2.23am What Wakes You?






November 2014
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2:23AM The podcast, Season #1, Episode #14 - AJ Leon, Chief Misfit - breaking all the rules, building a global business

2:23AM The podcast, Season #1, Episode #14 - AJ Leon, Chief Misfit - breaking all the rules, building a global business, becoming a socialist entrepreneur

I first met AJ via an interview I did with him 2 years ago. Within a year of that interview AJ and Melissa Leon were guests in my home on the first stop on their global pre-book launch tour. AJ's story is the one many want to be able to tell, but few have the courage to enact. Evacuating the trap of the soulless job and the lure of lots of money and stepping into the abyss, determined to forge paths created at the intersection of the life wanting to be lived and work wanting to be expressed.

The 2:23AM podcast project is about interviewing people who are re-writing the rules of business and life and following their journey over the course of a few years. AJ is truly the first to occupy this space, as we now have two years of his journey captured in audio. Please take the time to be inspired by the first interview.

Enjoy this episode.

To listen on itunes, soundcloud, stitcher, to download, or stream below.


Bio, in AJ's words

'I used to be an unremarkably average financial executive in Manhattan. I made six figures, had an outrageous bonus package and a corner office overlooking the greatest city in the world.  The problem was I didn’t care about any of these things.  I was passionless about my work.  And of course, I hated myself for trading the hours of my life away for more money at every turn.  On December 31, 2007, I left my six figure, crazy bonus, Manhattan corner office job.  Not for a raise.  Not in a vertical move to another company. Not to get a change of scene.  But to stop, once and for all, living some other dude’s life.  That day I realized two things.  There was more to life than working a job you hate, and more importantly, there was more to me than could ever be expressed in a place with so many rules.'

Now AJ runs about 6 businesses with 20 staff all with no fixed address.

Show Notes

*The best dressed gypsy in the world

*Million Miracles with Sight Savers

*Runs a company that maps to his interests

*The act of making things is intoxicating

*Three people trading bagels back in 2008

*Desire to create a team that sticks together forever

*Profitability takes the passenger seat

*Build a company around the life he wanted to lead

*Evacuated a life plan that had gone horribly wrong, started Misfit with nothing

*Wrote letters to his younger self, introduced himself to his younger self, the dreamer

*A life of purpose and meaning and adventure..

*Everything he did at Misfit was something he would be proud of

*All staff at Misfit Inc..."You will never ever work on something you are not proud of"

*Socialist Entrepreneur - most companies are created to serve a founder, but not in Misfit, AJ pays himself no more than 20% higher than the lowest paid staff, is the 7th highest paid person in the company at present (20 staff from around the world)

*Hard to define what we do...a name and a community and 6 different businesses that extend from it...the opposite of all 'traditional' business advise

*There is always room at Misfit for Innovation and R@D

*Big student of history - The Rockefeller's etc...they built things...so invested hugely in learning  how to build digital platform's...then no matter what idea he had he could build it

*Creative digital agency provides the seed capital to do the other things

*There are still economic gradients in areas of high poverty...the successful farmers in a village in sub Sahara Africa adopted a strategy where the majority of his acreage was with the subsistence foods, and a small percentage was for new crops that may or may not take off

*Best quitter in the world when he needs to be

*85 year old Cuban grandmother has always told him...keep moving forward, never stop



*Misfit Inc

*Million Miracles

*Original recording with AJ, telling his story of creating Misfits Inc (very inspirational)


*Fargo event

*AJ Leon blog

If you love this episode please rate the show on itunes...it supports getting the word out to more people...in gratitude.

Direct download: aj_leon_-_28112014_8.28_am.m4a
Category:Business -- posted at: 5:48pm EDT


2:23AM The podcast, Season #1, Episode #13 - Don Beck -Spiral Dynamics, on the Middle East and natural systems design

I met Don in the early 2000's when I went to Boulder Colorado to study Spiral Dynamics with him. Elza Maalouf was in the same class. Don also came to Australia several times and ran a three day workshop for a small group of us on the Gold Coast. Understanding Spiral Dynamics changed my world, enabling me to see global and local issues in a far more comprehensive way. My teacher of 27 years, R.Buckminster Fuller, talked about trim tabs, small actions that make massive change. Spiral Dynamics when handled by a spiral wizard, is a trim tab. Don is a spiral wizard. I hope you enjoy this episode.

To listen on itunes, soundcloud, stitcher, to download, or stream below.



“Herein lies the Global knot: The seemingly irreconcilable conflict between and among the haves, the have nots, the have a little but want more, and the have a lot but are never content. There must be a better way.”

Don Edward Beck is a teacher, geopolitical advisor, and theorist focusing on applications of large scale psychology, including social psychology, evolutionary psychology, organizational psychology and their effect on human sociocultural systems.

