Now Featured at
HopeLab on Twitter: Near Wins, And Not Quites: How Almost Winning Can Be Motivating Follow
Janxin Leu

Resilience and Renewed Purpose: Reflections from the MLOVE ConFestival

August 9, 2013

By Janxin Leu, Director of Product Innovation

I recently spoke at the 2013 MLOVE ConFestival, a celebration of mobile tech and its potential to inspire us. The event is something like a TED – Burning Man mash-up.  Even better, this particular event took place in a castle, tucked away in a German village.  Needless to say, it was an adventure.

So, why was I there? My colleague Fred and I were invited to share HopeLab’s resilience initiative with the MLOVE community.  I was going to present key empirical findings illustrating how three psychological experiences (purpose, connection, and control) can help us all bounce back from adversity.  I had a million questions heading into the event: Could I move technologists to join us in a mission to use mobile technology to help people thrive? Could I be authentic? Would I belong there?

Before joining HopeLab this year, I was a professor of psychology at the University of Washington, running my own research lab with graduate students, giving talks to scientists, and teaching undergraduates.  Fast forward a few months, and I’m on stage before a few hundred developers, designers, and thought leaders in the tech world. I felt unsure in this new role, even though I’ve given hundreds of lectures in the past.

Then right before my presentation – the opening keynote, no less – fellow speaker Jonathan MacDonald stepped on the stage to set the tone for the gathering.  He spoke of his experiences as a black boy growing up in England in the ’70s.  Of being adopted and severely bullied.  He also spoke of his rise.  From finding allies after being stabbed with a barbeque fork and losing consciousness.  To building a successful business in the music industry despite the odds, losing that business to a corrupt partner – and building it again.  The mandate Jonathan delivered to all of us present shot straight to my heart:

Keep your eyes on the main thing in your life, and keep the main thing, the main thing.

Fred and I both had tears in our eyes when Jonathan left the stage.  And that is when I felt a jolt of energy. I experienced a renewed sense of purpose for what I wanted to communicate to this community – my main thing:

I love science. I believe science can change the world and reduce human suffering.  And I love proselytizing the empirical word.

In that moment before stepping onstage, I found myself again.  And then I gave one of the most memorable talks of my life.

Yelena Kozlova

Cancer Survivors Talk Re-Mission 2 at OMG 2013 Summit

May 10, 2013

OMG, what a ride! We took Re-Mission 2 on the road to Las Vegas and got our game on, Stupid Cancer style. HopeLab was a sponsor of the OMG 2013 Stupid Cancer Summit, and it was great fun sharing the games with the more than 550 young adult cancer survivors who participated.

Watch this clip to see what OMG 2013 attendees had to say about Re-Mission 2:

As you can see, people at the event were courageous and open, ready to connect and share their thoughts on Re-Mission 2 and their experiences fighting cancer.  For me, listening to their stories was a powerful reminder of the preciousness of life and human resilience. And it was rewarding to hear folks say over and over again: “I wish I had these games when I was going through my treatment!”

Some people we met were new to the Re-Mission games concept, but many members of the Stupid Cancer community were no strangers to the original Re-Mission game released by HopeLab in 2006. My colleagues also got to re-connect with some of the young adults who helped create theRe-Mission 2 games while they undergoing cancer treatment.  There was a lot of conversation and gameplay as people had fun catching up!

The OMG 2013 Stupid Cancer Summit was one of the most meaningful conferences that I’ve ever experienced. Special thanks to the founder of Stupid Cancer, Matthew Zachary, and his team for creating such a personal, real, joyful and life-inspiring experience for all of us fortunate enough to be involved.

The event both inspired us in our work to get Re-Mission 2 to young people fighting cancer and served as a powerful reminder for all of us to appreciate life and to get busy living!


Wisdom 2.0 Youth

August 26, 2011

Wisdom 2.0 YouthTeens love tech. That’s not news. But the growing role of tech in the lives of teens does present great opportunities – and enormous challenges. The upcoming Wisdom 2.0 Youth conference asks, “How do we support the ‘inner technologies’ of mindfulness and wisdom in young people amidst an increasingly technology-rich age?”

