Rethink Civilization, SXSW & The Matrix

The last month I have been following both Social Media Week and SXSW. I think it’s no coincidence that Don Tapscott is doing the opening Keynote to both. He gives a fantastic presentation about how internet and social media will change our society with a new paradigm shift. The Network Society

Luckily for you the one from SMW is available online right now. Just go and see it.

Some thoughts about what he says.

The Future is not something to be predicted.
It is to be achived.

Or as it’s put in Terminator: No Fate but what we make. We can either sit in our sofas watching TV and waiting for the future to happen or we get up and Make it happen.

Collaboration, Transparency, Sharing, Interdependence, Integrity

These are the 5 keywords in building a new Society. We need to work together towards a common goal. Collaborate between nations, companies and humans alike. We need to share everything we do and all the knowledge we have. Being completely open and stand for all our actions.

Every human being has the responsibility to find the truth for one self – Rainn Wilson

I also saw Rainn Wilson speak at SXSWi and he had some very insightful things to say about being one self and discussing lifes big questions. He is involved with this on the conecpt Soulpancake. What took away from this was:

–Everyone should have an awesome experience that changes their perspective on life. Like looking down from orbit.

–Every human being has the responsibility to find the truth for one self

–Always project your Residual Self Image on the web and in real life

Al Gore & Sean Parker

SXSWi ended with a very inspiring conversation between Al Gore and Sean Parker about how we now have a opportunity to take Democracy back from the corporations that now run the global economy. We should do this under #OccupyDemocracy tag on twitter. Al Gore also talk about another burning issue: To stop the Climate Change and join up under the Climate Reality Project

Our Homeworld

Also at SXSWi was Jane McGonigal. Over a year ago I decided that the time was ripe go on the quest that I have dreamt of since I was little. I then stumble upon Jane and here inspiring presentations. She sent me in the right direction! And here I am … figuring out how I can get everybody else … living on this planet … to join in on the Epic quest that lies ahead of us.

We need make it our top mission and priory to go on this epic quest. The quest to make Earth a planet we will be proud to call our homeworld.

Our only Homeworld.

My name is Sillion

Suddenly I got an urge to revisit The Matrix. (2 hours later) What a Movie 🙂

I can really identify with the movie The Matrix. Where the concept that everything we experience are inside our head, are really put on it’s head. (And for those who have never got it straight: They never leave the Matrix in any of the 3 movies. Everything including Zion and the Dystopian future are just constructs inside the dream that are the Matrix.) If we work together we are capable of shaping this to any world we like it to be. The Mold is still soft.

So I end you with the last quote from the movie to ponder over … as I’m listening to one of the best songs ever made: Eat me, Drink Me

“I know you’re out there. I can feel you now. I know that you’re afraid… you’re afraid of us. You’re afraid of change. I don’t know the future. I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it’s going to begin. I’m going to hang up this phone, and then I’m going to show these people what you don’t want them to see. I’m going to show them a world without you. A world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you.”

This is my Residual Self Image! What is yours?

/Michael Sillion
Follow me at Twitter:!/LordSillion


Top 10 Heroes of 2011

I’m going to present a list of 10 persons that inspired me or touched me in some way during the year of 2011. They are presented in a top 10 style of way in no particular order other than what I am feeling right now.

Number 10 — Will Day

After seeing Will Day giving his speech on TEDxWWF about the current state on Earth and the enormous challenges we face I was convinced that we need do something drastic to save us. Neither our politicians nor out biggest companies will do enough in time. It’s up to us to do it in a big crowd-sourced projects together for a big Epic win that is required of us.

Sustainability is not just a buzzword but the single most important thing we will do if we are gonna be around in another 1000 years. Although you can’t tell in the same way that the Romans couldn’t tell. our age is coming to an end: The Age of Oil
See Will Day and his speech here:
Is the world’s current economic model really sustainable?

