Posts Tagged ‘Master in Visual Media Communication#8217;


Emotional Design

Written on June 13, 2013 by Vanessa Dezem Baida in News

Marco van Hout is co-founder and creative director of SusaGroup and a board member of the International Design for Emotion Society; he is a professor in IE’s Master in Visual Media. He has worked in the field, called Emotional Design, more than a decade and has contributed to it to become bigger. Emotional Design is a strategic thinking with a particular focus on emotion as the key tool to create better, and it is one of markets that has been growing rapidly. Emotions and experiences have become the key words in 21st century to provide consumer with better products and services. Nowadays, emotions are considered catalysts to connect consumer with products and services and have a strong influence on consumers to determine the quality of their product/service’s experience. Masaaki Hasegawa, student of IE’s Master in Visual Media has interviewed Marcos van Hout and in the lines bellow the specialist gives us an opportunity to better understand this field.


MH: How can you define design for emotion?

MV: The definition of design for emotion is that you take the emotional impact of a product or service as main focus to design the product or service. Instead of looking at the design characteristics from the beginning, you first look at the emotional impact you want to achieve, then, you create a deep understanding of whom you are designing for, in order to understand the potential impact. From there, you start designing by focusing on the personal context, goals, standards and attitudes of your users. Most emotions with products are evoked by a subconscious evaluation in which we continuously check if something will benefit or harm our personal concerns. This also explains why emotions are personal (I may have a completely different emotion with a product than you, because we can differ in personal concerns). The steps to design for emotion are simple: 1) measure the emotional impact, 2) understand why these emotions are felt by understanding your user’s personal concerns, 3) create an emotional fingerprint for your product (strategy), and 4) make sure your solution will facilitate the user’s personal concerns so that positive emotions will result. It may sound straightforward, and it is, but the core of design for emotion is that you have an emotion as a starting point. For example, in our current assignment at IE University for the screen of the Museo de Prado, we started with investigating people at the Plaza de las Letras where the screen is situated, in order to know how they behave, what concerns they have, and in which context they have their rituals. You have to know who you are dealing with for design for emotion. It is a very human-centered and empathetic way of designing.


MH: How did you get interested in this field?

MV: 11 years ago, I was in Madrid for an internship and they gave me an assignment in a hospital here. In the end, it was cancelled. However, I was already here and arranged everything. Therefore I had to think about another topic, and one of my colleagues told me about ‘Kansei engineering’, a Japanese engineering technique that focuses on linking product characteristics to affective impact. I thought it sounded very interesting and wondered how this would relate to products and especially interactive products. Plus, I was even more interested in researching how designers could benefit from learning more about the emotional impact of their products. So I wrote my Master thesis on the emotional impact of interactive products and how designers could elicit predefined emotions. It was about whether designers could design different products if they look into emotions at the start point. When I started getting involved in this field, design for emotion was not very wellknown. The Design & Emotion Society was founded as a first initiative and step in this field, which was in 1999. Since then, a lot has changed and emotion and experience are household concepts now in design programs at universities, but also more and more in industry.


MH: Who and what kind of companies can apply design for emotion to their business usage?

MV: Basically every company that would like to have an impact on their user from an empathic point of view. If you want to design something that is meaningful, or to have products that people value, you should focus on emotional design, because emotion driven design focuses on the appropriateness of a product. Emotion drives our behavior, helps us perceive the world, as we know it, steers our memory and helps us engage. Emotion is a key element of experience in the world we are living in. It can give companies a competitive advantage, as emotional impact is about influencing (purchase) behavior, satisfaction, engagement, attachment and especially the experience of meaning. Name one company that doesn’t want to be considered as meaningful by their clients.


MH: When you started business in this field, what was the difficulty? Even if the economy situation was better than now, did people pay attention to invest in this field?

MV: In that period, Joseph Pine wrote his book, “The Experience Economy”, which is about the paradigm shift from a commodity driven economy to an experience driven economy, and companies started to differentiate themselves from others with unique experience they would provide. So in that context, emotions became more valuable. However, at the time, emotional design was seen as something extra that companies didn’t want to invest their core budget in, so sometimes we were part of the design process instead of what would be the best actually: the complete process from the earliest stage on.Thus, it is harder to convince companies with the current economic situation for the reasons I mentioned.


MH: Do you think companies think it is too obvious to invest their money?

