Category: Articles

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“Hey Joi… how did you find that happy place? I’ve been looking for it for a long time.”

This question was dropped in my DM by a childhood facebook friend the other day. I told him that I would answer him but needed a couple days to think about it. To be quite honest, I’d never really thought much about the process that landed me here.

Happiness is a choice that I wake up and make every day. Somewhere along the short journey between 30 and 31 years old, I decided that pure unadulterated JOI was my number one priority and that I would not accept anything less. Although this list is not exhaustive, here are eleven steps I took to get there.

1. I untied my happiness from all other beings. All too often we intertwine our happiness with that of other people – our partners, children, friends etc. There’s nothing worse than being in a relationship with an unhappy person. Especially if you are someone like me who is incredibly empathetic to the people around me. I decided that I wanted to take responsibility for my own happiness, make that the priority. I also made the executive decision to cut off anyone who was taking me further away from my joy.

2. I surrounded myself with beautiful things. I invested my time and energy into designing a comfortable, inspiring and creative place to live and work.

 

3. I decided to only do things I like doing. From day one I knew that I would never have a traditional nine to five job. Nothing against that, I just knew that it wasn’t for me. I made a commitment to myself to only do things I like doing, every single day.

4. I started having more fun. I made play dates my number one priority. I started hanging out more with my girl friends, traveling, drinking too many mimosas at brunch and other debauchery.  I stopped taking myself so seriouslyyy and started to value the magic of play.

5. I adjusted my free(quency). Music has the power to manipulate your mood in any given direction. I started being more intentional about the type of music I was listening to and started curating playlists of some of my favorite sounds that I listen to everyday. Check out my Spotify Playlist, “No Bad Days”.

 

6. I mastered the Law of Attraction. I adopted an attitude of gratitude. I realized that being truly thankful for who I am and the opportunities that I’ve been given is the only way to be. I fostered a deeper connection with God, the Universe, nature, other humans, the planet and galaxies around me. Then, I was able to attract the perfect people, opportunities and experiences into my life. I stopped complaining about all the things I didn’t have and started celebrating the things I did.

7. I started letting go of all of the things that weren’t bringing me joy. Point Blank Period.

8. I started making more money. Don’t get me wrong, money can’t buy you happiness. And, I know “making more money” is way easier said than done. Folks that know me well know that money has never been a motivation for me. I’ve basically lived an (albeit fabulous) life of poverty all over the globe for the last several years. In fact, in my perfect universe – money wouldn’t even exist. But on this planet and in this time of ours, money is currency (energy) and can alleviate some of the stresses of just getting by.

One book that completely transformed what I thought about money and helped boost my bank account in a positive direction is Marianne Williamson’s “The Law of Divine Compensation”.

9. I started saying ‘NO’ more. The more you say NO the more you have time to rest, read, play and do other fun stuff that you actually want to do. Now, I plan full ‘NO’ days, uninterrupted play dates I make with myself to give myself the space to be free.

10. I stopped letting what was happening in the outside world dictate what was happening on the inside. Don’t get it twisted, we live in a truly f*cked up society in many ways. There are a lot of things shifting right now, culturally, socially and politically. I take all of the anger and sadness I feel and channel it into making things better. I create art, develop projects and try to teach the babies to make the planet better than it currently is. By channeling that energy into something.. I don’t let it foster inside as depression / oppression.

11. I fell in love with myself. I’m talking like truly, madly, deeply.. in love. Head over heels in love. I became my own favorite person. I became much more protective of myself and my heart. I started to forgive myself more. I became more gentle with myself. I started to treat myself as I wanted to be treated. I began to enjoy spending time with myself.. making myself laugh and taking care of myself. This was the major key to unlocking the Joi that was lying dormant inside all along.

If you have a question you’d like me to answer contact me.

By: Joi M Sears

Technology has opened up whole new worlds for humanity. It has drastically changed the way we live our everyday lives. However, when it comes to the way we buy our food, this process has more or less remained the same. But for how long?

One design firm wants to change all of that. To keep up with the pace of technological advancements, the Carlo Ratti Associati firm has created the supermarket of the future. As a part of a six-month exhibition at Expo Milano Carlo Ratti has created a project called the Future Food District. It explores how technology, innovation and creativity relates to food and diet.

click here to read more…

By: Joi M Sears

Americans spend over half a billion dollars a day on clothing. Imagine what the world would be like if just half of that amount was spent on only sustainable, ethical and eco-conscious brands. Conscious consumerism is based on the idea that every dollar is a vote. By leveraging our collective purchasing power, we can economically influence global companies to become more socially responsible. We can drastically change our planet simply by being more conscious of what we wear, how it is produced and what we do when we are done with it.

