Who am I?, Ke mang?, ¿Quién soy?

come find out.

I’m a human.
I’m my Mother’s child.
According to 16Personalities.com, I’m a protagonist.

I contain multitudes, like all of us. Today, using innovation, evaluation, and social impact, I act on some multitudes more than others.

Let me tell you how I got here.

``Pierce, baby, your focus is your gift and your curse.``

- My mother

My earliest memory is getting knocked down.

I was born into a hot day a few days after the United State’s Independence Day from Ellicott City, MD. I’ve never stopped sweating since.

As I ran up and down culdesacs early in life, I always found meaning in learning. I quickly picked up math and science and found comfort in trying every extracurricular I could handle: Boy Scouts, Ninjutsu, Music, any I could find. It’s almost as if I was trained to be a plate-spinner.

Soon enough, I found solace on the skateboard. My best friends kicked and pushed until we dropped. If you’re diligent, you might even find my skate video. You’ll have to work at it, though.

After I subluxated my shoulder on a snowboard, I learned to say goodbye to my first love. While reflecting on my short career, I learned many lessons:

the support of counterculture,
and the spiritual release of a good mosh pit.

Trust me on that last one.

``...the tragedy of life does not lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy of life lies in having no goal to reach.``

- Benjamin Elijah Mays

High school’s behind me. Morehouse’s ahead of me.

I enrolled in the Dual Degree Engineering Program at Morehouse College, which offered the space to get two degrees from two separate institutions. I resolved, in both these spaces, to dive into every opportunity I found.

Unfortunately, I eventually learned that traditional engineering work no longer compelled me as a field. Though my education was essential, I felt the industry was too mechanistic and detached. I needed my work to have a soul, but I didn’t know where to start.

I began to ask myself: what do I like to do? Eventually, the answer emerged naturally: every time I tutored a colleague, mentored a younger brother, or volunteered across campus:

I loved to help others reach their goals. 

As I fell out of love with Aerospace Engineering, I became enthralled by the quandary of global poverty. I needed to find a place that could train me in asking the big questions.

``What are the Boundaries of Design?``

-Madame L'Amic

``What are the Boundaries of Problems?``

-Charles Eames

For graduate school, I started deeply training in how to intersect fields of study. I directed that need towards deeply understanding three fields: design and innovation, international development, and evaluation.

As an intellectual nomad, I took crash courses in a litany of fields – political economics, data science, geography, business, social science, energy, ecology, anthropology, and countless others. I learned not just the tools and knowledge of the fields, but the boundaries of their usefulness – and how they think.

From there,  contributed by asking nontraditional questions across key disciplines:

  • When people wanted the answer to global poverty, I asked: Where is the complexity?
  • When they wanted the impact of design, I asked: Whose success?
  • When people emulated innovation heroes, I asked: Who is missing from the story?

Eventually, the work evolved into multiple papers, theories on development practice, and dissertation research in Botswana. At the same time, I develop relationships with sensational colleagues working across the United States combining conversations of design and equity.

``Change is the only constant.``

Obviously, there’s more than meets the eye. But if you’ve made it this far, it’s clear you’re intrigued.

I’m humbled.

Let’s find ways to help each other.

write me