MV: That is a good point. Emotion and Experience are something that we all have. Thus, clients and companies tend to think they know what they are doing with their products and services, and say, ” I know exactly what the experience is”, relating it to their own experience with it. Take for example a Roller Coaster experience. It is easy to undergo it by sitting down in your seat, put on the seatbelt and there you go. However, when you design the experience of it, you need to look into a lot of different aspects like how the seating is designed, how people touch it, how fast it goes, how the weather is, how much gravity people would experience, and so on. Roller coaster designer know that they need to look into these factors to understand what the experience is. People tend to think that they know the experience of roller coaster because they have experienced it, but just describing the experience when you are in the roller caster is not enough.


MH: So, a small difference could make the whole experience different.

MV: Yes, and emotional design points out the difference brought about by a small difference. Every design decision has a straight impact on emotion. Positively, you can influence it and negatively you are actually influencing it.


MH: Can we apply this to services and retail stores too?

MV: Most definitely! Actually, your experience starts before you go out to make your purchase. You think about the store you would go to and you think about I want to buy a pair of pants, for example. So you have a lot of expectations that would influence on your experience in a store from the beginning. Obviously, when you get inside the store, all visual stimuli, scent and sound that the store has have an overall direct influence on your experience, and so your (emotional) evaluation of the store immediately begins. People start to evaluate whether they like the smell inside, the music the store plays and the color valuation inside the store that come from personal background. That is why retailers need to understand whom they are dealing with. Emotion driven design takes on a holistic approach through all of the fields of design.


MH: What kind of trend we should follow

MV: The big trend that we are seeing in parallel with the trend of emotion driven design is the focus on a more human centered development. Within emotional design, this is about designing for well being, positive design, and design for happiness. Spaces are for example being designed with emotion-driven design techniques in order to influence mood, perception of safety and to alter behavior.

You can think of simple design interventions, such as changing the color of a hospital room wall to green, that proved to have a major effect on the time people had to spend in a hospital to recover. Another example are mobile apps that have been designed to stimulate positive behavior in people’s daily lives, for example by showing them how much energy they have used in their home, or how much they moved in a day.

Another trend is the increase in screens and interfaces that we are seeing in daily life. Not only are we confronted with them in our homes, but also in the street, in buildings, public transport, etc. Screens and interfaces are everywhere. Currently we are doing research on the impact of those interfaces and screens and to see when they are supporting people’s rituals/ needs and when they are harming them. It is all about appropriateness. We are looking at when do screens have a certain impact on people and when do they add value to people’s activities and needs: it is all about appropriateness. I see a trend towards designing screens around us from a more holistic perspective: it is not about what interface you design for specific screen (devices), but more about how do you connect all of those together so that they are, again, appropriate and valuable. In such a holistic approach, emotion is a binding factor which can guide you in designing a consistent user experience throughout all screen-experiences.


MH: Would you give some message to people who would like to get into this field? What they need to learn, what do you expect them to learn before getting stared working in this field.

MV: There is no specific master or school in this field, and I think this is not a bad thing because emotion is a part of a bigger whole. Emotion is a red line that goes through all layers of the experience. I think it is interesting to start reading related work in psychology, and you could read a lot of papers from past Design & Emotion conferences (since 1999). And then a plan could be to do an internship or start to experiment yourself. You need to go out to see how people feel, behave and interact with each other with your own eyes. So it is a lot about just an open vision. Once you have a vision, a clear empathy for the user and people in general, you can apply it to your own field. You can just dictate a designer or someone who creates things but you should be empathic. Just dictating does not work. Emotion driven design is perhaps the ultimate democracy between designers and users.



The freedom of sharing

Written on June 3, 2013 by Vanessa Dezem Baida in News

The digital world enables us to share and interact with everything. Many new tools, however, challenges the concept of privacy and intellectual property rights. About this subject, Masaaki Hasegawa, student of IE’s Master in Visual Media Communication interviewed Mr. Dominick Chen, executive board member of Creative Commons, in Japan. The company he leads is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools.

M. Could you imagine your current job when you were a graduate student? 

D. I was already member of the board of Creative Commons Japan when I was in the master course at University of Tokyo, so there isn’t much difference since then.

