that have contributed to the progression.

This is provided to show you that, in at least one case, this process can be very involved, varied and time consuming. But each experience is its own reward in addition to being like a step in a very long staircase to the fulfillment of my hearts desire. I share the following with all the humility and honesty that I can muster.

Outline for Creating the Vision Document and subsequent

(Current Vision for Dr. Skadberg is encompassed in the book - "VISION - We ARE Re-Creating the World, a Resource Manual "tool-box" for Revitalization and Empowerment Through Grass-roots Strategies and Environmental Awareness")

Example - Written Mission Statement

Making My Mission Real

When I first created the I Am Sharing collaborative network outline, I realized that I had never written my personal mission statement. This seemed like a huge oversight. I don’t know how many mission statements I had created for other projects and organizations. Even though I had had in my mind an idea of what my mission, or purpose was since about 1987, which came as the result of an experience on a canoeing trip on the St. Croix river, I had never put that statement down in written word. So, upon the passing of my father, I decided it was time to express “my purpose” in writing. The following is the evolution of this idea from the first statement prepared for the original I Am Sharing outline in 2007, and the final statement that was inspired by the  materials from Ra in the Law of One Series from the L/L Research group, and much other research and discovery into other esoteric, metaphysical,  occult and spiritual avenues.

My Mission:
To be of Service to Others and make a Positive impact in the world, with an
ultimate aim to contribute to world peace and an evolution of Human-kind.

The ways that I will fulfill my mission is by:
- Each day strive to be the best "Andy" that I can be.
- Always believe in expanding "possibilities".
- Work to expand people's awareness of our relationship to the natural world.
- In pragmatic and tangible ways create opportunities for people to experience the out-of-doors and the company of other people through experiential tourism.
- Discovering and empowering the potential of technologies to facilitate  these opportunities.

The above is more “pragmatic” mission and fits into a more mundane and
traditional world view. From what I have learned in the last three years, is that our knowledge of who and what we are as “humans” is way too limited. To that end, I have expanded my mission statement to include this new
understanding of who and what I TRULY am. Below is the current Mission
Statement posted at I Am Sharing as a result of three years of intensive
spiritual work (I have been on a spiritual path for over twenty-eight years).

The foundation of this philosophy is the discovery of the Law of One.

My Mission
To be a Conscious instrument of "I AM" for peace, Love and harmony by
serving others and the planet utilizing ego-less awareness, Conscious Deep
Breathing, sharing my insights and knowledge with integrity and honesty
through open communication using the channels of Learn/Teach and Teach/Learn via Love/Light - Light/Love.

In the last few months I have had the great fortune to come in contact with some very wise and powerful beings. Here is a message I shared with one of them when he alluded to the fact that I had a very strong motivation to make the world a better place for my kids, and all children. I have made the statement for years that I believed our future is dependent on the children, however, I believe it is my job (realized much more clearly in the last year) to try to leave them with some tools to work with based on my time here on Gaia. In my work I refer to this concept as building a bridge from the current socio-economic paradigms of the existing world, to the world that I believe Spirit is ushering in in the near future, and this relates to humanity ascension associated with 2012.

Here is the message that I sent to my friend.

Dear Don,
How did you know, about my kids and my desire to change the world? Here is a quote from my father's memorial/tribute:

About 1 ½ year ago I found myself getting tremendously sad at the thought of my children facing the “age of enlightenment” – when the reality of the
problems of the world start pressing down on them. I found myself slipping
into that dreaded state of desperate resignation – what could I possibly do to
make it better?- the problems seem insurmountable. . . . but then a thought
came to me about what I could do about it. What I realized is that I can try to
change the world. I don’t care if people think it’s grandiose or pompous to
think or believe this. Either way it will be better. . . if I make a difference, great!

If I don’t, at least I died trying. I think both Mom and Dad did that in their lives.
(http://iamsharing.ning.com/profiles/blogs/tribute-to-marvin-skadberg)
Then on 10/1/07 I wrote this in my journal - I remember where I was when these thoughts came to me:

Realized that the reason things haven't changed in the world is that no one has just simply made the decision to change them in a big way (e.g. Mother
Theresa, Norman Borlaug, Mahatma Ghandi, MLK).

