Next time you think you’ve hit a plateau in your personal growth, you need one simple thing.

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Casey Horner Photography


Massive progress is likely staring you in the face.

When we embark on self work, it can be very difficult to see progress. Humans’ negativity bias makes sure of that.

Research says that for every negative piece of feedback we take in, we need at least five positive messages to override it. Sad but true.

If you feel like you’ve reached a limit in your personal growth, pause before you label it a plateau.

When we assess progress while we’re feeling derailed, we do ourselves a major disservice. …

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What was your first meh VR experience?

I don’t mean one that wasn’t supposed to be made in VR in the first place. I’m talking about one that every other person who saw it freaked, except you.

Maybe there’s not enough content out there to ask that Q yet. My ulterior motive is to make myself feel better about a meh reaction I witnessed. But first, a quick backdrop.

I’m a VR/MR researcher

My mission is to help produce as many social good virtual reality experiences as possible.

I do this from a research perspective, conducting qualitative research side-by-side with users as they move through a VR experience.

It began as a passion project, because the industry was not yet ready to invest in user engagement research. I used Within’s experience Clouds Over Sidra, about a 12-year-old Syrian refugee girl who’d spent the last year and a half in a Jordan camp. …

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That’s Me On a Mission [in my mind]

I came to VR, or rather VR came to me, a few years ago after some life-changing events shook me silly. It became my mission to help those in the industry see the value of VR user research, and help to craft as many user-driven, responsible, social good experiences as possible. I’ve since been on a path to make qualitative user research standard practice in immersive content creation.

We have a golden opportunity to become closer through VR, if we fill the gaping hole in the industry

My mission is to help content creators make, and buyers look for responsible, user-driven VR experiences.

And thusly, I have a question for the masses — content developers, industry giants, hardware manufacturers, and the few organizations I see cropping up to set standards and practices in…

No one is born ‘a creative,’ and anyone can access creativity when they are passionate about a topic. Here’s how:

Last week I spent an incredible day at what I hope is the first of many “supercreativity” salons in NYC. The gathering was a small group of disparate thinkers coming together for knowledge and inspiration exchange. Talk about pressure — not only did I need to show up creative, but I had to power that to super for the next 6 hours. Not to worry, because the organizers know how creativity is fostered, and that we all possess it. The day was hosted by the ENVSN team at Microsoft, and PopTech. ENVSN is an intimate tribe within a giant organization, whose job it is to disrupt the future of productivity and work by retooling and redefining it. What does it look and feel like to be a next gen employee or leader? How do we (re)define work, productivity, success, collaboration, and what kind of spaces do we work in? …

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Ethics, Integrity, Responsibility in VR

Are We Ready to Make Rules for Virtual Reality?

With a medium of unprecedented immersion and a re-defining of ‘real-life’ experience, how do we tackle the question of regulation? As VR/MR diffuses into medicine, behavioral health and social interaction we quickly see why codes of conduct are important. Unlike the shout around the world that we heard with drones and privacy, VR/MR regulation is thus far at a whisper. No one wants to put obstacles in the way of innovation — and VR is at its height of creative frenzy.

Will the Affects of VR Experiences be Long-Lasting?

When we think about how our brains and bodies respond to many VR experiences as lived and not imagined, we can assume that effects can be long lasting. If we are to experience war, rioting, abuse, or even how it feels to ‘be’ in a different body, should we have established ways to deal with the emotional and psychological effects? With regular consumption, I think our responses to VR/MR will desensitize to a degree. However, it’s still unknown how much of an imprint each experience will have on the human psyche. …

This past week I spent my time at eyeo in Minneapolis, a gathering of creative coders, artists, and data lovers. At eyeo you find amazing people. Like a sculptural data artist who takes wild fire data, codes it and creates large-scale sculpture in a new context — in this case her interpretation of the effects of the fire on the environment and on her personally. …

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Lessons From a Mysterious Orphan

We’ve all been told that ‘nothing good comes from judgment.’ Judgement is ugly. Destructive. Empathy’s maligned stepsister. We often don’t recognize when we are judging. How do we know the difference between it and opinion? I think of judgment as the point in our thought process (and often vocalizations) when we dismiss someone. We have tuned them, and what they have to offer, out.

But what if judgement isn’t actually as evil as we’ve been led to believe? What if a simple reframing of the semantic could tip us toward the wonderment side of the scale? I love a good linguistic twist, so here it is. …

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Who among us really believes that the keys to happiness, love, wealth and well being can be achieved in 3, 5 or 10 bulleted sound bites? I’m all for mantras, quip and pith but I’m so damned tired of seeing thoughtful, brainiac writers reducing their substance.

Why the loss of faith that something worth reading may actually be read in long form?

Here I present my one and only Listicle, with aim to kill future Listicles.

3 Ways To Put the Listicle to Rest

  1. Realize that important thoughts are delivered in both long and short form, and take the extra 3 minutes to read the long form. The advice found in a bulleted Listicle is not always a magic bullet. …

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Lived, Not Imagined Experiences

A sophisticated Virtual Reality (VR) experience has the body and mind believing that an event has been lived, not imagined. A paralyzed child can put on a headset and walk anywhere they please. The public can view a news story and sit with a family of refugees as they eat dinner, attend school and try to maintain resilience in a life turned upside down. Cyber therapy is an emerging field where one already powerful virtual experience allows patients to reduce pain to the degree of a dose of morphine. And just two words for kids who will see dramatic changes in education — field trips. Any civilization. Any location. …

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Walking in Another’s Shoes, Redefined.

At a recent conference, I was presented with one of the most intriguing questions I’ve had as a social scientist — how can we qualify that virtual reality triggers empathy and action? It’s a hurt-your-brain question. The kind I love best.

So to start the thought process, I took a seat, put on my headset, and was plunged into a Syrian refugee camp where I had dinner with a family of 5 who had been at the camp for 2+ years. As they sat on the ground and passed around the evening bread, the teenaged girl said, “I love my mother’s cooking. No matter where I am, it tastes the same.” I then marveled at the resilience that physically surrounded me, as kids played soccer, attended a makeshift school and carried on life as a kid as best they could. I waited with jittery excitement for my next speaker break, and bolted back to the demo booth to visit East Africa with President Clinton. I sat across from a girl learning to hear for the first time. I leaned forward as she heard her first words, and her parents — and I, though suspended in time — participated in her joy. …


Julie Krohner

On a mission to scale global empathy.

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