M. How did you get interested in Creative Commons?

D. Back in 2002, I was an undergraduate student at UCLA, in the Design/Media Arts department.  At that time I was very much intrigued by the new possibilities of the Internet, especially its ability to expand ways of collaboration between different artists and creators.  But at the same time I learned about the restriction imposed by the current legal system of the copyright, and the Napster case was becoming a big social issue in the US. Then, one day, I discovered the Creative Commons movement was trying to dissolve this antagonism between the new and old, and I started participating in late 2003.

M. The original concept of copyright should be to protect creators from exploitation. However, it seems that copyright is centralized into the huge corporations and they use it as a means of exploitation. How do you think about the gap between the philosophy behind the copyright and the real world?

D. In my opinion, the very core of the foundation of copyright is to bring balance between the benefits of individual creators and that of the culture.  In this sense, I believe the idea behind the initial British copyright in early 18th century was  righteous, as it restricted the protection period of copyright to 14 years after publishing.  But as we all know, the dynamics of capitalist economy allowed corporate to continuously expand this period until now (70 years after the death of the author).  This evolution might be justified in the pre-networked society, where physical costs of reproducing and distributing the works were critical.  But nowadays, in a networked world, the reality has been shifting drastically, since the communication cost of works is asymptotically diminishing to zero.  This is a disruptive change, and this is why we need to update the real world rules of copyright based on its initial philosophy.

M. It seems that understanding of concept and philosophy is important to share the idea of copyright and creative commons. Do you think education system also take an important role to build up the culture?

D. “Education” is also in its way of redefinition.  If you mean teaching in traditional education institutions such as universities, I think the education system needs to be updated to match the reality of the Internet.  The best way to understand the concept and philosophy of Creative Commons is to practice open contents publishing and sharing, just like the best way of learning computer science is to actually build software and sometime start up your own venture company to disseminate your application in the real world market.  Many questions arise from this point of view: who is eligible to teach such practice in universities? what sort of curriculum we could come up with?

M. The idea of Creative Commons would be a solution to a gap of development between the digital environment and the copyright? Or Creative Commons leads the economy to a totally different direction?

D. Creative Commons is a solution to mediate the clash between the old copyright system and the innovative force of the Internet. But I think it is also a social experiment that tries to fill the gap between many different boundaries: copyright-protected works and public domain, amateurs and professionals, private and public, market and non-market.  I believe what we are seeing today is a new type of economy that is flourishing form these bridged regions, and we need to pay sufficient attention and care in order to nurture them.

M. The culture and the economy seem resemble to each other. Like excessive government intervention with market impedes the healthy development of economy, it seems that excessive protection of right holders potentially impedes the healthy growth of the creative industry. From this perspective, how do you think about current regulation and law, in the world?

D. I think ‘governance’ is also in its own way of update.  For instance the open government initiatives led by the US and UK and followed by many other countries is one instance of this change that is happening.  In my opinion, governing a country has similar points to managing an online community; they both need to ‘design serendipity’ like Michael Nielsen says in his book “Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science” , or in other words, incorporate contingency (both positive and negative) into their management process.  And another important change is that governance is not a topdown action anymore, as the citizens can more and more directly reflect their thoughts and idea to the policy making processes.

M. When people talk about copyright, they tend to discuss about the monetary profit of the author. Like Richard Stallman mentioned, do you think we need to consider much more about the right of user in order for healthy development of the creative industry?

D. To give freedom to the user of works is not a charity, but a design.  Openly publishing works to allow users to freely recreate and redistribute is a form of communication between the author and the users.  Works are to be considered resources of communication, and as a result of this communication, both the author and users should benefit in some way or another; we should not place disproportionate weight on one side.

M. People tend to believe that creative commons would cause to lose the potential monetary profit. How do you encounter this kind of consideration?

D. Every time I hear this kind of opinion, I feel sad they only see a shallow aspect of what open licensing is about.  One just needs to take a look at the open source economy, mainly that of GNU/Linux operating system; why wouldn’t this be possible in the world of creative contents? Creative Commons does offer licenses that allow commercial use of the work, and it also enables creators to deploy a dual-licensing model (providing the work both for non-commercial use and commercial use under different conditions).

M. Interestingly, the music industry has recently experienced the growth of market though it is still possible to download the music illegally. Would this indicate that what impedes the growth of creative market is not piracy of copyright, but the system of distribution or the vested interests group?

D. I believe that P2P file sharing, despite the fact it’s legal or not, can contribute to the sale of contents, namely music works, in a long term.  For instance, a user can discover new musician without paying on illegal networks, and later buy a new album of the same artist on legal market.  However, I think detailed quantitative research needs to be developed in order to really understand the correlation between them.

