S3 Ep 060 Sam Sokol is Bringing The Richness of Humanity to Everyone Through Technology

In this episode, we are privileged to feature Sam Sokol, a visionary dedicated to infusing the essence of humanity into the realm of technology. With an exceptional aptitude for melding technology and gamified learning, Sam is on a mission to usher in a brighter era for all of humanity.
S3 Ep 060 Sam Sokol


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Show Notes

Our guest for today is Sam Sokol, an expert in integrating technology and gamified learning to for the betterment of humanity. With his extensive experience in technology consulting, e-commerce, learning management systems, and online community development, Sam has helped numerous businesses and organizations to leverage technology for positive impact.

Sam and his team partner with some of the world’s leading influencers, such as Deepak Chopra, and organizations like the United Nations, to create positive games that benefit all of humanity. Through their work, they have helped entrepreneurs and high-performance teams to achieve their full potential by using gamified learning techniques. Join us as we delve into Sam’s journey and expertise, and explore how technology and gamification can be harnessed to create a better world for all.

S3 Ep 060 Sam Sokol

In this episode, you will hear: 

  • How a week of silence at Burning Man led to the gamification of creating a better world. 
  • Becoming friends with strangers. 
  • Being like-hearted, not like-minded. 
  • Living life with gratitude and an abundance mindset.
  • Choosing how we use powerful technologies. 
  • Finding gratitude for the things around us. 
  • The value in hearing and honoring different perspectives. 

Sam is an expert in integrating technology and gamified learning to support humanity for good. His experience spans from technology consulting (web3, e-commerce, learning management systems, online community development, etc.) to in-person gamified learning with entrepreneurs and high-performance teams. He and his team partner with businesses, organizations (e.g. United Nations), and key influencers (e.g. Deepak Chopra) to create games that benefit 100% of humanity…for a life well played.

Connect with Sam Sokol:

Website: www.graticube.game 

Email: [email protected] 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/graticubegameofficial/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/graticubegame

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/graticube

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIypcKCoYvG0cglnMI7THLg

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/graticubegame/

Connect with R Blank and Stephanie Warner: For more Healthier Tech Podcast episodes and to download our Healthier Tech Quick Start Guide, visit https://www.healthiertech.co and follow https://instagram.com/healthiertech

Additional Links:


Sam Sokol 0:00
When I find somebody that has a gratitude practice, and they’re deep in that, it’s like a little string, like an energetic connection between us. And we were sort of thinking about like, oh, what colour would that be? Is that a centre? red string? You know? Is that is that love? Okay, well then what does gratitude? Is that kind of a purple and then what if you could imagine the whole world being connected with these little threads? And that you if you wanted to meet people, those strangers you’re talking about that you bring together and play the game? Could you be connected in the gratis fear based on that lightheartedness?

Announcer 0:32
Welcome to the healthier tech podcast, the show about building a healthier relationship with modern technology. Now, here are your hosts, R blank and Stephanie Warner.

R Blank 0:45
So hey, Steph, imagine that you are a pet. What care instructions should the pet sitter have?

Stephanie Warner 0:52
Walk me often give me water, pet me, love me and some food sometimes.

R Blank 0:59
That’s a lot. You’re like an Airbnb host. So what I just started here with is a card from a game called graddic cube, which I have been playing recently. And we’re about to chat with the CO creator Sam Sokol. And it’s a it’s not like other episodes. First off, just to be 100% clear before we get into things. I love this game. I am going to be recommending this game to a lot of people. But this interview did not go like other interviews.

Stephanie Warner 1:34
Yeah, this was not an interview. This was gameplay. We got to we got a little deep. And we it was a really, it was a heartfelt experience. And I love this game I enjoyed tremendously enjoyed speaking to Sam, and what he’s brought to the world and what he’s what he’s got planned. And I can’t wait for everyone to see it. But also quickly, I want to change my answer. My answer is treat me like I’m part of the family.

R Blank 2:02
Okay, there we have it. So let’s get into it. All right, let’s do it. Our guest for today is Sam Sokol, an expert in integrating technology and gamified learning for the betterment of humanity. With his extensive experience in tech consulting, e commerce, learning management systems and online community development. Sam has helped numerous businesses and organisations to leverage technology for positive impact. Sam and his team partner with some of the world’s leading influencers, such as Deepak Chopra, and organisations like the United Nations to create positive games that benefit all of humanity. Through their work, they have helped entrepreneurs and high performance teams to achieve their full potential by using gamified learning techniques. Join us as we delve into Sam’s journey and expertise and explore how technology and gamification can be harnessed to create a better world for all. Welcome to the healthier tech podcast. Sam.

