Financial and digital inclusion for last mile payments: Trends, sustainable land use and disruptive financial service options

A lot of hard work here by my very dear friend who is more like a brother and son to me, and his associate Stephano Celeda

Helping to change the world!

Publication year


Resource type

UNCCD Publication

As the world addresses the necessary realignment in investment strategies to tackle a range of existential issues including climate change, land degradation, polluted oceans and gender inequality; new ways to securely transfer funds and boost digital & financial inclusion are emerging. A high volume of transactions into more hard-to-reach areas are taking place along non-traditional payment corridors, especially where financial infrastructure is limited or does not exist.

Digital identities, mobile wallets, distributed ledger technology, remote Digital, Monitoring Reporting & Verification (DRMV) techniques as well as advancements in mobile network coverage are presenting new opportunities for rural communities and women to participate financially in the green transition. A range of secure ways to pay recipients government subsidies or aid is also an opportunity for organizations to augment and target their impact on the ground.

Governments and global institutions have an important role to play in providing favorable regulatory conditions and in supporting infrastructure for digital solutions, to enable mass adoption and financial inclusion. There has been significant progress and learnings from the private and public sectors on the Indian Subcontinent that have embraced the opportunity afforded by digital identities and mobile wallet technology. This has also provided a platform for start-ups to focus on financially disenfranchised groups, such as, rural communities and women.

As for purpose companies, tech for good, non-profits and NGOs look to create longer term sustainable development, leveraging advances in disruptive fintech and digital infrastructure is key. As the cost of these technologies fall, the greater the opportunity becomes to make a significant environmental and social impact in LMICs.

In this report we examine a range of interconnecting elements that make up financial inclusion and last mile payments and will provide the reader with tangible examples that can be deployed in remote areas to empower underserved groups such as young people and women…

Thank you for taking a look and if you have any suggestions please feel free to let me know.



A Theoretical Framework (Modelling) for International Business Management


Schapour Zafarpour

Submitted: January 11th, 2015 Reviewed: May 26th, 2015 Published: October 14th, 2015

DOI: 10.5772/60903

Scharpour Zafarpour was my brother-in-law, a Professor at the University of Vienna. He sadly passed away all too soon and will be very much missed by all his family both in Vienna, the USA, Iran and around the globe. He was loved and respected by all. A gentleman, highly qualified scholar, friend and brother as well as Die (Uncle) Scharpour to many in the family. I wanted to put his work online so all could have access, not just friends, family and associates but for all who may find it interesting and inspiring.

Thank you Roxanna darling for finding this for me.

Thank you for taking a look, and thank you Scharpour we will love you forever…



The international business management is one of the most relevant parts for the development of the countries and at the same time the most complicated matter in this complex. There are many economic players on different levels with different tasks to achieve the final goal of the economy in a country, depending on the level of development [1]. The need for managing international business arises in the flowing areas or levels: 1. The international framework with all the institutions and organisations that determine country’s economic and support policy in emergent situations. 2. Impact of globalisation on international and national policy and activities. 3. The national framework, which fairly complicated because there are many active players: a) National economic policy: understanding it and the environment for trade activities. b) National economic structure and competiveness of the domestic companies. c) International management capacities. d) Local or regional environment and conditions for the companies. e) Focus on the world market conditions and their development.

1. Introduction

The aim of this paper is to show and to interpret the real motivation of international trade business with all the benefits, barriers, and problems. The model we propose illustrates our approach to International Business Management. Our proposed theoretical framework could be easily applied and would probably hold good in practically 80%–90% of countries.

The international trade management is the backbone of every economy. This implies that the trade balance of a country heavily influences the economic development of the country.

The process of managing international business is not an easy one because there are many problems and barriers that need to be overcome to reach the ultimate goals of national economic policy, i.e., the economic welfare of the people, which implies a low unemployment level and a higher purchasing power of the income earners to meet their basic needs (for greater details, see discussion by [23].