Show notes

*a momentous leap that humanity is about to make

*we are trying to jettison an old order and embrace a new one

*embracing what the world is becoming

*we can go back to the future and forward to the past

*all the value system are appearing on Earth at the same time

*every solution presents the next set of problems

*not sure what nature is saying to us yet, but listening very closely

*what is the system maker, the generator of these systems? Why is what is next next?

*no point to get rid of what we do not want without specifying what we do want

*worked intimately on the end of apartheid in South Africa

*what if the real differences are not about the obvious 'race' and 'religion' but about deep value systems?

*we are an evolutionary intelligence

*life is an attempt to cope with changing life conditions while managing the new ones

*those people who are working in the 7th and 8th code operate from humility

*Spiral Dynamics is not a behavioural system, it is a thinking system and values system

*after the World Cup Rugby win of  1995 in South Africa many South Africans became "South African's" for the very first time (See Invictus, the movie)

*it's possible to perform miracles if one is willing to change the categories of how we see people and see how they fit together using natural design

*If you get Ebola and you are in Palestine where would you want to go? You would want to go to Israel for treatment. So why would you want to destroy Israel?

*the 7th code asks...is it functional?

*it's a yeasty time

*what is humanities master code?

*no more prizes for forecasting the rain, only prizes for building the ark


Elza Maalouf and her new book, Emerge, The Rise of Functional Democracy and the Future of the Middle East

Clare W. Graves

Spiral Dynamics, the book

Conscious Capitalism movement


Direct download: Don_beck_-_20112014_4.25_pm.m4a
Category:Business -- posted at: 6:47pm EDT

 2:23AM The podcast, Season #1, Episode #12 - Kevin Kelly - Senior Maverick Wired Magazine

2:23AM The podcast, Season #1, Episode #12 - Kevin Kelly - Senior Maverick Wired Magazine

I was so excited when I got a reply from Kevin Kelly saying yes to the podcast. For those of you who do not know who Kevin is, he is easily considered the wise oracle and elder of technology. Anyone in the tech space will pay attention to what Kevin says. He was one of the founders of Wired Mag, and is now its senior maverick.

I have been following the work of Kevin for many years now. He has such a whole systems view of technology. He is also a keen photographer, a hiker, father, world traveler and uses technology with great consideration. Plus he is a maker.

I particularly loved the close of this podcast where he talks about cool and useless tools, about humans being less efficient.

I do hope you enjoy this episode.

To listen in itunes, soundcloud, stitcher, to download, or stream below.



Kevin Kelly is Senior Maverick at Wired magazine. He co-founded Wired in 1993, and served as its Executive Editor from its inception until 1999. He is also editor and publisher of the popular Cool Tools website, which has been running for 11 years. From 1984-1990 Kelly was publisher and editor of the Whole Earth Review, a journal of unorthodox technical news. He co-founded the ongoing Hackers' Conference, and was involved with the launch of the WELL, a pioneering online service started in 1985. He authored the best-selling New Rules for the New Economy, the classic book on decentralized emergent systems, Out of Control, as well as a new theory of technology, What Technology Wants. His most recent book is the self-published best-seller Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities.

Show notes

*On the optimist chart he is a 10 out of 11, as to where we are headed as a people and society

*Small concerns about us not having a very good consensus around cyber conflict, we do not have rules for that. Concerned about species loss from our increasing technium.

*The technium has a behaviour of its own and has a developmental trajectory where some things are inevitable, such as robots.

*Technology is not as far from life and humans as he thought

*Was part of the internet in 1981, one of the first 10 people

*We have engineered ourselves as humans, we have domesticated ourselves as humans, changed our genes through our choice of food.

*We are not separate from the technium, but have created it, so we are both the creators and at effect of it. The parent and the child. This means we will always have conflicted feelings with the technium.

*Whole Earth catalog was the web on news print.

*The web is not good at curating. So many choices.

*Cool Tools - You can rent a bulldozer, build a log cabin, run for local office and win, etc..

*The internet is an amplifier and it amplifies both good and bad

*"What is an act of aggression? What is a border? What is national sovereignty? All the basic assumptions are all up for question.

*Focus on opportunities rather than fears.

*Exotrophy the opposite of entropy. Increase order due to the rate of entropy.

* When we invent things we are part of the great arc of evolution.

*Cool an useless tools = art.

*Big believer in doing things that aren't productive, that are done out of love and passion, because more things are invented during this time.

*Artists in residence are a great asset.

*Sometimes it is better to be inefficient.

*Productivity is for robots.



Cool Tools The Book

Cool Tool website

New Rules for the New Economy

Out of Control, the book

What Technology Wants, the book

Stephen J Gould

Kevin's latest article in Wired Mag. The Future of Artificial Intelligence

Direct download: Kevin_Kelly_-_13112014_3.52_pm.m4a
Category:Business -- posted at: 1:21am EDT

Polly Higgins -The Earth needs a good lawyer

The remarkable Polly Higgins is my guest today. I had become aware of her work several years ago then heard her talk in Brisbane in early 2014. As a life long student of Buckminster Fuller, Polly is a trimtab, taking what might look like a very small action that will have massive implications for the long term health of Earth. I simply love her work. She has a deep respect for business which is rare for someone so passionate about the long term health of Earth.

