jerry michalski

jerry michalski b w

What would happen if we trusted you?  – asks the man who has worked on his brain for 15+ years..

jerry' brain

TEDxCopenhagen 2012:

What if we trusted you?



Jerry builds on his tedx while visiting Tony Hsieh‘s downtownproject:

via Jerry:

In August I spoke at Catalyst Week, a terrific brain- and heart-blending series of talks and events that are part of the Downtown Project in Las Vegas (more here). The topic for August’s Catalyst Week — they do these pretty much monthly — was education, so I decided to give a speech that would build on the TEDxCopenhagen talk I gave a year ago (here’s a full-text transcript).


so very excited – Jerry’s writing a book called – what if we trusted you.


Back to the brain is the closest model we have found to a non-linear portolio. We’re imagining it, created by a curiosity app:

1. to ground the initial chaos if we started trusting people to follow their whimsy, by helping people find their people

2. to leave a trail, as a non-linear portolfio, as you are doing cool things, diminishing our obsession with proof & credentialing


alternative schools from Jerry‘s brain:



love your writing, @GeorgeMonbiot. here you are, in context:

Original Tweet:


jan 2015 – release of Jerry’s (largest brain mapping) of 17 years:

jerry's brain app

..a beautiful extension of Clay Shirky‘s’ cognitive surplus (perhaps freeing us up to eudaimonia\tive surplus)


What @Wikipedia wishes it could be + multilayered info in context = @jerrymichalski’s Brain. Whole new world, here:

Original Tweet:


the first we heard of Jerry was this talk:

It was like the clearest explanation of what we had been up to the last four years. then found out about the brain… fed right into our app/non-linear portfolio idea.

Jerry’s company – REX [Relationship Economy eXpedition]

jerry's site


oct 2013 – applying for shuttleworth application:


dec 2013 – 1 of 3

Ecology vs. Economy? – oikos


nov 2014 – design from trust – Jerry’s gain talk:

modern ocd: obedience, compliance, dependence

hidden curriculum

what democracy might be like if we trusted people..

consuming kids ness

architecture is destiny, design creates architecture, intent informs design

what gets us in trouble is not what we don’t know, it’s what we know for sure but just ain’t so. – mark twain

when we see a moment of risk – we start passing laws

19 min – tells the Hans Monderman story..

20 min – shares his brain

21 min – ie: maybe the bell is the problem here

27 min – we’ve forgotten how to get in a relationship and we jones for it… so we create relationship campaigns/rewards.. et l. if we got under the hood – and got the root of this problem..

fothenticity: perception of authenticity

daring greatly.. brene brown


find/follow Jerry:

link twitter

link facebook



be there and listen..

the way to save our children is to reconnect with everyone else




lessons from 15 years of using the brain




26 min – what can we do – rather than – or along with – bringing people into spaces – go out into the city… with the brain.. : )

same with at 30 min – what to put in place to help government be comfortable of decentralization

34 min in – Jerry

1. presence – just being aware w/o judgement

2. relationship – once in presence you start to understand relationship (generative & negative)

3. manifestation – ok – now what do i do

39:40 – the sense of urgency will come into play – when we let people figure out what matters to them… as the day

41:50 – listening to kids – that’s what they want – city as school

45 min

he who must play cannot play


notes from Douglas writing about Jerry in Present Shock:

without an agenda

Jerry seemed content to attend for attendance’ sake.

For Michalski, the “self” is defined by connections. TheBrain isn’t about him, but about everyone else he has met

As of today, Jerry has over 173,000 thoughts in his brain file, and 315,000 links between them, all created manually.23

It’s amazing what creative people can come up with when there’s nobody there telling them what to do.”


we asked Jerry to be an idec 2013 coffee talker but he is unable to come – (some silly excuse – like  a wedding):

idec 2013 coffee talkers

but we still wanted him as part of the conversation, so here we go..

what makes you come alive:

what change do you want to create:

on creating conversations that matter:


soon to be wed to April.

and they are married:

jerry and apriljerry and april 2jerry and april 3

jerry and april married

oct 5, 2013

jerry & apriljerry & april wed


Jerry in switzerland at lift – feb 2014:

jerry in switzerland

we’re busy attacking people that we want to trust us..


jan 2015:

More companies employing robots to do work that humans once did


feb 2015 – the futures of communication (prezi):


nov 2015

Future of Learning

1 min – may take 50 yrs.. but plenty of people right now who know how screwed up ed is.. on the bogas comparison of ed to med… saying ed hasn’t changed.. it has.. we used to learn in open/cross-generational ness..  must of our assumptions about industrialization of ed was just off..

