#12: Empowering Meaningful Human Connection Using VR Experiences w/ Caitlin Krause, Founder of MindWise, Stanford Professor, & Author

Hello! I’m Julian and I’m a Gen Z entrepreneur, software engineer, and podcaster. I am the fusion of an ambitious entrepreneur, a tech whiz, a futurist, a productivity aficionado, and a self-improvement junkie.
I am currently a Software Engineer at Facebook and the Co-Founder & CTO at a startup named Vize. Previously, I have interned with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Goldman Sachs. Learn about me at www.julianalvarez.me

When you fear something it shows that you care; so how can we turn that care into an opportunity to thrive in that moment?”

– Caitlin Krause

Machines can replicate processes, but they can’t detect quality. Human beings are the mindful drivers that define meaning, and that is what sets us apart.

Caitlin is an explorer in the worlds of technology, innovation, and well being. She is an author of two books named Designing Wonder and Mindful by Design, a professor at Stanford teaching classes such as “Digital Wellbeing: Healthy Relationships with Technology”. She is a thought leader with the mission of empowering humans through meaningful connections.

After teaching for two decades, Caitlin founded MindWise, a storytelling and experience design studio and consultancy, in 2015. Their impressive client portfolio includes Google, Facebook, Oracle, Ted, Evernote, and the US State Department. Her fluency in both science and arts allowed her to craft mindfulness opportunities inside the VR space, allowing people to feel a sense of embodiment and connect internally within their teams.

How do we connect with our stories and make those meaningful stories more visible to our audiences, to teams?”

– Caitlin Krause

💬 Discussed in this episode…

● 03:50] How the topics of technology, innovation, wellbeing, mindfulness, storytelling and the design of meaningful experiences intersect. The higher level purpose Caitlin is aiming to serve.
● [06:05] How Caitlin thinks of meaning, what makes something meaningful and how she designs meaning.
● [08:40] Caitlin’s frameworks or processes for deciding the important criteria to design a meaningful experience.
● [16:08] How meaningful connections are created in a technological experience where moments of wonder are shared
● [20:17] How Mindwise solves people’s problems by creating these experiences.
● [26:25] How Caitlin leverages the hero’s journey at Mind Wise and encoding it in your behavior.
● [33:13] Adaptive intelligence Caitlin would teach all young entrepreneurs.
● [34:57] How people can break out of limiting belief and realize their potential.
● [39:53] How Caitlin plans on inventing the future.

What is the PROBLEM that MindWise is solving?

How do you incorporate technology into learning experiences? Educators and managers are eager to utilize technology to teach their students or train their teams, but they fear losing touch with their humanity or compromising their quality of life. An even more challenging task is taking the salient and meaningful takeaways from a VR experience and bringing it back to one’s reality. Moments of enlightenment are often too fleeting for long-term impact. Users are not expertly guided on how to apply their newfound concepts moving forward.

🛠️ What is MindWise’s SOLUTION?

Utilizing a triangle of mindfulness, storytelling and design.

By incorporating a design thinking mindset, Mindwise encourages deep inquiry and empathy through the expressive art of VR technology.

Storytelling as a form of teaching is ten times more memorable than delivering random, abstract concepts. A story can be defined as a package of what we find meaningful. Once it’s transferred, the recipient will attach their own meaning to it and its lessons are now more deeply ingrained. Moreover, a story’s poetic and visceral beauty through VR can make all the difference.

From coaching TED talks to advising at high schools and universities, MindWise delivers all forms of program support with their innovative methodology. They impact people at an individual and collective level, allowing for greater amounts of freedom, agency and empowerment.

As a result, MindWise pioneers connection and freedom through artificial intelligence.

MindWise’s mission is to “bring people, education, and technology together using validated methods to improve behavioral health outcomes, resulting in healthier and more productive lives.”

What if your purpose is actually connected to your passion and is meeting something that the world needs?”

– Caitlin Krause

💣 3 Value Bombs

  1. A team’s primary mission is to build out a product or service. It is crucial to realize that a team’s ability to execute largely depends on the chemistry the team possesses internally. This is behaviorally evident in the team’s effectiveness in understanding and caring for one another. Therefore, facilitating meaningful experiences is the single most productive activity a team can engage in. The strength of a team’s bond largely influences the outcome of an outstanding product.
  2. Fear is an indicator of how much you care about something. Therefore, the more fear you feel toward something, the more you care about the thing causing you fear. Rather than allowing this fear to cripple you into inaction, let it fuel your actions toward progress. Shift your mindset on fear and view it from a positive lens. Leverage this care as an opportunity to thrive in that moment.
  3. Crafting a story out of a situation can be powerful. Adopt the hero’s journey plot line when facing professional challenges. Gamify your challenges by imagining a world of monsters and weapons at your disposal. Relish in the potential victory of overcoming a battle and let those feelings of fulfillment motivate you to the finish line. Level up in your awareness by bringing this knowledge back to your perceived reality. This will allow you to crush your comfort and venture into the unknown more seamlessly.

People & Resources Mentioned 

● Abundance Digital Community by Peter Diamandis
● 12 steps of the hero’s journey
● Christopher Vogler
● The Hero with a Thousand Faces (The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell) book
● Walt Whitman
● Marvin Minsky

Caitlin Krause’s Website
Caitlin Krause’s LinkedIn
Caitlin Krause’s Instagram
Caitlin Krause’s Twitter
MindWise’s Website
MindWise’s LinkedIn

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