Building While Being

I’m finally writing a book about us.  A tech community who believes that developing our inner landscape is the key to the future. The mission I believe our mission is to bring wellness, wellbeing, and transformation to anyone, anywhere through the power of exponential tech. Thriving in the next decade requires humanity to reach for our highest potential.   Now more than ever, human transformation is the key to building the future of work and life, resilience, and innovating beyond our collective challenges. The book This book has been a very long time coming. I wasn’t ready…until now.  I changed and grew a lot during the pandemic. Like many of you, I had some of my worst moments, and yet some of my best. But, I can say the personal pressure from the last two years — plus the world shifting into acceptance of tech for mental, emotional, and social health — made me ready. The process My editor asked what books have impacted me and so I thought to share them with you as well.  I divide these books into two categories – what we are building, and who we are being.   I’ve listed 5 of my top 20.   — What we are building — Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow, by Yuval Noah Harari The world that Yuval Harrai warns against is in some part already here – we are more focused on longevity, happiness and augmentation than we are on finding calories and war next door.   The pandemic reintroduced “plague” into our concerns yet still cancer, chronic illness, and mental health are greater issues than TB, polio and black death. The central plot question remains, how do we avoid designing our own destruction? How do we survive attention economy algorithms?  Harari’s own answer to the question was essentially, “Know thyself” I see Harrai’s work as a brilliant exploration of where we are and a strong warning of where things can go. But it still leaves the practical question of – what do we do?  If we don’t do anything, then every negative thing you can imagine will come to pass.  His work is an encouragement to build things that help us to know ourselves.  We are builders.  We are creators.  Let’s do that. The Singularity Trilogy by Peter Diamandis and Steve Kotler Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives I attended Singularity University when I first returned from China and it expanded and shaped my mindset.  These books exposed the very real progression of exponential tech. They launched with the radical idea that abundance is at hand. The authors examined the intersection of tech and outer human needs—water, food, energy, healthcare, education, freedom — and documented the forces conspiring to solve our biggest challenges.  Later books explored the compounding of exponential technologies and how that reinvents —transportation, retail, advertising, education, health, entertainment, food, and finance. We, as a community, have an equally radical idea.  Exponential Tech can help us become more human and more able to create abundance. We build at the intersection of tech and inner human needs. Calm, peace, joy, empathy, compassion, belonging, self-actualization, self-transcendence and more.   We think about how conscious leadership, mindset, and our internal landscape can be ignited through technology to help us become the people who can solve our problems.   We ask, “How can we combine consciousness with technology to become better builders, deployers and users of tech as we build tech that deepens?” Rethinking Humanity: Five Foundational Sector Disruptions, the Lifecycle of Civilizations, and the Coming Age of Freedom Rethink is an extraordinary analysis that takes exponential compounding farther.  With the added point that civilizations fall when they have bursts of technological innovation without corresponding shifts in organizing principles. Also known as values, norms, beliefs, and myths. We have certainly had a surge of innovation. Avoiding a fall requires a mindset shift as dramatic as our technology shifts.   This work further underscores the need to leverage technology to make that mindset shift scalable, urgently, to avoid a Fall. — Who we are being — I believe that we build what we are as such every conference and program we do at TT includes leadership, ethics and a focus on personal development.   These are two stunning books to support your journey. 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership by Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman, Kaley Warner Klemp The 15 Commitments is an extraordinary framework for becoming deeply, spectacularly human. For founders, I believe that learning and applying the 15 Commitments will increase your ability to create teams and organizations that can succeed. Deep Human Connection: Why We Need It More Than Anything Else, by Stephen Cope Cope is a brilliant storyteller who lays out the rationale for connection, the barriers to connection, and 5 helpful categories of connection: Containment, twinship, adversity, mirroring, and conscious partnership. His book The Great Work of Your Life affected me profoundly, and I have read it at least 3 times. Here are other links that have strongly impacted my journey, and will be a source of inspiration for you: Mobius – Liberatory Technology (n): Technology that enables all people and communities to embody and obtain freedom, thriving, and greater access to our aliveness. Center for Human Tech  Brain Mind  The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World by David Deutsch Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business  by John E. Mackey, Raj Sisodia, Bill George  Conscious Leadership: Elevating Humanity Through Business by John E. Mackey, Steve McIntosh, Carter Phipps Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up by Jerry Colonna Deep Human: Practical Superskills for a Future of Success by Crystal Lim-Lange, Gregor Lim-Lange The Deeply Human Workplace: Tap […]

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Transformative Tech 2022 onwards

I’ve spent the time since our last online gathering in November 2020 thinking about what is next for Transformative Tech and am writing to share my thoughts. When we started in 2015, the idea of using tech to support the inner landscape was radical. From mental health to meditation, many people didn’t believe there was a role for technology that was supportive vs. distractive. Over the years, more folks believed with every TTC but for many, this type of tech was considered a vitamin at best. The pandemic changed that. People were forced to examine how technology could deliver mental, emotional, and social health outcomes — and they found many of you. The world didn’t have to start from scratch because you existed. You had already done the research, built companies, and served people. You were ready. For me, I’d set out to create a space where founders, investors, clinicians, scientists, and other builders could meet and partner and where you’d know you weren’t crazy (well, not too crazy). As the African-American daughter of a plumber from Houston, Texas, I wanted the tools of mental, emotional, and social health and happiness to be accessible, available, and affordable to all. With every new milestone you reach –, I feel joy. I feel we succeeded. So now what? In a world that now believes, what role does Transformative Tech play? I’ve spent the last two years tracking what’s next. I’ve been digging, interviewing, and uncovering what next-gen Transformative Tech / Digital Wellness Tech looks like. I’ve been matching that to scientific breakthroughs and cultural shifts. I want you to be able to use what I see so I’m going to write to you weekly here. The canvas for supporting human wellbeing with technology is vast and we’re really just getting started. 🙂 As an org, we are going to evolve to match a more mature market — events, community, and scholarships will shift. Stay tuned. To make sure you don’t miss anything: Follow me here Linked in me here  And make sure you subscribe to my newsletter here. Love, Nichol P.S. If you are working on a Psychedelic Tech or FoodTech start-up that supports wellbeing I want to talk to you in May.

