Season 2 – Episode 08

The State of Wonder 2018


Artwork by Ionut Caras

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This season on the podcast, we explored the idea of designing our lives and work for more curiosity, more purpose, more openness… More WONDER. We went behind-the-scenes of wonder-making in films, video games and art exhibitions and studied experience architecture in our families and our brand communities.

But have you ever wondered how Jeffrey and his team design the podcast itself or the business of Tracking Wonder as a whole?

Today, Tracking Wonder team members Jeffrey Davis, Erin Haworth, Britt Bravo and Laine Nickl pull back the curtain on their own work. Jeffrey reveals how he conceived of the idea for the business, discussing the watershed moments that led to his commitment to be a wonder tracker in his own life. They go on to share their top takeaways from this season of the podcast and the nuts and bolts of putting together an episode. Jeffrey walks us through his role in developing the premise, Erin offers insight around the necessary systems and Laine describes the evolution of the imagery that complements the podcast episodes.

Jeffrey also explains the need for wonder in the current moment of divisiveness, advocating for businesses to raise their expectations and bring diverse people together in a culture of openness. Finally, they address the idea of working well and breaking better, developing a strong work ethos in conjunction with a strong wonder ethos. Listen in as Britt shares the power of Tracking Wonder’s Brand Artistry Labs program and learn about the organization’s other offerings, including Quest 2019, the Tracking Wonder journal and the upcoming 1440 Multiversity Wonder Interventions Course.

Key Takeaways

[2:17] The origins of Tracking Wonder

  • Book research led to focus on wonder and surprise
  • Baudelaire & Maslow’s concepts of genius, peak experience
  • Launch consultancy around productivity + meaning

[6:20] Jeffrey’s watershed moments

  • Lightning storm caused fire that destroyed home
  • Commitment to practices of tracking wonder

[11:07] Jeffrey’s small moments of derailment

  • Ongoing questions (wonder involves unknowing)
  • Uncertainty of how ideas would resonate w/ public

[13:22] How Jeffrey’s daughters inform his business

  • Teach nuances of wonder, human consciousness
  • Deepen appreciation for complexity of wonder
  • Natural makers of worlds, engaged w/ surroundings

[16:27] The team’s key takeaways from this season

  • Scope of behind-the-scenes struggle
  • Motivated to withstand by love for work

[20:23] Jeffrey’s role in creating a podcast episode

  • Development of theme and gather guests
  • Entry point for reflections (hours to record)

[23:28] Erin’s insight on the podcast systems, team

  • Remote team in five different time zones
  • Requires transparency, flexibility and communication

[26:10] The design experience of Tracking Wonder

  • Artist in residence concept for Season 2
  • Abstract images pique interest on social

[27:46] The need for wonder in this moment in time

  • Digital era creates problem of isolation
  • Add rise of authoritarianism, divisiveness
  • Wonder dissolves biases, creates openness

[33:25] How Brand Artistry Labs brings people together

  • See impact of transformative work firsthand
  • Propels forward to advance skills, plan

[37:46] The Tracking Wonder Quest Experience

  • Envision next best year w/ wonder and meaning
  • Exceeded expectations, created global community

[43:03] The benefits of Tracking Wonder’s ArtMark

  • Develop foundation of brand story
  • Small groups to bounce ideas off of

[46:08] The new Wonder Interventions tool

  • Seven practices to integrate wonder into days
  • TW Journal + 1440 Multiversity Course

Caras Ionut

Caras Ionut was born in Romania in the late 70s and is currently devoted to photography. Ionut loves the things that happen around so he always has a camera to capture moments, and then turn them into dreams and positive images of what he wants. We leave you to judge for yourself and be surprised with this wonderful work.

Are you a Wonder Designer?

We’re inviting you to share with our community of listeners how you are a wonder designer this season.

​​​​​​​It’s easy and takes just 3 minutes of your time:

In 15-30 seconds or less, state your name, where you live, and your url if you wish, and state in 1-3 sentences one way you are a Wonder Designer.
Make it personal and personable. Not a pitch. Not a teaching.

For example, “Hi, Jeffrey and Tracking Wonder. My name is Abigail Madley. I live in Towanka, Washington, and you can find me online at One way I am a wonder designer is by shaping educational experiences for elders that bring them more joy and happiness in assisted living.”
“I am a wonder designer because everyday I am fostering more connection with strangers in the city where I live.”
“I am a wonder designer because I am encouraging more open listening at the startup where I work.”
“One way I am a wonder designer these days is by having my three children sing for their breakfast. It makes a hectic morning pretty funny.”​​​​​​​
​​​​​​​Listen back to your submission, and when you are happy with it, click send!

​​​​​​​Your response could end up on the Tracking Wonder Podcast this season.

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Each week brings you in-depth conversations with leaders, stories from change-makers, and provocative ideas from artists and scientists – all designed to inspire you to shape your best work with more possibility, impact, and – yes – wonder.