Our model demonstrates the complexity and independency of different levels in international business management. Each level has different goals and directions.

Level 1: International framework
→→ Financial institutions
→→ Organisational institutions
Level 2: Globalisation
Level 3: National objectives
→→ Political stability
→→ Infrastructure
→→ Trade policy
Level 4: Location
Level 5: Company
→→ Company structure
→→ Decision-making process (management)
→→ World market conditions
Level 6: Foreign trade activities
→→ Basic
→→ Special
Level 7: Foreign trade financing
→→ Short term
→→ Medium term
→→ Long term
Level 8: International business
→→ Reduction of unemployment rate
→→ Increasing purchasing power
→→ Welfare in the countries

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2. Level 1: International framework

At this level, we have two kinds of organisations with the objective to develop the world trade activities and to improve the world market sales.

Figure 1.International business management

2.1. International financial institutions

The World Bank, International Monetary Fund, National Reserve Banks, European Central Bank, and other National Financial Institutions

These organisations can and do support only the countries (infrastructure, etc.) and not the individual companies. The country has to apply for their financial support. The support always depends on accepting the laid down conditions (e.g., restructuring the country) of these organisations. The importance of there is now visible in the current economic and financial crisis. We must note that these financial institutions work on the benefit for the financial market.

2.2. Organisational institutions


The task of these mentioned trade organisations is to create standards and free competition on the world market. However, countries with more political or economic power do and can influence the rules and get more favourable treatment.

3. Level 2: Globalisation

The phenomenon of globalisation has practically started some thirty years ago, coming down from international institutions. It was a copy of the U.S. success model of neo-liberalisation policies. Many EU countries did follow the model. The globalisation is a process and has following preconditions:

3.1. Change of economic policy

  • Deregulation of employment markets
  • Privatisation of nationalised companies
  • Reduction of taxes for earnings and property incomes
  • Low inflation to avoid the inflation of monetary capital
  • Simplification of the international capital flows
  • Improvement of the chance to success for companies to create an attractive climate for investments

3.2. Liberalisation of international trade and capital

  • Simplification of trade in goods and services as well as the transfer of capital
  • General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) of 1948 was basis for the worldwide free movement of goods
  • WTO (reform of GATT agreement): from 1993 to 1999.
  • Facilitation of to the movements of good and regional free trade zones (e.g., EWR, NAFTA, MERCOSUR, and ASEAN)
  • Further liberalisation of the capital flow

3.3. International standards and norms

  • Efforts in harmonising the technical production standards to be able to push the transnational processing trade (car industry, amperage of white goods, configuration of copy machines, and printers)

Following these conditions, we do have some advantages and some disadvantages:

Liberalisation of domestic markets: The national property does not belong to any current government but to the people of a country. The governments are elected to follow the needs of the people and not to follow personal whims and interests of the people or the interests of financial markets. Privatisation could support corruption and nepotism.

The globalisation has altogether different impact on politics, people and national economies.

3.4. Process of globalisation on companies

The process means liberalisation of four markets

  • Capital market
  • Labour market
  • Information market
  • Technology market
Size of companyStrategyProblemsTask of government
Multinational companiesInternationalisationShifting the jobs to abroad (low-cost countries)Support of passive foreign direct investment
Middle-sized companiesRegionalisationLack of competitiveness to compared with multinationalsTax relief and support of active foreign direct investment
Small-sized companiesSpecialisationLack of cheap capitalImprovement of domestic capital market and cheap loan

Table 1.

Globalisation process has different impacts depending on the size and strategy of a company

4. Level 3: National objectives

This level is perhaps the most complex level because of complications that result due to the multiplicity of factors, players, goals, and strategies. It is expected that all of them that they create the best congenial conditions for international trade and business.

4.1. Political stability

Political stability is absolutely necessary for foreign trade activities of a country. It depends on and must thus be is based on ownership laws

  • that must be written down in the constitutional laws
  • that are totally independent of the three national institutions
    • Justice
    • Executive
    • Legislative

The following picture shows us how important political stability is.