M. As the advent of Spotify and Read Pettie, the concept of owning product seems to alter into that of reaching. How this tendency would effect on the copyright and the Creative Commons in the future?

D. I think there is a shift in what the users/customers are looking for: they don’t necessarily want to ‘own’ the work, but they are looking for ways to ‘access’ it conveniently.  We less and less download works, but more and more access them online.  There is a general tendency to shift to the ‘cloud’ and ‘mobile’ environment, and its inevitably changing the ways we remix and share works.  Regarding this matter, I produced an iOS app in 2009 that lets users stream and remix music fragments and post them online directly (

M. When Napster voluntarily shut down its service, users scattered to a variety of services that was decentralization of music service. This caused the music industry to take a long time to change its ecosystem until Spotify appeared.

Do you think centralizing people who would share the concept of Creative Commons is also important to encounter the current issues on copyright and develop the Creative Commons market?

D. Creative Commons is not about centralizing users to one place, it is designed so that works can be put out of any ‘walled garden’ and freely migrate to a multitude of different domains. Spotify and alike are about letting users access to music most conveniently, but I’m interested in how they will enable their own form of remix culture.  At the same time, I also think Creative Commons and other open licensing needs technological innovation to track the branching history of such remixes.

M. What is the key-point to disseminate the creative commons in the society?

D. I don’t think there is a magic solution, it’s a time-consuming process.  The idea of open contents can be spread out only by innovative application and real world examples that users can actually get interested in.  So the key point would be to promote the adoption of CC licenses to as many creators and developers as possible.

M. Please tell me your future vision and ideal about creative commons.

D. I think it’s just as important today to think about how would people use Creative Commons licensed works and provide actual interface, as to disseminate the concept of CC license.  This is why I’m personally more focused on building applications that let users express their creativity.



Inside the creativity

Written on March 12, 2013 by Vanessa Dezem Baida in News

“Being creative is a source of tremendous power and sense of well being”. This conception has an owner: Denise R. Jacobs.

She is an author, speaker, web design consultant, and an true creativity evangelist. Based in Miami, Florida, she is the author of The CSS Detective Guide. She also co-authored InterAct with Web Standards: A Holistic Approach to Web Design and the newly-released Smashing Book 3 1/3. Masaaki Hasegawa, IE´s student of Visual and Media Communication Program, has interviewed her.

Enjoy it!

Denise Jacobs

MH: How have you started to give workshops about creativity?

DJ: After I wrote my book, “The CSS Detective Guide”, I had realized I am the creative person that I wanted to be. I thought it is good, during the period of time that I wanted to be able to share that feeling with people. So, I started this workshop and started focusing on the creative process, because I wanted to start helping people converse more on their creativity and feel empowered about their creativity.


MH: Are you much more creative than others by nature?

DJ: I do not think I am intrinsically more creative. I think I have more focused on creativity than other people. Being creative is like a drug for me. It is like a feeling that you get rushed when you create something or bring something into the world. For me, I keep having that feeling and keep seeing what come through me into the world; what I can bring it to be in the world. So, I think everybody is creative, and all in different ways, everybody has a creative genius of some sort. Some people are more in touch with it than others. I am happy with helping people who are not in touch with it.


MH: Do you really think everybody can be creative?

DJ: I think everybody is already creative. If you really think about it, every act of living itself is intrinsically creative. Every day, you have a new set of experience that you haven’t happened before, and you interactive with people and say things that you didn’t say a day before, and in ways that you hadn’t said before. It makes you a new person. So, every moment you are actually creating your life. Some people are aware of that and make certain choices based on that, and some people are not aware of it that they may feel lives are being creative for them.


MH: Being aware of it is the most important thing to determine whether you are creative or not?

DJ: Being aware that you are creating every moment potentially helps you make different choices that have potentially different outcomes. Some people are being aware of and are more in charge of their life. Feeling a part of choices that they are making and realizing that they can affect the outcome of situations to the degree that they want are important.


MH: Some people insist that handwriting and hand drawing are important to enhance their creativity. Do you think digitalization prevents people from being creative?

DJ: I do not think so. For example, in my case, typing allows me to get different ideas from handwriting and using Photoshop and Illustrator lets me get different ideas from hand drawing or sketching. Thus, digitalization just has brought us different media to reach our creativity.


