The Archives: A Tiny Sampling of Old Work

Prologue

You’ll find a tiny sampling of my old work posted here under the category KMK Archives

What you’ll find is not in chronological order, and it’s certainly not comprehensive or representative of all I’ve done. Some pieces are historically relevant; some highlight projects I particularly enjoyed; others you may find fun or interesting; and perhaps one will lead you to muse and consider a time period or event from your own life.

There are also many writings, articles, logos, designs, videos, and case studies I will NOT post publicly for reasons of copyright, respect of a person or organization for whom I did the work, or, quite frankly, because the work is not very interesting or germane to the general public. In certain situations I may show some of this sample work privately.

The other reason not much is posted here because I don’t tend to save much! This was especially true in pre-digital days, when stacks and files of papers would grow too large for my comfort and scanning or photographing papers was not easy, so I would toss most work without keeping any record. Yes, occasionally I wish I had kept a sample of this, that, or the other project — but that feeling too passes!

Epilogue

As noted above, mid-2020, a friend encouraged me to post some of my old work and projects here as a means of showing a small sampling of the writing, design, video, project management, event production, and breadth and scope of what I have done. I dug through my archives, pulled out some old work, and put aside a few things I had thought I would post.

While I did publish a few pieces, most of my archives will sit in their corner: Even with encouragement, I am really not interested in resting on laurels or looking backwards (unless there’s a related lesson to learn or person to thank).

So, I’m not posting any additional “ancient history”, even though some of it has persisted: Two logos I designed while in school were actively used for more than 25 years; one remains in use after 30 years. Some of the logos, posters, and brochures I have done over time are undatable; others are representative of a specific era and style. Three-dimensional works I did in metal or fiber were interesting and unique, yet I have not maintained a continuing practice in either material. Written articles were often geared to a specific event, or were so long most people are not going to read them. Satires were so bitingly close to the truth that often, they were harbingers of things to come or not understood as satire. Training videos, instruction guides, user manuals and how-to articles for software, corporate polices, and so forth become obsolete soon after creation — and they are not very interesting to the general public.*

While looking through my old work was briefly interesting to me, I soon found it not interesting — and rather than look back, I prefer to be in the present moment and let flow what is called for now, and what comes from my heart. 

To see more of the archives, click here or select the blog category KMK Archives.

*In addition, I rarely saved copies of my corporate work because corporations generally require employees and contractors to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) that state that any work done for the corporation remains the property of the corporation, and the creator cannot retain copies. I often wonder if the Human Resources departments and recruiters of those same corporations realize this when asking to see the portfolios of potential hires. You want to see work for my previous corporate clients? Excuse me, but I had to sign an NDA that prohibited me from taking work with me — just as you would want me to sign one for your company — yet you want to see the work I did for them?

New Business Feasibility Study

From Kelly Manjula Koza’s archives. This is a recent example; I’ve led or participated in many similar projects over the years.

In 2019, I was approached by a multi-talented colleague who had been doing some part-time consulting outside the realm of her primary profession. She wanted to consider the feasibility of expanding the consulting into a successful business that would operate as a B-corporation, balancing purpose with profit to provide critical services to underserved market. 

She had been working with small businesses and individuals to secure their computers, technology systems, data, accounts, and finances from threats inherent in the realm of technology. She repaired compromised accounts and systems, established secure hardware, software, and network solutions, and trained individuals and business owners how to maintain security best practices. 

In doing this work, she saw the potential of what she felt would be a great business opportunity: Her existing clients knew little to nothing about security threats that could significantly damage financial security, business operations, and individual peace-of-mind; they did know how to protect themselves or their businesses, and they were under-served by security consultancies. She felt that creating a consultancy to provide these much-needed services to these individuals and business owners would benefit the community, give her personal satisfaction, and be profitable. 

After an initial talk with her and a number of potential business partners, we confirmed a small group of individuals committed to investigating the potential, risks, and feasibility of founding such a business. As the designated leader, I:

  • Lead the business feasibility study, including market analysis, risk assessment, and strategic planning
  • Created a scalable business plan to deliver tiered service levels
  • Designed several iterations and models of the plan to accommodate partner resources, capabilities, and gauge overall business feasibility
  • Advised partners on marketing, technology, financial, and operational infrastructure considerations
  • Created an internal communications structure and trained partners on use (Confluence wiki, emails, shell website)
  • Designed the company logo and identity and wrote draft marketing copy

Based on the exploration and work conducted over the course of six months, I advised the group not to proceed with the business.