Sam Sokol 2:58
Great to be here. Thank you for having me.

Stephanie Warner 3:01
It’s great to have you on I’m really excited about this.

R Blank 3:04
So you’ve just broken through what fear Do you not have anymore?

Stephanie Warner 3:11
We’ll get right into.

R Blank 3:14
Okay, so that’s a question from the game that you designed called graticule. And when I invited some friends to play it, and this was before, because you kindly sent me actually a couple of a couple of units of it. I haven’t played it. I was looking for some friends to play it. So they asked me what am I asking them to come over and play? And I haven’t played it yet. I said it’s sort of like Cards Against Humanity. But nice. So how did I do with that description?

Sam Sokol 3:43
Well, that’s pretty good. It’s funny that a game would define itself by being what it’s against.

Right? So if we imagine being forced something could could we be for humanity? And what would that? Right? So if we had a game for humanity, what would that look like? And how could we include more people in that conversation?

R Blank 4:05
That’s cool. That’s actually so much simpler than my car for humanity. So what’s unique about this game?

Sam Sokol 4:13
Well, I so I shared with you a little bit before about my experience at Burning Man being silent for a week and I learned a lot by being silent one was I had never stopped speaking, you know, some people will take a fast food they’ll stop eating for a little while. Otherwise, an unbroken chain of eating and eating and eating and eating and eating. And so I thought the same for for my mind, and my body is like, wow, what if I stopped speaking? I’ve never done that. Not not voluntarily for a week. And so they’re they’re aspects of the game that have listening as an embedded quality. And what I noticed at the Burning Man event was that people would interrupt like it was a sport. I don’t mean to interrupt but

R Blank 4:54
premeditated interruption anytime, any Time a sentence is structured that way it means they do they want to do exactly what they’re saying they don’t.

Sam Sokol 5:04
Yeah, I love you. But you’re like, oh, yeah,

Stephanie Warner 5:08
this one part,

Sam Sokol 5:09
just this one part, you know you. So that was kind of what motivated me to, to bring this to other people like I know people are gonna go that desert and choose to be silent for a week and crazy environment. But maybe they’d be willing to listen a little bit better, maybe they’d be willing to offer cards of curiosity, as opposed to just anything that comes to mind. And so the sense of gratitude is that it holds a certain kind of space, even if you’re not a really skilled facilitator, and you don’t have to be the game itself can facilitate this kind of shared space of listening, curiosity and gratitude.

Stephanie Warner 5:43
Oh, that’s, that’s really great. How did you how did you come up with this game? How did you devise it and structure it?

Sam Sokol 5:50
Well, when I was there at the burn, I thought, Well, I still want to be part of the conversation, I don’t want to be a spectacle. So I don’t have a sign around my neck. But I did have a card for each day. And the card had a question. So I could enter into a conversation without my voice. And some of those cards were great, and some of them didn’t land terribly well. And you’ve got to imagine people in the environment. I mean, if it’s 2am, and people are on drugs at a concert, they may not really care. And maybe that’s when they care the most. That’s maybe when they’re getting really deep and thinking about the stars and our place in the in the universe. So time of day is really interesting, the kinds of cards kinds of questions, and then that randomizer. So those are some of the things that brought in, and then I would sit in meditation, and sometimes just get these downloads. I had one word 29 question cards, just boom, one after another after another just came to me and I wrote them down. And I played with friends. Hey, what do you think of this? How much do you think of answering this? And so there was a certain formula? That would be Hey, is this fun? Is it interesting? Is it creative? Does it allow us to connect and go a little deeper, some of the cards are a little bit off the reservation. So like, I don’t know how I would answer that cool. And there’s this moment reflection. And that’s part of it is like these aren’t meant to be questions that back you into a corner. Some icebreakers are like that. And I wouldn’t call this just an icebreaker. Something’s like, Hey, tell me when you last cried, you’re like I just met you. Really, do we want to go there just yet. I don’t know maybe in a while. But it is a rapid accelerator, and people will decide how deep they want to go. So if maybe you’re like, okay, cool. I’ll dip my toe in, or hey, I don’t mind I’ll jump in the pool. Or you’re like, let’s let’s go the ocean. Let’s get in that deep dive deep explore and see what’s down in the Mariana Trench, whatever. So it’s, you choose how far and it’s everything’s an invitation. So it’s not meant as anything aggressive. It’s like, if you want cool if not discarded, or pick another card. And then we one more element of that is no rules, spelled kn O W rules. And basically, some people like law structure, some people don’t, some people are like, hey, I want to make my own rules up and then was like, Oh, tell me exactly how to play this. I don’t want to mess it up.

