December 31, 2010
2010: The Year of Multiple Digital Personas
This past year was one of my busiest years, largely because of 4 factors: I re-launched two sites, started shooting more (note: Canon 7D purchase), I seemed to be on the road non-stop and clients expected more than ever and yet they want to pay less for results.
Let's start by looking at some of the technology trends and mindshifts in 2010 which led to such a chaotic schedule.
Social media tools exploded. Living in Silicon Valley, you get hit with more beta trials than anywhere else in the world and testing new shit out is what I do among other things, so it's no surprise that I was hit with more than one person could possibly digest. Yet, some of those tools started to go mainstream, so suddenly things that were on my back burner couldn't go unnoticed anymore. For one, location-based services started to get a lot of attention.
Last January, I found myself in a hotel room in Munich desperate to connect and "check in" before heading out for a stroll in the fresh fallen snow.
How F-Ked up is that? Foursquare doesn't seem to want to acknowledge that I'm in another country when I am, regardless of how decent "connectivity" is, yet I can't seem to give in to technology controlling my environment even when it doesn't work. What's wrong with acknowledging that I'm not an engineer, don't try to fix this.....just let things/it be?"
Later in the year, I went through something similar in Paris. Refer to my blog post: When in Paris, BE in Paris, Disconnect.
That brings me to Part B of this story. Technology DID in fact control my environment more than any year in my life.
I relaunched We Blog the World this year because of its organic growth and growing interest from bloggers around the globe who wanted to contribute.
Launching a site isn't what it used to be because of the fact that a site isn't just a site anymore - it's connected to multiple digital personas on the web.
With the site had to be a Facebook "fan" page or whatever they now call it, a Twitter update to match the look-and-feel of the revamped site, as well as photo and video online personas to go with the rest of it.
Then there's maps, mobile optimization, geo-location, custom RSS feeds, online newsletters and editing to ensure the world sees what you want them to see rather than poorly curated clutter on the web. (see Linda Stone/continuous partial attention -- not new to 2010 but still highly relevant).
Enter the growing focus on curation. We're long overdue for attention on intellectual and relevant curation of content that matters to us most.
Since tools can't curate content automatically in a way that is useful to us yet, human curation needs to be part of the process and for anyone who has spent time curating and tagging content on the web knows, it's bloody time consuming. Pearltrees, a curation tool, was a big part of my life this year and I spent time alerting content creators in various vertical markets about the aspect and value of human curation as an integral part of their workflow.
I switched to Chrome this year as my main browser, suddenly I ended up with three phones, one of which was a Google phone that simplified my local calls and texting when in Europe, and I was nearly tempted to buy an iPad so I could carry around yet another device with me to ensure I was connected 24/7 just in case the three phones and two laptops were not enough.
What's important to note is how the 'always on' part of my life which used to largely happen in my office and to and from meetings during my work day migrated into every aspect of my life.
Not only were my digital personas growing in numbers, but so was my attention to them. Suddenly I had a flash page (see about.me, currently still in beta), 3 new sites, 3 new Facebook pages, 4 new Twitter personas, Foursquare and a growing number of international connections to "manage."
By summer, I was seriously feeling the effect of The Shallows (see Nicholas Carr's book: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains). In synthesizing recent cognitive research, he shares his own experiences, something that I could personally relate to. Carr writes "I've had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something has been tinkering iwth my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory. My mind isn't going -- so far as I can tell -- but it's changing."
By late July, I found that I couldn't sit still when I was out without a device and moreso, my attention span had shortened dramatically. The same thing was happening to others around me. We couldn't concentrate for long without new digital stimuli, even if that be a simple text message. My reading moved from reading whole books to skimming them, the rest left for online editorial only.
Reading and re-reading books have always brought a sense of calm to my otherwise chaotic world and yet, I had stopped reading novels for awhile. Instead, my reading time was filled with learning how social media was changing our lives and the impact it was having and will continue to have on business and the world. I read about new tools, solutions and trends. Of course, none of it had heart and soul but it was great insight for what to adopt early on.
Carr asserts that "every technology is an expression of human will. Through our tools, we seek to expand our power and control over our circumstances -- over nature, over time and distance, over one another."
And so, with this growing tension between feeling and fearing that my brain was actually changing chemically and the need to be "always" be connected to some device at any given time, I decided to leave the country in August without a device.