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To see more of the archives, click here or select the blog category KMK Archives.

The Road Less Traveled: A Business Owner Profile

From Kelly Manjula Koza’s archives: I wrote this profile of a Denver business owner for a women’s magazine in 2004.

Over the years, I have done many interviews and profiles, both in print and in video. Some were published under my byline; some were used without byline or credit in promotional materials for businesses and nonprofits, or kept for an organization’s archival purposes.

The profiles I most like were — and are— those featuring amazing and inspiring women. The piece below is perhaps my favorite profile from those I wrote about Denver business owners. I had known Qui Vu for a year or so before this was written, yet interviewing and filming her for the piece brought me to tears: Her quiet courage, fortitude, peace, and inspiration were evident in all she did, and touched all those in her life.

Originally published in Zenith Women’s Magazine, March/April 2004.

To see more of the archives, click here or select the blog category KMK Archives.

Elinor Ostrom’s Commons Sense

From Kelly Manjula Koza’s archives: I wrote this piece in 2009, after Elinor Ostrom won the Nobel Prize for Economics. The article was published by eZine Articles and also on my previous blog, Pointing to the Moon.


Elinor Ostrom’s award-winning economic theories about sharing resources are in part based on lessons learned from observing how Swiss farmers determine grazing rights for common-pasture cows.

Elinor Ostrom, co-recipient of this year’s Nobel Laureate in Economics, has been the subject of a flurry of media excitement, yet the attention given Ostrom and her work is only beginning: As more people begin to understand what Ostrom has said, the influence of her words and work will be felt more greatly – especially by women.The benefit will not come because Ostrom is the first woman awarded the Nobel for Economics – a fact the highlighted by the press during initial reports of the award, most likely because of lack of publically-known information about Ostrom and her work. As the media and public have shifted from focusing on “the first woman” to actually looking at Ostrom’s contributions to economics, the practicality of what she says has become apparent. Reporters, writers, and the public are beginning to understand Ostrom’s work and realize how vital it is to the world right now.

The commons – commonly-shared resources, from pastures to oceans – and how they are shared and sustained are a focal point of Ostrom’s work. Unlike many economists and politicians, Ostrom believes that most people challenged with the distribution and use of a resource can cooperate and act for the common good. Ostrom believes problems should be solved as locally as possible, yet she does not denounce the need for government.

Ostrom’s findings are a departure from what has been the prevailing force in economics: For centuries, economists have focused on lack, and control of resources by a few. Common resources were thought to be best handled if divided and distributed by a superior and controlling power. Traditional economic theories have led to imperialism, competition, scarcity for many, gross over-abundance for a few, wars of resource control, and a rapidly declining environment.

In a discipline dominated by men, Ostrom’s emphasis on empowering groups and letting them work out practical, applicable, sustainable solutions for resource use is ground-breaking. Ostrom’s consideration of the community as well as the individual, and her call for cooperation at the local group level is surprising – in a discipline dominated by men. To women, I don’t think Ostrom’s work is so radical: In fact, I would say that Ostrom’s work stems from being a woman.

By nature, women tend to recognize and value inter-dependencies, between and among individuals and the community. Women strive to balance and sustain fair use of resources, and encourage self-dependence and situational problem-solving rather than the imposition predetermined, rigid rules.

The women’s perspective and presence has been squelched in modern economics, and I believe this has been a major cause of the many crises we face. An over-emphasis on hyper-masculine qualities, including competition, winning, me-or-you allocation of resources, and focus on short-term gain has brought the world to the brink of financial and environmental collapse.

Ostrom’s work and ideas are intellectually credible and grounded in practicality, and the Nobel award gives her words a validity respected beyond academic circles. The Nobel award committee chooses recipients not only to commend them for their work, but to focus media and the public eye on issues the committee feels demand global attention. Public perception and actions can be and are changed by the designation of the award. In this case, the Nobel committee has consciously directed attention to the need for a more cooperative, inclusive, sustainable, and self-directed world economy – one that recognizes and includes women as determinants, not as derivatives.

Elinor Ostrom’s Nobel prize gives credibility to what women already, inherently, know, and men are beginning to recognize, value, and seek. Ostrom has opened the door for evolutionary economic change, and the increased inclusion of women in government, businesses, and economic decision-making processes will facilitate that change – and demand women’s active participation.

