Since moving to Toronto in September 2000, Derek has become involved in more stuff than he can shake a stick at, with the biggest being the development and launch of TakingITGlobal. In addition to that, he participated in the Ontario Science Centre Youth Advisory Council, and was 1 of only 200 Canadians to take part in “Future Trek 2001” which was 5 days of collaboration in the nation’s capital during Canada Day festivities.
"I’ve always known that I want to help people, but figuring out how best to do that has been the real challenge." Through my job at a theatre from the time I was 13 until I was 18, I learned how to deal with professional performers in a professional manner. This has been handy throughout my life, and I believe it has helped me get closer to where I want to be by allowing me to hold my ground when dealing with professionals.
After that (when I’d finished high-school) I decided that I’d go to university… partly because I wanted to learn, and partly because it was expected of me. I thought I might like psychology, and as luck would have it, I did. I was on my way to helping people. In order to get a little more variety though, I decided to take a few computer courses, because I’d taken a couple in high school and thought they were kinda neat.
Oh boy, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. Over the next 4 years I began to take more and more computers courses, and fewer and fewer psych courses. This culminated in me graduating with a double major B.Sc in psychology and computers, and my love for computers & systems theory was high, while my love for psychology had been somewhat quashed, which was interesting because that was how I was planning to help people. I was going to help them through psychology and counselling. What now?
Obviously I’d have to modify my plans. Perhaps I could help them by developing more efficient systems and taking some of the hassle out of their lives? Would that be as fulfilling? I didn’t think so, although I had almost convinced myself that it would be. So, I just let myself drown in my computer magazines for a while…
One day, just before I was to start my post-graduate studies in internet management & production at Humber College, I saw a computer magazine with the words “Idea Virus” on it (that was one of my favourite units in a cyber-culture course I’d taken), so I picked it up. It turned out to be “Fast Company” magazine… which I’d never read before… I didn’t read the Idea Virus article.. I got stuck on one called Youth Movement, which was about something called “TakingITGlobal” and it just sounded awesome…. So awesome in fact that I was determined to find out how to get in contact with them before I’d even finished reading the article. As luck would have it, their emails were included at the end of the article!
I emailed them and said “I don’t know where you are, but I would like to help in any way that I can.” It was, after all, a US magazine. What were the chances of anything coming of this. Well, as more luck would have it, TakingITGlobal was located in the same city that I had been planning on moving to within the next month! So, when I received an email reply inviting me to their first meeting, I could hardly believe it.
In the 2 years since then we have worked together to create this organization. I am helping people. I am helping youth. We are building a better life learning experience for anyone interested in anything. I am helping make learning something people look forward to, and I believe that I made the right choice in leaving psychology. I didn’t know what I’d do at the time, but I had faith that things would work out for the best, and I truly believe that they have.
From 2001-2003 I had fun as a full-time instructor of web design & e-commerce at Humber College. I got to teach people new things every day, and they were always excited :) I was also doing freelance web development as Orange Consulting .
I spent from October 2003 to April 2004 living and working at ZaMirNET in Zagreb, Croatia. When I got there the first thing I did was search TIG for "members from Croatia", and so I emailed the most active one -- Irena Curin. We met for coffee and ended up becoming great friends. Everyone I worked & played with in Zagreb was amazing, and I will never forget my time there.
Beginning August 16th 2004 I'll be starting my first fulltime job at an actual company, as a web developer. That's right - I'm 27 and I've never worked for anyone but myself. Kind of cool, eh? Well, yes, but it's also been pretty stressful. You always have to keep hunting for your next client, and you're never positive that you'll have enough money for the next month's rent. I decided to go to work to get some stability and a greater sense of community (there is no community when you work in your home). Wish me luck! Drop by www.DerekMartin.ca some time to see how I'm doing and what I'm up to.
I currently work at ILoveRewards and ReThinkRewards.com . Read more about who we are and what we do on our corporate blog . Since moving to Toronto in September 2000, Derek has become involved in more stuff than he can shake a stick at, with the biggest being the development and launch of TakingITGlobal. In addition to that, he participated in the Ontario Science... (more)
This is a space for Derek to share inspiration, information, and opportunities for involvement with global impact.