MH: In order to be creative, sometimes it is necessary to face your deep inside, which is scaring for some people. How they can overcome that first barrier?

DJ: One thing that is important to remember is that fear is actually a construction of your brain. It is not necessarily a real thing. It is usually an acting of your response, that you think it is going to happen in the future or something that happened in the past.  But, usually it does not have anything to do with what is happening in the present moment. Because of that, I think people can have the kind of perspective where they realize that it is something that their brains are doing. You can separate what your brain’s reactions to certain thought, and then therefore change the thought and change the brain’s reaction. It is very empowering that you can do a lot more because you know you actually control it. When you feel fear, there is actually a chemical and bioelectrical reaction that dumps in your creative and generative impulses. So, if it is getting on top of your fear, then you can create more.


MH: Do you think people will start concentrating on what they really like to do, using their creativity, in the future?

DJ: I think they will. There is definitely kind of a socially cultural shift that people come to different generation that they have a different set of goals, a set of how they want to live or structure their life, and a set of what is possible. I do think we are actually coming into a place for generation of new workers and people who are interested in entering and working in industries to start challenging those ideas, and who are starting to question why it has to be the way it has been. And, actually we are forging and creating a new path.


MH: Many people cannot find what they want or like to do. How can they find it?

DJ: I think they can start with small things, because that issue comes from habit of suppressing your likes and desires for a long, and they are even not in touch with it anymore. That is why they can start with small things such as what they like to eat or who are people that you want to be around you, really focus on it, and find how do you feel about it. Once you find it, try to think about how and what can keep that reinforcement: dopamine, and then increase the complexity as you go.


MH: Once they find it, how they can follow it?

DJ: In most of cases, it is very rare that somebody actually tries to keep you away from what you really want to do. There is nobody who grabs your close to stop you going your direction. So it is giving your self-permission and trusting that there would be something that you are suppose to experience. And life is not actually supposed to be hard or duties but to enjoy and follow your good feelings. Good feeling happens because you are trying to get more good feelings. Sometimes, people imagine something bad will happen if they follow what they like to do, but it is often the case that it ends up happening better things. You usually meet people who want to be around or get the job that you do want to do, because you are being who you really are instead of who you think you are supposed to be.


MH: Do not try to find permissions by others.

DJ: That is it. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that if I do the things that other people want me to do, then I will be more valued and get more love. The irony is more who you are more you are valued, and more love you get. If you are wearing a dog costume to be liked by others though you are a cat, take that dog costume off, and be a cat.


Internet for Social Change

Written on February 24, 2013 by Vanessa Dezem Baida in News

People connection and awareness for social change. That is one of the targets of, a web platform that empowers common people to make the difference and change things. Putting people with the same targets together, the platform has more than 25 million users in 196 countries. “We are a petition platform and our strong mission is to empower everyone to lead the change”, says Francisco Polo, founder and director of for Spain.

Follow bellow the interesting interview made by Masaaki Hasegawa, IE´s student at the Master in Visual Media Communication.

Francisco Polo,








MH: How did you start the ““?

FP: I have been an activist through my life. I joined the Red Cross when I was 16 years old, and I worked in a social field and an international development field. Then, I started to study law and, after that, International law, to become a diplomat because I was interested in human rights. In 2007, I had an opportunity to put my passion for social change in technology.

What happened was that Spain had manufactured cluster bomb that was prohibited by international laws. But, Spanish government insisted that they would like to have some exceptions to possess cluster bombs. That is why I started a public campaign to stop manufacturing cluster bombs and around 100 people sent me letters to join that campaign right after I commenced, and the campaign was introduced to the El Mundo and the El País. After 2 weeks I started campaign, a surprising thing happened: someone sent me e-mail with his signature to join the campaign and there was a link to the front page of El País, saying that Spanish Government agreed to ban manufacturing cluster bomb.

That was the first moment that we actually made the change and it was the first time that an individual campaign succeeded to convince government and to provoke a big change. I realized that anyone could lead this campaign, and that the most important things are setting a clear message, knowing a proper person to address to make a change, and providing tools to others to join the campaign. That is why I was determined to build a platform, in which everyone can join, to empower people.


MH: So you think everyone has a potential to make a change?

FP: Yes, if you give right tools, and show it in the right way, they can make a change by themselves.


MH: When you started, did you already have an abundant knowledge of programming to build a platform?

