Paul Osborn

Contact details
DeMerodelaan 54
Professional profile
Language pairs
Dutch > English
English > English
French > English
Areas of expertise
Agriculture and Fisheries
Business and Finance
General science
Information Technology
Qualifications and experience

As a premium writer – the ‘should-use’ term I learned at a MET workshop – I create highly accessible texts and scripts for print, audio and video. I can improve those of others, by translating and editing them either within a single language, or from the language of others to another which is not theirs. Languages: to EN from FR NL ES, plus summary AR INBA.

As a practised practitioner and observer, interviewer and analyst (my first article on climate change was in 1971, my first IV, in Jeune Afrique, with a peace broker in the Biafra war in 1969), with deep sector specialisms, I can forge output, for others, on a wide range of topics including renewable energy, safe water, development finance, the schism between agriculture and food production, communication as an art rather than arm-waving and editing for gender equity. An eclectic mix, one client said. Includes a fair dose of conjuring as well as creating, said another.

In a parallel, yet tangential, set of universes, the same skills have been used in assignments as negotiator, mediator and ambassador. The excess of accumulated insights, the absorption of the toxins of others who hesitate to be in harmony, have been as enriching as corrosive as eroding, and nowadays I generally smile wrily and move forward. 

Films for broadcast, reports for boards, strategies for game-changers, podcasts for walkers, books for publics, sector studies for investors, risk assessments for bankers, pitches for newbies – all this can be rolled out. Scripted. Translated. Edited. Created. But only for a certain client.

I am very demanding of my client. To work successfully with me, s/he must know her or his own (institutional) mind, yet respect and enjoy my independent knowledge. S/he must deserve my admiration and solidarity, while allowing me to discriminate in favour of her or his audience. For me, the intended reader or viewer is first and foremost in my mind.

One day, I may be crossing the t’s on an exasperating piece of commodities trade analysis by someone who slept through their MBa and whose English teacher cared little about them. The next, I may be re-scripting the video clip on a success story after spotting an update in one of the seven newspapers I read daily.

Got 15 minutes? To see how I can analyse, connect, involve, describe, explain? Here’s a trailer for a suite of films I worked on (2011-2014) on safe water issues:

Je suis Charlie, un avant Charlie-Charlie, depuis Hara-Kiri (1968). Et oui.



A selection;
1960s and 1970s: Jeune Afrique, Paris
1970s: The Economist Intelligence Unit, London. The New Technologist, and Stuff the System, on curriculum development, VCOAD, London
1980s: Satis Classification and thesaurus on technology, environment and development. 1983, 1987, 1992. 
1984: The Velletri Declaration (on computers and civil society), Interdoc, Rome. Co-author and Lead Typer. We drafted it on a Tandy 102, belonging to Chris Penney, but to print it where there was no printer?... humph! So I typed it over on a very old type-writer, and we photocopied it for conference to approve!
1990s: Technical Publishing in Africa, CTA, Wageningen, 1992
Spore magazine (external editor), CTA,1998-2004.
2000s: Sustainable Energy: Less Poverty, More Profit. World Bank, 2004  Book and film.
Lighter Burden, Brighter Future. Energising the Pacifics, World Bank, 2008. Book and film.
Six videos on renewable energy, and energy efficiency, World Bank, 2004-2008, viewed by 960 million.
2009: Out of the shadows: The energy transitions of Indonesia. Governments of ID and NL, 2009 In English and Bahasa Indonesia.
2010s; Delivering Desire, the safe water scale-up. 300in6, 2012. Film.
Upscale - the safe water review, 300in6, 2012, a popular science journal
2016: Improved corporate finance, website.
2017: English texts of website of Zeeland tourist board.
2017: More Green Than Yellow - the anniversary book on the Fair Trade Banana , AgroFair (nee trading arm of Max Havelaar Foundation).

Continuing professional development

Member of EASE European Association of Science Editors (most active in Gender Policy Committee)
Member of SENSE, The Netherlands
Member of NEaT, Finland Member (becoming) of EFA, USA