R Blank 8:03
I like how you were explaining this in terms of you get to you find the depth that it’s comfortable for you and and in the the first time I played it, we started out I would say very shallow, we were all a little hesitant about what is this mean? But I mean, we’re all friends. And we gradually got more comfortable. We gradually had a couple more drinks, which I would say sort of lubricated the experience. And then we were getting deeper and deeper. And by the end, it just felt it really felt phenomenal. That day, it really was a wonderful experience, the friend, the game took, I mean, again, like you say, you play it as long as you want to play it, but we played through the whole deck. So that took a few hours. But then we ended up hanging out for like eight more hours after that made you know how to borrow.

Stephanie Warner 8:53
Yeah, by that time, you were best friends, you know, we’ve already

R Blank 8:57
worked. But it just turned into a wonderful day. And it was a wonderful, a wonderful experience a little bit of before going on just so people understand the basic construct and your URL is graticule dot game. And we’ll put that in the show notes and say it again at the end. But if people want to learn more about it, they should go there. There’s a bunch of these story cards, and each turn and there’s two dice, which I’ll hold up here for anyone who’s watching on YouTube. One is a big I don’t know that shape. Is that a dodecahedron? Yes, it is. Yeah. dodecahedron and one’s a cube. And the dodecahedron has emotions. And the cube has a time. And so you roll both of them and you get one emotion at one time. And then you pull a story card and the story card will be well like I just like I opened up with Sam, you’ve just broken through what fear Do you not have anymore? And then you figure out how you want to answer it by relating it like let’s say I wrote the emotion of desire and always so I would kind of use those, just reframe what, you know me picking the story and maybe the perspective through which I tell the story. And then everyone there just sits and listens on some cards on some cards. It asks everyone to participate and so forth. One rule, I say, we easily broke, we had no chance of following. You have these curiosity cards. So if I answer something that people have questions about, they’re allowed to give me a curiosity card with a specific follow up, and we didn’t do that we just interrupted. And that will not surprise Stephanie in this line. And it took like a couple of turns. Because even even as I explain it, it felt like I wasn’t explaining it maybe as easily as I could. But it took a couple of turns, and then we really got into it. And so that’s the basic game mechanism. And like Sam was saying, there are no winners, there are no losers, there is no score, the rules are entirely optional. It’s really just an exercise, like you say, a facilitator in creating human connection, which, even with your friends, is something that can be hard to find at times. Was that how well did I do, Sam? Fantastic.

Sam Sokol 11:18
I think you described it really, really well. And it’s funny, because when you’re with your friends, you talked about playing with your best friends, and having eight more hours, it’s like, oh, this is such a great way to warm up that scenario together we come out of, it’s kind of funny, because when you first start talking to someone about this kind of experience they’re living in this is my experience that they’re living in their heads, we live in a Western culture, most of us I don’t know who’s listening to this podcast, where they might be in the world, but an industrialised society, a Western, like very technology driven. And so we’re very much in our heads a lot. And to get into our hearts, takes a moment. And sometimes it takes tools to get there. And so these tools allow us to ask different kinds of questions. These are not everyday kind of questions, you might ask somebody, and yet someone could share something that’s commonplace everyday with you or even thought about this in 10 years, or maybe it’s on your mind all the time. And nobody ever asks you that question to dive in. So I think it’s, it’s fun to see how this can play with people, you know, really well. And also, that sort of old adage that some people play really well, or will open up to strangers in a way they might not to their best friend, is also true. And so we’ve seen that playing the game. And we’ve played so many times now that we see a lot of similarities, but also some differences. And the the stranger dynamic is interesting. We’re told not to talk to strangers, and that you turn me on to Keaton, his research with a social connection study in Canada, Jen well, and one of the data points was the people who are going to talk to a stranger who are willing to talk to a stranger, at least once a week are likely to be three times happier than the average individual. So there’s this there’s this funny kind of thing that happens when we open up to strangers who become friends, like at some point, those best friend weren’t best friends, how did they become friends? It’s a cool journey.

Stephanie Warner 13:07
Yeah, I love that. And I actually, when I first heard about the game, I was like, oh, I need to, I know the friend I need to give this to and then I, I have friends all over the United States, because I travel around a lot. And I can’t wait to get a group of people who don’t know each other where I’m the only person who knows everybody. And let’s play the game. So I have a lot of friends I know that would love to dive in and meet some new people. And so I’m really excited about that. I so I do have a question. Can you tell us about Gravis fear?