No, I did not have it. It took seven months for preparation and I got a lot of interviews with a lot of potential clients, users, and stakeholders. Finally, I found one of the top 3 user experience designers, and he became the person who was in charge of building a web-page and he also invited a web-developer to built the platform.


MH: What was the biggest challenge you experienced then? How did you convince people to join your campaign and company?

FP: First, you do not have to convince people to join your campaign. You can start with your own petition by yourself and just tell it to others. As long as it is an effective and appropriate campaign, people would join it. So, the only difficulty at that time was how to create a good campaign. How to establish the appropriate title, to choose the photos, and to explain in a way that makes people empowered to sign your campaign are significant factors to develop it. Narrative is also a very important part of campaign. Then, we made a platform well integrated with social media that people can make their own petition quickly and share it on the social network, such as Facebook and Twitter. What I focused on is to leverage the power of social network to spread their petition effectively.


MH: So, the usage of other social networks plays an important role in your service?

FP: Yes. We have not tried to make a social network, but a tool for people to make a change. The Internet is not the only tool to spread your idea, but one of the tools. We would like to use all options that surround us. For example, we are often working with newspapers and magazines and welcome to use those media in order to support petition creators.


MH: What do you mean by empowering people?

FP: First, creating the tool that people can use.  Second, giving advices to petition creators what is their next step. And, supporting them with press coverage. Thus, we have made a simple platform that people just need to fulfill information to start their petition and we sometime introduce petition craters to media to have an interview to be published. We support people in that way.


MH:  I had imagined that your platform was only for petitions, but it actually has a feature to connect with people. How is the function to create a community on your platform important?

FP: Actually, at the beginning, was a social network that people could connect with each other for non-profit purpose and did not have a function of petition. In 2011, we added the function for doing petition, and made the as a petition platform. So having a feature of social network is kind of a part of our legacy, but we do not recognize our service as the social network, but as the petition platform.


MH: How do you characterize your platform? What is it different from other platforms, like Facebook?

FP: Comparing with Facebook, our platform is very similar to it, and at the same time, is very different from it. As for similarity, both are open platform that everyone can join and share certain information. Big difference is its purpose. For example, Facebook’s main purpose it to connect with your friends and people you know, but our strong mission is to empower everyone to win the change, and to promote information to make a change locally and globally.


MH: How has this platform attracted people?

FP: The most important attractiveness is an inner energy that is made by petition creators. Each petition creator is a totally unique and this characteristic attracts people. So the more people make petitions, the more people would be attracted. From the technical part, combination of petition platform with social network and email has a synergy effect. We regularly provide users with new petitions uploaded on, and users can share the favorite petition on the social network. So sharing is one of key factor to get more people join.


MH: Your organization has now branches in many countries, how do you decide  which countries you would like to expand your business? 

FP: It is very simple. We choose the culture or country where seems to have a high potential and a low law entry barrier. As for economically emerging countries we have offices in Mexico, Argentine and Brazil. But as for China, we currently do not have an office because it is not democratic country and so it is hard for us to have an office there. In fact, we had some campaigns targeting Chinese government but those could not gain expected reactions. Also, we are very interested in Arabic countries to expand our services. Actually, we have tried to launch our service there but we could not find a campaign director who has the knowledge of technical skills, or creativity and energy to start campaigns.




Chris Guillebeau: live your life by your own rules

Written on December 20, 2012 by Vanessa Dezem Baida in News

Chris Guillebeau, 34 years old, was born in Virginia, US. Best known for his popular blog, The Art of Non-Conformity, he uses the digital media to fly the flag of freedom: according to him people must live their life by their own rules using a “non-conformist” lifestyle.  In the blog, he discusses entrepreneurship, travel, and personal development topics. His traffic grew substantially after the release of a manifesto, A Brief Guide to World Domination, in 2008.

Guillebeau is also author of books and guides for travel and small business topics under the brand Unconventional Guides. His mission is to visit every country in the world by the time he is 35.

About one of his travels and adventures, he says: “I served as a volunteer executive for a medical charity in West Africa from 2002-2006. It was thrilling, challenging, and exhausting—all good qualities to have in an adventure. I gave keynote speeches to presidents, hung out with warlords, and learned far more in those four years than anything I learned in college”.

