I first spoke with my friend, Oonie Chase awhile back about changes that she had made in her life and how she did it. Since then she’s been doing some incredible things and I’m so happy she’s agreed to talk with us and get us caught up.
Me: Can you tell us what you have you been up to since we last spoke?
Oonie: Where to start…
I left GMMB and joined a New York based start-up. My year at GMMB was one of the most intense and exhausting of my entire career and, while I was using my superpowers for good, I was on the sidelines of what is clearly a cultural revolution powered by the social web. And GMMB, although brilliantly positioned to make big things happen in the world, was not able to fully embrace that power because of political realities (closely associated with a sitting president requires you to be very cautious indeed) and an internal culture that was very resistant to change.
Also – and maybe more importantly – I missed my people, my unruly nerd sisters & brothers.
The start-up I joined is IfWeRanTheWorld, a platform designed to channel good intention into action. Cindy Gallop is the remarkable founder (she is also the visionary behind Make Love, Not Porn, about which she spoke on the TED stage in 2009), and in many ways, IfWeRanTheWorld is a social experiment aimed at testing the waters of a gift economy…
But I digress…
Since joining full time in May 2010, I’ve had the pleasure of working with a rip-snortingly smart team, as well as with some wonderfully ill-behaved pioneers at Levis, CraigsList Foundation, the city of Waitakere, New Zealand and others.
Most recently, I attended TEDActive2011 in Palm Springs as a facilitator of the TEDActive Project on Social Networks. These projects are a new thing for TED, and the idea is this: all of these epically creative/smart/disruptive/magnificent people get together every year at TED & TEDActive, so let’s bottle a little of that lightning in service of ideas worth speading AND doing.
Each project team was tasked with offering up some small, doable thing that anyone in the TED community could do – a microaction, if you will. It was a bumpy ride, we got lots of learning, we actually DID get to a microaction & I’m psyched to work with my co-conspirators at TED, Ideo & Arup on shaping TEDActive Projects 2.0 for next year’s event.
As IfWeRanTheWorld is looking for more funding, I’ve been picking up projects that tickle my fancy. Today finds me in Bellevue, Washington where I have taken a 6 month contract to work at Ascentium with my old friends Steve Farrell and Darrell Snow. Plus – summer in the Pacific Northwest? Hells yeah!
Me: You are doing so much. What motivates you?
Oonie: possibility, curiosity & mischief.
Me: I’m big on people’s ability to find satisfaction in their lives. On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being nonexistent + 10 being off the charts), how would you rate your Satisfaction Quotient?
Me: How did you come up with that number?
Oonie: I am very satisfied with my life, never want to take it for granted, and always want to be open to something new. A ‘9’ captures both of these notions, methinks. It is also the number of ideas, inspiration, a symbol of life as a creative act (among other powerful stuff).
Me: When do you feel the most contentment in your life?
Oonie: In the buzzy body tingle that comes at the end of a long run, in the mind silence at the end of a hot yoga class, in a spoonful of perfect avocado, in finding an elegant solution to a chewy design problem – I could go on & on. I’ve been recently inspired to find daily moments of contentment & gratitude – check out Benjamin Franklin’s daily schedule. Dude was the real deal.
Me: We share a love of accessories and you have a ridiculous love of shoes. I’m sure you’re not alone. Could you share your latest find?
Oonie: Speaking of contentment! There is such happiness to be found whilst perched on the most impossible pair of heels!
Being on a start-up salary has necessitated, shall we say, a more thoughtful curatorial approach to my shoe collection. But here are my two latest finds – both found on sale (can you believe it?) which made them absolutely impossible to pass by:
Me: If you had to pick one accessory to wear for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
Oonie: This is a koan, right?
Me: Who do you admire and why?
Oonie: Too many to list here.
Me: Where can people find you online?
Oonie: about.me/ooonie is where i’ve pulled together all of my various online threads.
Thank you, Oonie. As usual, this has been an absolute pleasure!