Sam Sokol 13:38
So the grass fear Yeah, this is this is a concept in development. And I don’t know if this is true for you, when you meet somebody, you see certain things that are similar between you and certain things that are different. And what my business partner Terry and I talk about is like the concept of people say, Hey, we’re all like minded here. He’s like, now I’d rather not be like minded because if we all have the same mind, same thoughts, there’s probably little diversity. It’s not really fun. It’s not very interesting. But maybe we’re like hearted enough. And we think differently enough that that’s really fun. We get to come together in a light heartedness where we explore different ideas and diverse ideas and creativity. So that’s part of this idea of of the greatest fear what holds us together, what are those lightheartedness things? And gratitude is certainly one of them. Service service to others thinking about? How can we be a little less selfish, right? There’s a certain need to look out for yourself, of course. And then, you know, I think when we really look at abundance is there all the time, right? And in gratitude, I can say, wow, look at all this stuff I have around me, I’m alive. I have food. I have friends. Like, wow, I have so much how can I share that? How can I do that with others and when I find somebody that has a gratitude practice, and they’re deep in that, it’s like a little string, like an energetic connection between us. And we were sort of thinking about like, oh, what colour would that’d be, as I said, a red string and Oh, is that is that love? Okay, well, then what is gratitude? Is that kind of a purple? And then what if you could imagine the whole world being connected with these little threads? And that you if you wanted to meet people, those strangers you’re talking about that you bring together and play the game? Could you be connected in the gratis fear based on that lightheartedness?

R Blank 15:21
Wow, that’s

Stephanie Warner 15:23
yeah, I’m imagining and listening and just like pulling on the threads. And that’s, that’s a it’s

R Blank 15:28
really a threat literally.

Stephanie Warner 15:32
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I think the imagery is very bright. Yeah.

Sam Sokol 15:38
Yeah, like this colourful ball of us all being connected globally, not no national fences, you know, no separation, but really connected through our hearts. And so I have this vision of people being willing to share some of the reflections from the game. So when we play the game, I don’t tend to record any of those games because it doesn’t feel right. It’s very intimate. And yet, and you I see you shaking your head, because you know what this is? Yeah, no, totally. And you just go Oh, yeah, that’s that was for us. That was the rest of the world. That’s why, you know, people put up their walls and defences because it’s not for everyone. But I think the reflections from the game like I asked my grandma, I told her, I was gonna record it. So I had her permission. And, and she shared a memory with me, that was so precious, and there was nothing that she wouldn’t share with the whole world. And so I imagine, there was a corollary, there was a group of kindergarteners and like, you know, K through six or something, that were invited to share how they dealt with anger, how they dealt with sadness, how they, and they just recorded audio, and then people, anyone in the world could dial into this phone number, and hear how these kids dealt with their emotions. And it’s surprisingly universal, right? It’s not just kids, and oh, my God, you don’t have to know how to deal with this yet. It’s like, wow, that’s cool. Let’s all go outside and play in the rain, whatever it was, and that that became so popular that it overwhelmed the phone number you couldn’t it just give you a busy signal. If you can remember what that was, like, once upon a time, you wouldn’t get in, you wouldn’t hear their voices. But otherwise, you could press one for this two for this three for that. And so I imagined the grass for being a place where anyone can go to be reminded of who we are, like the true beauty of our humanity.

R Blank 17:20
So that, that, that, that that triggered a sequence of thoughts in my head. So you and I were introduced just in a Zoom meeting, and it had nothing to do with the game. And you said, or Virginia said, Oh, Sam also has this game. And I was introduced to you, with you in a tech role. And I heard Oh, you have this great game. And I immediately thought it’s, well, it’s a computer game, right? Because that’s, and then, as we were talking later, I learned it wasn’t because I was like, Why do you need my address to send me a computer? Like, oh, wait, this is a real life game. And then I got it. And I experienced it. I’m like, oh, in a lot of ways, this is a reaction to and an antidote to the things that are happening in our lives as a result of our reliance on technology and the ways in which we let technology permeate our lives. And then I learned about the stratosphere or your your vision for it. And so I’ve done like a couple of 180s on this is what I’m saying. Like, well, I assumed it’d be a computer game that it turns out, it was a low tech analogue game. And then Oh, I get it. It’s an it’s an antidote to the overstressed tech lifestyle. And then I hear this vision. So do you get the sort of how do you feel about everything that I just said, Do you feel like your game is sort of a reaction to an antidote to the types of stresses and disintermediation that we all experienced because of modern lifestyle? And if so, what’s the vision for the greatest fear?

