The Human Flourishing Universe

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The Human Flourishing Universe: Let's put VR into to real good use.

Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$250,000 - $500,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

An immersive virtual world you can enter, learn, interact and collaborate with concerned change-makers globally: organisations, institutions, corporations and individuals. A platform fueled by compassion training, organized on theme planets dedicated to the pressing problems of our time.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

WHAT IF - we could all work together in VR and build alternative structures that form a serious momentum for change?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Tribalism - Lack of both global and self-compassion Widespread despair, feelings of hopelessness and abundant mental health problems. Corporate power influencing economy, national and internat. politics. Existing economic and political structures are failing Need for decisive and globally coordinated non-violent action to stop environmental destruction, conflict and poverty.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Adapting a top Virtual world - to be a force for good accessible from computers, phones and tablets, with a built in cash-economy tied to sustainable values - creating alternative structures for all activity leading to human flourishing. 1. Personal - Scientific Compassionate self and awareness trainings to mitigate mental health problems & overcome tribalism 2. Societal - Employability and entrepreneurship trainings for social change, conferences. Libraries of best practice 3. Global - Theme planets for spreading awareness, facilitating internat. collaboration, experimentation and solution diffusion. Game mechanic rewarding kindness and compassion developed by leading internat. experts on human behavior and an ethic advisory board.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

I had been unemployed for a long time, my life seemed without meaning and I doubt myself. I find the HFU and participate in basic training. I learn scientific techniques to activate my soothing system and find a secure spot inside myself. From the "just like me" practice I realize that I have so much in common with people from all over, I log on to the platform to meet and interact with people from all over the world, develop my skills and abilities and help out with ongoing projects. I learn see how people are doing good things across the world, it makes me feel good, I feel like I am part of a solution. Here we organize actions for spreading awareness, experimenting and developing solutions for change. It gives me hope and strength.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

We are currently developing smart-phone based compassionate self training with an Avatar that represents the users compassionate self, to evaluate if we can get people to take better care of themselves by taking care of their avatar (tamagochi-effect). The intervention is based on the work of professor Paul Gilbert (founder of compassion focused therapy) a first step adapted for refugees fleeing the war in Syria, to help them learn how to activate their soothing systems. We have secured a copy of MindArk's VR world Entropia Universe and the Avatar in the smartphone app will be used on the VR platform and import wearable data. This first step will help people from all over the world with mental health issues, feelings of hopelessness and despair to activate their soothing systems. The compassion training makes you understand that we all suffer and thus create compassion motivation.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

By spreading these techniques and the ideals associated we create the basis for a movement that transcends religions, nation states, color of skin in order to develop global compassion By using leading international experts on human development to design the rules of interaction and reward systems and form an international advisory board of outstanding moral organisations and individuals we create the conditions to use consumer power to affect politic. We build the infrastructure for collaboration and release of the global cognitive surplus in order to end human suffering on a large scale.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

We have applied for government funds for basic features, working toward a later integration of the parts towards the full project. We are currently working in a consortium of organisation and institutions lead by east london university that will be used for seeking funding for employability and entrepreneurship skills trainings, looking at corporate sponsorships as parts of their CSR and trying to get international attention through ASHOKA

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

We don´t know of any other Virtual reality platforms designed for creating the necessary conditions for changing the real world. There exist many good 2D initiatives (like ashoka) and we aim at bringing the all aboard by providing the infrastructure and the marketplace for their solutions to make an even greater impact through increased connectivity and quality of interaction. There are many apps for wellness but none with an AVATAR that reflect the way people take care of themselves and motivate them to do it better. The uniqueness of the combination makes the market attractive.

Founding Story

Owner of Empaticus, Pål Dobrin approached MindArk for creating a Soft skills (Social, Emotional, Cultural) training program in VR and found out others had been interested in using VR for different purpose based trainings: East London University team for employability trainings, a professor of medtech for virtual care, education companies looking at corporate training. Pål developed to concept of the Human Flourishing Universe to combine all these uses into making it a Force for good, using his network of international experts on compassion, mindfulness, SEL and game mechanics to change the basics and function of economy MindArk then agreed to let us use their platform for this project.


