I’m just like you — I was scared too. Then, I wanted to do something…so I joined Team Next.
I’m going to be honest. I started out calm, and then suddenly, I wasn’t. I have an elder who I love with all my heart who lives in another city. Getting her food before the lockdown turned into a big challenge — you probably had some scrambling to do too. It sent me over the edge for a week. I was so frightened. I had a hard time thinking, sleeping, meditating, and working. Finally, I was able to use my science of wellbeing knowledge and some transformative tech to reset. I got my fear levels back down and eventually I could function again.
Once I calmed down again, I started to wonder how I could help. Since I am not a doctor or nurse, I can’t go to the front lines. It made me think about all of us who don’t have those front line skills — but do have other talents. What this virus has shown us is that we are all on Team Human. Within that bigger team, I believe that there’s a division of labor I’ve started to call Team Now, and Team Next.
Team Now is made up of three main groups. First, our healthcare providers — who are truly heroes — our doctors and nurses and all those who support them. Second, our “essential services” armies who are making it possible for us all to stay home — we couldn’t be home to flatten the curve without them. And third, our government officials — many of whom seem to have finally dropped that partisan crap — and are now working together around the clock. Anyone on Team Now, will be there for the next 4–18 months depending on how effective the lockdowns are.
Team Next is made up of people who can start working on what happens after the storm. These are the people who can get started on what we do when it’s time to pick up the pieces. Team Next people can start working on redefining “normal,” whatever that normal is going to look like — economically, environmentally, and socially. This big pause should be a time of redefinition. It’s time to think about what we really want — and to start working on it now while we are home. (Read to the bottom to see how we’re going to help with this.)
One thing for sure, is that our goals with Transformative Tech are now more relevant than ever. We seek mental and emotional wellbeing, social and emotional flourishing, and enhanced human potential for ALL. The impact of this on our mental health will be significant — we will all need the skills for less vanity and more sanity (1). The coming job losses and economic impact will require millions to reinvent themselves — developing future work skills that will center on human interaction. And what’s next will see us revisit purpose, meaning, and enhancement because the scoreboard we used to follow will be broken for quite some time. It has been our premise all along that one of the more important uses for tech is to help us become more human and more humane. We do not need more ad servers or champagne delivery apps. It’s time to build the tech we really, actually, need.
Mental and Emotional Wellbeing
- CV19 is showing us how much we need support and skills around stress, anxiety, depression, sleep, and basic happiness. According to Psychiatric Times, “studies show depression rates usually soar after infections (eg, herpes exposure and anthrax scares)”.(2,3 I’d bet that everyone who has felt a weight on their chest over the last month will no longer discount the importance of mental and emotional health and fitness, or technologies that support these interventions and skill development tools at scale, ever again.
Social and Emotional Flourishing
- CV19 has sent us back to our homes and is revealing deeper issues. Lockdown is reconnecting us to our loved ones and making us learn how to stay connected to the people with whom we work. This is good, however, many will soon learn that they aren’t very good at connection in either place — a fact hidden by the speed and priorities of our society. For a glimpse into the future, one need only look at higher Chinese divorce rates post quarantine. To me, this underscores my belief that the conventional default wisdom that in-person is automatically superior is a bit off. It isn’t just time together that counts — it’s time well spent together that matters.
The Right Question or the Better Question
- So the right question isn’t what we thought it was i.e. “How do we spend more time together?” The better question is, “How do we become people who can have better human relationships online or in person?”
- We believe that success in close quarter relationships, or long distance teams, depends on having high quality human interaction skills like emotional intelligence, social fluency, and cognitive adaptability. It matters for us personally, but it’s also going to matter for us professionally as one side effect of the lockdown’s economic impact will be an acceleration of automation to support social distancing.
- What this means is that the Future of Work timelines where 40–50% of rote tasks go away that in 2019 were “Out There” have just been moved forward 5–10 years. This means that the jobs that center on creativity, adaptability, collaboration,and problem solving are coming faster — and those who cannot adapt will struggle to find meaningful work. We need solutions that help us develop these skills — and we need them now. The tech is here, people just haven’t focused on building these yet. Now is a very good time.
Human Potential and Performance
- CV19 has changed normal forever. When people say “it won’t go back to normal” with sadness, I find myself thinking maybe that’s good. I think maybe we don’t want that old normal back — I’m not sure it was working for us. Maybe we want a New Normal that more reflects our true potential. Transformative Tech in this area believes in leveraging tech to help people discover their purpose, find meaning, and enhance their cognitive and emotional abilities. As long as we have to rebuild, why not build-in paths towards a more conscious and more capable humanity?
So if you are on Team Now, thank you so much for your service.
And if you are on Team Next — whether you’re in transformative tech or another area.
Get out of your pajamas.
Get out of your head.
Get out of the cookie jar.
Get. To. Work.**
Build. Create. Envision.
Pick up the pieces. See what you can make out of them.
Start Now. Not Later.
If you are on Team Next for Transformative Tech— Get. In. Touch. We want to help you. Start here.
If you are building products, tools and platforms focused on the below, you can reach me at email@example.com:
- Stress and Anxiety
- Mental Support
- Emotional Skills and Support
- Social Wellness and Connecting
- Purpose and Meaning
- Cognitive Enhancement
- Emotional Enhancement
- Consciousness Enhancement
We are the only global non-profit dedicated to the development of Wellbeing Technology. If you want to work on these problems — we are your people. We work with entrepreneurs and innovators in over 70 countries and 450+ cities. We are a community of do-ers dedicated to serving the health and advancement of humanity. We’ve been working on humanizing technology for over 5 years. Our 2019 conference and online programs served several thousand extraordinary transformative change agents — and now we’re coming together to serve you during COVID19. www.transformativetech.org
An Opportunity to Commit
To help make this time very productive for you, we are starting a membership this week for those on Team Next in Transformative Tech. The 1st activity of this membership will be to help you define and accomplish a milestone as we all wait-out the next peaks. As a community, during April and May we will work together to advance your idea or companies as a lead into our Annual Online Academy that will begin in August of 2020. We will dig into customer development, have peer-accountability pods, and bring in speakers and other experts.
Again, if you are not on Team Now, the most important thing you can do right now is Join Team Next — any Team Next. Now, more than ever, we need mental and emotional wellbeing, social and emotional flourishing, and to unlock our potential. Right now, while you are at home, this BIG crisis is also a BIG opportunity for you to help create a vision for more human(e) technology. We’re here to help.
With love, let’s get this started…
** BTW, on days that you don’t feel like it, cannot, take care of yourself. That is also very important.
P.S. Expect more details on our membership in the next few days.
P.S.S. I’ve been working on a guide specifically on how Transformative Tech companies can navigate this period that is unique to our category. Expect that this week.
P.S.S.S. We’re also working on a community response to COVID19 where we can showcase your products all in one place to everyone who needs help now. So if you have a TT product that is live and available for sale right now, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Quote from Scott Oldford
- Gale SD, Berrett AN, Erickson LD, et al. Association between virus exposure and depression in US adults. Psychiatry Res. 2018;261:73–792
- Mason BW, Lyons RA. Acute psychological effects of suspected bioterrorism. J Epidemiol Comm Health. 2003;57:353–354.