The Intersection of Technology and Human Empathy

It’s never been more clear that we live in times of transformative change. Thomas Friedman’s latest book, Thank You for Being Late, is a fascinating account of the impacts of the accelerators of globalization, climate change, and technology. The intersection of the three is shaping the world in profound ways.

The fast pace of change is challenging human’s ability to adapt. Part of our human nature is looking for simple answers. See: Donald Trump and his assertion that he alone can solve all of our problems. This is appealing because change (especially at its current scale) makes it easier to hand over responsibility to someone else.

However, that’s a temporary and inadequate solution. The fact is we’re all in this together – and it’s complicated.

Along with technology, it’s evident that consultants, mentors, coaches, therapists, and teachers have an important role in helping each of us navigate these changes. Guides that have tools to help us improve our relationships are critical. They can help us enhance our relationships with each other, with the planet, and with technology. When we have relationships that work –  we can create a culture that thrives.

Friedman predicts the highest paying industry in the future will be at the intersection of technology and human empathy. Healers and guides are perfectly positioned to harness technology in a way that increases humans understanding of each other.

Stories of technologies like robotic suits that create an experience of aging fifty years in minutes are becoming more and more common. We can literally walk in someone’s shoes. With virtual reality we can see the world though someone else’s eyes. Creating these kinds of empathetic experiences is unique and has the potential for each of us to view the world from a new place – and take new actions.

Virtual reality, Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, and others have changed the game. Who knows what we will learn via these technologies, but if they can help us relate to one another as humans then the possibilities are limitless.

We’re all inter-connected. We are our brother’s keeper. Your happiness in my happiness. This understanding is evolving over this period in history and it’s happening in the blink of an eye. We may or may not be able to look back to see the exact moment that we reach a critical mass of this awareness –  just like we can’t exactly pinpoint when smart phones became a must haves. But we know it happened.

As humans, we know the answers to our societal problems. It’s when we act out of our connection that we will begin to actually implement the solutions. It’s the people and organizations that are clear on this vision, along with an actionable plan, that will ultimately come out the other side. In fact, these organizations are not only helping create a critical mass of this awareness, they’re also creating new systems from which we will operate.

This moment in time offers a unique window of opportunity. Changes of heart and new understandings are happening all around us. There’s an energy that won’t last long. And those that step forward, mindfully and with purpose, will be rewarded.

Old systems are crumbling in front of our eyes. In the midst of the dust, new systems are being created. Though it’s sometimes difficult to see, progress is created one day at a time. One project at a time. One conversation at a time.

The more we explore the shared space of technology and human empathy the better we’ll be able to adapt to the changes of our time. Within that space lay the answers to creating a thriving and resilient society.

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Walking the Walk: Guiding Transformational Change

This has been a year of personal transformation. I suspect that 2017 is going to bring much of the same. At 41, I’m no longer a kid. And I’d like to clarify my vision and the impact I’d like to have in the world. My life experience has taught me a lot. I’m looking forward to taking that experience, and its accompanying wisdom, to improve myself and my business in the New Year and beyond.

Today I read an article from Gary Vaynerchuck that resonated: Document, Don’t Create: Creating Content that Builds Your Personal Brand. The gist is if I’m looking to grow my business it’s more effective to talk about my process than the actual advice or consulting that I “think” I should be giving clients. He argues that the people who are willing to discuss their journeys instead of trying to front themselves as the “next big thing” are going to win.

That message rings true. Therefore, I’m committing to becoming better at documenting my journey and growth via blog posts like this, videos, and social posts. Many of the things I counsel my clients and team to do are things that I can be doing myself, and/or do more effectively. By telling this story of how I’m improving as a leader, and how our organization is improving, I can provide a road map for others. In a way, it’s a walk the walk kind of thing.

I’ve been re-evaluating my business, my role within it, and the actual impact we’re having. We’ve had some nice successes and some tough failures along the way. And the fact is we, I, can be better.

In addition to creating more content, other steps I’m taking include: Confronting my childhood trauma so that I can ensure that my personal and professional relationships are true and right. I’m reconnecting with former colleagues, clients, and friends to network and to give and receive support and ideas. I’m reading more books. I’m identifying new business tools and resources to deploy. I’m connecting current and former clients with each other to explore mutual interests and opportunities. And in general, I’m looking to expand who I am.

The timing is right. We live in an era of transformative change and I’d like to see the network I’m building guide these changes and provide impactful services to organizations involved in helping people navigate these times.

We live in a time when humans will act upon the understanding that we’re all connected and dependent on each other and nature. This awareness, driven by new technologies and awareness, is creating The New Economy – an economy based on connection. Radiant Tribes is here to support thought leaders and organizations that simplify lives, easily connect people to each other and resources, and make lives more efficient.

The resulting efficiency means that we’ll have more time on our hands. Elon Musk in a recent interview said of the future, “People will have time to do other things and more complex things, more interesting things. [They will] certainly have more leisure time.”

