Stanford just got greener

“An acquaintance that begins with a compliment is sure to develop into a real friendship”, Oscar Wilde once said. The first time we met, Dragos complimented my notebook. I said I liked his hat.

It was a hot summer day of 2007; I was running a software company and Dragos had just started Greener, an environment-focused NGO. He wanted to build an online community management platform for Greener and a mutual friend told him I was the guy to do it. Fifteen minutes in, we both knew we were going to work together.

Very quickly, our business relationship turned into a friendship. From harmless gossip about previous romances to parties in London, yearly trips to the Danube Delta or polyphasic sleeping experiments, our friendship grew stronger every year. He started making predictions about me and I was secretly stealing his networking secrets. I’ve met many good networkers over the years but never have I seen someone bridge social spheres as naturally and elegantly as Dragos. He’s the kind of guy that on a Wednesday night could easily bring together an actor, an entrepreneur, a student, a politician and the Romanian royal family, on two hours notice. Over the past five years, he’s written a book, starred in at least five prime-time TV shows, raised millions of euros for environment projects, organised workshops on Kahler’s Process Communication Model and built two NGOs. And he’s made it all look casual and effortless, Richard Branson style.

A couple of years ago, on one of our trips to the Danube Delta, he briefly mentioned he’s thinking to do an MBA in the US. I loved the idea, and about a year later I was crossing my fingers for him during the Stanford interview. Today, Dragos is moving to America to pursue an MBA at Stanford University. On the exact same day two years ago, I moved to London. “The date should bode quite well, then” he said when finding out about the coincidence. “I know it will”, I said.

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