Off to South America I went with a friend who brought a Blackberry with her and I, a netbook, largely to be used for checking email once every couple of days, but moreso to offload photos from camera to hard drive. So, while technology wasn't off limits for me, having a device in my hands so I could be reachable and in turn reach out whenever and wherever, was not an option.
When you have close to ten online digital personas you are 'managing' at any given time, not being connected for a few weeks is highly uncomfortable. As I was boarding a plane from Miami to Guyaquil, I noticed how many people fidgeted when the pilot told them to turn their electronic devices off.
Some people stared down at their devices as if they would give them something stimulating even though the screen was blank. A few picked up magazines but flipped through as if bored without the energy of their device, their "adult" pacifier.
I found myself going through the same awkwardness, yet because the device was "home" and not an option when we landed, I was forced to find both my energy and my calm from a static page of a book or an old fashioned notebook which I brought to record thoughts using an actual physical pen.
Since I was with someone who had not made the same choice, I was somewhat forced into the digital world by watching her fiddle with her Blackberry, nose down into its addictive energy while we were driving past the Amazon jungle. It was astonishing that she could get a connection up there and because she 'could,' she did.
There was a moment where I felt like asking her for "it" to check into the Amazon on Foursquare for the world to see, as somewhat of a novelty. There was a moment where I felt like asking her for "it" to tweet out to the world that the Amazon was in trouble and attach a photo of chain saws on the side of the road with piles of timber lined up in rows a couple hundred miles away from the nearest big town.
I had to refocus my energy away from the device and her fingers upon it and onto the lush green wildness out my right window and as soon as I did, slowly but surely, my center found calm. It found presence. It found wonder. It found marvel. It found gratitude. It found wow. It found real physical life that was breathing its beauty into me as I decided to participate IN IT rather than watch or engage with it on a screen.
I didn't blog about my experience that week since we were camping in the middle of the jungle, but I also decided not to blog about it as soon as we were connected in another town. I waited until I returned to the states, and for multiple reasons, it was the right thing to do. Reflections followed - here, here and here. I also wrote about my detaching experience called Hey Digital Maven, How Okay Are You With Silence?
Being present and recalling that presence later on because I had time to reflect on gratitude was key. Being constantly connected doesn't give us the time or more importantly, the 'space' to reflect and go deeper. Our ability to go deeper is limited because of what this constant digital stimuli is doing to our brains, and in turn, our behavior.
As Carr reflects from the discovery he made through his research, "while we know that our brain is an exquisitely sensitive monitor of experience, we want to believe that it lies beyond the influence of experience.
We want to believe that the impressions our brain records as sensations and stores as memories leave no physical imprint on its own structure. To believe otherwise would, we feel, call into question the integrity of the self."
Having a break from managing digital personas for a few weeks reminded me of the essential need for balance -- not just life/play and work balance but digital balance.
While I found that others were going through the same thing, the addictive quality of the lifestyle shift is gradual, and people often find it hard to talk about or perhaps explain.
When I first picked up the iPad and browsed through my blog using Flipboard, a wave of excitement flew through me as the pictures I created in the real world came to life on the screen. A beautiful screen.
The display was magical and an actual device was re-sorting or curating if you like, the content....my content. It was telling my story in its own way and the stories of other bloggers I knew and respected. I thought about how "cool" it would be to have this experience with me at all times, so wherever I was, I could have that dynamic engaging experience rather than a much blander web page.
Yet, when all I sometimes need is the information on the web, having that extra visual pleasure brings me into the web experience more than it does my physical surroundings. When I choose "it" more often than the people around me in the physical world, I'm losing something valuable as well am I not?
Digital addicts will argue not of course since for them, the additional dimension of what these devices bring to their online life (where they spend 90% of their time) is so much greater that they would argue making another choice is 'halting a change' that is not only inevitable but critical.
Inevitable as it is, it doesn't mean we can't be more aware on the impact it is having on our daily lives and decide with our human brains during this explosive evolution and revolution, that human interaction without a digital pacifier at our side, does still hold tremendous value.
Being present without anything in our hands or a list of "online to dos" on our mind makes us so much more aware of a friend's breath across the table as they listen to our words and the intensity in their eyes as they dance with a story they're sharing.
As more and more moves online and away from physical paper and objects, we're reminded of privacy concerns and location-based services knowing our every move and offering products to us as soon as we walk into a store or cafe.