Figure 2.Importance of political stability for the countries

Political stability is necessarily based on economic stability. Economic stability is based on social stability. Social stability in turn depends on low unemployment rate and purchasing power of the per capita income of the people (currently many countries in crisis days are faced with frequent strikes and labour unrest due to the lack of two).

4.2. Infrastructure

4.2.1. Material infrastructure

This must essentially need to be improved, built, and maintained in the country (e.g., roads, harbours, railways, airports, bridges, etc.). It covers the needs of the people and the companies (reducing the transport costs to become more competitive).

4.2.2. Institutional infrastructure

These are financial institutions on microlevel within countries (banks, insurance companies, and financial markets) that respond to the domestic market needs (of the people and companies). On the other hand, they pay taxes to the government. With these taxes, the government can cover the needs of the macroeconomy.

The building of a capital market in a country depends on the policy decisions (centripetal or centrifugal) of the government.

Figure 3.Significance of the domestic capital market for the development of a country
  • Companies need demand and purchasing power as well as improvement of national conditions to get competitive products, higher competiveness against other companies (economy of scales), higher export, optimal use of the companies’ capacities, and higher profit.
  • Higher profit could be invested in capital market, which means cheap loan and more investment for the companies.
  • Companies with higher profit pay more taxes to the government.
  • The government can get higher taxes for investment in political stability, economic stability, and social stability.
  • On the other hand, the government can invest in institutional, material, and personnel infrastructure.

4.2.3. Personnel infrastructure

Personnel infrastructure is the quality and quantity of professional educated people—in private and government sector—in a country. The government has a relevant role in allocating the resources and to support the sectors in quality and quantity term.

The best hardware does not work without software and the best software does not work without hardware. The country should thus educate the future decision makers in professional, social, and international competences. This is the key of success in international business management.

4.3. Trade policy

Trade policy depends only on elected government. It could be progressive or digressive. The government may (or may not) support the companies (financially) in active and passive trade activities. The national frameworks for companies in international business may differ from country to country (e.g., state guarantee for international trade of the companies).

5. Level 4: Location

The location is essential for the success of a company. Companies are located in different areas with different conditions for different products. The selection of the right location has a direct impact on the transportation costs, which means being more or less competitive to other companies.

Conditions and factors of location are different on the mezzo level between macro and micro. That is a tandem between government tasks (responsible for infrastructure) and company needs. Many companies of any size get problems because they are not at the best matching location. The following picture demonstrates the importance of the location in general and regional determinants.

Figure 4.General selection factors for location of businesses

6. Level 5: Company

The company is the fundamental and essential unit in international business and trade management. There are too many intricacies at company level too. No companies, no business—no trade at all. Success of the companies depends on the competitiveness on the market (domestic or world market):

  • Qualification of the staff (quality and quantity)
  • Creation of company potential
  • Innovation (products, services)

On this level, there are three different factors that act on its success in the world market.

6.1. Company organisation and its production structure

Size, product, management, finance, research and development

6.2. Decision-making process (international management)

It is much easier to act in the domestic market, whereas it is important to have more international competences in the world market because each business aspect becomes “international” (financing, organisation, marketing and advertising are all measured by international parameters).

This would mean that we have more competences as well as more costs, which are to be covered through the international trade. The most important person in a company is the decision maker. He or she should have special skills:

  • Professional competence (technical education and experience)—it is more or less the same in Europe and probably everywhere
  • Social competence is to receive and understand the social signals and to react adequately (which could be a problem in globalised activities)
  • Cross-cultural competence is to understand and evaluate your own cultural values to receive other cultural signals, to understand, and to react in the right way according to the following picture
Figure 5.Cross cultural management factors

The picture explains the different views of companies with expectations inside the companies and external expectations on employees/labour markets.

The inside triangle shows all the tasks, capacities, and responsibilities of the company:

  • Corporate culture and the atmosphere
  • Different departments with fixed goals
  • Financing capacities
  • Production structure and capacities
  • Marketing strategy and capacities

The outside triangle shows the labour market with different skills and expectations.

