Dear Bamboo Enthusiast,

I am inspired by the initial response to Bamboo Academic Management. After connecting with individuals and organizations across various disciplines and sectors it is apparent that the energy behind the use of bamboo is growing at an exponential rate. I believe that generations to follow will look upon this era as one in which bamboo gained substantial momentum within the international marketplace and led the way for a greener future. For this to happen, however, the industry needs experts eager to share their own research and unique perspectives.

I started conducting business in China in 1993. At the time I didn't expect that I would spend the following 18 years of my career there. Although I was initially involved in facilitating market entry for US companies to China, I later became involved with a bamboo trim project. It was during this experience that I learned about China's love/hate relationship with bamboo. On one hand, China, as with the rest of Asia, recognizes bamboo's ever reaching abilities. On the other hand, because bamboo is associated with peasant housing, the mid-to-upscale Chinese population has not embraced bamboo for their homes—not even for flooring. Now that I have founded my own bamboo-related company, TieBam, Inc., I've become even more aware of the opportunities associated with working with bamboo and the need for an academic center focused on the advantageous plant.

I've been asked whether the "M" in BAM stands for “management” in the business sense, or related to forest management. Ultimately, it is for the academic institution to decide the specific shape the program will take, but it is feasible that both may be addressed simultaneously. BAM's role is unique, being both on forefront and the sideline. Our goal is to facilitate the evolution of knowledge and ideas in the field. This is about contributing to an industry in flux, an industry which, by most expectations, will look a lot different in the next decade. In many ways, the practical experience —and the applied nature of our proposed program—is what will make our curriculum effective at delivering a comprehensive education in Bamboo Studies. In this regard, industry academics and professionals who may wish to participate with the various preparatory steps of BAM’s implementation are encouraged to contact us.

My professional career includes nearly a decade of faculty positions (Southern Methodist University and the University of Texas, Arlington). It was during this era that I recognized the role universities have in leading the way with progress in any field or industry. Professors have the ability to make a difference and change the limit of what is possible. Bamboo is already on the minds of many academics and professionals across a wide area of disciplines. From this encouragement, BAM will endeavor to engage key forestry faculty in hopes that they will embrace BAM and perhaps advocate for the implementation of a Bamboo Studies program.

On behalf of BAM, I am excited to introduce our visions and objectives to you. Please feel free to communicate with me at any time. We would be pleased to hear from you.

Best regards,

Jason Avraham