We're reminded that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was a runner-up for Time’s most important Person of the Year regardless of whether you see him as a hero or a villain.
We're reminded that the world has changed as we know it and there's no moving back in time.
While I'm certainly not proposing that we fight the inevitable, or stop technological progress and advancement, I'd like to offer some suggestions as a way to have more physical experiences in our lives amidst the growth of all things digital:
1. Pick a Day a Week to Disconnect from the Digital World: Remember we're talking about only one day a week. Use that day to engage with the physical world - trust me, it still exists. Choose something you're passionate about that is physical and doesn't have a digital extension to it, i.e., skiing down a mountain, cycling through a forest without your cell in your pocket, playing with a child on the beach, or discussing philosophy over dinner at the table with a friend without your iPad or iPhone in a bag by your feet.
2. Practice Using Your Brain Not Just Your Digital Pacifier: When you're tempted to rely on something digital to get you through an experience, choose a time when you don't need to rely on it and use your brain instead. A great example is your car navigation system.
The time to do this is obviously when you're not in a hurry to get from A to B. It's an interesting exercise for those who have relied on a nav system for awhile now. Male friends have commented that they have lost their acute directional sense since they put that part of their brain to rest for awhile. It's not unlike what happened with the introduction of calculators and over time, discovering how hard it was to do math on the fly.
3. Automate some of your Digital Life: While it's important to have a presence on the web if you run a company or work for one, and as part of it, engage, engage, engage, some of it can be automated. Focus on the voices and conversations that matter to you most and automate the rest.
The more scattered your presence, the less you can truly engage and prioritize on the people and passions you most identify with. It's not just about numbers. Quality matters and quality takes time, concerted time and effort.
4. Become the Artist you're Designed to be and Backburner the Rest: Create don't react. Remember that you don't have to respond to everything and everyone all the time. When we're constantly responding to things on our screen, the "lizard brain" is taking over, not the genius inside us. When we're reacting to online chatter, there's less time to "create our true art," which is our gift to the planet while we're alive to share it. In other words, our purpose.
As Seth Godin writes in Linchpins, one of my favorite books this year, "the Lizard Brain often sabotages the progress we have made and stops us from creating our best work." Refer to a great post Seth wrote on 'quieting the lizard brain.'
In my opinion, albeit one of the most useful things to hit this decade, social media has given us so many distractions, that it's difficult to take a step back and realize that we don't have to choose and use it all.
Make the time to create the art you're designed to create and the life you want to have.
Once we realize that we have a choice to pick and choose what's most useful for us and leave the rest, we'll create an opening to create our best art. Let's remember that our digital personas are not the whole picture of our lives, just a piece of it.
As a wise Nepalese elderly man once said to me on my way up a long Annapurna trail many years ago, Patience on your journey grasshopper, patience.
December 31, 2010 in America The Free, Books, Entertainment/Media, Europe, On Blogging, On Branding, On Geo-Location, On Mobile & Wireless, On People & Life, On RSS, On Science, On Technology, On the Future, Reflections, Social Media, WBTW, Web 2.0 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
2010 in Review: Time to Reflect & Pay Respect to Another YearSeasons Greetings and a hooray for an incredible year, one which will be over within hours. It's time to reflect on everything we've learned and experienced over the past year as well as give gratitude to the amazing people we've encountered along our annual journey. It's now time to move into a new decade, but before we do, below are a few highlights from 2010 as seen through my eyes across a few continents. Enjoy! And, Happy New Year! to you and yours. See you on the other side.
December 30, 2010
Life in the Drunk Lane: America's Top Ten Drunkest Cities
I'm always amused what some 'sights' do on the data collecting front. For example, The Daily Beast revealed 40 cities who drink the most in the U.S. based on the average number of drinks consumed per person in a month.
Jacksonville, Florida was last at #40, Philly was #20 and Seattle came in #30. And number one? The midwest, where else?
Stats for the #1 drunkest American city was Milwaukee Wisconsin:
Average drinks, per person, per month: 12.76
Percent of adults who are heavy drinkers: 7.1
Percent of adults who are binge drinkers: 21.8
Deaths per 100,000 residents from alcoholic liver disease: 3.9
The top ten list below.