The problems come from the different sides of views. There are some correlations between the expectations, but not always. For example, on social competence, flexibility, openness, and so on depend on both sides understanding. The companies will profit more and the employees will have more income to cover their own needs in general.

6.3. World market

International trade management is the link between total demand on the world market and the available supply in countries. The decision maker is the key person in this process. He or she can make—with or without support—the final decision. The key person can keep direct influence on all the factors inside the company. He or she has an indirect influence on regional factors but not any significant influence on factors on the world economy. Only rare multinational companies could have some influence.

Once we have demand on the world market through international framework for all the countries and companies, we require adequate national framework at all levels to create favourable conditions for the companies to create the required level of supply. However, the task of international management or decision makers (with all their competence and skills) is to bring supply and demand together cross border.

The world market demand for the products is basically:

  • Demand for labour-intensive products (under 29%)
  • Demand for capital-intensive products (about 44%)
  • Demand for know-how intensive products (over 50%)
Figure 6.Influence of decision-makers on three different business level

7. Level 6: Foreign trade activities

The measurement of success of all steps we have mentioned before are the following trade activities.

7.1. Basic types of international trade

7.1.1. Exports (direct/indirect)

7.1.2. Imports (direct/indirect)

7.1.3. Transit trade (through third country)

7.2. Special types of international trade

7.2.1. Across the border processing

7.2.2. Licensing, franchising

7.2.3. Foreign direct investment (FDI) and joint ventures

7.2.4. Cooperation

Reason: creation of better framework conditions and reduction of production costs.

→→ Increase in competitiveness by

  • reducing production costs abroad (cost and location advantage),
  • accessing core resources (safeguard supplies of raw materials),
  • making easier market entry in case of trade barriers,
  • lowering taxation on earnings in the host country,
  • reducing exchange risk (risk avoidance).

7.2.1. Across the border processing

Figure 7.Across the border processing

7.2.2. Licensing, franchising

Export of know-how and patents

  • Unwanted direct investment
  • Low investment for licensors

7.2.3. Direct Investment (DI)


  • Utilisation of low labour costs/wages
  • Presence on the sales market
  • Desired from the viewpoint of development policy


  • Fewer jobs in the home country
  • Transfer of profits might be regulated or limited
  • Political risks
Figure 8.Direct Investment (DI)

7.3. Cooperation

Joining of economically and legally independent companies in order to execute offers together

Economic boom

Cheap capital (low interest rate) →→self-automation tendencies

Result: Establishment of many small enterprises


Expensive capital (high interest rate) →→saving tendencies

Result: Bad orders position (cutback in employment)

Enforcement for cooperation


  • Economies of scope (joint marketing, acquisition, R&D, etc.)
  • Abolishment of intercompany competition (price war)
  • Reduction of foreign trade risks
  • Opportunity to create direct contacts with foreign partners


  • In case of flat hierarchy (on leadership level)

Types: vertical horizontal, complementary

8. Level 7: Foreign trade financing

The financing of trade and any other businesses are of the most challenging barriers.

  • The multinational companies have no big problems with it because of their own reserve capital from one hand, and they are successful enough to get money from the banks.
  • The middle-sized companies do not have problems until the balance is positive over many years.
  • The small-sized companies have more problems in this field if the percentage of own capital is less than 30% of the investment volume and if the company cannot offer any guarantees or property.
Figure 9.Financing on different levels

9. Level 8: International business

Every society basically aspires to have low unemployment, to have high rates of increase in per capita national income, and to maximise economic and social welfare. This fundamental idea has been imbibed in conventional Keynesian economics [4] and well implemented in the New Deal policies of the United States in the 1930s. Keynesian policies have been largely responsible for achieving the said goals at national and international level during the 1950s and 1960s. The spell was broken in 1973 with stagflation and recession in the United States and Europe. However, with the process of globalisation that started in the 1990s, the liberalisation policies of WTO have once again focused on the mentioned goals. This has made the role of international business management more or less indispensible.

