4: How do you lead adoption in a creative industry? Ask Artist Innovator Tracy Leparulo (aka Crypto Chameleon)

“Fate Favours the Bold” . Tracy Leparulo’s favourite quote and source of self-expression

Storm — Marvel

Ingenium: From the Latin — meaning natural capacity or “innate talent” .

How do artist innovators contribute to the token and blockchain economy?

“While professionals in all fields can be creative, artists possess a specific set of traits and tools that enable them to offer a human-centered perspective on a wide arrange of challenges. The artist’s perspective harness a deep engagement with human emotion and experience, and is anchored in cultural and historic context.” (Great Minds Don’t Think Alike)

Listen to the conversation with Tracy Leparulo, Founder and CEO from Untraceble Inc and Board Member of CryptoChicks about crypto event marketing, and how she became involved in the industry in 2013. She also shares her perspectives about the future of #eventtech.

Tracy’s own frustrations with remittance and other payment systems to transfer money between different countries, inspired her to become actively involved in the early founding days of Ethereum and the launch of the first wallets and exchanges.

People around her inspire her. Personal connection creates trust and enables diverse opinions to thrive in a decentralized way of organizing.

Tracy describes what makes crypto and blockchain events unique, in particular to ensure a compelling value proposition for everyone who contribute and attend — making it worthwhile for newcomers, investors, startups and technologists alike. She generously describes some of the design concepts behind the iconic Blockchain Futurist Conference held in Toronto.

Tracy also gives valuable advise for building strong networks through community building in particular the ability to include different opinions in the crypto community. She sees this as important in her own success in navigating the evolution from libertarian to more developers and fintech, to now Wallstreet and government and ultimately, mass adoption.

If you are new to the industry, you will find some good practical tips from Tracy to ensure you gain the most from your attendance of events and the importance of cultivating an attractive brand.

For personal branding she shares a simple secret which is to always stay positive and not talk badly about others as this is a small community where reputation and trust is very important.

Tracy also passionately believes in the power of the Tipping Point — as she personally experiences in the crypto industry.

Watch Tracy speak at TEDxVaughanWomen about social entrepreneurship and the positive power of business (March 2014 when crypto was not yet cool)

Reflection and discussion for communities of practice

  • What are the key messages from Tracy to make the most of your attendance and participation at conferences and other events?
  • How does her advice for a robot apply to your community building strategy?
  • What are the differences in approaching adoption in centralized and decentralized industries?


Leadership Web 3.0 Principles and Practices

People are drawn to the token and blockchain industry because it gives them the freedom to be creative and to be around other creative people

“A polymath is a person with wide ranging knowledge or learning.”

Famous examples are Hildegard von Bingen, the founder of scientific natural history in Germany and Leonardo Da Vinci, the “father of palaeontology, ichnology, and architecture, and widely considered one of the greatest painters of all time”.

“Both artists and entrepreneurs function as our society’s scouts, forerunners who are sensitive to changing conditions, on the lookout for broader perspectives and new opportunities, who report back to the rest of us about the emerging landscape ahead. Uniting artistic and entrepreneurial visions unlocks a powerful potential for responding to community needs in unexpected, creative ways.” Yo-Yo Ma, Cellist

What is creativity?

“The human mind, after all, has the creative impulse built into its operating system, hardwired into its most essential programming code.” — Jonah Lehrer

“There are two essential components to Creativity- originality and adaptiveness. A creative individual generates ideas or behaviors that are novel or unusual and these make a positive contribution to the individual’s life or the lives of others.” VIA Institute on Character

According to leading creativity researcher Mark A Runco, the standard definition of creativity requires both originality (also described as novelty, uniqueness) and effectiveness (also described as usefulness, fit or appropriateness). Creativity Research Journal, Vol 24, 2012

An idea or product that is new does not meet the definition of creativity if it is useless. Effectiveness drives the value of creativity, whether that is financial or social value. (Artist Innovator Report)

What is creative leadership?

Puccio et al. (2011) defined creative leadership as “the ability to deliberately engage one’s imagination to define and guide a group toward a novel goal — a direction that is new for the group.”

Below is an extract of artist traits and tools from the Artist Innovator Report, Great Minds Don’t Think Alike.