Number 9 — David Eagleman

I am also a Possibilian now. I found David Eagleman and his 2 speeches thorough the School of Life. I then went on to buy and read his book Icognito. He is a very charming neuroscientist brings forth the message that there are many wills in our brain that act in conflict with each others making the decisions that we late take credit for. The unconscious rule us. We are just along for the ride 🙂

Number 8 — Mark Zuckenberg

After seeing “A Conversation with Mark Zuckerberg” from Web 2.0 Summit 2010 I was really impressed with the real Mark even though The Social Network is one of my favorite movies. He was one of the things inspiring me to push forward into the unknown.

There is an interesting interview where he talks about the real events from creating Facebook

Number 7 — Richard Dawkins

I have never seen or read anything from directly from Richard Dawkins before. Last year I saw my first documentary staring Charles Darwin featured by Richard Dawkins called The Genius Of Charles Darwin. I was really taken by his charm and intellect and we really feel with his frustration to argument with the creationists. There are even some extra interviews to see and the one that stands out is where Richard and Steven Pinker has over an hour long conversation standing still talking about the evolution. Now I am big fan of Dawkins to say the least.

Number 6 — Steven Pinker

We move right on to the man mentioned in the prevision interview with Dawkins namely Steven Pinker. He has been called the Rockstar of science and I can see why. Last year he published his book “The Better Angles of our Nature“. I haven’t read this insightful book book but I have seen his talk from the Royal Geographical Society on 1st November 2011. You can see it here in 3 parts. First he presents the his research with a lots of statistics from his book, then he sits down and talks to Matt Ridley and last the audience get to ask him questions. The last part is the best if you are only going to see one of them 🙂

It all combines downs to that we are living in the most peaceful and non-violence years in all of human history.

Top 5 to come next

This concludes the first part of my top 10 list of my personal Heroes of 2011. Stay tuned for top 5!

/Michael Sillion
Follow me at Twitter:!/LordSillion

Smart Gamification

I saw a really interesting Webinar last summer from Amy Yo Kim about Smart Gamification. It’s about taking the best of Gamification and enhancing the User Experience. Also see my blogs on Gameful Design and Life is a Game

Just recently I found a shorter presentation of the same content that she does on YouTube:

What is Gamification?

Gamification is the concept that you can apply the basic elements that make games fun and engaging to things that typically aren’t considered a game. In theory you can apply Game Design to almost anything including Education, Health, Work and more. See Gamification by Industry.
Gamification at it’s core is about fun, rewards and social connections. It has the opportunity to connect people in ways never seen before.

5 Keys to Smart Gamification

Amy talks about the 5 keys to drive user engagement

1. Know your users social style

There are 4 types och basic social style that you can divide the users in: Competitive, Cooperation, Explorer, Expression. Your users is just not one style but a combination of more than one. Get to know the user. Find out what type they are and how to design for them.

Think about the difference in games like Minecraft, Battlefield, Civilization, and World of Warcraft. What styles do they attract?

Social Style

2. Design for their life-cycle stages

Design for users who are in different levels in their experience of the system. Don’t just offer one size fits all users. The beginner must get an immediate onboarding experience that feel engaging without being overwhelming.


3. Put PERMA in activity loops

You want to put more PERMA in the activities the user do so that they feel productive. What PERMA is have I discussed before in my post. In short:

P – Positive Emotions – We all like experiencing positive emotions like joy, peace, gratitude, satisfaction, trust, pride, pleasure, inspiration, hope, curiosity, or love. These emotions move us along when doing other elements of PERMA.

E – Engagement (or flow) – When a situation, task, or project are in the sweet-spot of our skill and the difficulty we often experience a state of flow. We lose track of time and becomes engulfed in the activity at hand.

R – Relationships – Being social with others is at the core of being human. When having good relationships with others is we are at our best. Co-operation and friendly competition brings out the best in us. Make the user interact with others in the system or have them sharing about content in the system outside it.