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Metaverse Signals to a Colorful Future Ahead

The human craving for color has inspired artists and inventors, fostered the growth of digital technologies and continues to play a pivotal role in communications. Let’s begin by taking a step back and acknowledge that we are talking about two vastly complex subjects, light and human emotions. While advances in neuroscience plays a significant role in helping us understand the impact of color, so does technology. In fact, technology has driven and expanded color since the introduction of color television. Jump several decades into the present and what you’ll find are technologies making it possible for us to measure, analyze and develop color as data. I lead a multinational coalition of technologists with a special emphasis on wellbeing and mental health. With a natural talent for spotting what’s next, I believe the future of color depends on the data. As an advisor at brainbo, we understand that color is deeply personal and perceptual. From the time of day to the temperature, to the user’s baseline emotions, technology helps us improve our understanding of color from various scientific lenses. Our sensitivity to color affects us in a myriad of ways, from our unconscious responses to shift work to the wavelengths emitted by our phones. It’s imperative that we approach color with the respect it merits. What does this mean for technologists and designers using digital color? “I look forward to experiencing new colors… those beyond our visible spectrum.” We must evolve from prescriptive to personalized color. We have a unique opportunity to bring together scientists, technologists and designers, to innovate in ways that make a difference in people’s lives. I have dedicated most of my career to expanding opportunities for wellbeing delivered through technology. Color is and will remain an important aspect of human wellness and the more equipped we are with data, the sooner we can deliver scalable results. We have a lot to look forward to as new opportunities like the metaverse offer exponential ways in which color can be applied. I am a firm believer that in the next decade, light and sound healing technologies will become widespread. Learn more about the relationship between Color & Mood inside mycoocoon’s new report here

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Report Spotlight: A New Paradigm in Wellness and Electronic Music

Wellness music is moving into center stage in the quest to end the stigma around mental health. As a tool to affect the brain, music might be the simplest and most powerful form to make a measurable impact. Music Connect Us is all part of a new initiative to bridge the worlds of music and wellbeing. It’s something electronic music lovers have felt their whole lives, and now the science is validating them.  “Mental health remains a core topic for AFEM given its impact on the electronic music industry. Be you a main stage artist or an office intern, periods of challenging mental health can affect us all. The message is clear: It’s okay not to be okay. To talk about your current mental health with friends, family and colleagues and to seek help when needed is something we all should know, do and share.” says Tristan Hunt,  Regional Manager at the Association for Electronic Music (AFEM).  Mental health is the most important frontier in wellness today. Diseases of despair—including drug overdose, alcoholic liver disease, and suicide—are skyrocketing, leading to lower life expectancy in otherwise healthy and wealthy societies. The Brain Science of Music In recent years, we’ve gathered a better understanding of some of the complex science behind music’s powerful mental effects.  A 2019 brain imaging study shows that the auditory cortex, the area of the brain that processes sound, is very responsive to pitch. Sounds with pitch turn out to be extremely provocative, compared to sounds without pitch.  Because we are so tuned into pitch, it means we respond well to music. In fact, researchers have pinpointed several ways that music can almost immediately begin impacting your brain function.  “Music can tap into associated memories, and it can fight stress. It can reduce pain and relieve anxiety. It can even boost motivation and pleasure by releasing dopamine” says Dr. Aida Vazin, Clinical Psychologist, AFEM.  Whether we know the science behind it or not, we’ve all used music for mental health. Listening to country music after a break up, cranking metal during a workout—we turn to music when we need a little help.  But with our new understanding of the science behind how music helps, we can now target specific effects for patients in a mental health setting.  And the research is getting more granular. Scientists are honing in on the specific traits a piece of music needs to produce a certain outcome. That includes the exact decibels, tones, beats, and frequencies. WIth sophisticated tools, we can now pinpoint the music that best fits the needs of a patient. Bringing the Science of Music Together with the Experience Working alongside some of the biggest names in electronic music, Music Connects Us tries to uncover the mental health narratives inside the electronic music scene.  The new-age design report helps elevate the human stories inside the culture, emphasizing the lived experiences of music and wellness—while bringing in researchers to describe why it works the way that it does.  The report’s content includes the uses of functional music, a movement led by award winning composer, electronic artist and sleep coach, Tom Middleton.  “Tom has played a significant role in every project we’ve been involved with at Arigami. He is my friend, my mentor and a force of positive influence for an industry plagued with mental health challenges” says Ari Peralta, CEO of Arigami.   And it could not come at a better time. With the deep costs that mental health problems are having in people’s lives, we need every tool we can get. Music promises to be one of these tools.  

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An Extraordinary Renaissance Of Human Possibility & Abundance

These paintings reflect on being ready for what’s to come and like the trees knowing we’ll get through it. There will be blossoming once again in the spring.

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