10. Summary

This multiple theoretical analysis of international business management is a modest contribution to the understanding of the complexities and independency of different protagonists and players to bring the economy of a country to higher levels of equilibrium. It means the reduction in unemployment and increased per capita incomes of the people, especially of the low and middle class, who will consume, save, and invest more that would lead to higher employment levels. This would ultimately lead to the maximisation of total economic welfare; in other words, it would meet Maslow’s conditions of needs.

Figure 10.Basic needs of the people everywhere


  1. 1.Rostow, W. W. (1962). The stages of economic growth. London: Cambridge University Press.
  2. 2.Maslow, A. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, Vol. 50, No. 4, pp. 370–396.
  3. 3.Maslow, A. (1954). Motivation and personality, 1st ed. New York: Harper.
  4. 4.Keynes, J. M. (1936). A general theory of employment, interest and money. London: Macmillan. Michael E. Porter: Wettbewerbsstrategie, Campus Verlag, Frankfurt, 5 Auflage 1988
  5. 5.Buns, P., and Dewhurst, S. (1991). Small business and entrepreneurship. Macmillan.
  6. 6.Popa, I., and Filip, R. (1999). Management international. Editura Economica.
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  8. 8.Dülfer, E., and Jöstingmeier B. (2008). Internationales management. Oldenbourg.
  9. 9.Daniels, Radebough, and Sullivan. (2009). International business environment and operations. Pearson.
  10. 10.Magla, S. (2005). Cross cultural competence. Routledge.
  11. 11.Livermore, D. (2010). Leading with cultural intelligence. Amazon.
  12. 12.Moser, R., and Toprizhofer, E. (1986). Das Exportgeschäft. Service Verlag.
  13. 13.Export/import in der praxis by Austrian Chamber of Commerce. (1992). Wirtschaftsverlag.
  14. 14.Zafarpour, S. (1988). Grundlagen des internationalen Handels, Unterrichtsbehelf für den Außenhandelskurs, BFI Wien.
  15. 15.Zafarpour, S. (1993). Let’s go international. Einleitung und Problemstellung, Schriftenreihe des Zentrums für Auslandsstudien.
  16. 16.Zafarpour, S. Internationalisierung und die dreidimensionale Managerausbildung, in “der markt,” Zeitschrift für Absatzwirtschaft und Marketing, 32. Jahrgang, 1993/1994, Nr. 127 Vienna
  17. 17.Zafarpour, S., and Fink G. (1995). Kultur & management, in Arbeitspapier Nr. 1, Gesellschaft für Ostkooperation, pp. 1–16, Vienna.
  18. 18.Zafarpour, S. Manager im 21. Jahrhundert, in Festschrift Heinrich Stremitzer, Versicherung, Risiko und Internationalisierung, Hrsg: Josef Mugler, Linde Verlag Vienna, pp. 485–496.
  19. 19.Zafarpour, S. (1997). Außenhandelsstruktur der Alpen-Adria-Länder, in Tourism and Hospitality Management, Vol. 3, No. 1, Vienna-Opatija, pp. 101–157.
  20. 20.Zafarpour, S. Journal of the International Association of Cross Cultural Management and Competence, IKO Verlag, Frankfurt, co-editor.
  21. 21.Zafarpour, S., and Bobek, V. (2000). Vergleich der Förderungssyteme für internationale Direktinvestitionen in Österreich, Italien, Slowenien und Kroatien, in Ekonomska Misao i Praska (Economic Thougt and Practise) X, Dubrovnik.
  22. 22.Zafarpour, S. (2001). Interkulturelle Kompetenz und Management in der globalen Wirtschat, in Interkulturelles Management, Österreichische Perspektiven (Hrsg. G. Fink/S. Meierwert). Wien: Springer Verlag, pp. 315–337.
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Schapour Zafarpour