- I Am making that decision and working towards a common sense set of
solutions.
- We have the tools and the necessary resources, we just need to "make it happen"! (my cousin Keith coined this term in the 1980's).
- God Help Me?!
- I can do this. The reason I have the desire is because this is what I am supposed to do.
- I see this vision with clarity because the time has come to solve problems (today I would say seize the opportunity).
- I BELIEVE!! I KNOW WE WILL SUCCEED!! GOD WANTS US TO MAKE  THIS HAPPEN.
- IT IS UP TO US AND GOD IS AT OUR AID.
- We will draw the necessary resources to get this done. Don't focus on what
might go wrong, only focus on success. We are proceeding in a CERTAIN way.

The time has come.
Some appropriate quotes from Law of Success by Paramahansa Yogananda:

“And your work can only be called a “success” when in some way it benefits
your fellowman” (p.6).

“Tune yourself with the creative power of Spirit. You will be in contact with the Infinite Intelligence that is able to guide you and solve all problems. Power from the dynamic Source of your being will flow uninterruptedly so that you will be able to perform in any sphere of activity. You should sit in silence before deciding about any important matter, asking the Father for His blessings. Then behind your power is God’s power; behind your mind, His mind, behind your will, His will. When God is working with you, you cannot fail; every faculty you possess will increase in power. When you do your work with the thought of serving God, you receive his blessings. . . .So long as you work to please God, all cosmic forces will harmoniously assist you (p. 34).

Entrepreneurial, Life and Professional Experiences contributing to the development of my VISION
an overview of my professional credentials can be found from my Curriculum Vita

The following is a partial "timeline" of jobs, projects and experiences that have been evolving for most of my life. This list is in no way comprehensive but does show some of the more important milestones as I have been working towards my greater contribution to the world. Some of these listings are not at all prestigious, but the experiences were important in the overall progression for me to be working toward my greater life achievements. In some regards I feel that I have just begun this process and I continue everyday working toward that which I feel is my contribution to humanity and my higher power. This information is only provided as evidence of how dedicated and patient a person might have to be in order to bring their vision to fruition. Some of my experiences occurred before I began to formulate my greater vision which I essentially recognize as occurring somewhere while I was in my Leisure Studies degree at Iowa State University, in approximately 1986-88. This video describes briefly an experience that I call "Re-cognizing my mission" (Andy's Aha moment with Mutual of Omaha), which is described in this essay Discovering My Purpose.

In some regards I have been an entrepreneur for my whole life with early experiences making doing various jobs since I was a boy. Even though I became a professor, my knowledge has come from a wide variety of jobs and businesses. At one time some years ago I actually counted the number of jobs that I have held, some for several years, and came up with around sixty although that number has expanded.

In particular, my experiences around the travel and tourism industry has been the most significant. However, my life and professional experience has gravitated toward innovative, creative, cooperative with an orientation toward the utilization of new technology and it's development.

Various jobs and entrepreneurial experiences


Odin Associates - 1981-83: this was a family business that we started investigating the possibility of utilizing corn cobs in a biomass gas generator to produce electricity. The partnership included Marvin Skadberg, Robert Haug of the Iowa Municipal Utilities Association and Torbjorn Haugen (my brother-in-law). In addition to building a replica biomass gas generator, we developed a kit-car called the Odin Cyclecar which was featured in Mother Earth News. These experiences contributed to my understanding how to initiate projects from the ground up, especially working with the creative genius of Torbjorn. This time also spurred my interest in alternative energy which, I believe, has been pretty much lock-up by the current petroleum and nuclear energy paradigm which is absolutely unsustainable and destined to be replaced by free and clean energy.

Sailboard Center - summers 1984-85: with Dr. Donald Hadwiger I was certified as a Windsurfing International Instructor in addition to renting out sailboats and other boats at Big Creek State Park.

Leisure Studies degree at Iowa State University, 1983-89 and working with Dr. Steve Simpson and Dr. Tom Makowsky - writing the original Vision "Ecotourism Consulting International". With Steve as my advisor in outdoor recreation I was inspired to develop ideas around protecting and sustaining natural ecosystems, specifically rain forests, combining the power of diversification and local empowerment. Tom Makowsky provided important insights to organize and develop a plan. The ideas presented here at the Vision Excelerator are very much an evolution of the common-sense ideas espoused by Tom (e.g. find a model that works for you, and then adapt it to your needs - ideas presented in the "Preparation for Recreation".

Two internships provided invaluable experience and insights into non-for-profit conservation organizations and their operation - Bat Conservation International, Texas Nature Conservancy.