Sam Sokol 19:06
Great questions, love those questions. And I love how we met because part of the root of how we met the context was Virginia who has a product for shielding the body. I know this is your focus to from these maladies of the world. And it’s, it’s it’s a great challenge that we have these tools, right? A hammer can be used to build a house or hit someone over the head, how you choose to use, it becomes very important, especially and I know this, we’re not going to get into chat GPT. So we won’t go there. But another big question in the world is how do we use powerful technology that could be used for good that should be used for good? And just because you have a phone doesn’t make it good or bad? Right? How you use that. And the social connection study says after three hours of social media, there’s a massive decline in happiness. It really doesn’t connect us as much as we’re told. Devices end up being very divisive. So that moment We get together with our best friends, we put down our phones, and we connect face to face and eye to eye. That’s magical. And it’s kind of like I think about the sort of ancestral campfire. You know, we can imagine sitting at the campfire with our ancestors years ago, and just telling stories and yeah with each other, and there’s, there’s that warmth of the fire. And there’s, there’s something so special about that moment of circling to be together and sharing that in one space. So, yes, I see it as an antidote to a lot of the maladies of the world while also playing with and having the leverage so that somebody can experience the beauty. For example, the back of the card, when you scan it, you can social share in the future, we’re working on the grass here, because very much a thing like, as much as there are QR codes, when I watch people play the game, they don’t pull out their phones. And I love that I love that people are so in tune. And also, if you want to know at the bottom of the card, like on this one, it says, you know, this is the facilitator card. The bottom it says invite some or all players to share. And if you were to scan the QR code on the back, it would tell you more about what is the facilitator, right. And there’s another kind here is called the curiosity. And so those different art types can be explained via beautiful audio. And so I think it’s bringing the richness of the human experience together with technology for the right purposes for connection.

R Blank 21:24
I liked how you answered that. So thank you. So yeah, let’s show let’s show everyone what this is. Let’s do let’s play first, there was there was actually a rule for that we don’t have to follow for who goes first.

Sam Sokol 21:40
gotten this no rules down really, really well. Yeah,

R Blank 21:44
whoever rules gratitude or love goes first, I think we can skip that. Sam, you’re the guest. So I shall let you go first.

Sam Sokol 21:51
Okay, well, that’s very kind of you, I will I will spin the dice. So I think that’s fine. Because there’s spin like a top. And we’ll see what we get. And I’ve got trust, and the other one is still going trust and never look at that. Trust and never. And if you would be willing, since you have the cards in front of you are would you pull a card for me? Oh, you

R Blank 22:10
want me to pull a card for you? Okay, otherwise, there’s

Sam Sokol 22:13
gonna be this huge bias. And people say, Well, Sam, just pick the card he wants to.

R Blank 22:17
Yeah. That was my plan. What wakes you up at night?

Sam Sokol 22:24
What wakes me up at night trust. And never. I used to, I used to have trouble sleeping. And I was really troubled at you know, being an entrepreneur, you have a lot of things in the air, a lot of details. And so I had all this stuff on my mind, it was running me. And so as I was lying there wanting to sleep, I was thinking about how did I do this, and I need to do that. And so I would write down then, once I figured out how to sort of call my mind, I would write everything down on a sheet of paper that I needed to do, and that I didn’t want to forget. So I’d write it all down. And I called it a brain dump. So just dump everything that on a piece of paper, like a parking lot, it would sit there and in the morning, it was still be there and have to worry about whether I remembered it or not. And I would know Hey, these are things I have to do tomorrow. I’m done today, I’ve completed today. And a little bit later, I learned meditation methods, which were dramatically useful in my life in my sleep. So I learned it was terrible at first, first five minutes felt like an eternity. And bottling up like a nuclear explosion. And then over time, I would I would plan not to have an alarm for how long I was meditating. So used to say, oh, five minutes. But then I would just say, Okay, I’ve got everything done, I’ve done my white paper, I’ve got everything down. And I’m just gonna meditate when I’m done. I’ll go to sleep. So everything was done for the day. And now I find that I don’t often have things that wake me up at night, I’ve found a way to deal with that. But occasionally now I’ll be really excited about something, my dream will pop up. And I’ll kind of get woken up by this dream. And then those are the things I know I needed to go in a good way and go focus on because those are my dreams. Those are those are things that are important to me. It’s like okay, what’s waking me up at night, let’s pay attention to those things, because they really want to be expressed.

