Daniel Pink defines ‘Motivation 3.0′

“Our basic nature is to be curious and self-directed. Human beings want to learn, to make choices, to achieve. If we want higher-level work, the science shows us the better way to motivation is to build more on autonomy, our desire to be self-directed; on mastery, which is our desire to get better and better at something that matters; and on purpose, which is our desire to be part of something larger than ourselves.” [ via ]

Conference on Social Media for Good, Istanbul

I’m very happy to share that I’ve been selected to speak at The International Conference on Social Media for Good in Istanbul in May. The selection process was extended a few weeks due to an overwhelming global response, so the conference should be an interesting one!

My paper will offer a conceptual framework for a community-based digitally immersive social networking application for CSOs, and I will present for discussion the role of meta networks in facilitating a more robust global reporting structure via said app.

About the conference

Kimse Yok Mu (KYM) is an international NGO carrying out humanitarian aid and development projects in 110 countries. Following the International Conference on Philanthropy and Peacebuilding — organized by the Academic Studies Department of KYM in collaboration with the Journalist and Writers Foundation and Istanbul Bilgi University, with the participation of 25 academicians from 19 countries in April 2014 — the 2015 Conference aims to reveal theoretical contributions as well as representative practices addressing the use of new generation internet applications to generate social benefit.

Selected abstracts and agenda will be posted on the Kimse Yok Mu (KYM) site soon. Follow on Twitter @KYM_Academic.

Istanbul Conference 2015 full

Is science a motherless child?

“In the US, ‘progressive’ and ‘liberal’ are often used interchangeably. But the two should not be confused. Of all of today’s political philosophies, progressivism stands as the most pressing problem for science.”
Hank Campbell and Alex Berezow

A few years back I wrote a piece for Hank Campbell, founder of Science 2.0, on Craig Venter’s newfound literary genre in genetic code, after his team made history in 2010 as the first ever to create synthetic life. Venter inscribed the DNA with a passage from James Joyce, an action ill-received by the Joyce estate, and one that inspired the post. The ‘literary genre in genetic code’ was my thing btw — and if that ever takes off (which it might) you heard it here first.

In 2013, Campbell and Alex Berezow (RealClearScience.com) penned an op-ed for NewScientist on the somewhat fallacious duality between ‘progressive’ and ‘conservative’ at the nexus of politics, science and sustainability. If you’ve heard my take on the US two-party system, then you know I’m not one for labels or cultural or ideological absolutes. But with the upcoming election season (is ‘looming’ a better word?) it’s a good time to revisit topics that expose what is for most the tenderest of cognitive spaces: our steadfast belief in right and wrong.

So it is with great discomfort that I share an essay that blasts progressivism with illustrations of how it’s been usurped by ‘the lunatic fringe’, the most troubling of which is the (hopefully soon defunct) anti-vaccine movement. Progressive activists need to do their homework too, and as we’ve seen time and again, megaphones don’t necessarily come with scruples to match.

Campbell and Berezow authored Science Left Behind: Feel-good fallacies and the rise of the anti-scientific left in 2012. Read their op-ed for NewScientist on Academia.edu.

Should I unfollow you?

“We’re among the first generations expected to maintain connections with every single person we’ve ever met, thanks to the Internet.” Helena Price

Photographer Helena Price decided one night before bed to unfollow everyone on the Internet. Easier said than done. Basically any network she frequented throughout the day that she passed off as ‘productive’. For Price (and I’m betting for many photographers) this meant Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram, all image-rich, content-heavy-in-your-face-honey-I-shrunk-the-day social networks.

She wanted to see if she could recreate the Internet in a more productive way, de-cluttering her brain and doing what she wanted, instead of living in someone else’s feed, inspirational or not.

For Price the addiction was real. She hit withdrawal immediately after ‘purging’, instinctively opening apps she knew had empty feeds, like an amputee reaching for a leg that’s not there. One month later she’s sharing her success on Medium with a take on minimalism that will make you feel lighter just reading it.

And here’s the deal. Minimalism is good for leaders. Being more focused on fewer things makes a healthier, less cluttered path to success than muddling through with little or no focus. (Think ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’.) I’ve seen this principle at work in my own life.

Organizing even our ‘inspirational’ inputs can be a profound experiment waiting to happen. It might not be for everyone, but those brave enough to try it might come away with a powerful lesson on what matters and what doesn’t, online and off.



James Jean is one of my favorite illustrators. Here he talks about a piece he made for Wired magazine, which was later axed due to creative differences:

Wired Magazine asked me to illustrate a double page spread about ‘crowdsourcing’. I immediately thought of depicting the crowd as a 1000 armed beast rising from the sea, threatening and powerful. I took inspiration from these amazing Buddhist statues I saw at Rengeo-in Sanjusagen-do Temple in Japan. Unfortunately, the editor at Wired thought the coloring was too morbid and wanted to depict the crowdsourcing beast in a better light.

James Jean website


Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence illustrates how head and heart can work together to bolster productivity and personal relations. EI is the new IQ. For some of you that’s old news. I first gained an appreciation for EI and its effect on leadership in grad school. Since Goleman set the tone lots of folks have written about EI, and the subject has helped change how we see relationships across personal and professional paradigms. I’m not saying he’s my muse (he might be, I haven’t gotten that far) but I do give credit where it’s due, so I’m sure you’ll see Goleman referenced here often.

I’m curious to know what you think of Emotional Intelligence, and if what you’ve seen gives you hope for the future, or if it seems like EI is just the new ‘business as usual’.