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The Japanese Tea Rooms

I was out and about at the amazing Huntington Gardens and Huntington Library a couple of weeks ago. It is a fascinating display, both in the mansion and grounds. A truly magnificent collection of plants, trees, cacti, succulents and shrubs from around the globe. The grounds are so well put together and some the fine collections have been well maintained and cared for over many years, allowing the gardens to mature in a veritable paradise! I took a couple of photos while there and would like to add a few to this page, so you get a feel for the beauty and history which embodies Huntington Gardens…

Japanese Tea Room 3 by Mike-Hope

The Japanese Tea Rooms by Mike-Hope 

Japanese Tea Room by Mike-Hope

Japanese Tea Rooms 2 by Mike-Hope

Japanese Tea Room 2 by Mike-Hope

Japanese Tea Rooms 3 by Mike-Hope

Thanks for taking a look and I hope you enjoyed the pics…


Rainforest Connection – Phones Turned to Forest Guardians

Hi all,

I have been checking this out and find it fascinating on how we can use old phones to potentially stop illegal deforestation of the rain forests, in both Africa and South America. This illegal logging speeds the extinction of endangered species and significantly adds to the effects of global climate change!  This ultimately effects every one of us as we share this planet with many other creatures all of which have a right to survive.  Take a moment to check it out and I think you’ll appreciate what these guys are trying to do. They can also use a little help to get this great project well and truly off the ground.  Great work guys and you’ve got my support!!!

Here is a an extract from their site – the project is supported by KICKSTARTER

See what Neil Young, Environmentalist, Musician, Inventor, has to say...

Watch the Video

Technology to stop illegal logging and poaching on-the-spot. It’s our answer to climate change & mass extinctions.

Rainforest Connection - Kickstarter

Rainforest Connection – Kickstarter

How will it be done…

Rainforest Connection

Rainforest Connection



What is Rainforest Connection?


Rainforest Connection (RFCx) transforms recycled smartphones into autonomous, solar-powered listening devices that can detect and pinpoint signs of environmental destruction activity—such as chainsaws, gunshots and animal distress calls—at great distance.

Current detection systems rely on satellites which show rainforest destruction days or weeks too late. Our system provides  the world’s first real-time logging/poaching detection system. We can pinpoint deforestation activity the moment it begins, while simultaneously streaming the data openly and immediately to anyone around the world.

Rainforest Connection - Kickstarter

Rainforest Connection – Kickstarter

With the Rainforest Connection mobile app, any interested person from around the world can listen-in on the rainforest anytime, from anywhere…

Taking it one step further: the Rainforest Connection mobile app




In late 2014,  web & mobile apps will be released to let backers stream the LIVE sounds of the rainforest in Africa and the AmazonJust click Play above to hear the sounds of the rainforest as captured by the RFCx system in Sumatra.

Rainforest Connection - Press

Rainforest Connection – Press


Listen to the cry of the forest!

Rainforest Connection


Learn more…




I really appreciate you taking a moment look at this as it’s using technology for a great cause! I like it a lot…


Hermosa Beach – One Minute on Earth Project – June 21st, 2014

I took this shot on Pier Ave., Hermosa Beach yesterday as part of the One Minute on Earth photo project with Everyone takes a photo at exactly the same time around the world. Then Kujaja will put together a book where all the proceeds go to helping a children’s orphanage in Cape Town South Africa!! I’ll keep you posted on the progress…

Taken at Hermosa Beach Pier Ave. June 21st, 2014

Taken at Hermosa Beach Pier Ave. June 21st, 2014

You can see the actual picture at
Thank you for taking a look and check out all the One Minute on Earth photos at KuJaJa. I think you’ll like them…

COSMOS -A Spacetime Odyssey

Have you been watching  Cosmos 2014 with Neil DeGrasse Tyson? This is quite amazing and a real tribute to Carl Sagan who co-wrote and presented the original awesome series!! If you haven’t seen this series you should check it out the production is amazing and the logic flawless.  The last enthralling episode will help many of us understand more fully the causes and consequences of global climate change. For some this may be an eye opener and for all it should be a call to action!! You can check it out on-line at COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey


“We are alive thanks to our countless ancestors who have survived for over 3 billion years”

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. Carl Sagan

Let’s turn Carl Sagan’s vision and Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s tenacity into reality. We can make this into a “Garden of Eden“, we have the power if we have the will!! The strength of humanity is in it’s common bond and that common bond can drive us to great things. As it says on the web photo “We are alive thanks to our countless ancestors who have survived for over 3 billion years” To reflect on this, just for a short time, makes us realise that hardships and sacrifices they all went through to bring us to this point in our long and turbulent history. Let’s not forget our heritage and do what all those millions of voices would be imploring us to do! After all it is their world too…

Thanks for stopping by,

Mike Hope


Photos from Calico Ghost Town

Hi All,

I was passing by Calico Ghost Town the other week on the way back from Vegas and decided to stop by. It was just around five in the afternoon and the sun was getting low. Most people had left for the day and we just managed to slip in. It was great, quiet and a just a little creepy!! This is an old silver mining town in the Californian Mojave desert off Interstate 15. A great place to get some photos of a bit of western history!! I have posted some up on my 500PX site  and on fine art site too.

Fire - Bucket Mike-Hope

Take a look and let me know what you think…

Here’s a bit from Wikapedia on Calico:

Calico is a ghost town and former mining town in San Bernardino CountyCaliforniaUnited States. Located in the Calico Mountains of the Mojave Desert region of Southern California, it was founded in 1881 as a silver mining town, and today has been converted into a county park. Located off Interstate 15, it lies 3 miles (4.8 km) from Barstow and 3 miles from YermoGiant lettersspelling CALICO can be seen on the Calico Peaks behind the ghost town from the freeway. Walter Knott purchased Calico in 1950s, architecturally restoring all but the five remaining original buildings to look as they did in 1880s. Calico received California Historical Landmark #782

Check Guns Mike-Hope

All Guns Check At Saddle Shop by Mike Hope

Thanks for stopping by,

Mike Hope

The Power of Photography – National Geographic – 125 years.

This should really be a great exhibit and I can’t wait to check this out. The Power of Photography – National Geographic – 125 yearsIt starts this weekend, October 26th, at the Annenberg Space for Photography at 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Century City. The exhibit is FREE and parking is a dollar with Annenberg validation…

National Geographic - Tribute

The Power of Photography

The exhibit is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.  Check it out and let me know what you think….

…I still have a bunch of old National Geographis hard cover, going back to 1927 and beyond., I can’t give them up!!

Thanks again for stopping by,

Mike Hope

Joel Sartore

A photo by Joel Sartore – National Geographic Photographer and Speaker


Redondo Harbor Drive Mosaic Wall Project

Now here is something on a much lighter note. I ride by here most weekends and have been watching the progress with interest. I think it is really great that people with so much talent are able to bring that little bit of joy into our lives and surroundings. The Redondo Harbor Drive Mosaic Wall Project…

Redondo Harbor Drive Mosaic Project

… is just one of them and the artists, Patrice Linnett and Deborah Collette, are working their magic on the wall.  If you havn’t seen it you should check it out.  Also, the steps on the Avenue of the Arts on Redondo Pier. I was amazed at this and  admire it everytime I walk or ride by. I stopped there the other day and took the picture below of my daughter Roxanna with the mosaic steps in the background.


Peace One Day – live from Wembley Stadium – September 21st!!

Hi All,

Check out Peace One Day live from Wembley Stadium on YouTube. September 21st, 2012.

Peace One Day is delighted that Elton John will be headlining the event on Peace Day 21 September, which also features performances from James Morrison and 2CELLOS, at Wembley Arena London. Introductions will be made by Peace One Day Ambassador Jude Law, Lily Cole and I, with special contributions from around the world.

If you can’t be there be part of it!! check it out on YouTube!