R Blank 24:11
So now this is something that took us a while Thank you very much. You’re here. Here’s the gratitude card. But no, but I I’m breaking into the gameplay here briefly. Because this was something that we had trouble with for the first several rounds, which was relating the story to what the dice said. ask you how does what you just relayed to us relate to never trust?

Sam Sokol 24:40
Perfect, I appreciate that. What I tend to do is go with the first thing that comes to mind and then come back to the dice. So thank you for bringing me back to the dice. What I find is they often make their way into the story and it’s not obvious always. For me. I think it’s trusting myself. Right so I got trust in over those the dice and what wakes me up at night. It’s about trusting myself. And I remember when I was a kid, my dad would say, What did you enjoy about today? So you reflect on your day, what did you do today? What do we what did you do you excited about? What are you excited about for tomorrow? And sometimes I think if I don’t have a sense of accomplishment, I’m sitting there going, Oh, I didn’t do anything today. Today was a waste, right? But if I trust that what I’m doing is on purpose, then that never happens. And I can never say never right?

R Blank 25:27
I just told you to write.

Sam Sokol 25:29
Never, never trust. Don’t ever trust anyone. But no, I think it’s really trusting that my life is on purpose. And when Why choose to be in service, when I choose to listen to those things that are coming up again? What am I being woken up by something that needs to be expressed? I want to I want to really be with that and deal with it head on. So yeah, I think it’s, it’s a reminder to trust in myself and, and trust in that purpose. Yeah,

Stephanie Warner 25:52
that’s what I was hearing when I was listening to you, too, and thinking back on because I was holding on to the dice as well. And I wasn’t sure where, where that kind of fit in a little. And what I was hearing is, you know, you did this brain dump, and you and then these you would eventually have these these dreams you first you trust that those memory those things, you have to do that, that that stuff in your brain isn’t going anywhere you trust that and then they pop up that the important things kind of pop up for you and trusting that, that the the really important stuff will bubble up.

Sam Sokol 26:25
And I’m gonna give you a gratitude card for that. So

R Blank 26:32
you’re only given three gratitude cards if you’re following the rules. So you can’t just throw them around like easy money. You got to really save them for when you’re thankful. You got to

Sam Sokol 26:40
hold on and I got one from you. So now I had four. But now that’s true. So she’s now

R Blank 26:47
Stephanie’s turn, but she doesn’t have a deck. So Sam, why don’t you roll her dice and

Sam Sokol 26:53
roll your dice for it. You’re ready, Stephanie?

Stephanie Warner 26:55
I am ready.

Sam Sokol 26:57
Okay, we’re spinning. And right, we got desire and past.

R Blank 27:05
Okay, pass desire, what is a job that you always or never wanted to have? Oh,

Stephanie Warner 27:16
the, this is, this is beautiful. Oh. I love my job. And I’m so I want to just say that first my disclaimer is I love what I do now.

R Blank 27:29
So gratitude for you. Yeah.

Stephanie Warner 27:32
And the opportunities that actually the job I have now the opportunities that it has shaped me in a way that helps me get to, you know, some other things that I desire to do. So, a job I desire to have. And this is something that has been for most of my life, even before I was even when I was a kid is I love photography. And it’s something I do now. And what’s coming up for me as an adult, is that I have this new, I’ve always loved nature, but I really love nature now. And it’s something I use for grounding myself and making myself just finding joy in life and gratitude and abundance and just stopping and looking and really paying attention to those little details where the light is hitting, and my quiet enough for the birds that I love to come closer in my building this trust. So for me, that that’s that’s, I guess that’s my, my answer. I could go on for a while. I’m just not

R Blank 28:40
nice. I said you’d like your job. Or you go ahead or go no, no, I was just gonna say I approved that she she she expressed gratitude for her job.

Stephanie Warner 28:51
That was important. I would love to hear your curiosity.

R Blank 28:54
Yeah, let’s get serious. Again.

Sam Sokol 28:56
I’m thinking about the process. First of all, desire and past, I’d love to hear how that relates, as you’ve been on this journey to come to photography. And as I hear, there’s a lot of joy in photography, just the process of it and connecting in nature. I wonder, when you take those photos? Do you think about an audience? Do you think about who it might be for is it really just what what are you? What are you thinking of? Or how are you connecting with the the act of photographing and who does that go to? Who does it serve for you? Love

Stephanie Warner 29:32
those questions. So first, the way that desire and paths kind of connect for me in photography is that growing up I actually not only wanted to be a photographer but I actually got into photography school. And that was Were those the path I was headed in and things kind of change your life happens. And kind of fast forward to now when I take these pictures, one of the things that drives me Is this and like, they take so much joy out of it, sharing it with people it’s sharing it with. So it started with just my friends and my family. And now it’s kind of growing to people that I don’t even know. And what what I love about it, like brings me so much joy is when somebody messages me or comments and says, I didn’t know what that was before. And I saw it the other day. And I told my wife like that has happened, where before, like, I didn’t know what this thing was. And now I see it. And the act of just my enthusiasm for something being contagious in a way that also brings awareness to like, stop and look at what’s around you. And have that appreciation. I mean, that that fills me up with joy and keeps me motivated and moving forward and just joy joyous all the time.