The question is how we will fill that time? My hope is that we spend it nurturing our relationships and pursuing transcendent goals.

What about you?

I look forward to this process and look forward to the personal and professional growth ahead.

Join me on Twitter.

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A Master’s Class for Those Who Still Believe in Love

Jed Diamond, PhD at his home office in Willits. Jed has counseled over 30,000 people and has been happily married to his 3rd wife, Carlin, for over 30 years.

Jed Diamond, PhD at his home office in Willits. Jed has counseled over 30,000 people and has been happily married to his 3rd wife, Carlin, for over 30 years.

Willits resident Jed Diamond, Ph.D., internationally renowned author and therapist, will be presenting an all-day workshop on Saturday, May 14th at the Little Lake Grange entitled The Enlightened Marriage: A Master’s Class for Those Who Still Believe in Love.

Diamond, founder and director of MenAlive, a health program that helps men live long and well, gleans much expertise from his own personal experience and remembers a pivotal event in his life as a very young boy when his father, who was having a difficult time supporting their family, experienced a mid-life crisis resulting in a a nervous breakdown, an attempted suicide and a stay in a mental hospital.

“For me, I grew up wondering if what happened to him would happen to me,” he says. “Those two questions began my journey to understand relationships, what happens to them and what happens to men when they are living under seemingly irreconcilable stress.”

With the idea of entering the helping professions, he attended UC Santa Barbara as a pre med student and then went to medical school at UCSF. At the time the medical field was narrow, very biologically oriented, and he wanted something that would embrace a broader perspective, including the social, political and family aspects of stress.

He dropped out and attended UC Berkeley where in 1968 he earned a Master’s degree in social work. He was married and, when confronted with being refused entry to the delivery room where his wife was giving birth to his first son, pushed open the doors and said he was staying.

“As I held my son, I made a vow to him that I would be a different kind of father to him than my father had been able to be for me,” he says.

After ten years, he and his wife split up, and in accordance with the gestalt of the time, their son and adopted daughter stayed with their mother.

Practicing as an LCSW and married for the second time, he was struggling to put into practice in his own life that which he was teaching others—how to have a good marriage.

“I felt like a fraud as a therapist, as a marriage counselor and as a man,” he says. “In order for me to have kept going, I knew I had to learn the secret of a successful marriage.”

As his second marriage came to a close, he realized that his conception of marriage, or his love map, was flawed. He needed time for reflection and meditation and, after a number of years, he met his present wife Carlin; the third time has been the charm.

The Marriage Master’s class, derived from his 14th book, The Enlightened Marriage: The Five Transformative Stages of Relationships and Why the Best is Still to Come, is a presentation of what he has learned over the last 36 years, being together in a loving and enlightened marriage and attaining a lasting love.

The myth of the two-stage marriage—falling in love and then living happily ever after—is erroneous.

“Many people hit a wall of disillusionment and disconnection; that’s when they people break up. Instead of leaving, that’s the time to go deeper; rather than signaling the end, it’s really the beginning of the third stage, letting go of the illusions we have of ourselves and the other person,” he says. “We have to learn to see them as they really are, not what we project onto them, and to learn to become more forgiving, honest, accepting and real.”

This disillusionment has its roots in childhood relationships and problems with parents are projected into the marriage. The deeper journey to heal present-day rifts begins with healing the unfinished parts of our earlier life with the family with which we grew up. From this, the relationship can move into real lasting love.

“The notion that romantic love and that first stage of love is limited to a few months or a number of years is not true. People want to be in love; it’s a human need and, with the enriched power of two, we can make the world a better place.”

The one-day workshop, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. is for those who are in a good relationship and want it to be great; those in a troubled relationship and want to keep their marriage together; singles looking for a soul mate; and particularly those in mid life, single or married. The price for the workshop is $350 for couples and $195 for singles. Payment options are available and there is a, no risk, money back guarantee, if for any reason the class didn’t meet your needs.

“Having been in two marriages that didn’t last, I would like to be able to save people from that pain and suffering. I want them to know the joy and experience of real love, how good a marriage can be when you have the right tools. I want to share that joy and for people to know they can have real love that can last through time,” he says.

Lunch, provided by The Zocalo Collective, will be included. For more information call 707 459 5505 or go to

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The Internet and Local Economic Development

Eldon ArchThere have been several recent Willits events based on localization and economic development that have re-ignited energy towards building our local economy and establishing community resilience. The Willits Chamber of Commerce brought in a marketing expert to train and inspire our small business owners. WELL hosted an engaging workshop on economic localization. The City of Willits’ main street week long planning event was a brilliant display of community involvement and action. Combined with North Coast Opportunities’ North Coast Farmers Convergence, which brought together the local farming community including retailers and buyers to work through their own localization efforts, it’s been an exciting time.

