In the grander scheme of things, we might at times feel insignificant and yet if we look closer little things are so important. The grumpy person on the metro or the friendly smile in the line at the bakery can significantly influence our mood and therefore our day. Our reaction to the next person we meet and whether we are annoyed or react with kindness and a smile might then influence their subsequent interaction and so on. Making use of the butterfly effect and spreading kindness playfully is a mission “the good cards” has set out to achieve. Corey Harnish, CEO of Better World International, and one of the co-founders of The Good Cards project has made the time to answer our question. Learn more about the good cards and how to change the world one card and one act of kindness at a time.
Our interview with Corey Harnish about The Good Cards project.
What is The Good Cards?
C.H. – The Good Cards has been described as the Pokemon Go for doing good! The Good Cards is a digital platform and mobile app that motivates and empowers people to perform real-life acts of kindness and good deeds in a fun and meaningful way.
Who are you; what is Better World International?
C.H. – Better World International is a tech non-profit that combines a vision of a better world with technology-driven solutions for social change.
We are bridging the sciences of Positive Psychology, Play, and Gamification to develop a series of real-life games that will encourage a global trend of doing good while empowering people to take small, positive actions and see their impact in real time.
How does The Good Cards work?
C.H. – The Good Cards uses a physical card and a mobile app to engage people in performing acts of kindness – in a way that is easy and fun!
- You start with a physical Good Card.
- Scan it in The Good Cards app.
- You receive a mission to do something good for someone else and share the story about your mission.
- Pass your Good Card on to the next person.
- Get notified of your ripple effect of kindness!
As your Good Card travels from person to person around the globe, you can track it in your Good Card app and get notified of the ripple effect of the kindness and good deeds you’ve inspired around the world. Right now, The Good Cards is in its early stage, and missions are focused on acts of kindness to ourselves, our social circle, as well as anonymous good deeds.
As it continues to grow and develop it will expand beyond just acts of kindness.
There will be missions focused on Sustainable Development Goals and social impact at large. Over time, we will incorporate a model for corporations to easily engage employees and consumers in their Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives.
C.H. – Dreamers are those people who want to make a difference in this world and most likely are taking action to make it happen.
What are Dreamers?
C.H. – Dreamers are those people who want to make a difference in this world and most likely are taking action to make it happen. Our tribe is a community of Dreamers who are active in doing good deeds.
We’ve learned that a lot of Dreamers want to do good but either doesn’t know what to do, or they lose motivation for doing good because they don’t believe their small actions have an impact.
So how do you cater to their needs?
C.H. – We’ve created a FUN and meaningful experience to solve these concerns. With The Good Cards, Dreamers can get guidance in doing good deeds while seeing the ripple effect of kindness their actions literally make on others.
Do you think you can transform any person to become a Dreamer?
C.H. – We believe anyone can become a Dreamer if they personally experience the positive impact of doing good to others. Positive psychologists have proven that altruism and giving have as strong of an impact on the giver as they do on the recipient of kindness.
Our goal is to empower people to feel the power of kindness individually because then they will experience transformation on their own, and thus make the world a kinder, happier place.
Why did you start the project?
C.H. – The Good Cards was created to inspire more people to be kind to one another where they have fun at the same time. A way to make kindness an experience people actually want to participate in where they personally benefit while making a tangible difference in someone else’s life.
Why are kindness, love and happiness important, and why gamify it?
C.H. – In Today’s world with the political climate, the amount of negativity, and divide across cultures, people have lost faith in humanity. Something needs to be done to change this. In my opinion, the way to do so is to “kill them with kindness.” Rather than fighting back or criticizing others for their wrongdoing, we believe the answer is to give people what they need – kindness, love, and happiness.
These are so important because when we experience kindness, love, or happiness, we want to share it with others. When we look at the research by Positive Psychologists, we see a tremendous social benefit to people and communities when these emotions are common.
But does kindness need to be cool and trendy?
C.H. – For us, there was no other way than to make doing good fun and meaningful. The intention behind “gamifying” kindness is to create a space and framework that motivates and empowers people to do good. By doing this, kindness becomes a fun experience to share with others, and something people might be inspired to join and be a part of. Now when you do a good deed, you literally watch as your Good Card travels the world creating a ripple effect of kindness.
What were your inspirations?
C.H. – Our inspiration comes from current and previous leaders for social good. We’re inspired by historical figures like Gandi and Martin Luther King, as well as current social leaders, like Leonardo DiCaprio or Elon Musk, who are leading environmental movements.
What is the role of “paying it forward”?
C.H. – “Pay it Forward” is foundational to what we do as it illustrates the inspiration for action. The idea is that my action will inspire the next person to continue the ripple effect and spread kindness to another person. When we experience kindness first hand, as a recipient, it motivates us to spread the positivity to others.
What are the success stories?
C.H. – The success stories range from self-care days were people FINALLY are taking time to treat themselves, to fundraising 1000 EUROS to give holiday gifts to a Polish family, to thoughtful anonymous care packages to friends and family.
And what is the global impact up till now?
For us, it is important to recognise each act of kindness rather than get caught up in the global impact, as the global impact will happen from the chain reaction of smaller individual actions. When you focus your attention on the individual lives, you touch you begin to truly see and feel the real impact.
Do you think you have created a “chain reaction of good”?
C.H. – In less than a year, Good Cards have touched lives in 33 countries; and it’s only the beginning, as the project grows and develops it will continue to expand.
What is your envisioned role of (large) companies and brands?
C.H. – We envision a time when corporations join in the activity. Using our project as a Happiness-as-a-ServiceTM (HaaSTM) platform where they can easily engage their customers and employees in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Research significantly shows that Millennials, Y & Z Generations buy specifically from brands that are socially responsible and actually participate in giving back to the community.
We are developing a new and innovative platform where corporations can increase their social impact, and communicate their social responsibility efforts to consumers in a fun way.
How can someone join; how do you get a card or The Good Box?
C.H. – Right now you can join in the action by grabbing a Good Card from our website. The Good Box was a special part of our Kickstarter campaign, and currently, they aren’t available, however, if you are interested to let us know!
What’s more exciting is in April 2018 we are going to be putting on a program for Good Deed’s Day where, as a community, we will collectively do good deeds and pass Good Cards through acts of kindness. To get involved click on over to Good Deed’s.
What is your ultimate goal?
C.H. – The ultimate goal is to create a movement where people all over the world are active in doing good deeds, performing acts of kindness, and helping others in need.
Can your game actually “build and restore faith in humanity and society?”
C.H. – Since The Good Cards is still in its first version, it doesn’t have the ability to ‘restore faith in humanity,’ just yet. However, as we continuously develop the platform, it will have the capacity to make a large scale impact. Just think about some of these big brands like Coca-Cola, Nike, or Pokemon Go, and the millions and millions of people all over the world who have interacted with them.
We envision a day when our platform grows this large and millions of people join us in doing good; restoring faith in humanity. Once something like this happens, yes we believe it will ‘play’ a big role in restoring faith in humanity and society.
Please reflect on this quote by Steve Jobs: “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
C.H. – That quote speaks to what we Dreamers are doing here at Better World International. But wait, changing the world is so big and daunting of a task, you must ACTUALLY be crazy if you think you can change the world, right?! Yet, think about the motivation of these ‘crazy’ people, how driven and dedicated they must be because they BELIEVE in themselves, they BELIEVE in their own mission, and they BELIEVE they can accomplish it.
If you’re crazy enough to think you CAN do it… well I bet you actually WILL.
We have the chance to make a difference in this world, and we’re gonna take that chance. Are you with us?
Photo by Evan Kirby