H&M, Olivia Wilde, And Conscious Commerce Celebrate The Opening Of The Conscious Pop-Up Shop

Conscious Commerce

Conscious Commerce is an experiment in living (and shopping) with a conscience. It is the brainchild of American actress Olivia Wilde and partner Barbara “Babs” Burchfield. “This is our attempt to be useful humans,” they explain in a welcome letter written on their website. “Maybe if we all take small steps in the right direction, we can at least avoid being the assholes ensuring total world annihilation.”

The duo recently partnered with H&M to launch a Conscious Exclusive pop-up shop in Times Square. The actress-turned-humanitarian is also the face of the S/S Conscious Exclusive campaign, which celebrates the work of artisans all over the world. “The H&M Conscious Exclusive Collection doesn’t compromise on style. It’s a collection of pieces that I want to wear, and that are all made from sustainable materials. It’s how fashion should always be,” Wilde said.

Click here to read more via Triple Pundit…

Every year, millions of people are forced to flee their homes due to war, famine or natural disasters. In search of safety, shelter, food and clean water, many seek refuge in humanitarian camps. Some stay for years, others for generations. For many children, these camps are the only home they’ve ever known.

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The camps are dark, cramped and chaotic places. There is no electricity or running water. The tents do not provide adequate shelter from rain, wind or extreme temperatures. Without privacy, proper sanitation or a sense of security, many refugees are in dire need of safety, dignity and a better place to call home, however humble that home may be.

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In an effort to provide better, safer and more durable homes for refugee children and their families, the Ikea Foundation in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) launched Better Shelter, a social enterprise committed to developing innovative housing solutions for people displaced by conflict and natural disasters. The UNHCR has recently placed an order for 10,000 flat-pack shelters from Ikeato improve the lives of thousands of refugee families around the world. The shelters are durable, affordable, sustainable, easy to transport and can be built on-site without any additional tools. On a mission to revolutionize the refugee camp, Better Shelter uses design, technology and social innovation to create a better home away from home for millions of displaced people.

Click here to read more via Triple Pundit…

By: Joi M Sears

In an age when we’re desperate for new answers to old questions, the traditional top-down approach to business is no longer going to cut it. Now, more than ever, we see innovative brands shifting to more open and collaborative methods when it comes to fueling social innovation. More companies are crowdsourcing ideas from consumers.

Unilever recently unveiled the new Foundry Ideas platform at the Cannes Lions Festival. It will amplify the company’s current efforts, acting as a hub for consumers and entrepreneurs to work together to tackle some of the most defining sustainability challenges of our time. It invites users to share their ideas on the platform, collaborate with others to make the idea better and have the chance to win prizes while making a big impact.

read more via Triple Pundit…

In a time not too far in the future, drones will be part of our everyday lives and one of the biggest platforms for innovation. With this in mind, we can begin to imagine how drones will interact with us at a very intimate scale by exploring the concept of wearable drones – that is, drones that land and launch from our bodies. Unlike our stationary smart devices that only support us digitally, drones expand the limitations of the human body and support us by performing physical tasks on our behalf.

Check out the full article here.

by: Joi M. Sears

Adidas is giving a whole new meaning to the old adage, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” The eco-conscious sneaker brand recently released an innovative pair of kicks made entirely of recycled plastic ocean waste. The shoes are the product of an ongoing partnership with Parley for the Oceans, an initiative dedicated to raising awareness and combatting plastic pollution in the oceans.

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“The conservation of the oceans is a cause that is close to my heart and those of many employees at the Adidas Group” said Eric Liedtke, executive board member for Adidas Group. “By partnering with Parley for the Oceans we are contributing to a great environmental cause. We co-create fabrics made from Ocean Plastic waste which we will integrate into our products.”

Adidas

Parley for the Oceans is an organization in which creators, thinkers and leaders come together to raise awareness about the state of the oceans and to collaborate on projects that can protect and conserve them. As a founding member, Adidas supports Parley for the Oceans in its education and communication efforts and its comprehensive Ocean Plastic Program that intends to end plastic pollution for good.

read more via Triple Pundit…

Almost half of the world’s food is thrown away every year, while over 800 million people go hungry. In America, our trash cans eat better than 25 percent of the world’s children. Food waste is one of the most pressing social and environmental justice issues of our time, and more than just dumpster-divers are jumping on the bandwagon.

All across the world, food waste experiments are emerging. From pop-up restaurants like INSTOCK in Amsterdam to WastED in New York, food waste is being rescued from local grocery stores and given the celebrity treatment. Even newspapers are serving up food waste recipes to the masses. Food waste is the cause du jour, and a growing number of restaurants and food-preneurs are following the trend.

