MojoFest Day 3: Empathy is the future

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Stories change us! It’s true.

This slide reminds me of a lovely passage from Barack Obama’s memoir, Dreams From My Father.  Obama only met his father twice.

Later in the book – as well-written as any novel I’ve read – Obama remembers throwing one of his daughters up in the air and making her laugh, in that joyous, breath-gulping way only babies can.

It’s a tiny moment, but he reflects on how the happiness would release chemicals into her brain, shaping and re-shaping the elastic synapses of a child’s mind, which later harden into our personalities.

(It’s a great book, definitely recommended)

Experiences do that when we’re small, and to varying extents as we grow and age.

Stories have the power to change our minds at any point in our lives. Want a recent example? Look at last Saturday’s Irish referendum.

Writing this in Galway, it’s impossible not to marvel at how attitudes have shifted, and there’s no doubt that women’s personal stories of abortion, miscarriage and everything in between had much to do with that.

Back to MojoFest! The slide was from the inspiring intro to an AR / VR / 360 panel, given by moderator Sarah Jones.

First up was the Guardian’s Anetta Jones, with three of her fave AR / VR projects.

I really liked her first example, First Impressions – it allows the person wearing the VR headset to experience the first year of life.

So you see what a newborn baby does, such as not being able to see more than 6-8 cm away.

We forget all these very early memories, but this piece of VR puts us right back in those early, formative moments. As Anetta says, those experiences shape us for life – but our memories can’t take us back there.

It could help us understand the long-term effects on adults who were neglected or abused before they could form long-term memory – that’s incredible.

As well know, the days of journalism being the handing down of information from us to them are over – we absolutely have to meet the audience halfway.

This VR piece takes the grim narrative of extinction and makes it into a voyage of discovery – with an element of gamification to keep the viewer wanting to find out more.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!

There were 20 MoJo apps in 20 minutes:

There was livestreaming:

There was LumaFusion:

Livestreams should make you feel like you’re there, experiencing the event with the reporter. It’s Tech x Empathy, the level before a full-on VR headset * transforms * you into somebody else.

There was How to set up your Mojo business from Geertje Algera:

Biggest takeaway: use your empathy to imagine what your audience needs.

Demonstrate that your business will do that. Put the evidence on your website / social / out there somewhere. Not on one of those 17,000 pigeons, thought, please.

And now there’s an awards do I need to get to… then more drinking.

Thanks for the memories (and learnings) MojoFest! It’s been a total blast.

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