R Blank 30:57
That was a great answer. And also you you left out that you got a photo on the front page of the newspaper.

Stephanie Warner 31:02
I did I did my first year. I did and it’s it that was really exciting moment. And having somebody say, I didn’t know that was your photo, I actually picked up the paper because I loved that photo was right on the front. So you know those moments of connection. And for me getting people to be aware that like, there’s a lot of nature out there, and it’s beautiful. And if we stop for a minute and appreciate it, there’s it you can, it’s healing, it’s healing and it brings, it just brings happiness and calm when life is kind of crazy.

Sam Sokol 31:38
Right? I have this this gratitude card to get another one. Thank you. Yay.

R Blank 31:43
I’m almost gratitude bankrupt now.

Sam Sokol 31:48
What will happen here, I love that we get to see the world through another person’s eyes when when we see photography, and I really like your perspective. So I’m happy that people get to see it through your eyes. And that got onto the front page and that more people have experienced when you talk about I just feel this sort of special quality that you bring to approaching wildlife. Right saying well find this way then maybe they’ll be closer to me and you can feel that I think in photos I think you can feel that. That essence of the photographer, so you’re leaving an indelible impression of people’s lives about about nature. I really appreciate that.

Stephanie Warner 32:28
Oh, thank you. I really appreciate your perspective. That’s I could talk about this forever. Let’s play this game.

R Blank 32:37
Okay, so my All right, my turn i Your buddy, Sam, I’ll let you draw my card. Like okay,

Sam Sokol 32:43
I’m gonna draw your card here. Let me find like go to pleat line draw here.

R Blank 32:47
Great. I have shame. sometime. Okay.

Sam Sokol 32:53
Okay. All right. Card. You like that?

R Blank 32:59
So was it purple is appreciated on a priest, a priest Seon. Appreciate annatto

Sam Sokol 33:05
Yes, appreciate that. We made up words just to make people’s lives difficult making stutter now it’s like that. kind of

R Blank 33:13
kept trying to pronounce it in Spanish. That was my problem. Okay. Yeah.

Sam Sokol 33:16
It’s funny when Spanish speakers do it, because they go right for that and appreciate Nanda and I’m like, no, no,

R Blank 33:19
no, no, yeah.

Sam Sokol 33:23
So this one says, If you could ask one question, one question of your ancestors, what would it be?

R Blank 33:30
Ooh, that one’s tough. And I feel like a little bit of pressure here. I don’t watch so much. dead air. So that’s real. This is an example of a card in real life. I would take a good five minutes to answer because that did happen in our gameplay and little micro conversations would pop up in between but I would then be still thinking about it.

Stephanie Warner 33:52
Well are we can just cut out the dead air. So take your

R Blank 34:00
one question I would ask my ancestors about sometimes shame. Wow, this I feel like I feel like I got the hardest one. Like, yeah, so I guess I have a lot of flexibility and how far back I want to go. Wow. What was it like when you started walking upright? Oh, so I went back pretty far.

Sam Sokol 34:31
Asked him in what? What language would you have to ask them in? Signs?

R Blank 34:45
Yeah, no, I mean that because, I mean, obviously when when you ask that question, the first at first I’m thinking, you know, back to the early 20th century, late 19th century, but then I realised, well no, if I have this opportunity, and maybe walking upright isn’t the best example. But, you know, when you when you think back about it, our ancestors go back to single celled organisms. So there’s a lot. There’s a lot of dividing points there in terms of when things really changed. And what was it like to experience like, that type of change? When you don’t have, you know, all of this knowledge and society around you to sort of tell you how you should be relating to it and feeling about it.

Sam Sokol 35:30
Right, and then the next generation when the mother’s like, okay, upright, come on, no slouching kids

R Blank 35:36
these days, they all stand up straight.

Sam Sokol 35:42
See, the metaphor, though? All you know, that question like, you know, to stand upright, what does that mean? You know, that transition, it is changed what maybe there’s a moment where all you’re considering is what’s on the ground. And then at some point, you look up at the stars, and you go, wow, what is our place in this unit?