Advisors in the project for pro-social game mechanics, mental health and well-being elements. Professor and med dr Martin Rydmark, Sahlgrenska academy Gothenburg University Med dr. Walter Osika, Director of Center for social sustainability Karolinska Institute, Stockholm Professor Shauna Shapiro, Santa Clara University California USA. Internationally renowned expert on Mindfulness and leadership development Daniel Rechtschaffen, pioneering mindfulness in education and author of the way of mindful education Professor Paul Gilbert founder of Compassion Focused Therapy Dr Caroline Falconer Nottingham University Mindtech institution Development of employability, innovation and entrepreneurship trainings is spearheaded by Dr. Andre Mostert and Dr. Tim Pascoe East London University, Enterprise, Innovation and Entrepreneurship who manage a consortium of 28 institutions and organisations from 5 continents. This consortium will also manage the basic livelihood initiative together with organisations in developing countries as well as the in-world social enterprise crowd-funding. MindArk will be consulting on running the virtual world economy, with 13 years of successful management of Entropia Universe as invaluable source of experience. As the project develops we will create an board of advisors on ethical and moral aspects as well as data management, including leading organisations for environment protection, economic development, social justice etc. As soon as the basic infrastructure is launched an open call towards other interested parties will be made for presence and creation of content (trainings, missions, projects and administration of theme planets).
CO-CREATION IDEA: Please offer a brief description of how you imagine a win-win partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim to better serve unmet needs in health. (Hint: Please mention the underlying business model envisioned that would make such a partnership sustainable.)

The Avatar for the HFU will have three widgets. 1. Well-being. 2. Carreer/Education 3. Social. With the team of medical doctors developing solutions for well-being (and health) Boehringer Ingelheim could play a key role. We have internationally renowned experts, academics and solutions for mental health, but to put them to the market and research their impact, cooperation would be very beneficial. The avatar will import wearable data and deliver wellbeing solutions.
The underlying business model consists of running a virtual world universe economy. The mental health part of this and the provision of wellness services can be developed in cooperation with Boehringer Ingelheim and run like a market for health related services.

NEEDS: Based on you response above, please specify which of the following resources, operations or expertise by Boehringer Ingelheim you imagine leveraging to actualize the proposed co-creation opportunity. Please check all that apply. (Hint: while financing is often critical to scale, we are also interested in understanding what other assets or expertise could be leveraged).

Distribution Channels, Research and Development, Relationships/New Contacts, Marketing/Communications Support, Human Resources, Legal Support, Technology Expertise, Public Policy Knowledge, Access to Capital, Other.

EXPLANATION OF NEEDS: Please explain your choices in more detail.

We are building the infrastructure for all types of institutions, organisations, companies and individuals create trainings and missions that lead to a better world. We are talking about a parallell infrastructure of theme planets that can be run by different parties. We need help with the creation of a mission building functionality, a sandbox that lets partners and private service providers create content. We also need help to adapt the existing VR platform and implement the pro-social game mechanics developed by leading mental health, altruism and compassion scholars.

OFFER: What are the main assets you may contribute in a co-creation partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim that would better serve unmet needs in health?

Deep understanding of an unmet need in a specific market/context, Access to and established trust with customers/beneficiaries, Insights into marketing, Insights into distribution, Insights into behavior change, Other.

FOCUS AREAS: Which of the following best describes the main focus of your project? (select all that apply)

Improving the affordability of healthcare (e.g., microinsurance, reducing the economic cost of care), Increasing physical access to healthcare to people with restricted mobility or restricted access (senior people, people with disability, remote or difficult areas, etc.), Holistic solutions that work across the entire care continuum (including education, prevention, detection, treatment, management, follow-up), Models that engage other industry players (e.g., nutrition, athletic, mobility organizations)., Remote care solutions for health management, treatment, and diagnosis, Packaging of health products and services to address needs currently unmet, Other.

Please share what your organisation and Boehringer Ingelheim will Co-Create together
Please specify what your Co-Creation will result in:

If you selected "other" above, please explain:
Please provide a 1-2 sentence summary of your Co-Creation idea
How does this project link to the core mission of your organisation?
Beyond social impact, how does this project link to Boehringer Ingelheim’s core business?
What are the specific inputs and actions that each side will contribute to this Co-Creation idea based on each of your unique competencies and experiences?
Please describe the potential revenue model for this Co-Creation idea.
What possible risks or challenges do you foresee?
Is there anything else you would like to share about your Co-Creation idea?
How much input do you hope to receive from Boehringer Ingelheim?

If you selected "other" above, please explain:
Besides Boehringer Ingelheim, what other types of partners might be valuable to carrying out your Co-Creation idea, and why?
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