This energy is reaching a tipping point, and many local people and organizations are poised to seize upon this opportunity.

One of the key themes has been how to effectively use the internet, specifically, digital marketing to grow local business. There’s justifiable concern that the net is taking away from local businesses – and it is.

However, when asking a different question: How can we, as small local business owners, use the internet to build brand awareness, exposure, and sales while bringing business in from the outside? We find different solutions.

Dr. Jed Diamond is a great example of a local business person that’s successfully harnessed the internet and is bringing revenue to the community. His 40 years as a therapist, 14 books, and numerous accolades position him as a worldwide expert in the area of relationships and men’s health. In addition to his writing, he offers one-on-one counseling for individuals and couples. Due to the nature of our small community, his audience of potential local clients is limited.

He and I have been working together over the last few years to address this business concern. We’ve expanded his online audience and have created several products and services to sell both locally and online. His website,, reaches tens of thousands of readers per month and he’s built an email list of over 23,000 subscribers. His social media presence reaches thousands more. The international demand for his services has grown and has resulted in 80% of his clients living outside of the area. As a result, he conducts much of his counseling over the phone and through the internet.

Jed Diamond is utilizing local resources to create a product that will be sold on the internet.

Jed Diamond is utilizing local resources to create a product that will be sold on the internet.

The next project is a day-long in-person intensive workshop titled: The Enlightened Marriage – A Master’s Class for Those Who Still Believe in Love on Saturday, May 14th from 9 am – 3 pm at the Little Lake Grange. The event (here’s the event page on Facebook) is an opportunity to engage with Jed in a small setting to learn from his personal and professional experience on how to create your own enlightened relationship.

In addition, we’re creating a product that we’ll market and sell online. Local videographer Andy Wright will be videotaping the event and he’s helping develop a series of video modules that we’ll sell to our customers. Because of the size of Jed’s existing online audience, we hope to bring in significant revenue.

Here’s the exciting part: We’re partnering with several Willits businesses to create the final product. We hope this video series ends up representing the best of Willits and ends up in front of thousands of people across the world.

Great food is the key to a great event as it sets the entire tone for the experience. Janene Johnson of The Zocalo Collective will be catering the event, and sourcing many of her ingredients from local farmers. We’re renting the kitchen and meeting space from the Little Lake Grange, Patricia Baumann of Design Café will be designing the space and working with Andy to ensure the video is of the highest quality, Tim Ramming and team from Printing Plus have created the promotional graphics and materials, Josh Bowers of Dandelion SEO has assisted with Search Engine Optimization, we’re using the Willits Fan Page Community Fan on Facebook created by Eldon Miller to promote the event, and Jan Rodriguez of the Baechtel Creek Inn is doing cross promotion and marketing to her out-of-town audience. And of course, many of people that attend the workshop will be local residents.

Thousands of dollars in revenue will be created and circulated amongst the community. After this product launch we will make adjustments to create another product, and then we’ll do it again. The result is a revenue model that other local businesses can use.

If you’d like to access world-class training on improving your relationship, this workshop is for you. If you’re a supporter of local economic development this event is for you. Find all the details at or by calling 707 459-5505.

Willits is at a crossroads. There are several major changes underfoot and rigorous debate is taking place on how best to chart our future. It’s a thrill to live in a community that recognizes the challenges that change brings – no one really knows all the answers, but we’re jumping in and figuring it out together.

I, for one, am excited to live in this time of transformative change and I see exciting opportunities. Opportunities to think creatively, opportunities to create partnerships, and opportunities to leverage powerful tools such as the internet to improve the economic and social vitality of our community.

What opportunities do you see?

Join Radiant Tribes on Facebook

Photo Credit: Eldon Miller

Getting Traffic via Keyword Research.

SEO PicI had a skype conference call with the team awhile back. People who know me know I prefer to not talk or talk as little as possible. Usually keeping my answers to “Yes”, “No”, and “I’ll Check”. But this conference call I was talking to a client explaining some of the SEO stuff I do and after I was done the client said, “Yeah, I got it. About as clear as mud.”

And he’s right. Do you understand SEO? Of course not. It’s kind of like what a Studies the UniverseCosmology is the study of the origins and eventual fate of the universe. cosmologist does, trying to understand something bigger than yourself without having any way to understand it except by running experiments based on theories. We only know what to do because someone else tried it and it worked… Of course the universe at least plays by the same rules every year (I hope?). Meanwhile google changes the rules constantly. A successful experiment this month might be a complete failure next month. On top of that there are so many people out there spreading nonsense or outdated information it’s quite honestly a real hassle to find useful, actionable information in the SEO world.

So what do we do? First: Forget SEO was ever created. At this point it is so tainted, misused, and over used. Instead lets concentrate on this: Communicating Effectively with your Audience via the Internet. If we want we can replace SEO with CEAI but I’d prefer not to as there are too many acronyms in the world as is (they are breeding like rabbits!).

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