Booritos & Transformation

People wait on a long line to get burritos from Chipotle on Halloween
Boorito Night: A cell phone picture of a very long line.

or What Chipotle and the Dali Lama have in common.
(hint: They are able to touch and transform a lot of people)

Lately I’ve been spending quite a bit of time thinking about gifting and inviting abundance into my life. I’ve also been very focused on personal transformation.  I’ve done breath work, dream analysis, meditation, et cetera.  I’m following this path because I can feel and see changes happening in my life and in the lives of those around me and its powerful stuff.

But much of the change that I’ve seen is localized or only affects a certain sector of the population that can afford it.  While I see the consciousness of the business world shifting through my friends’ businesses at SVN I wasn’t seeing much mainstream or popularized that really grabbed our transforming planet by the balls and… ok maybe a different metaphor.  Not that they weren’t doing enough.  They just hadn’t gone off the high dive.  I’ve been seeing the change as we live the words of Ghandi, and even some cool new products and businesses, but holy crap Chipotle just did a cannon ball into a pool that’s only had a little splashing.

Continue reading “Booritos & Transformation”

To Gamify or Not to Gamify

To Gamify or Not to Gamify

That is the question.

Gamification is a hot topic nowadays.  In conversation I’m seeing people reaching blindly towards gamification the same way they stumbled towards social media five years ago.  To many, gamification is something that they’ve heard about people doing successfully and so they want it.

Pint the Tail on the DonkeyThe surge in interest in games reminds me of Pin the Tail on the Donkey.  A little silly to watch, but everyone genuinely wants to succeed.  The other interesting dynamic is that I’m not sure anyone can see the donkey yet.  While we are working closer and closer to understanding how to do this, it seems to be a field that includes elements connecting game designers, educators, and marketing professionals and thus one which our incongruous education system of silo-ed study has not created an environment conducive to cross disciplinary understanding and action.  Some might disagree on this point, but I’d point out that in order to design effective games you need to understand systems theory, game design, psychology, math, sociology, etc.

But back to the topic at hand.  In the past years candy, and other ‘junk food’ companies offered games to their consumers on their websites.  I expect that they were seeking to get traffic to their websites.  The games that I’ve seen often have little to do with the brand, but there in the background was the logo.  M&M’s does this with a shuffleboard game, for example.  The point is obviously engagement since you don’t need to play a game to open a bag of M&M’s.  Connecting your product to an enjoyable experience is a good idea and one that came naturally and early to that sector. Continue reading “To Gamify or Not to Gamify”

A Living Game

Waste Not is a living game, meaning that it will be updated as conditions change. Much of what we play with is static, but our lives and behaviors shift as discoveries happen. In the early 90’s all of a sudden someone is making biodegradable packing peanuts where there were none before.

Upcycled Light bulbFor many years incandescent light bulbs just had to be thrown away. With a little creativity and intention, I’ve seen those light bulbs upcycled into vases, oil lamps, and more. While I’m not sure we can really use every light bulb that will no longer cast light, removing as many as possible from the waste stream turns them into resources.

What will creativity and innovation bring tomorrow? I certainly don’t know. That’s the best part of having a game that can be updated to reflect change. The text descriptions can be added to as players write back with their ideas, and as science makes progress.

Progress towards zero waste may one day mean that the understanding of our cycling process is simply understood and products are designed with this in mind. But until we get to that point we need to build and play with the understandings that are a part of the cycle. For example, there is no away. The food system is not a pyramid and more of a circle, or really many circles.

Supporting Waste Not on Indiegogo from now until March helps to raise awareness and help move society towards zero waste. That’s pretty awesome of you!

<3

PS The Earth said to say ‘Thanks a bunch!’
PSS In the next update: Film bags and technovomit…

Nurturing a Dream

Recently when I was talking to someone about wanting to do more game and education design I found myself starting out by saying “I’m thinking about maybe…” I had to stop myself because I’m not thinking about maybe, I’m really very interested in and want to actively pursue this. What I decided was that the wording of the phrase didn’t allow me to own the truth of the matter. My new phrase, which feels much more in line with how I’m feeling is that “I’m nurturing a little dream in my heart.” I’m going to use this phrase more to express my desires and intents.

Try it on for size: I’m nurturing a little dream in my heart…

Yes, and…

One of the rules to improvisational acting is to never say ‘no’ or ‘but.’  Why?  Well ‘no’ stops the flow of creativity.  It stops momentum.  The trick is to say ‘yes, and…’

Just like a good improv, brainstorming is facilitated by always saying yes.  Gathering all the nuggets of information and ideas before determining which is best or suits the situation the best.  Continue reading “Yes, and…”

Making Education a Pull not a Push

This TED talk by Charles Leadbeater is great.  He bring into the conversation third world examples of education.  Some of the great points and innovations that I think he hits on include:

1) Project based learning which has to be productive.

2) The inclusion of creativity and using games to teach.

3) Using the Chinese restaurant model – it spreads, looks different depending on where you are, but is recognizable for what it is.

Enjoy!

This post is also viewable on iTeachToo.com through this link.

SVN Spring Conference: Change Philanthropy

How wonderful it is to know that there are foundations out there going beyond the traditional; leading in a way that benefits innovative entrepreneurs and in turn society as a whole. The “Change Philanthropy” breakout session brought together three women who are leading the pack in this area- Alicia Korten of ReNual, Mary Stranahan of Needmor Foundation, and Julia Novy-Hildesley of Lemelson Foundation – to discuss high impact giving. Continue reading “SVN Spring Conference: Change Philanthropy”

SVN Spring Conference: Gunter Pauli’s Blue Economy

During a conversation at the Fall 2009 SVN conference over tea, Diana Lee of the Biomimicry Institute added this wisdom to our conversation; “There is no energy crisis in nature.” Waste exists in our minds and in our culture but in the natural world which we are a part of, the outputs of one process become the inputs of another.

The opening night plenary of the SVN Spring Member Gathering delved into this topic with Gunter Pauli, the co-founder of SVN Europe, Ecover, and the Zero Emissions Research & Initiatives (ZERI) took the stage.

Gunter wants you to believe that you can change the rules of the game and throughout the presentation, example after example showed just how much could be done toward preservation and conservation while doing just that. Continue reading “SVN Spring Conference: Gunter Pauli’s Blue Economy”