We ask a similar question in our work here at HopeLab: “How might we promote positive, healthy behavior in young people by tapping into the power and appeal of technology?” So it’s no surprise we’re looking forward to Wisdom 2.0 Youth. There’s bound to be some thought-provoking conversation, as tech developers, parents, mindfulness practitioners and teens gather to share their experiences and insights.

HopeLab will be there – our experience at last year’s Wisdom 2.0 event continues to inspire us – along with Zamzee. We’ll even have a special opportunity for conference-goers to engage with our JOY Campaign.

Scheduled speakers include Meng Tan (Jolly Good Fellow, Google); Daniel Siegel (Co-Director, Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA); Pat Christen, (CEO, HopeLab); Susan Kaiser Greenland (Author, The Mindful Child); Eric Schiermeyer (Co-founder of Zynga, creator of CityVille and FarmVille); Michelle Gale (Learning and Development, Twitter); Jonathan Attwood (CEO, Zamzee); and many others.

Intrigued? Check out for more information and to register. If you attend, look for us and say hello – we’d love to see you there!

Catch Us if You Can!

September 17, 2010

With conference season in full swing, HopeLabbers are out in force talking everything from Re-Mission to Zamzee. Below is a list of upcoming conferences that we will be attending.


When & Where: September 22-13, 2010. Santa Clara, CA.
The Scene: app developers, toy and technology creators, virtual good managers
Representin’ HopeLab: Lance

e-Patient Connections 2010

When & Where: September 27-September 29, 2010. Philadelphia, PE.
The Scene: doctors without their white jackets, public health and life science experts
Representin’ HopeLab: Ellen! She will be speaking in the Serious Health Games pre-conference session on 9/27 with Ben Sawyer.


When & Where: October 4-6, 2010. San Francisco, CA.
The Scene: impact investors, social entrepreneurs, and innovators
Representin’ HopeLab: Lance, Ellen, & Richard (who will be on the Behavior Change: The Power of Mobile to Transform Our Actions panel)

Health 2.0

When & Where: October 7-8, 2010. San Fransisco, CA.
The Scene: leaders in: health care, technology innovation, and government and finance
Representin’ HopeLab: Lance, Ellen, Richard (who will be on the Behavior Change, Health 2.0, and the unmentionables panel)

Play On 2010

When & Where: October 12-13, 2010. New York, NY.
The Scene: teachers, coaches, and community advocates
Representin’ HopeLab: Richard, Liz, Ellen

A Playdate with HopeLab!

September 2, 2010

Catch us if you can – at the Play On Conference in New York City! Play On brings together innovative groups and organizations specifically dedicated to helping kids develop healthy living habits through education, fun, and play. As an event sponsor, we’ll be there to present our work (and play!), and we want to invite you to join us.

We are offering three scholarships equivalent to one full registration fee + dinner. Simply fill out this short online form. Applications will be received until September 15,  the winners will be announced the week of September 21, 2010.

Play On 2010 will be held October 12 – 13 at Lerner Hall at Columbia University and is sponsored by Playworks, a national nonprofit, transforming recess from potential playground bulling to positive, healthy activities by sending their fully trained coaches to low-income schools to help promote organized play during recess.

Hope to see you there!

Highlights from YPulse 2010

June 10, 2010

Recently at YPulse Youth Marketing Mashup 2010 , hundreds of youth marketers, influencers, and researchers gathered at the Nikko Hotel in San Francisco to discuss, learn, and share strategies and information on how to market to youth with technology. Representatives from Disney , Vitamin Water , and The North Face were among the many different panelists and presenters.

Liz Song and I both spent two days in San Francisco listening to companies’ efforts to market to tweens (kids between ages 11-14) – our target audience for Zamzee . Many of the findings the companies shared involved customer engagement methodologies that we currently pursue (eg. qualitative data gathering, focus groups, ethnographic research, etc).

Here are three examples of inspiring marketing case studies that are worth highlighting, with reflections from me (MV) and Liz (LS):

Read More »