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Michael North is co-founder of The Zhou Enlai Peace Institute. The Institute educates the people of China and the world about a great Chinese thinker, diplomat and peacemaker, former Premier and Foreign Minister Zhou Enlai, who led the way to opening China to the West, and stood for international peace and co-operation. As a hero of peace, Zhou Enlai deserves worldwide recognition alongside other great figures of recent history.
Michael's wife, Xiao Fang Zhou, is the grand-niece of Zhou Enlai, and co-founder of the Institute.
Also working in the China relationship, Michael directs America-China Bridge, a company committed to building peace and understanding between China and America.
The Bridge works across several bi-lateral fields, including business, education, culture, technology, communications, citizen diplomacy and investment strategy. It seeks to bring the best of America to China, and the best of China to America. The organization has both for-profit and non-profit arms.
The Bridge sponsored a series of high-level investment education seminars in the heart of Beijing, presented by Board member Mary Buffett. As the daughter-in-law of the most successful investor of all time, Warren Buffett, Mary shared her insights into means, methods and philosophies with an audience that included hundreds of private investors, bank, government and diplomatic officials, as well as university students and entrepreneurs on scholarships awarded by the Bridge. The event was actively supported by the Foreign Ministry and the Commerce Ministry.
The Bridge sponsors several important projects.
China Royalty Exchange is a joint effort with Arthur and Anni Lipper to introduce the new vehicle of royalty financing, and a public exchange for royalty contracts, to China. Royalties are superior to equity and debt as a means of financing growing companies, because they pay a simple percentage of company revenues to investors. Development of this opportunity is taking place with a group of Chinese banks, securities exchanges, and offices of the central government.
America-China Energy Trust is a new investment vehicle, designed for the private and institutional investor in the U.S., China and worldwide. The Trust will enable investors to participate in transparent, professionally-managed, high-quality green power companies in China and the United States. American management, technology, business planning, marketing channels and accounting standards will enable acceleration of the new green energy economy in China.
China Goes to Wall Street is an executive travel, research, education and business development event, which will bring a large group of China's government and corporate leaders to New York City for an extended series of visits and seminars to the heart of American capitalism. Treasures of China will bring objects of great art and beauty, drawn from every major era of the nation's 6000-year history, back to China and on tours throughout the world.
Michael North is the President and co-founder of Greenstar Corporation, a technology company that focuses on solar power, wireless communications and media development.
Through Greenstar's "digital culture" programs in the developing world, solar-powered community centers are installed in remote, rural off-the-grid villages. A Greenstar system includes health, education, employment, telecommunications, agriculture and ecommerce services.
This model was pioneered in Al-Kaabneh, on the West Bank near the Dead Sea, with subsequent projects in Swift River Jamaica, Parvatapur India, Patriensah Ghana, Suruaca Brazil and Pang Do Tibet. Special projects have been completed in Afghanistan and Philippines. The company is establishing a network of 300 such centers in remote rural off-the-grid villages around the world.
For each village, a special media program is developed, recording original traditional music, artwork, photography, poetry, animations and recipes that communicate the true voice of the community, in digital form, to the world, in all-digital form. Through direct consumer purchases, and through commercial licensing, Greenstar returns income to the village.
Greenstar co-operates with the US Department of Energy, US Agency for International Development, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Sandia National Labs, the United Nations Development Programme, the International Telecommunications Union, the World Bank, the World Resources Institute, Capital Missions, Rotary Clubs International, Motorola, Hewlett-Packard, the Technology Empowerment Network and other international organizations. Interviews with Michael North about Greenstar can be read here at the Center for Digital Government and at Interactivist.
Let there be peace for all.
Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.
Let each know that for each body, the mind
and the soul have been freed to fulfill themselves...
Let freedom reign.
Michael North is also the original founder of North Communications, a leading public access network company. Beginning in 1986, the firm built hundreds of electronic commerce solutions that deliver complex transactions to the general public through public access touchscreens.
The company's clients included the states of California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Utah, Washington, Michigan, Kansas and Florida, the U.S. Congress, Los Angeles, Tulare and San Diego Counties, Northrop, Cadillac, City of Chicago, New York City, University Credit Union, Citizens Bank, Microsoft, IBM, BellSouth, GTE, MCI, Sears, Hewlett-Packard, the PGA, Social Security Administration, Veterans Administration, Medicare, U.S. Postal Service, Puerto Rico, the Republic of Singapore, Brisbane Australia, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Canada, and others.
As President and CEO, Michael initiated and developed a strategic relationship with billionaire broadcasting and telecommunications investor John W. Kluge of Metromedia Company, New York. Metromedia became the majority shareholder of North Communications, and Mr. Kluge assumed the post of Chairman of the Board of Directors.
North Communications has received many international awards for its work, including the Gold and Silver Cindy (Cinema in Industry), the Kennedy School of Government/Ford Foundation (twice), and the Byte Invision Award (twice). Michael speaks extensively to industry and professional groups, including Comdex, Service to Citizens, Government Technology, the Library of Congress, the National Science Foundation, the Congressional Forum on Social Security, the General Services Administration, the International Engineering Consortium, PlanetWorks, Capital Missions, the Technology Empowerment Network and the International Telecommunications Union. He served as a judge on the annual Global Information Infrastructure Awards, was a founding member of The Standard for Internet Commerce, authors papers for network and media industry publications, and has consulted independently on internet security and biometrics to GTE Corporation (now Verizon).
Michael's early professional background was in publishing (editor of New Directions magazine), in computer networking (creator of conferencing projects in the 70's on the proto-Internet at the New Jersey Institute of Technology) and in television production (associate producer of prime-time shows for CBS Network). In 1983 and '84, as vice president of CompuSave, he directed media and software development for a pioneering multimedia public access retail operation, the first fully online transactional department store.
In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of Greenstar, Michael is a member of advisory boards for Upstream, an international organization focused on conflict prevention; for Sustainable Business, an ecommerce portal serving the "green" renewables industry; and for IDC's Technology Trends Advisory Council. He serves as President of Iona Contemporary Dance Theatre, Honolulu's leading experimental dance group. He also assists with several Hawai'i non-profit groups, including the Hawai'i Forgiveness Project, Kamakani o Waimea and the Stewards of Waimea. Michael is a principal business and marketing advisor to a leading jade import business in Honolulu, Jade Gallery Hawaii. Mr. North also serves as an advisor to dot.mp, an online identity management company headed by Gib Bintliff. With Clyde Musgrave and others, he is co-founder of an international technology management group, Prevocative.
He helped his wife, Xiao Fang Zhou, to initiate a new Chinese-language translation service, XiaoFangZhou.com.
Several papers are available online: The 21st Century ATM , The Unwebbed Majority, The Greenstar Opportunity and A Call for Smart Electrons, Digital Culture, E-Philanthropy and Sweatshops and Butterflies. He is the editor of an art and poetry volume, Gallery of Forgiveness Arts, and the short annual book, which Michael edits, Forgiveness Stories. With his wife, Xiao Fang Zhou, he is co-author of Zhou Enlai: Man of Peace, a pictorial biography of the former premier of China, and the producer of a DVD by the same name, filmed at the 2011 Ministerial Conference of APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation).
Information about North Communications is available here.
The Greenstar website is available at http://www.greenstar.org.
The website of America-China Bridge is http://www.americachinabridge.com
The Zhou Enlai Peace Institute is at http://zhouenlaipeaceinstitute.org.
Further materials, video, music, photography and personal papers are at http://www.mediasense.com.