4 Ways to build a Human Company in the Age of Machines [TED Talk]

Description of Ted Leberecht´s talk:

In the face of artificial intelligence and machine learning, we need a new radical humanism, says Tim Leberecht. For the self-described “business romantic,” this means designing organizations and workplaces that celebrate authenticity instead of efficiency and questions instead of answers. Leberecht proposes four (admittedly subjective) principles for building beautiful organizations.

George Lucas on the Intersection of Star Wars and Positive Psychology

YodaI´ve written  about Star Wars in the past (see Odysseus, Luke Skywalker, and the Quick Fix and Bad is Stronger than Good! That is why our World desperately needs Positive Psychology). Today, I´d just like to share this short video that I found on Facebook. In an interview, George Lucas shares his view on the light side of The Force – and pro-social behavior, one of the building blocks of Positive Psychology. Enjoy!

How can the Apple Watch be a true Piece of Positive Technology?

The internet is going mad about the soon-to-come launch of the Apple Watch. After checking out what it actually can do. some people think it´s a useless marketing fad, other feel it´s the best thing since sliced bread. Via Twitter, Wall Street Journal writer Geoffrey Fowler asked:

For me, the true challenge would be turning it into a piece of positive technology. Here are my three ideas:

  1. As far as I know, the Apple Watch can check my pulse. Then a fine-tuned app could very well detect irregular patterns or longer breaks to a pretty high degree of certainty. As such, it could possibly detect symptoms of an impending cardiac arrest – and then send a emergency SMS using GPS data.
  2. As far as I know, the Apple Watch can record my speech (the iPhone can). As such, it could be used to prevent depression. There is some evidence that usage of certain words, but also certain speech characteristics (e.g., prosody) are predictive of depressive symptoms. If a person is prone to this kind of disorder, a speech recorder could automatically capture sound bites at random intervals over the day. If the elements of “depressive speech” increase over several days based on appropriate algorithms, the Apple Watch could notify the owner – or his/her doctor.
  3. As far as I know, the Apple Watch can mow my lawn. Oh wait, it can´t? Well…

What are your ideas?

A unified Hashtag for all Things Positive Psychology: #PosPsy

By now, a whole lot of people are writing and blogging about Positive Psychology. There´s also a pretty active Twitter community (please read the post 7 Positive Psychology People and Institutions to follow on Twitter). But as far as I know, people have not (intuitively) agreed on a single Twitter hash tag for the topic. Some use #PositivePsychology (which is quite long), some #PosPsychology (still long and rather unusual), some use #PosPsych – and others do not use hash tags at all when sharing their content. Following my fellow German #PosPsy evangelist Michael Tomoff, I propose to use the hash tag #PosPsy (or #pospsy) from now on whenever talking about this magnificent topic. Using a single unified hash tag as a community has a couple of advantages:

  • Content in general becomes more visible. Tweets with (more or less) popular tags profit from a higher interaction rate. Additionally, as people get accustomed to the expression, it´ll become the general search term for the topic – helping people to find all the good stuff that is out there on Twitter.
  • For the same reason, it will help your content to become more visible.
  • Ultimately, using #PosPsy as the unified hash tag will create a sense of community – just as e.g., all the tweets supporting a certain football team will display the same tag.

Of course, we should still use our more individualized tags like #Gratitude or #Happiness, but using #PosPsy in addition will create the additional attention our topics deserve. So, if you think that having a unified hash tag for all things Positive Psychology is a great idea, please share this post or the following picture! Would be cool to make it a trending topic on Twitter… 🙂



Dear all,
I´ve received a lot of comments and feedback on this topic, via mail, Twitter, or here in the comments section – thanks a lot for your input. I´d like to make three points here:
  1. Yes, I´ve done some research. If PP hashtags were a market, I´d say it´s “absolutely not consolidated”. On some days, one tag is used more often than others, and on other days, it´s something else. In general, when comparing “our” tags to really popular ones, the result would be: they´re all insignificant. That´s why it´s a really good idea in the first place to start using a single one as a community – whatever it may be at the end of the day.
  2. My learning is: with hashtags, it´s all about brevity. You´d want a “minimum understandable solution” that is not occupied by another topic – that´s why I propose #PosPsy.
  3. I´m not sure if hash tags are really important in terms of “resonance”. People resonate with content, not with hash tags. The thing is: in most cases when there´s no predefined tag given out by a source with a considerable outreach, it´s a sort of “winner takes it all” dynamic (you can monitor that e.g. with large sports events). The one that is used most in the beginning (and/or is supported by someone with a large audience) tends to win. First, due to “social pressure”, and second due to the Twitter algorithm that magnifies this effect by suggesting the one that is mostly used anyway.
Therefore: whatever we agree on as a group (and then use systematically…) will be the winner over time. 🙂
Warm wishes,

Update No. 2

The Positive Psychology Center at UPenn twittered that they support #PosPsy. That´s not like the Pope supporting us, but it´s not too far away either… 🙂