Photo by Juan Flauta, via FlickrCC BY 2.0

To see more of the archives, click here or select the blog category KMK Archives.

The Landscape Changes, But Do We?

From Kelly Manjula Koza’s archives: This was written in 2010, and is still highly relevant today.


Quite frankly, the photos speak for themselves.

However, for those who prefer words to photos:

Citizens of contemporary Western nations — especially the United States — tend to think of their time and their “civilization” as being the most advanced, the most civilized, and indestructible.

The photo of Kabul in 1970 doesn’t even represent the pinnacle of Afghanistan’s cultural, scientific, and spiritual heights, which many would argue came long before Afghanistan was colonized by the British or adapted “modern” Western ways. But the photo from 1970 shows a landscape reduced to rubble by what only can be called inhumanity. This inhumanity manifests in many ways, including war, greed, corruption, rape, abuse of power, abuse of people, and general “uncaring”.

Consider the cultures of ancient India, China, South America, Central America, Persia, and, of course, Rome and the other civilizations of the ancient and modern “Western World” (for so many years, the only countries included in history classes in the United States).

How many advanced cultures have fallen? How many will, unless we humans start treating our world and all our people with respect and compassion, embrace humility, accept diversity, and act with integrity and kindness?

These photos are from the Finnish website Kuvaton, which claims no copyright to images published on the site.

To see more of the archives, click here or select the blog category KMK Archives.

The Global Peace Initiative of Women Religious and Spiritual Leaders in 2002

From Kelly Manjula Koza’s archives.

The Global Peace Initiative of Women Religious and Spiritual Leaders was held in Geneva, Switzerland in October 2002, on the grounds of the United Nations. I filmed and reported on the event as an accredited journalist. This piece was written for a women’s magazine based in Colorado.

Published in Zenith Woman Magazine, January/February 2003

To see more of the archives, click here or select the blog category KMK Archives.

Celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

From Kelly Manjula Koza’s archives: Written in 2009 to celebrate a ground-breaking international document, the ideals of which we still work to attain. The Declaration was signed on December 10, 1948.


Sixty-one years ago, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Much contested and debated at the UN before its acceptance, the UDHR was developed as a non-binding agreement of nations working towards and upholding basic human rights for all individuals around the world.

Eleanor Roosevelt, a key player driving the drafting and acceptance of the UDHR, stated that the document would educate people as to their basic rights as humans and encourage nations to adopt laws promoting and safeguarding essential human rights.

In April, 1948, ER wrote in Foreign Affairs:

In the first place, we have put into words some inherent rights. Beyond that, we have found that the conditions of our contemporary world require the enumeration of certain protections which the individual must have if he is to acquire a sense of security and dignity in his own person. The effect of this is frankly educational. Indeed, I like to think that the Declaration will help forward very largely the education of the peoples of the world.

Sadly, many rights specified in the document are still far from being universal, and adoption of the UDHR continues to meet opposition from number of governments around the globe. And, while ER and the United Nations consider the document to be personal and “belong to each and every one of us — [to] read it, learn it, promote it and claim it as your own”, the rights enunciated in the UDHR are not so well known, even by those here in the US — the home of the Constitution that provided a strong foundation for the drafting of the UDHR.

How familiar are you with the UDHR?

At a very basic level, the Declaration covers the following:

  • Protecting children’s rights
  • Fighting discrimination
  • Halting torture and political killings
  • Advancing the human rights of women
  • Reinforcing workers’ rights
  • Spreading the word of free expression
  • Halting religious persecution
  • Advocating for fair trials and due process
  • Securing freedom from want for all
  • Protecting human rights defenders

On this Human Rights Day, take the step of educating yourself as well as helping others. Visit the following sites to learn more about the UDHR and human rights:

While the technology of the world has changed drastically since 1948, attitudes and the implementation of policies safeguarding human rights have not changed much. The UDHR is as critical now as it was 61 years ago. The peoples of the world must move beyond the document, and implement universal acceptance of human rights, as human rights are timeless — and priceless.

Photo by SpecialKRB, via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

To see more of the archives, click here or select the blog category KMK Archives.

The Inaugural Business of the Year Awards

From Kelly Manjula Koza’s archives: I’ve organized and run many events, and this inaugural event from 1997 was eclipsed as my favorite only by Sardinian Textiles: An Exhibit of Handwoven Art at the Italian Cultural Institute – San Francisco in 2017. 