Masters Degree, forestry degree, working with Dr. Joe Colletti and I-StART - the Iowa State Agroforestry Research Team. This period of time was one of the most beneficial for my academic career working with Dr. Colletti and the agroforestry research team. This was also the time when I came across Systems Approach which has become foundational to my overall approach to project design and implementation. My research and job as a research assistant involved working with a number of very interesting projects including the Risdall Buffer Strip project, the Winnebago Tribal project and the agroforestry, energy project with the City of Ames Municipal water treatment facility. My master thesis is entitled "A socio-economic analysis of an alley-cropping agroforestry system utilizing municipal biosolids as a fertilizer.

Driving Charter bus, Midwest Coaches, Star Shuttle and Charter, etc. - I drove a charter bus as an additional job to put myself through college from 1983 until 2008. The variety of experiences and tours that I took provided me some of the most important understandings for my ideas about tourism and rural development. My last few months driving bus in Austin, Texas found me getting on national T.V. in the show Friday Night Lights. I never saw myself on this show until I came back to the U.S. and saw the season finale entitled "Underdogs", where in fact, I did get on the my national TV appearance for a few seconds.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept.

- Texas Adventures: was a short-term "nature tourism", entrepreneurial endeavor of TPWD where the Dept. was hosting the general public to join park professionals and scientists on tours and extended trips to state parks and natural areas.

- TPWD Gift Collection: was another entrepreneurial endeavor of TPWD. A mail order gift catalog featured primarily Texas crafted products that helped inform, promote and educate the public about the important work of TPWD to provide recreational opportunities while protecting natural plant and animal ecosystems. The project was successful from a business standpoint going from 1993 until 1999 but was ended because of various political opposition. My title was Assistant Director, responsible for essentially all business activities. I opened and closed the doors of this endeavor. This experience has contributed significantly to the creation of the QC Collective.

- Great Texas Coastal Birding Classic - fundraising - another new endeavor established as a promotional vehicle for the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. My contract position during the first annual event was to figure out how to get corporate sponsors to support bird watching teams in the tune of $5000 to compete in the week long event. The prize money does not go to the teams, but goes to conservation - which the winning team gets to designate. The first fund-raising campaign, developed from scratch, successfully raised about $100K.

Texas State University, Ph.D.

- Center for Nature and Heritage Tourism

- TRAPSS - Texas Regional Analysis and Planning Support System (1998) - was a system combining the power of a relational database with ESRI Arcview GIS software. The system was designed to bring together a large disparate set of information and data to assist decision-makers for regional and community planning and development. The system was never officially utilized, but was instrumental in evolving my understanding of the power of technology to support decision-making. Developed with Yongxia Xia.

- PhD Research focus on small business use of the Internet. "Nature Tourism in Cyberspace an Examination of Its Geography and Character in the Network"

- Nature Tourism in Texas: Research paper about Texas State Government and the development of nature tourism

- Texas Heritage Trail Program - I was the original author for the THC program (a $15,000 grant), although the project did not follow the opportunity that we suggested and became a more typical bureaucratic type endeavor. In 2004 while the TexBox pilot project was underway, which could have been launched full-scale with $1 million, the THTP was given $4.3 million just to develop three of the ten trails. An evaluation from a community perspective revealed the program to be a challenge based on its structure and management. In 2006 the THTP received a Presidential award from George W. Bush - the chair of the Preserve America program was John Nau, the largest Budweiser distributor in the nation from Houston, Texas.

Texas A&M University

As an extension professor with the Recreation Park and Tourism Sciences Dept.

- Texas Nature Tourism Information System was an early version of the informational system designed to provide access to people for growing nature tourism and other endeavors related to rural economic diversification, education and, basically, the Rural Revitalization and Empowerment Strategy (RRES)

- TexBox Project was one of the instrumental projects to bring to fruition AdventGX and the emerging efforts to evolve the use of technology for the traveling public and to empower rural communities to diversify their economies and stimulate small business.

The project initiated in 2003 with a team of 3, in one month installing traveler information kiosks in 7 rest areas. Here is recognition from the Texas State Comptroller.

Project paper, Functional schematic, Official video announcing Texas Dept of Transportation launching wireless Internet Statewide in Safety Rest Areas.

The contract was awarded to Coach Connect and I was contracted through AdventGX, Inc. to write the proposal.

In 2007 the contract was awarded to Zoom Information Systems. I assisted them in winning the contract. See Project Description

- Interpretive Guide Training Program

- Nature Tourism: A Guidebook for Evaluating Enterprise Opportunities

- "Spinning" a company out of Texas A&M University - AdventGX, and other projects during a 2 year period.

