In its ten-year strategy, Greenpeace had set out to change mindsets as a major leverage point. However, mindsets quickly turned out to be complex components: hard to define and even harder to influence. Mindworks developed a methodology to define mindsets by six key components or Mindset Factors. Applying this new method to our work on climate change, we soon discovered that our assumption that climate was an unemotional issue was utterly wrong. Given this, we created The Inconvenient Mind, a platform around how to communicate and campaign on climate change, acknowledging that our beliefs about the climate crisis were deeply rooted in emotions of fear and guilt. New forms of engagement grew from this platform. We created conversations rather than broadcasting, workshops we called “Feel, think act” that helped people connect to their feelings on the issue, empathise with those of others and from there develop new forms of engagement.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the unending crises that the world was facing were the sparks for our next deep dive research platform- – how does the mind work during a crisis? After a full year of analysis and learning, we published The Disrupted Mind series. This timely paper demonstrated how the mind works during a crisis and gave changemakers the tools to navigate and effectively create positive change during a crisis. Since then we have been fascinated by the idea of helping campaign teams and changemakers not only to navigate crises but also utilize them to rapidly create mindset changes to create deeper political and societal change.
Since its early beginnings, Mindworks has worked closely with campaign teams and changemakers in and out of Greenpeace to help them implement these insights into on-the-ground projects.
As demand was growing, we witnessed the potential of our work, especially beyond Greenpeace and in 2022 we decided to create an independent NGO: Mindworks Lab, based in Hong Kong to be able to support more and more organisations and changemakers, especially in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Design activist – Design Research
Story: A designer and a networker, Adam is driven by his entrepreneurial spirit, agency and belief that meaningful connections create new opportunities. His well-honed self-awareness and quiet confidence are grounded in his warm character, humour and humility. From discovering the diversity of Indonesia’s island cultures to working at the Presidential palace, his professional journey has been marked by diving in head first, a passion for change and a curious mind. This curious mind took him to Mindworks, an opportunity to not only apply design principles to wicked problems but to also embark on a personal journey to be part of the solution. At heart, he is a designer and a firm believer in the need to shift the mindset of the design world – that great design should not be for corporate profit but for the good of people, society and the environment.
Communications wordsmith – Communications and engagement
Story: A communication strategist with an infectious optimistic energy, which drives his surroundings to be more positive in finding ways to solve problems that matter. He grew as an activist as he embarked on a 10-year-long journey with Greenpeace, where he travelled to various countries to plan and execute campaigns. Instead of getting bored with it, he seeks to innovate and do things differently, that’s why he joined Mindworks. Beyond Mindworks, Robin is a creative genius that creates and produces music as one of the mediums to express his fascination with cultures. He has an aspiration to speak more languages as it unlocks the ability to connect with people from diverse cultures. For him, career growth is not always about benefits and leading teams, but more about fulfilment in being exposed to evolving challenges to be part of the change when the world desperately needs it. Robin believes that driving change is not only through his communication and engagement skills in crafting campaigns, but also through creating art and music to voice out important messages to society.
Lead, and the one who gave birth to Mindworks
Story: An innovator, visionary, strategist and futurist, Stefan is the advocate for the avant-garde in the team. A biological sciences graduate by qualification and years of successful campaign leadership across Europe, India and East Asia, made him realise the necessity and urgency of understanding and applying cognitive and social science in creating long-lasting impact. Like many other garage projects he is known for, which have taken their own wings, since the early days of his career, Mindworks was one such radical idea that emerged in his curious and brilliant mind. Under his leadership, there is not a moment of complacency as he is constantly breaking the mould and thinking months and years ahead into the future. Calm and empathetic by nature he not only sticks to his principles of fairness and equality within the team but also strives for ensuring equal opportunities and equal access to resources while working with the external world. He is passionate about finding new and effective ways to address the challenges of climate, justice and social fragmentation through innovative ideas backed by diligent research. All you need is a simple half an hour of random conversation with him, on a range of topics from politics to sports, to blow your mind.
The first of her name and mother of aquatic turtles, Sophia helps run the headquarters of Mindworks effectively from Taipei. A hard worker with old-school values, she has pivoted her career a couple of times, working in start-ups, as a social worker and as an educator. She spent several years working with marginalised communities in the US as a therapist and brings a sense of humility to everything she does. Every day she aspires to be her authentic self, work with bright motivated people and unlearn more of her perfectionist tendencies. Although part-time, she’s excited to walk into work every day, because she believes we walk the talk and make her think outside the box. If she’s ever in your city, you will see her walking alone without the help of a phone for hours and hours and chomping down on salads.
Learn more about Mindworks Lab’s work with external partners here.