M – Meaning – Meaning comes from creating a purposeful narrative about our lives. A story where we are part in something bigger than our-self. We will often sacralize something in the group that brings meaning to us.

A – Accomplishments – We often seek Mastery in some form. And completing our goals and following our core values. Or we can just good feedback and rewards from an activity we are carrying out which also give great satisfaction. Enhance the progress the user is making by giving them great feedback.

You want to integrate thees into activity loop of the current user stages.

4. Light the way to mastery with progress mechanics

It is very important the users feel productive and that they are making progress in their activities.Make the users feel like they are Kicking-Ass.

5. Motivate users with intrinsic rewards

As soon as the basic motivations are taken care of most user will be more motivated by intrinsic rewards than by extrinsic. The 3 major intrinsic motivators are:

Autonomy -> Make the users feel like they are making meaningful and interesting choices.
Mastery -> If it feels like they are getting better they will stay engaged with the system.
Purpose -> If it feels like the time using the system is well spent, it usually is.

These are discussed more in my blog and in Danel Pinks book Drive.

/Michael Sillion
Follow me at Twitter:!/LordSillion

What Drives us?

What Drives us?

I have erlier talked about the book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H Pink. This is a book about what motivates us and what makes us tick. It sums up much about modern science in the psychology behind motivation. It separates motivations into intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. Extrinsic rewards like money and status works best to motivate us for mechanical skills and work. But when some cognitive and creative skills are involved it is intrinsic motivators that make us be productive. As soon as we get payed enough to get money of the table, that is.

Intrinsic rewards

The 3 big intrinsic motivators are AutonomyMastery and Purpose.

Autonomy is the urge to direct our own life. To chose the way we take on our challenges. To exercise free will.

Mastery is the desire to get better at something that matters. To enhance ones skill to match an increasing challenge. One part is to get into Flow while doing something.

Purpose is the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves. To put things into a greater context.

As you can see from this is that Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose go hand in hand with the 5 principles of PERMA (Positive emotions, Engagement, Relations, Meaning and Achievement) discussed in my previous post.

The emotional human

Much of the research can be found in books like Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely where he goes into how much of our daily decisions are emotional and somewhat predictable. I also discuss more about this and the Elephant and the Rider in this blog.

/Michael Sillion
Follow me at Twitter:!/LordSillion

Check out this RSA Animate from a presentation about Drive with Danel H Pink. But You should also read the book or listen to the audio variant as there much extra in it.

Increase your intelligence

“One should not pursue goals that are easily achieved. One must develop an instinct for what one can just barely achieve through one’s greatest efforts.” —Albert Einstein

Here is what I found out this summer:

Fluid intelligence is trainable (your capacity to learn new information). The more you train at it the better you get and anyone can do it. This is from a study that are discussed in the article by Andrea Kuszewski. This is not your fixed intelligence, the one called crystallized intelligence.

There are 5 primary ways in witch you can train your brain:

1. Seek Novelty
2. Challenge Yourself
3. Think Creatively
4. Do Things The Hard Way
5. Network


1. Seek Novelty

It is no coincidence that geniuses like Einstein were skilled in multiple areas, or polymaths, as we like to refer to them. Geniuses are constantly seeking out novel activities, learning a new domain. It’s their personality.

When you seek new activities to engage in and learn new things you trigger dopamine in your brain, this gets you motivated and stimulates neurogenesis (the creation of new neurons) and prepares your brain for learning.

In the Boardgaming hobby we are constanly slaves to “The Cult of the New”. I like getting a new boardgame every month to try out and to see if this is a game I want to Master. Now I know why I do this :)

2. Challenge Yourself

The brain always tries to make every cognitive activity as efficient as possible and consume less energy. It likes getting lazy. Your job is override this by not being contempt by a lazy task.

In order to keep your brain making new connections and keeping them active, you need to keep moving on to another challenging activity as soon as you reach the point of mastery in the one you are engaging in. You want to be in a constant state of slight discomfort, struggling to barely achieve whatever it is you are trying to do.