2:40 – the brain – used for 18 yrs dec 2015 – photoshop for ideas.. how my brain works.. weird/noteworthy.. still using same datafile i started 18 yrs ago.. ie: today i added about 30 things.. all of us are missing curated context.. trying to survive flow.. we don’t have good tools for capture share of flows… and sharing sense making w/one another

4  min – brain not a good interop tool..and not suggesting everyone use it..we don’t have good tools to help us capture things from the flow….we need more tools that help us figure out what we know and share it really productively with each other

jerry’s brain

self-talk as data via app/chip ness

[this site as prototype to app & as my brain]

5 min – we become really easy to manipulate… because we don’t really have a memory.. don’t remember what we agreed to… what we know.. all just flowing past w/ a whole bunch of likes attached to it..
having a brain makes us less susceptible to manipulation and more capable of indepth convos that actually lead someplace..
insane we’re trying to have society w/o better tools…
7 min – consumerization – even what used to be called culture: ie: ed, trying to buy degrees… and our only job as consumers is to choose between products… not ask questions about them…
if you stop buying.. whole econ system falls apart.. destroyed and pushed aside old ways of being together in society..
how do we marry the best of the old… ancient wisdom…citizens in society w/interdependences managing our commons… with best of new… device.. let’s communicate w/zero margin cost w/almost half people on earth.. marry those to not be about consumption..
manufacturing consent
9 min  – one problem w/consumerism is that it came along with individualization.. what we’ve lost is interdependence
10 min – not bout distancing from masses… but being an individual in society..
2 needsniio dance
10 min – many things are broken.. which means many things need reinvention… part of what needs reinvention is what it means to be individual in society..
systemic ness
11 min – on being addicted to tech for several good reasons.. ie: luis ck – everything wonderful, everyone angry
addictions are temporary not a sign that all this tech is bad for us..
13 min – on rex – created in 90s because didn’t like word consumer.. we’re rediscovering a bunch of relationships that had been broken… ie: people company, people govt, ….
14 min – central to all of rex – trust… most institutions today were designed for mistrust of the individual… designed from (not for) trust.. and seeing where that goes, ie: wikipedia..
16 min – we don’t have many tools for memory – one of few is wikipedia… far from perfect. .. but if i had more time.. could help with it…
need for as the day ness for all of us.. gershenfeld law

let’s do this first: free art\ists

18 min – on the scripts in our heads: ie: time is value… some you can form into political belief systems… we’re seldom aware of what and how flawed our scripts are… we throw away evidence that change our minds… we should be cautious about these scripts…
20 min – scripts as system 1; logic as system 2 – not so good.. but if more aware of thinking and open to new ways
a nother way





when i met Jerry f-to-f, he gave me one of his business cards (on the back of each one is a different picture of someone he’s met – very cool idea) – on the back of mine was Hans Monderman.. my take of Jerry’s story of Hans – the guy who tweaked a town in or to make people look each other in the eye.[which resonated with what Mellie & Cristian had worked on] Hans came up a year or so later in my readings.


networked individuaism graphic
Our friend @jerrymichalski on designing solutions for trust.
then too.. trust vs trustworthiness (about action in crisis).. if being trustworthy is the goal.. need to act well over time..
being a trusted ally.. busy pulling on rope together.. on same side of this..
what if we trusted you
story in my head .. of trust ness.. doesn’t seem likes it’s trust if people have to earn it.. i do like the.. staying on same side.. love .. what if we trusted you ness..
july 2017 – a way forward.. what if we trusted you
july 2017 – interview
Mindset is everything, but it is extremely hard to shift. That’s *even more true if the new mindset runs counter to your training, credentials and status. Those willing to see differently will **invent our next markets and social contracts.
There is much to do once you replace scarcity and profit with abundance and well-being, for example.
*sounds like joseph reward law – ‘hardest for those who have been rewarded by this system’
**perhaps rather.. disengage from markets and social contracts.. (which again.. are hard to disengage from esp when you’ve been rewarded for them)
How might we help reconnect people with one another, and with meaning? ..How can we amplify the stories that work, so that more communities can implement the parts they like, locally?
ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way
first – what if we trusted you – podcast
sept 2017 – interview about jerry’s brain – 20 yrs and going
doesn’t make any suggestions to me
we’ve outsourced our memories to google..
we are an amnesic civilization.. we forget everything.. whenever somebody invented a tech that allowed us to store.. allowed lawyers..  suppressed us..
i can focus the relationship econ w trust

10 min – somewhere in the last 100 years.. we lost faith in the avg human.. and we’ve turned over all our institutions to be designed by engineers and managers for efficiency, scale and profit.. 

humans not really trustworthy..mere consumers.. we’re rediscovering that we’re actually humans.. pretty clever.. trustworthy.. born good.. connected to nature.. we socialize all these out of ourselves…. rare person survives into adulthood w curiosity in tact.. 

assume good

slowly figuring out how to be in society in this space..

1 yr to be 5


the copenhagen letter


Jerry on video series.. design from trust