Multidimensional Facilitation And Authoring
Hello to my fellow facilitators, content creators, and authors! As the year 2020 approaches, I foresee visionary developments on the horizon. Having “20/20” vision means seeing clearly and focusing our attention and intention on heart-based projects that will nurture us and those we serve. For me, there are a number of such endeavors. My book, “Travelers Within” which as you know was just published, will be a main focus, along with completing the “Axis Mundi” Retreat Center here in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. In addition to hosting my programs and expeditions, I will also host author and facilitator collaboration retreats for those in our tribe who write and teach. How fun, yes?
I also intend on pioneering new technology for delivering complex and challenging literary content such as the “AwarenesSphere Model” outlined in my book. This undertaking will require inventing new technology, which I love doing! (My work with Richard Branson and his Extreme Tech Challenge, (XTC) pushed my technological aspirations to the . . . extremes.)
Since I’ve shared my plans for my book and retreat center with you previously, I’d like to discuss my plans for developing a “multidimensional/holographic” approach to authoring books. Just as the literary industry migrated from the conventional brick and motor method of manuscript production and distribution into the new paradigm of e-book formats and social network platforms, a similar migration is needed for how we write books and the delivery format in which we convey our literary content.
I know from speaking with many of you that you also want a more robust venue for conveying the complexities and challenges of your work. Books are a wonderful venue for personal development, but they have a long way to go towards producing a more substantial outcome, that say, a week-long retreat, in-depth workshop, or well-orchestrated series of counseling or coaching sessions produces. I believe it’s possible . . . but that it requires something more from us as authors and facilitators.
Emotional Wisdom Verses Intellectual Knowledge
As an enterprise-level curriculum designer to Fortune 50s, as well as being a workshop facilitator for nearly forty years, I’ve learned that what makes the biggest difference to participants is not conveying mental concepts, but immersing them in emotional experiences that evoke deeply moving personal insights and awareness’s. Having people viscerally discover on their own, what we would otherwise like to tell them is far and away the most powerful approach to self-development work.
In addition to the work being an “inside job” for our attendees and readers, it is also our job as facilitators and authors to know the difference between imparting intellectual knowledge and evoking emotional wisdom. Intellect is about knowing many things, but wisdom is about knowing many things in many ways. (How many times have you had to learn the same lesson numerous times and in a number of different ways before you actually wised up? I know the answer for me . . . many.)
Avoiding mental lectures and utilizing creative emotional immersion that touches people in multiple ways are the keys to effective facilitation. These strategies along with designing processes that lead people into their depths where they can grapple with, and discover their own solutions is what ensures powerful, sustainable behavior changes.
Dynamic and Adaptable Content Delivery
As a personal growth author and program facilitator, I’ve struggled with how to present complex principles and practices in a way that speaks to a broad range of attendee and reader experience levels. Much of my time is taken up with trying to integrate dynamic principles and processes into a “one-size-fits-all” delivery architecture. Short of creating many versions of the same program or book to address diverse audience needs, the only adaptable solution I’ve come up with is to provide a variety of metaphors and examples that bridge the experience gaps. The other strategy I’ve used is to incorporate comprehensive question and answer periods after workshop segments or book chapters that address the broad scope of different concerns of my attendees and readers.
Clearly a much more adaptable and dynamically designed delivery architecture is needed. Facilitating or writing for someone who is in the midst of a life crisis requires a completely different approach than someone who is doing well and simply wants to improve. Likewise, to have an understanding of the degree of openness someone has with respect to surrendering their old notions of self for the possibility of new discoveries is essential prior to engaging with them in a developmental process. Those who are fearful of change must be guided in a different way than those who are willing to take a risk.
These diverse challenges are easier to address in live workshop settings because of real-time exchanges between facilitators and attendees, whereas with books it’s a static one-way delivery platform with no interactive options between authors and readers. The migration from a static to a dynamic literary delivery platform is essential if we are to elevate the transformative power of our books. It is also just as important to bridge the gap between the reader’s initial inspiration and their real life integration and application period after they leave a workshop or finish a book. Without sustainable long-term behavior changes, the viability of our development efforts falls short. The solution to these challenges it turns out comes to us from an unlikely source . . .
Taking A Lesson From The Video Gaming Industry
There is no doubt that innovative virtual reality technology and state of the art content creation engines are revolutionizing the gaming industry, transforming flat, 2D RPG and MMO environments into compelling, vividly immersive 3D worlds. This same migration into a more dynamic, interconnected, and immersive environment is needed for the publishing industry. Such a leap in technology will usher in a new way of delivering personal growth materials as well as accelerating their acceptance by the mainstream masses.
CD Projeckt Red’s new RPG game, Cyberpunk 2077 is a perfect example of this new technology. The game’s immersive “backstory” and “profile” mechanics take into account the player’s chosen fantasy history and skill preferences/levels, which in turn impacts their future gameplay options, available quests, and even main storyline outcomes. In a similar way, a reader inputting their real-life “backstory” and “behavioral profile” into a user-friendly survey will provide the needed personal data to generate adaptable content for them chapter-by-chapter.
How much self-reflection experience does the reader possess? Are they in survival or experiencing a crisis in their life? What is their degree of self-acceptance and self-love? What rigid patterns might they have that could block their willingness to change? How much personal self-reflection work have they done to this point? All these factors play into how a “holo-book” would deliver its predesigned multidimensional content; a wide array of optional methodologies, approaches, metaphors, examples, and suggested practices built into each chapter. While this dynamic architecture exponentially increases the author’s content creation tasks, it also exponentially increases the book’s ability to serve as a powerful literary agent of change for the reader. Such procedurally generated content will directly address each reader’s interests and life challenges commensurate with their level of experience and willingness to engage.
A Multidimensional/Holographic Library of Personal Growth Books
I envision a future in which our curiosity for greater self-reflection and yearning for greater human and spiritual virtues will be achieved through this new dynamically immersive technology; a perfectly crafted integration of procedurally generated content, cloud-based supplemental resources, and an “in-book” social network that connects readers, authors, and content aligned sponsors.
I’m enthused about this vision and invite you to share your ideas with me. I’ll be looking into existing gaming engines such as Amazon’s Lumberyard, Unity, Gamemaker and others and will keep you posted! ~ Val Jon