1. Milwaukee, WI
2. Fargo, ND
3. San Francisco, CA
4. Austin, TX
5. Reno, NV
6. Burlington, VT
7. Omaha, NE
8. Boston, MA
9. Anchorage, AK
10. San Diego, CA
December 27, 2010
Who Said You Couldn't Get a Heart Attack From Vegetarian?
This year, I joined a friend's annual Christmas Day dinner in Montara, along the northern California coast. I offered to make a salad and little did I know what an excellent choice that was given that 99% of the crew of 20 or so were vegetarians.
Although I went vegetarian for a few years myself many moons ago and get all the merits of doing so from a health perspective (I may not have had more energy but my skin glowed and I felt a helluva lot lighter), I don't associate vegetarian with Christmas dinner.
I grew up with grandparents, great grandparents and tons of great aunts and uncles, all of whom spent a lot of time in the kitchen cooking and eating dishes with tons of butter, not to mention bacon, sausage, and beef lasagne. And as for the holidays? Split pea soup with bacon, shrimp cocktail, and turkey and ham (we often had both).
Given that I love vegetables and could be happy with an all veggie meal, I set myself up for the let down of NOT having a traditional turkey or ham on December 25, even though I very rarely eat either. After all, something had to compensate for being away from the snow, away from New England holiday spirit and away from all the conventions I grew up with, none of which seem to have transported its way to the west coast.
Appetizers started with some fabulous goat cheese from some fabulous Mediterranean country with the perfect amount of organic cranberries. There was also spinach pie aka Spanakopita(pronounced /ˌspænəˈkɒpɪtə/; Modern Greek σπανακόπιτα, from σπανάκι, spanáki, spinach, and πίττα, pítta, pie), a Greek savory pastry in the burek family with a filling of chopped spinach, feta cheese (sometimes served with ricotta cheese, as it is less expensive, and adds creaminess), onions or green onions, egg, and seasoning.
The filling is wrapped or layered in phyllo (filo) pastry with butter and/or olive oil, either in a large pan from which individual servings are cut, or rolled into individual triangular servings (see burek). Spanakopita is golden in color when baked, the color often enhanced by butter and egg yolk. Other white, fresh, preferably salted cheeses may also mixed with, or substituted for, the feta cheese. Okay, can we just say it was all YUM and move onto the next one. I poured myself a glass of Cabernet from the southern valley and moved on.
The dishes started coming out. First there was my salad which was the least interesting of the lot but it was healthy and included almonds, flax seeds, raisins, and a tangerine olive oil dressing.
Heavy cheese dishes which I couldn't eat but looked and smelled incredible were the cauliflower leek tart and the tomato polenta that oozed with so much sauce and cheese that I had to stay away, or rather my arteries had to stay away. It's not as if there weren't at least ten other choices.
For one, my favorite was an incredible vegetarian stuffing that the host's mother made. As I was making my way through Round One and thinking, this tastes just like my great grandmother used to make, she confirmed that it did in fact have a grandmother's stamp on it and even if I had the recipe, there's no chance in hell I could repeat the same culinary experience. Seconds it was and this time with another homemade accompaniment - cranberries of course. One pound of cramberries mixed with two cups of sugar and one cup of red wine (like a merot). Scrumptious.
Corn and egg were whipped together for another delicacy that was served in a casserole-like dish and cut into squares. Did I mention the sauteed brussel sprouts, peas and bright orange squash that had so much better on it that you swore your great grandmother had returned just to drop off the dish?
Then to top it off, four boxes of chocolates and squares, two plates of homemade cookies (including those dangerous heavy white powdered dots), pumpkin pie, a caramel cream souffle and an apple tart followed on the main stage (aka kitchen counter).
On the table next to the couch? What else but organic gourmet dark and milk chocolate bars from an outfit called Vosges. And how could you not try them all?
Here we go: creole bar is New Orleans style chicory, Sao Thome Bittersweet and cocoa nibs, the Wooloomooloo Bar is roasted and salted macadamia nuts with Indonesia coconut, hemp seeds and deep milk chocolate, the Mo's Dark Bacon Bar (yes I did say Bacon, it's not a typo), is full of Applewood smoked bacon and alderwood smoked salt, the Gianduja Bar has almonds, carmelized hazelnuts and deep milk chocolate.