Why is creativity important for leadership in the token and blockchain economy?

Creativity is the future of work.

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” F. Scott Fitzgerald

“There has been growing recognition that cognitive diversity — differences in perception, judgment, and thinking style — is essential to maximizing the efficiency and problem-solving capacity of teams. In parallel, leaders across all fields have signaled that creativity — original ideas that are effective and useful — is the single most important factor for success

A survey of employers found that 97% believe creativity is of increasing importance, yet 85% have difficulty finding qualified applications when filling creative positions.” Emergence and Upstart Co-Lab Research on Creatives and thought leaders.

“The rise of social media inherently discourages novel, outside-the-box thinking by focusing on algorithms to determine what is “trending” or “liked” among the largest number of people, reinforcing popular consensus about what kind of “content” should be consumed — and created.” (Mark Runco “The Real Creativity Crisis” as quoted in the report Great Minds Don’t Think Alike.

The Importance of the Artist Innovator for leadership

The report, Great Minds Don’t Think Alike: Artists as Innovators in Business, Government and Society, defines Artist Innovators as artists who work outside the studio, the theater and the concert hall bringing their distinctive talents and skills into business, government and the social sector.”

An artist type is a creative individual who has used negativity and social opposition as a force to push against, differentiate from, and who has affirmed the creative self in spite of the social pressure to conform, and criticism for not conforming.” (definition by Otto Rank)

Artist innovators are the “Olympic Athletes” of creativity.

They know on a personally experienced level that

  • Creativity is a natural and free source of happiness. Unleashing your creativity generates wellbeing, health, joy, confidence and enhanced self-esteem.
  • Creative activities are vital to help reduce the harsh stressful effects from constant uncertainty, lack of information or lack of control, as it enables you to forget about your commitments, or the need to achieve goals.
  • Creativity does not require you to perform against a certain standard, or even to produce something that is perfect. There is no evaluation or assessments or comparisons to other people and their work. It is a pure form of authentic self-expression flowering from the multiple experiences that it so part of being human.
  • Creativity enables you to increase your ability to see opportunities around you, to connect and combine ideas, to challenge assumptions, and to reframe problems. It is a natural expression of yourself, and can be applied to improve your relationships, generate more options for problems you might experience at work, and find new solutions in situations where you feel stuck.
  • Following your create muse can help you develop your emotional agility, social intelligence, adaptability and flexibility to deal with diverse experiences — to name but a few. Viewing your work and life as a magnificent piece of art, your identity will evolve as you pay attention and uncover your inherent nature as infinitely creative.

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” (unknown)

How do you become more creative?

“You own a dazzling feature of the human experience called Creativity. Despite rumours to the contrary, everybody has it.” Jill Badonsky

How a business school professor practices, explains and teaches skills for becoming more creative

“The spaces in which we live and work are the stages on which to play out our lives. As such they have a huge impact on our thoughts and behavior.” Tina Seelig — from her book “Ingenius — A crash course in creativity.”

Tina Seelig designed and ran a free six week MOOC using music as a tool for unlocking creative potential. Creativity: Music to My Ears is a six-week course designed to explore several factors that simulate creativity in individuals, teams, and organizations. What set this MOOC apart was the high levels of engagement and completion of assignments and the program.

Below is Tina Seelig’s model for creativity, called The Innovation Engine

Read about it on The Creativity Post.

How artist innovators practice, explain and teach creativity

Below is a clip of Phaedrana performing and also providing inspiration for pursuing your creative potential.

“I believe there is a difference between the process of technology or technique, and the process of creativity, or spirituality If you like… because that process creates itself. Where as technique or structure is created by the mind. And there is a huge difference between the state of the mind and the state of no-mind.” Phaedrana Jones (whose live performance I attended while at Burning Man 2012)

Learn from other creatives and in particular how differently people think

“I also noticed how thirstily minds drink up cultural images, phrases, and metaphors. In thinking about thought, none of my participants was “innocent”: all had been reading, watching programs, and discussing thinking for some time. Most drew on popular images and stories to structure their reflections on thought. Some knew about research on thinking styles and used phrases from popularization of these studies.