To listen on itunes, soundcloud, stitcher, to download, or stream below.


Bio, in Polly's words

I am someone who cares deeply about the Earth. I’m also a lawyer who loves the Earth. It’s not often lawyers talk about love – and it can feel strange to do so. However, I believe love and law can be brought together and when the two meet, the potential to create new laws that put people and planet first is born.

I’m rethinking law; my vision is a world that works from one simple overriding principle: ‘first do no harm.’  That is a world where people are thriving in harmony with nature. I believe in well-being for all beings and I apply permaculture principles to new law.

My latest book is I Dare You To Be Great. Due out on the 1st of November 2014, you can pre-order it here.

I have also written Eradicating Ecocide and Earth is our Business – both of which examine in depth the power of a law of Ecocide to enable individuals, communities, governments and NGO’s to bring to court prosecutions to examine the evidence of a given Ecocide and have the support of the law to prevent, prohibit and in some instances pre-empt the mass damage and destruction that is causing or is likely to cause significant harm.

In recognition of my services to the Earth, in 2013 I received Honoris Causa Business Doctorate from the Business School of Lausanne, took the seat as the Honorary Arne Naess Professor at Oslo University, was named the Earth’s Lawyer by the Change Awards and ‘One of the world’s top ten visionary thinkers’ by the Ecologist Magazine.

My current focus of enquiry is on leadership crime, closing the door to dangerous industrial activity and creating a legal duty of care.

Much of my time is put to best use writing, speaking and advising on an international law of Ecocide. I advise at all levels; governmental, legal and non-legal. I connect with a wide-range of organisations, NGO’s and lawyers. I am a barrister, author and Chairwoman of the Eradicating Ecocide Global Initiative. I co-founded the Earth Law Alliance and I am a leading advocate for Earth law.  You can read more about my work here.

I love nature and I seek out the wild.


Show notes

*Bringing the law of ecocide into International Law, this will create a level playing field right across the board.

*CEO's and directors must determine if there activity is going to cause harm, and if so, it becomes criminal activity

*Those who move fast will have first mover advantage.

*5 year ecocide amnesty period - allows the time to train people up in new skills

*Currently we have treaties, conventions and protocols, which do not have any enforcement mechanisms. So zero consequences if you do not follow through.

*Criminal law has consequences. Ecocide will be part on International Criminal Law.

*The law will apply to CEO's, Heads of State etc.

*The law at the moment is to put the shareholders first.

*Politicians are falling into the trap of putting profit first and short term thinking. They are saying this is a 'good' harm, because it helps the economy today.

*In criminal law it is an aggravating feature if you are making money out of something that is causing harm. There is no such thing as a good or bad harm. There is simply harm.

*Why have we become so numbed out about the harm we have been doing to the Earth?

*Got expelled from school for standing up to a teacher who was bullying a child. (Including punching the teacher - using fists not recommended)

*Morally what we are doing to the Earth is a crime.

*The law plays catch up with where the society is going.

*Assistance is required for companies during the transition.

*The flow of investment won't touch a company that is undertaking criminal activity.

*"The Earth is in need of a good lawyer." How do we create a legal duty of care for the earth.

*A quester asks a big question.

* Propose that this law is tabled in the next year, 2015, and be fully operational in 2020. It requires one Head of State who is a signatory to the Rome Statue to call for this to be amended.

*Keeping this out in the public domain in a big way. Ecocide was to become an international crime between 1985 and 1996 when it was removed during a closed door meeting.

*Ecocide was proposed in 1972, and perhaps even earlier.

*"Had I known what was going to be involved I would have said no way."

*"My way of being is aligned with my way of doing." With what I value in life.

*Daring myself to be great. Believe there is something greater at play. It has been an exploration of what it is to dare to be great.

*When human law is aligned with spiritual law then harmony shall prevail.

*First do no harm and when we do that all that flows from it can only be beautiful.

*"Thinking dutifully, acting beautifully." Arne Naess

*From significant harm to significant harmony

*Ecocide is a trimtab

*Inner ecocide

*Where do you choose to put your energies in life? Align with what you care about and what you are doing. How to fast -track...

*The eye of the storm, in the middle of deepest doubt...go back to first principles.

*Enough....there must be another way. Calling in the help. Where can I go here? The help comes from deep within. Allow yourself to feel that deep pain. Now how can I use my unique skills to take this forward?

*Getting better at feeling, not just feeling better. If we do not feel we numb out, and our decision making becomes corrupt.

*Corrupt = cour (the heart) rupturing of the heart. The inability to feel.



Polly Higgins

Rome Statute

Eradicating Ecocide

Arne Naess

Deep ecology

Buckminster Fuller

I Dare You to Be Great, book

Direct download: Polly_Higgins_-_7112014_10.36_am.m4a
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:38pm EDT