The Red Fire Bar which was everyone's favorite except for mine consisted of Mexican ancho y chipotle chillies and Ceylon cinnamon, whereas the Oaxaca Bar had guajillo and chillies with Tanzanaire bittersweet chocolate. Two milk chocolate options were the Barcelona Bar which included hickory smoked almonds with grey sea salt, and the Matcha Bar with Japanese matcha green tea and 45% cacao. Lastly, I tasted the Black Pearl Bar, which was 55% cacao and had ginger, wasabi, black sesame seeds and dark chocolate.
I had to take a double dose of extra strength Rolaids when I got home. Who said you couldn't get a heart attack from going vegetarian?
December 26, 2010
The History Behind Boxing Day
Not everyone knows or celebrates Boxing Day, but when I lived in the UK and Australia, it was celebrated with vigor. It is observed in the UK, Australia, Austria, Canada and New Zealand. In South Africa, the December 26 public holiday is called Day of Goodwill, in Ireland St. Stephen's Day or Lá an Dreoilín, and in continental European countries the "Second Christmas Day."
And how cool is this? In Canada, Boxing Day is listed in the Canada Labor Code as an optional holiday. I hate when Christmas and Boxing Day falls on a weekend since it means that you don't really get an extra time off just to sit, stare at Christmas lights and listen to old fashioned kitch holiday songs. I love this btw.
The holiday may date from as early as the Middle Ages, but the exact origin is not known. It may have begun with the Lords and Ladies of England, who gave Christmas boxes/gifts to their servants on December 26, or maybe by priests, who opened the church's alms (charity boxes), and distributed the contents to the poor and needy.
Below is a bit of history about the origins and myths of Boxing Day from Snopes.
December 25, 2010
Christmas is the Feast of Man Himself
Christmas is the feast, of not only man’s redemption, but of man himself. It is the feasting of humankind, because it releases – if only for a few days every year – emotions that a savage self-interest causes mankind, in the ordinary way, to repress.
At Christmas-tide, tyrants grow benevolent – even merciful, misers spend, not only freely, but willingly, the fierce flames of religious and political prejudice die for a short while to a cold cinder; selfish memories are stirred by the recollection – tardy, but intense – of the neglected and the outcast.
For a few days, once a year, the atrophied souls of adults are filled again with that spirit which inspires the wisdom of fools and children.
December 22, 2010
Buying a New Car? Tune Into This InterviewRobert Scoble interviewed CarWoo! yesterday in CarWoo's Burlingame offices. Below is a 40 minute cinch on new car buying.
Disclosure Note: I am a consultant for CarWoo!
Bob Metcalfe, Bill Warner, Kiva, CarWoo, TerraPower All at 5x5
XConomy's “5×5” Forum in Boston this month attracted some of the best and the brightest in the technology industry. Below is a summary, largely taken from Greg Huang's excerpts on-site.
1. Bill Warner emphasized his more unconventional approach to startups. “I intend to help people follow their heart,” he said. “I believe people are pushed to follow their head.” A startup’s philosophy boils down to what he calls the “negotiated invention” model—what most entrepreneurs follow by leading with their idea or technology and making compromises based on the market and egos versus from their soul and heart.
2.Client CarWoo provided tips on how to become the next Groupon. Founder and CEO Tommy McClung, from the Bay Area, talked about targeting established business models in big markets, which are “usually ripe for disruption”; riding the emerging trend of “online to offline” and balancing incentives for customers.
Disclosure Note: I am a consultant for CarWoo.
December 19, 2010
When in Paris, BE in Paris: Disconnect
When I go to Europe, I try to disconnect as much as I can. As long as I can get online for several hours in the morning and late at night, I can still be productive AND take in what the destination has to offer.
This past trip, I really couldn't be disconnected at all -- day or night -- largely because not only do I have multiple projects in the air at any given time, but I need to be available for discussions and Skype meetings at odd hours of the day -- and night. I was also organizing a large luncheon and dinner so being reachable was a priority.
And so, I opted in for Verizon's international service, which they assured me included unlimited data and email for an extra buck and change a day, all of which could be pro-rated for the time you're gone.
Mind you, I also had a Google phone with a local SIM card so bloggers, media, and entrepreneurs could reach me on a Paris-based number AND I could dial out without it costing a fortune. This was also useful for local texting although I still had the Blackberry for international texting which costs about 50 cents a pop. Thank god for always-on email. (or not....)