A great surprise in proving individual thought was how many people had entered fields demanding mental work that didn’t come easily. They had gone into fields that mostly greatly challenged them, or areas closely related to those.” Lauro Otis (Rethinking Thought: Inside the Minds of Creative Scientists and Artists (Explorations in Narrative Psychology)

Watch this interview with Dr Laura Otis where she discusses her recent book Rethinking Thought, where she interviewed various scientists and artists to explore the variety of ways they experience thought. Listen to them talk about the take-aways for educators (and people in general) that result from this study in profound cognitive diversity.

Practice thinking about your own thinking: Listen to the Art of Philosophy by Polymath: Wes Cecil

“For the Greeks the challenge had, for the most part, to be public. One can win no honor in seclusion. One cannot test oneself against nothing. The Greeks knew humans are great self-deceivers and not to be trusted in self-evaluation. If you think yourself a great boxer, then box. If you feel yourself a great poet, then recite your poetry and be judged. To falter in the face of the public, to lose one’s nerve, or flinch from conflict, this was to lose honor. One could lose honorable, but the failure to strive honestly and with one’s complete capacity would bring condemnation. Even, as Homer recounts, fleeing before an overmastering foe is not shameful. It is not taking the field at all that defines true failure. To be in the ring is to be alive — to risk nothing in the public realm is to be little more than a ghost in the world.” From The Writings of Wes Cecil

Are we living in another Axial Age?

Personal and Team Leadership Reflection and Development Activities

  1. Apply Tina Seelig’s Innovation Engine to create a token/blockchain marketing event.
  2. Develop your own narrative and creative solutions for achieving a tipping point for large scale adoption.

3. Watch and listen to a creative leader, Max Gladwell, mentioned by Tracy Leparulo from Untraceble Inc. Imagine he is talking to the token and blockchain industry.

His stories of industry transformations in the early 20sth century are still relevant for today (because of human nature).For example, Max describes two key challenges digital transformation entrepreneurs and ecosystem players face today:

  • “When you reimagine the world, and reframe the world between customers and suppliers — you create a whole ripple effect and it is difficult for incumbents to transition (so they hinder adoption).
  • When you do these reframings and invent a new form of business, it dramatically complicates the relationship you have with your customers.

3. Study the traits and tools of artists, and see how having more artists working in your team and project could accelerate your success.

4. Study seven critical components of creativity from Marc Runco(organized by development domains) for skills development (childhood) that can also be applied to your own creative leadership:


  • Imagination and Originality — Imagine and explore original ideas
  • Flexibility — Maintain openness to unique and novel experiences
  • Decision Making — Make thoughtful choices that support creative efforts


  • Communication and Self-Expression — Communicate ideas and true self with confidence
  • Collaboration — Develop social skills that foster creative teamwork
  • Motivation — Demonstrate internal motivation to achieve a meaningful goal.


  • Action and movement — Boost creative potential through physical activity

a) Which is your strongest skill?

b) If you want to focus on developing another creativity skill (from above) which one and why?

5. Remember why you and other people became enthusiastic about how blockchain a renaissance in organizing how we do business with each other and organize collective effort? How it changes how decentralized networks self-organize around shared truths? And how it is a movement towards more self-owned commons — to help people organize around shared meaning? (Adapted from NiftyCommons)

Watch the story about the Peacock in the Land of Penguins to be reminded of the power of creativity and freedom (why people are attracted to decentralized ways of organizing).

6. Stretch your thinking: Are we living in a new Axial Age? What lessons can we learn from the Axial Age?

Fun Activity: Cultural Immersion: Artist Innovator

Time Magazine listed Coco Chanel as one of the 100 most influential people in the 20th Century.

This movie tells the story of her life before she became so famous.

Use the Leadership Web 3.0 publication for a cultural immersion. Start a Leadership Web 3.0 Community of Practice. Contact MaRi Eagar to find out more.

#leadership Web3.0 #decentralizedcommunities #decentralizedleadership #blockchainexecutive #tokengeneration #blockchaingeneration #creativity #artistinnovator #cryptoevents #blockchainmarketing #communitybuilding #adoption #each-one-teach-one #TracyLeparulo #untraceableinc #positive #maverick