During the mid-1990’s, I was on the board of directors for the Colorado Business Council, the Denver-area GLBT chamber of commerce. Their name has has since changed; at that time, we could not use the words gay, lesbian, bisexual, or trans in the organization’s name as the homophobia was rampant in Colorado. Even some of the chamber’s leaders were not out in the business world and did not want to be publicly identified with the group.

To better integrate the chamber with the community-at-large and other chambers, gain recognition for gay-owned businesses; promote GLBT issues; and serve as a fund-raiser for the organization, friend Anne, also a board member, came up with the idea of initiating an annual awards ceremony lauding gay- and lesbian-owned businesses and community allies.

The inaugural event in 1997 was a huge success, and the awards ceremony ran for about 15 years before being discontinued due to having achieved its long-term goals. As Elfriede, another friend and former board member said, “The awards and ceremony were phased out because we had been able to honor all of the ground-breaking GLBT business owners, and the chamber and GLBT community has become so well integrated into Denver that having distinct awards for GLBT businesses no longer served any purpose.” 

I was thrilled to hear this: The inaugural ceremony had been a pet project of mine, and I had been credited with taking the event from conception to reality. At the time, I was CBC’s Director of Special Events and de facto PR director, and I did everything I could to ensure the first event’s success. I managed details large and small, created processes that I new would set precedents, penned documents, wrote articles and talked with journalists to secure top local publicity, garnered corporate and business sponsorships, and collaborated with other board members to attract politicians and business leaders to the event and ensure their support of the chamber. The event and people were also a great deal of fun!

A few pieces of the local publicity around the event are below.

The Rocky Mountain News Sunday Business section, August 31, 1997.
Sent as informative article/PR piece to numerous papers; published as-is in some, by my request without my byline.
Feature in the Women’s Business Chronicle, a Colorado paper, April/May 1998.

To see more of the archives, click here or select the blog category KMK Archives.

Why I (Mostly) No Longer Write Satire

From Kelly Manjula Koza’s archives.

I’ve always had a passion for satire: I devoured the writings of Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, and S.J. Perelman when I was a kid, and English teachers and friends often urged me to write pieces for them. For a long time I did write short satires, yet I intentionally stopped (well, mostly), long before the current political environment essentially killed the genre by rendering it nearly indistinguishable from so-called reality.

I desisted for several reasons. Writing satire puts me in a bad mood: I become critical, cranky, and unappreciative of the good in the world. I’ve also increasingly believed that our thoughts influence and create our reality, so writing satire generally seems unwise: I’ve had many satirical ideas that I would NOT want to see manifest in world! In addition, the rapid reaction to a piece I wrote and sent to friends and colleagues in 2007 spooked me: Not even my closest friend — whom I thought would recognize my writing — identified the piece as satire, and she and many others began sharing the email, which I thought could land me in major hot water, possibly even a lawsuit, if I did not quickly retract the piece (which I did; keep reading to see the piece below). 

I often structured my satires as newspaper articles or press releases, and sometimes even took the first few sentences of a real newspaper article and wrote a satirical ending to it. This format combined with my extremely dry sense of humor apparently makes it very difficult for people to discern what’s true and what’s not.

Here’s an example of the newspaper format, based on a 2004 article found on the BBC website.

Passion over for Barbie and Ken

Valentine’s Day is approaching, but the romance is over for Barbie and Ken. 

 After 43 years as an item, the plastic pair’s “business manager” at toymaker Mattel said they “feel it’s time to spend some quality time – apart”.

 “Like other celebrity couples, their Hollywood romance has come to an end,” said Russell Arons of Mattel toys. 

Ken will go his own way, and the new romance in Barbie’s life will undoubtedly raise some eyebrows — as will the new Barbie herself.

Barbie will be sporting pants, flat heels, and wearing a ring from her new significant other, who is dark, handsome – and a woman. 

“Woman-loving Barbie has been a long time in waiting,” says Arons. 

Lucia, Barbie’s new partner, was introduced to Barbie’s circle amidst considerable astonishment and excitement.

“The conservatives who haven’t been paying attention will undoubtedly have some strong reactions, but Barbie just couldn’t go on with Ken any longer,” says Arons. “Lucia comes with a full range of emotions, interests and talents that we just couldn’t bundle into Ken or any male doll.”