Other derivative projects launched based on these concepts

    - Vestivo
    - Van Horn Project 7, Texas community and regional project for West
       Texas and near Blue Origin Space Project, news item
    - Texas Education Vacation, a project of the Texas Travel Industry
       Association
    - Conceiving the original RRES which then evolved to Texas Engineering
       Extension Ed Central
    - A New Pair of Glasses - a presentation to community economic
       development directors about tourism and new models for ED.
    - Presentations at Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines Conferences,
       - press release for the conferences.

Vice President for Research under Dr. Richard Ewing -as an Assistant Research Scientist

    - LGRS-STAD (Laboratory for Geospatial Remote-Sensing Sciences
       Technology and Application Development) - utilizing the Texaco
       TEEMS (Texaco Energy and Environmental Multispectral
       Spectrometer, as a cornerstone for developing a educational and
       commercialization strategy for the Vice President for Research. A
       chapter of the Vision book is dedicated to this topic, including details for
       creating an educational institute and a pilot project utilizing a
       hyperspectral device for addressing a real-world problem.

Leaving the University to pursue my Vision/Dream.


Leaving Texas A&M in 2007 was one of the greatest risks that I ever took in my life. Dr. Ewing's death came at the end of a very challenging and eventful year, the first change was my father passing on Jan. 12. Other personal changes came in regards to my marriage and me "letting go" of AdventGX as a vehicle for me to achieve my life's goals.

Richards passing was an incredible shock and resulting in the dissolution of what I saw as an incredibly bright future around the creation of the LGRS-STAD and my involvement with the creation of a scientific computation institute associated with the King Abdulah University of Science and Technology - a project I was co-authoring with Dr. Ewing.

At his passing, Dr. Ewing was only sixty-one. I was forty-seven and began to think, if I only have 14 years to make my dreams come true, I better get back on track as the endeavors for the university had me working on projects that tended to run into road blocks. So, near the 15th of December of 2007 I decided to trust fate and go to South America to return to my Vision to create a ecotourism consulting company, but with greatly expanded breadth and depth.

The events that transpired forced me to face my fears around money as I was not able to earn a living for over three years. Not that there were not opportunities that arose, but every time a project was developing, something would happen that would dash the project. The first was related to, purportedly, the second largest gold discovery in the history of the world in a small town of Cajamarca, Colombia, with the company Anglogold Ashanti.

I won't go into great detail about every project that was dashed, and there were at least half a dozen (e.g. hyperspectral institute, plastic recycling factory, exclusive dealership for product called Top Seal, supporting the national trucking confederation, etc.).

The most bizarre and shocking was the ten months that I worked with Guillermo Rodriguez to incubate opportunities around the 2000 products that he had invented. Guillermo was an amazing man, chemist and physicist who had developed many incredible inventions, most "green" and sustainable. We had work doggedly on at least four products/projects "solid alcohol, oil cleaning (like new), biodiesel from used cooking oil, and rubber tire recycling.

To make a long story short, Guillermo passed in my arms on June 19, 2009 while we were meeting with the mayor of Caicedonia, Colombia discussing the creation of a tire recycling plant. This event, again, through me for a loop but I continued to try to get projects going. Finally, after over 3 years without an income I was able to acquire low paying positions as teaching English, economics and business at the Oxford Center and University of Tolima. During these jobs I was able to work with many really special young people and I was blessed with an incredibly supportive family. However, my financial obligations here in the U.S. were really pressing on me so I had to return to attempt to address these issues.

The most important benefit of my time in Colombia, in addition to the amazingly wonderful experiences, was that I was able to dedicate my time and energies to writing my Vision down, to take considerable time to elucidate MY ideas, that came from my own creative spark. I was delving deep into my experiences and ideas that had been gestating for the past twenty years or so, and getting them down on paper. The culmination of this, first, was the writing of the Vision: We ARE Re-creating the World book, although there was considerable additional writing happening and a lot of updates could be made to the original self-published document.

The writing of the second volume is still pending, which is to be a compilation of "case-studies" or success stories that can be utilized for models for communities, organizations and businesses to replicate or follow.

As of the date of this writing, my Visioning process has resulted in the creation of a number of online resources which can be viewed as "pieces of a puzzle". There are additionally two summary descriptions that I have written which provide more clarity and refinement of these ideas.

The first is called HOME Communities

The second is "World Proclamation for Emancipation 2011

The current version of the Vision book go to This Link

In addition to these professional and traditional world view writings, I have been writing other, more creative, or spiritual types of essays and poetry. For a review of some of what I feel are my better works go to this link "Grand Review Christmas 2011 - Accomplishments and Sharings"

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