If you have the time never pass down a challenge or create your own where none is.

3. Think Creatively

“Contrary to popular belief, creative thinking does not equal “thinking with the right side of your brain”. It involves recruitment from both halves of your brain, not just the right. Creative cognition involves divergent thinking (a wide range of topics/subjects), making remote associations between ideas, switching back and forth between conventional and unconventional thinking (cognitive flexibility), and generating original, novel ideas that are also appropriate to the activity you are doing. In order to do this well, you need both right and left hemispheres working in conjunction with each other.”

This is the cognitive process it self.

4. Do Things the Hard Way

Just as your body need constant physical exercise to stay in trim so does your brain. It is easy to rely on modern technology the help take the burden of your brain. But this isn’t doing your brain any favors. So when ever possible take the stairs, the brain-stairs :)

5. Network

Very large parts of your brain and the subconscious are devoted to social cognitive tasks.

“By networking with other people—either through social media such as Facebook or Twitter, or in face-to-face interactions—you are exposing yourself to the kinds of situations that are going to make objectives 1-4 much easier to achieve. By exposing yourself to new people, ideas, and environments, you are opening yourself up to new opportunities for cognitive growth. Being in the presence of other people who may be outside of your immediate field gives you opportunities to see problems from a new perspective, or offer insight in ways that you had never thought of before. Learning is all about exposing yourself to new things and taking in that information in ways that are meaningful and unique—networking with other people is a great way to make that happen. I’m not even going to get into the social benefits and emotional well-being that is derived from networking as a factor here, but that is just an added perk.”

Collective intelligence FTW! And all this fits nicely into putting more PERMA into your life.

/Michael Sillion
Follow me at Twitter:!/LordSillion

Gameful Design

What is Gameful?

To have The Spirit of the Gamer: someone who is optimistic, curious, motivated and always up for tough challenge.

Then what is Gameful Design?

To create platforms and experiences that empower player to have the spirit of a gamer in real life

Gameful Design includes some of the aspects of PERMA.

P – Positive Emotions – experiencing joy and pleasure.
E – Engagement (or flow) – being consciously involved in our activities.
R – Relationships – having enjoyable and supportive interactions with others.
M – Meaning – creating a purposeful narrative about our lives.
A – Accomplishments – completing our goals and following our core values.

These are the same as the 4 superpowers all gamers have

Urgent Optimism – extreme self motivation – a desire to act immediately to tackle an obstacle combined with the belief that we have a reasonable hope of success.

Invoke it by inventing a voluntary goal and provoke curiosity. So that we create doubt about if it can be done.

Blissful productivity The idea that playing in a game makes you happier working hard, than you would be relaxing. Essentially, we’re optimized as human beings by working hard, and doing meaningful and rewarding work.

Invoke it by giving players a concrete new ability – Something small that ads up. Make sure the player can get into flow.

Social Fabric – We like people better when we play games with people – it requires trust that people will play by the same rules, value the same goal – this enables us to create stronger social relationships as a result

Invoke it by helping players to be of service to others – and collaborate from a position of signature strength. There are 24 signature strengths that science have identified.

Epic meaning – attached to an awe-inspiring mission.

Invoke it by doing something an extreme scale and have an amazing story. The brain is basically a pattern and story recognition machine and gets of on all things with a good story. The more Epic the better.

With all this we have created Super-Empower Hopeful Individuals

For more inspiration see:
We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Badges: How to Re-invent Reality Without Gamification
by Jane McGonigal from GDC 2011

/Michael Sillion
Follow me at Twitter:!/LordSillion

Passionate User

Kathy Sierra

I just saw an interesting presentation from Kathy Sierra. It’s about how to make you kick-ass in something you are awesome at. To capture your passion.

When you create some system or some content the biggest focus should be to make it’s user better and better at it. To make the User:


The system or the publication must always be:


/Michael Sillion
Follow me at Twitter:!/LordSillion