The moment when my research stopped being just a job, and became a calling.


I started to weep. Not cry...weep. I felt ridiculous standing there with a fancy drink in a fancy place talking to an important journalist. But it happened.

I was in NYC meeting a journalist to talk about my research into values-based design and decision-making for a potential story.

I explained our three strategic phases: completing the data collection globally, digitizing and automating the dataset, and then what I call the Robin Hood phase, where we use commercial proceeds from selling the data to give away data to organizations that can make the world a better place.

And that’s when I started to cry.

It had been a long couple of weeks of meetings in various time zones, and I was a bit tired. And I had one drink. None of that helped.

But I’m convinced the real reason for this unexpected reaction was I had finally come to a realization, at that moment, that this work is far larger and more important than I had been willing to admit.

As cliche as it sounds, we really can change the world with this data. In significant ways. We can now use empirical data to prove that demographic stereotypes are discriminatory nonsense, and that values-based profiling is as much as 8X more effective. This is a powerful tool, and the world has never had one like it before.

It’s two weeks later now, and I’m over my slight embarrassment. But I will always remember that moment, when it hit me, that I don’t have a job anymore, I have a calling.

The world needs this database. Right now, probably more than ever before.

And somehow, I will deliver it.

#valuegraphics #weareallthesameagenow #postdemographic