Masaaki Hasegawa, student of the Master in Visual Media Communication of IE, has interviewed Guillebeau. “Unlike people in the past, he is not stuck in the one location and one society. He traveled around the world. He generates value on his lifestyle and, through the blog, he gives valuable information and tells people about the life-style design. This is definitely new way of communication with society, both from the view point of commercial and individual perspective”, says Masaaki.


Find bellow the interesting interview.

M. Where are you originally from?

A.  I was born in Virginia (USA) and grew up in many different places. My hometown is now Portland, Oregon (USA) where I live about half the time and travel internationally for the other half.

M. Why do you travel? Many people hesitate to go to unfamiliar countries and places because of the fear of getting involved into some troubles.

A. I love the sense of being in motion and of going between worlds. I’m writing these answers on a flight from Hong Kong to London. Upon arrival, I’ll be continuing down to Guinea Bissau in West Africa. It’s a long journey but it all feels very normal. About the trouble, well, you can get into trouble anywhere, right? But, this concern shouldn’t keep you from crossing the street or crossing the world.

M. Could you imagine your current life before you went to West Africa? It seems that it would be difficult to depict the future that is traveling around the world and managing business, regardless of location, without current technology.

A. No, not at all – but I don’t think it’s technology that has made all the difference. Technology certainly helps, but I’ve been online since 1992 and have been working for myself since 1999. The greater change, I think, came from understanding more about the world and the possibilities that are available to many of us as we seek to engage with people.

After my time in West Africa came to an end in 2006, I came to Seattle for a graduate program in International Studies at the University of Washington. I enjoyed my studies, but I enjoyed travel even more – during every break between quarters, I traveled independently to countries like Burma, Uganda, Jordan, Macedonia, and 20 more.

M. You intentionally realized your current life-style with specific purpose and defined target or you just have been following your intuition?

A. Perhaps a bit of both. As you work toward a goal, a couple of things tend to happen. First, you often find you can achieve the goal quicker than initially expected. Then you often feel challenged to set higher and more challenging goals as you gain confidence. So, in my case it was first about stepping forward, saying to anyone who cared, “Hey, I’m doing this thing” and then learning to take more risks as I went along.

M. How did you come up with your life-style? Was there a certain moment you decided not to work as people next to you? Most people have no doubt about the common sense in the society and just to try to find the correct answer from options they have.

A. I was initially motivated by a sheer desire for freedom. I wanted to do something on my own, whatever it turned out to be. Later on I became more interested in questions of purpose and contribution—what will I create and leave behind? What kind of legacy project can I pursue?

Q. What was the first step to realize your life-style and how did you prepare for it? Because a lot of people, who dream to be free and start their own business, often end up being stuck to their business and losing their time to meet with people and to travel around the world. How do you overcome this dilemma?

A. Indeed, a lot of people end up creating a job instead of creating a business. That’s why it’s important to a) create the right kind of business, and b) continually reassess as you go along.

M. What are your criteria to choose business that you would be able to manage while traveling?

A. It greatly helps to have a business that is more dependent on specific deliverables than time commitments. It’s also much easier if your business is inherently dependent on skills instead of location—if your goal is to run the business while traveling, you probably don’t want a fixed retail location.

M. Please tell me about your path of self-promotion. What is the most important media for you?

A. By far the most important media are my own readers. More than any other form of coverage, the efforts of my readers are what ensure the project is widely-read and sustainable. If forced to choose, I’d gladly give up all traditional media coverage forever and continue to build worldwide relationships.

M. There are so many people who are working as nomad-worker, but not all of them can publish books or be famous. What is the biggest difference to make your life valuable to be paid attention by people?

A. Well, I think you allude to it in the second part of the question: the work itself has to be somewhat valuable. No one gets paid merely to roam the world and “be themselves.” They have to create something useful and helpful. If you do that and can find a way to package it in a way that meets people’s needs, that’s when you can be successful from a commercial perspective.

M. Based on your experience, what is the difference between people who can achieve their original goal and people who cannot achieve their goal?

A. The biggest difference is that those who succeed are able to overcome the roadblocks of getting started. Most people have dreams and aspirations, but not everyone translates those vague ideas into specific tasks. Execution is everything.

M. What is the definition of success and definition of freedom for you?

A. As for me, I try to live a life of gratitude and adventure.  My hope and intention is to create work that people find meaningful, motivating, or useful. I want to continuously improve in this regard and to learn more about the world along the way.


IE Wishes: Show us your talent and win a prize!

Written on November 13, 2012 by Carlos Palmero in News

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