R Blank 35:59
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, any of these changes that you could pull out, you know, along the evolutionary chain. There’s so many of them that are so mind blowing ly man, I had a, I had a professor in college once who wants to ask, do you realise I’m going to mess it up? But do you realise the level of comprehension that had to happen for the first entity to look at three rocks and three berries? And see the same shared three nests of those things? And it was totally mind blowing at the moment. Again, I don’t think I did it justice. But you start realising there are all these moments in history going back? literally billions of years, where things like that were happening, but you know, no one was there to Instagram it. So we don’t know exactly. Where if they could do the duck lips while it was happening. Yeah. Yeah, good.

Stephanie Warner 36:53
No good. I was just gonna say what I love about that your your response is, it’s a very our response. When you, I appreciate it so much, because it is very thought provoking. To think about what had to evolve, for people to stop looking down and look up, there’s something there was a need over time to to look up and then start reaching up. Yeah. And the the visualisation, Sam that you gave us of looking at the stars and seeing the stars for the first time after looking down the grand mean, it’s that’s it’s actually quite profound and beautiful. I appreciate that. Thank you.

R Blank 37:34
So Sam, thank you very much for for chaperoning us through our, our Live Recorded on air gameplay of graticule. There was so much more I wanted to get into. But we’re kind of coming up on on the the recording session. So I think one thing I just want to make sure where is it you would like people to connect with you? We mentioned there’s the website, grab a cube dot game. And we’ll have that in the show notes. Is there anywhere else that you would like people to connect with you.

Sam Sokol 38:08
Gratitude gangrene is a great starting point for that. I mean, Instagram, we’re always posting on Instagram and connecting with people. Look for us, it’s how do we get the message that connection is important out there and get people beyond sort of that cocktail conversation? You know, where are you from? What’s your name? What do you do? And into who? Who are you really, and I think there’s a lot of beauty there. We do that with nonprofits and community groups and businesses for high performance teams. So we’re looking to connect with community, any place where people feel like they want to be part of bigger conversation.

R Blank 38:43
Excellent. Well, Sam, thank you so much for being so generous with your time and coming on to the healthier tech podcast and sharing this experience with all of us. And congratulations. I mean, it really I should say also because I don’t think I commented on it. The production quality of your game is phenomenal. So the game design, totally aside. I mean, these dice are gorgeous. The box it comes in is phenomenal. The cards themselves are durable, and can take a little spill of whiskey, just in case anyone was wondering. So but no, it really is a very high quality experience kind of through and through from the design all the way out through through the production. And I would love to have you back because there was so much we didn’t get to you have partnerships with with Deepak Chopra, Goldie Hawn and Mr. Beast, and others, and we didn’t get to. So we’ll have to have you back again, to get deeper dive into some of the progress that you’re having with this.

Sam Sokol 39:47
Wonderful Yeah, thank you so much. It’s a pleasure to be here pleasure to connect with you at the level of the game. And as as we walk away from this, like, I’m going to be thinking about your answers and like you I always get something something valuable as a new perspective. And that was true today. So just you know, I feel a great sense of gratitude to you both for being here and for being willing to play at this level. Thank you.

Unknown Speaker 40:12
Thank you.

Stephanie Warner 40:13
Thank you so much.

Announcer 40:15
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the healthier tech podcast. Remember to check the show notes for all the links and resources mentioned in the show. Please like and subscribe to the healthier tech podcast on Apple, Spotify or your podcast platform of choice. Get your free quickstart guide to building a healthy relationship with technology and our latest information at healthier tech.co

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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R Blank

R Blank

R Blank is the founder of Healthier Tech and the host of “The Healthier Tech Podcast”, available iTunes, Spotify and all major podcasting platforms.

R has a long background in technology. Previously, R ran a software engineering firm in Los Angeles, producing enterprise-level solutions for blue chip clients including Medtronic, Apple, NBC, Toyota, Disney, Microsoft, the NFL, Ford, IKEA and Mattel.

In the past, he served on the faculty at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering where he taught software engineering, as well as the University of California, Santa Cruz.

He has spoken at technology conferences around the world, including in the US, Canada, New Zealand and the Netherlands, and he is the co-author of “AdvancED Flex Development” from Apress.

He has an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and received his bachelor’s degree, with honors, from Columbia University. He has also studied at Cambridge University in the UK; the University of Salamanca in Spain; and the Institute of Foreign Languages in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.

Connect with R on LinkedIn.

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