What I found with Blackberry at my fingertips with always-on coverage that actually worked, was that I was NEVER disconnected. If Vodafone didn't give me a signal, then Orange did or some other obscure carrier. The other odd thing that was sometimes useful and sometimes outright ridiculous, was the fact that I was getting coverage in the Metro WHILE THE TRAIN WAS MOVING! (yes, underground).
While my nose was buried into work attempting to be productive every minute of the day, I noticed that other noses were buried in their devices too. Since it was Paris and not Silicon Valley however, they were not tweeting, checking in or responding to every comment on Facebook like the obsessive lot on America's west coast do, but they WERE playing games and texting. I spent days observing this and nearly always, they were busy doing one or the other.
Here's the other thing that I not only noticed but downright annoyed me....because people were nose deep in their phones -- even on the street -- people were bumping into me and I them, frequently. People were so distracted with the digital emptiness, the digital void....that digital addiction that keeps them tethered to their moving, breathing, brightly lit, purring mobile device.
And sadly, I was one of the robotic mice moving through the maze.....not pushing back but surrendering to the one thing that ensures we stay distracted and not present to the here and now.
Digital addicts who are proud and thrilled to be one, will argue that they are in fact present in the here and now, all the time, but it's just the here and now that is happening on their phones. They will also argue that the here and now involves intimate relationships with people because the chatter is happening in real-time on their mobile phones nearly every minute of the day.
That said, when in Paris, the here and now is most definitely not answering emails, text messages, direct tweets, comments on Facebook, LinkedIn, shouts on Foursquare or Gowalla or threads on Posterous, Digg and Storify, while you're walking down the street.
There's so much to miss in Paris when you're not present, or any decadent-rich city for that matter, ones that really know how to tap into your senses. Mobile devices do not tap into my senses even if the screen tries to with enticing offers on food, wine, games, men and song.
Paris' here and now is fresh cafe with hot milk, crepes with ham, cheese and mushrooms made before your eyes, and picking an individual dark chocolate with pistachio or rasberry and watching them wrap it in a brightly colored foil with a beautifully tied ribbon.
Paris' here and now is walking around the corner late at night and suddenly being greeted by the astonishing sight of Notre Dame, so breathtaking you could shed a tear of joy. It is seeing a stream of pigeons surrounded by flickering colored lights around a bush covered in the latest December snow or marveling in the hazy blue mist that comes across the winter sky as you walk along the Seine after dark.
Paris' here and now is being present enough to be notice the energy shift as you cross from the Marais to Bastille's borders and then back again. Present enough to find the gems in the tourist clutter of all your favorite neighborhoods. Present enough to find the delight in the walled graffiti as well as the wind, rain and dampness that comes with a cold Christmas season day.
Present enough to discover that you're surrounded by accents and languages from every pocket of the world, watching what makes them laugh, what they decided to wear that day and what they're carrying from A to B on the RER heading north.
Present enough to look over your arm on the bus to see what he or she is reading and present enough to listen hard enough to catch what artist is playing through the headphones of the 20 year old Algerian who just whizzed past you.
Thanks (or shall I say no thanks) to technology, my mobile device (s) and the digital addiction that is rapidly moving through the world, I forgot to pick up foie gras at the airport, nor did I buy chocolate on this trip (and I only ate one piece of chocolate compared to the 22 chocolate experiences I had on the last trip which was roughly the same duration).
I also missed out on the two morning markets I had on my list, and had to skip a local Parisian holiday party with a bunch of artists who I was told by the host, wouldn't pick up a mobile device all night and if he was wrong, my favorite bottle of wine was on him.
What I gained was more digital connections and keeping up on the pulse of the world at large, the world outside Paris, the world who was not there to share experiences with me in real-time, in the flesh, over a glass of wine or coq au vin dinner. Next time Paris, next time.....
December 18, 2010
Artisan Nature Uses 33 Essential Oils In Their JuiceI had a wonderful discovery at LeWeb this year, which was the unique opportunity to chat with someone about one of my passions outside technology: holistic health and vitality.
The Artisan Nature founder (I called him the Juice Man) talked to me about his freshly squeezed juices, which was on offer to bloggers in the media/blogger lounge throughout the conference.
Since he still has family in Madagascar, he is able to tap into the vast number of pure essential oils and flower water from his home country as well as from Europe and other parts of the world. In his juice, he uses 33 essential oils, 20 of them coming from Madagascar specifically and they include oils like sage, tea, mint, lavender and others. Have a listen.