Mattel will market a full range of new accessories for the lesbian couple, including a pickup truck/camper combination, large furry dogs, and an assortment of Mikita power tools. ###

The piece I retracted (below) was written as a press release during a very snowy winter when planes were delayed and cancelled across the country, with each week bringing a new storm and a new set of delays. Vacationers as well as those of us who flew regularly for work were upset with what seemed like persistent travel difficulties and unaccommodating policies of airlines. I wrote this thinking it so far-fetched that no one would believe it, yet after people began sharing it as a real news piece, I became worried that the airline would find and sue me. 

United Announces Frequent Flier Flight Delay Program

CHICAGO, IL, February 14, 2007 — United Airlines today announced  the company will award frequent flier program miles to travelers whose flights are delayed due to weather. Elite members of the airline’s frequent flier program will also be awarded miles for any flight delays. 
 
“We realize that fliers, especially frequent fliers, lose time and money because of weather delays. This winter has been particularly difficult for travelers and airlines, and United wants to recognize the fortitude and loyalty of our customers,” says Bob Forappel, United public relations director. “We feel there’s no better way to do this than by offering travelers frequent flier miles.”

Travelers who are members of United’s frequent flyer program will receive 5 frequent flier miles for each minute of weather-related delay. Premier members (those who have flown 25,000 miles in the past year) will receive 10 miles for each minute of delay. Premier Executive and Premier 1K members will receive 20 and 50 miles, respectively, for each minute of delay, as well as corresponding miles for any flight delay, weather-related or not.

For more information, see www.united.com/premier/miles/wewish/ ###

While I’ve pretty much stopped writing satire since then, occasional outbreaks occur. See How to Launch a Successful Startup in San Francisco, subtitled Why I (Mostly) No Longer Write Satire, Part II

To see more of the archives, click here or select the blog category KMK Archives.

Internet Changes Coming to India in 2003

From Kelly Manjula Koza’s archives: I wrote this satire in 2002 while in Kerala, India.

Bangalore—Indian government officials today called for new polices regarding internet use in the country. Recognising that the internet has and will continue to play an important role in the development of India into one of the world’s leading technology producers, but concerned that that traditional Indian culture will be lost in the modernisation, government officials mandated the following changes designed to instill Indian tradition into the internet.

The step-by-step implementation of these polices will begin 1 January 2003. 

  • The internet will close on all bank, public and religious holidays.  
  • Lunchtime closing will be from 1.30 to 2.30 daily.
  • Foreigners using the internet in India for over six months will be required to register at the District Office, providing in triplicate the completed form FOR.INT456, along with 3 copies of the passport and visa, a list of all website addresses they plan to visit, and the address of their local ISP. If using a laptop brought into the country to access email, the serial numbers of all software loaded onto the laptop must be listed on form SOFT789, which must be provided to the local police department along with a CD copy of each software programme. An HIV test is not necessary.  
  • All email addresses will be changed over the next three years to reflect traditional Indian address conventions.
    • First, the “@” symbol will be replaced by “near to”: KShiva@yahoo.com will become KShivaneartoyahoo.com. This change will be put into effect 1 January 2003, but as it will take some time to update millions of lines of code in internet servers to handle the change, a slight delay in email delivery is expected.
    • Second, so as to instill pride across the country for local contributions to the world wide web, the correct identification of the local mail server will be implemented in all Indian email addresses: KShivaneartoyahoo.com will become KShivaneartothiruvananathapuramyahoo.com. In large cities, if there is any confusion as to the mail server, a qualifier can be added: KShivaneartothiruvananathapuramyahoo.com.oppositerailwaystation.
    • Third, the full use of initials denoting all of a person’s names will be encouraged: KShivaneartothiruvananathapuramyahoo.com.oppositerailwaystation will become KKBGShivaneartothiruvananathapuramyahoo.com.oppositerailwaystation. From this point, it will be natural to discard the English tradition of truncated Indian names, and add the full last name to the email address: KKBGShivaramakrishnamurthiswamineartothiruvananathapuramyahoo.com.oppositerailwaystation.

Each change to the email address will require completion of application INTCHANGE.3345 and a fee of Rs150 payable by cheque to the local branch offices of The Minister of Internet. Due to increased workload, applications are being taken online only. Applications containing an incorrect email address will be denied. 

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@2002 KM Koza