Read more via Triple Pundit…

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People are aspirational. We want to be healthy, well-educated, knowledgeable, creative and ethical. We want to do good, but not just for ‘goodness sake’ ’we also want our good behavior to be rewarded. The solution? Currency of Change, a combination of new technologies which offer compelling rewards that help customers become the people they want to be.

Changing the Self

Whether it be through discounts, vouchers or rewards, one way that smart brands are taking action when it comes to their customer’s quest for personal enhancement is by leveraging the power of smartphones and wearable devices to reward good behavior. They offer personal, innovative, fun, timely, targeted and ultimately relevant rewards in order to help people achieve their goals.

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Among those brands that are incentivizing change which improves individual wellbeing, New York based Oscar Insurance company rewards their customers for walking. Their new health policy provides customers with a free Misfit fitness tracker that works along with an app to measure personal fitness. Customers earn a USD 1 reward for each day that they attain their goal, with the chance to earn a total of up to USD 240 annually in the form of Amazon vouchers.

In June 2014, Brazilian TV station SBT launched a pop-up anti-smoking campaign which allowed people to exchange cigarettes for free gifts. Based on each cigarette being equivalent to 11 minutes of longer life, when people placed cigarettes in the machine, they were rewarded with free leisure-related gifts, such as magazines or movie tickets.

Changing for Society

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When it comes to incentivizing consumers to be better members of society, there are a number of brands that are paving the way. In February 2015, the makers of the activity tracker Fitbit partnered with hunger-relief charity Feeding America to launch the FitforFood campaign. Any user of a Fitbit device can opt in to the program, which will see every calorie they burn go towards a goal of 1 billion calories burned by all participants. If the target is hit, the 1 billion calories will buy 1.5 million meals for US citizens in need.

MaximusLife is an online platform which syncs with charitable organizations. It allows users to set goals and track progress via digital timelines, as well as connect with others for support. The platform allows users to earn rewards when goals are achieved which can take the form of retail discounts or donations to a specified charity.

Yes, this trend is being driven by new technologies that enable rewards to be ever more personal and relevant to customers’ aspirations for change, but the Currency of Change doesn’t necessarily have to be completely tech-driven or expensive. An example of a low tech innovation is the Positive Ticketing Program an initiative of the Prince Albert Police Service in Canada. Designed to reward positive behavior by local youth, patrol members can issue tickets which can be redeemed for prizes such as movie tickets, meals and sports games.

Changing for the Planet

iPhone_LandingFinally, there are a number of brands who are incentivizing consumers who want to live more sustainably. Changers is a free tracking app that rewards users for choosing sustainable transport options. When users take a journey on foot, or by public transport, the app compares the carbon imprint of the journey to that of the same journey made by car. Any emission savings are converted into Recoin units, which can be used to purchase CO2 certificates to make car or plane rides carbon neutral.

Another example is Brazilian haircare brand Seda which launched an interactive installation allowing consumers to exchange empty shampoo bottles for cellphone credit. For two weeks in February 2015, Uruguayan shoe brand MAMUT accepted plastic bottles as currency when consumers purchased shoes from their summer ‘Native’ line. Each bottle was worth 100 Uruguayan dollars — about USD 4 — and customers could use bottles to finance up to 40% of their purchase. The project was intended to assist with a drive to clean up local beaches, and all bottles collected were sent for recycling.

Another low-tech example, McDonald’s in Stockholm launched a promotion which enabled residents to pay for food by recycling cans. The fast food chain unveiled special billboards dispensing trash bags at music festivals and parks, each printed with a price list. In exchange for ten cans, people could get a free hamburger, while Big Macs were worth 40 cans.

Time to mint your own Currency of Change? What forms of change are important to your customers but overlooked by other brands? What is the most compelling currency to offer, rewards, discounts or hard cash?

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Every March, hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world flock to Austin, Texas (USA) to take part in the South by Southwest film, interactive and music festival. SXSW Interactive, which focuses on emerging technology, is a breeding ground for new ideas and cutting edge innovations. With the ever-growing presence of the fashion and tech communities at SXSW Interactive, a new addition to the conference line up is SXStyle, a platform for creatives to come together, innovative and celebrate the industry. Exploring the complex ties between fashion, art, culture and technology, SXstyle features five days of panel discussions, networking opportunities, and evening events touching on topics like wearable tech, 3D printing, innovative design, the future of retail, virtual sizing, and more.

Click here to read more via Youth Time Magazine..