Why does one go from being a highly successful video game executive to becoming a catalyst for the use of technology in supporting emotional, psychological and spiritual wellbeing?
In this engaging #NomadFuturist podcast, Nichol Bradford, Co-founder of TransformativeTech.org, shares her deeply personal journey.
“I grew up as a little black girl in Texas in the 80’s and was interested in Star Trek, where you had a future where mankind had decided that they were all on the same team…where diversity was celebrated.”
Bradford graduated from the Wharton School of Business and after unfulfilling experiences in banking and consulting, decided to pursue a career in the video game industry.
“I was interested in the next evolution in human story telling…Games are a combination of play, narrative, community and exploration.”
She ultimately spent six years with Blizzard in China as Head of Operations for World of Warcraft and Starcraft China running both the front-end and back-end of the business.
Bradford loved the work but ended up feeling incredibly lonely. This led her to the practice of meditation and eventually to a ten-day meditation retreat which was transformational:
“In ten days, I was unafraid, incredibly happy and I felt deeply connected to everyone.”
Bradford realized that most people do not have the resources or time to experience that kind of transformation. This became the impetus for her to explore ways in which technology can democratize access to things like therapy and child development resources, what she calls “the good stuff about human growth and development, about how we learn, about how to feel, be, and become.”
“I’m working with founders, researchers, innovators and investors to catalyze the Wellbeing Tech category…where people are really pushing into this inner layer… What I am really looking for are things that are helping with social wellness, emotional well-being and self-regulation.”
Bradford asserts that the goal is not to replace humans. She believes the very best examples of these products are ones that have humans in the loop where the technology brings a human, either live or virtually, to help with an overall program.
Though she is aware of some of the pitfalls of the virtual modality, Bradford is highly optimistic about achieving authentic human connection via technology.
Bradford co-founded and built Transformative Tech.org, a global ecosystem dedicated to educating, gathering, and activating wellbeing tech founders, investors, and innovators. The organization has members in 72 countries and 450 cities. She also curates the Transformative Tech Conference — the most important event at the intersection of tech and wellbeing (www.ttconf.org).
Prior to Transformative Tech, Bradford served as senior interactive entertainment executive with responsibility for strategy, operations and marketing for major brands including: Activision Blizzard, Disney, and Vivendi.
Bradford speaks extensively on Human Transformation, Transformative Tech, the Future of Health, Work, and Human Excellence, and Flourishing Cities. She is a lecturer at Stanford University, has an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, and attended Singularity University’s Global Solutions program. She is the author of The Sisterhood, a work of transformative Afro-futuristic fiction. In her spare time, her favorite activities are meditation and combat sports.