Even though the virtual world is built upon connectivity, it still became a huge space where toxicity thrives. In such a multi-layered platform where so much is happening all at once, wellness is one key factor that must never be lost. Jennifer Capo shares with Halle Eavelyn about her work as a story architect and Web3 consultant who puts mental health and empowerment into the massive world of the metavese. She explains how women should use their stories to let their voices be heard and the power of deep internal work to face the realities of life. Jennifer also discusses how corporate bodies will hugely benefit from integrating wellness into their projects and events, bringing another layer to the emerging tech space.
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Making Wellness A Must In Everything With Jennifer Capo
I am here with my guest, Jennifer Capo. She is a story architect and a Web3 consultant. If you don’t know what those two things are, get ready because she’s awesome.
Jennifer, thanks for being here.
This is such a great surprise. I’m so happy to be having this conversation with you because it completely aligns with my whole work. Let’s get into it.
I would love for you to share with our readers what drew you to Web3. What’s your background and how did you develop to where you are now?
I was in that first tech wave in San Francisco. I was with a lot of startups. I started back in 2012. I went through that first wave when it was like Silicon Valley superstars everywhere and Uber was coming up with all these other companies like user and product design. It was so full of energy. There was so much promise and opportunity that I got excited about that space.
As time went by, it died down and we started to see less people moving into venture-backed tech companies. I moved into a different area as well. I moved away from it and moved back to LA story worlds and wellness. Web3 came in. Web3 is this emerging tech with different virtual technologies. It’s a whole other thing. I got super excited because I was like, “This is about culture and community, and all of these things are resonating. I am going all in.” I went on a massive learning adventure for a few years. That’s the basic of it. The winds came, and I jumped on the tails of it.
That sounds fun. You touched on wellness, but that’s part of your journey as well. You also talked about LA. Do you have a background as a writer at the same time?
Yes, I am a writer. I’ve done correspondence with CNN for the Dakota Pipeline over in Standing Rock. I went as a media person to represent them and the veterans. I’ve done various things like this. I always have a full-time gig and a side full-time gig, but I’m a story caster. I go where I see something important happening and capture the human element of it. As a writer and journalist, it’s woven in me. I can’t help myself but pick up and go. Even if I have a full-time job going, I will still do both at the same time. Writing and film production is a part of it. Story worlds and the narrative is important.
You called yourself a story caster. Is that a thing? I think it needs to be. That’s a great moniker. I love that.
I hold and host events where I create a platform for curated stories. Stories are not just words. They can be music or movement. As you and I have talked about, we’re all made up of all these different stories and that makes all reality. When somebody can start to pick and piece together some important lessons, messages, and stories that they can bring to the table, which is their businesses, who they are, and all the important lessons they’ve learned.
[bctt tweet=”Stories are not only words. They can also be music and movement. We all carry stories, and they make our reality.” via=”no”]
I like to create a platform, give people a framework, put them on stage, and have them share their stories through their modalities, either words, music, or movement. All of those things are part of it. I cast stories. I find people that have these incredible stories and try to give them a spotlight. That’s an important part of something I do.
As we’re talking about stories, we have a legacy of stories. It’s the thing that makes us human to connect through our stories. There have been oral histories as well as written histories. I’ve been reading a fascinating book called The Boleyn Heresy about Anne Boleyn. It’s by Kathleen McGowan, a fellow redhead and soul sister. She’s remarkable.
The Boleyn Heresy talks about the fact that Anne Boleyn probably was neither a gold digger nor a womanizer. Instead, she had been inducted into this very ancient mystery school that was all women that passed artifacts of Jesus and the teachings of Jesus and Mary Magdalene down in a rather unbroken line through a lot of the queens. There’s a lot of historical evidence.
Kathleen writes fiction. She writes fiction because if you say it’s true, she gets death threats. It’s so controversial, but she researches Christmas out of everything that she does. In The Boleyn Heresy, she talks about this oral tradition where the information is passed from woman to woman, from queen to queen as she’s being given these very important artifacts and messages.
For example, the idea that Mary Magdalene is a preacher and Jesus’s wife which is still considered controversial, but when you look at some of the historical evidence, it becomes much more likely. Also, the story was created to malign her because she was a strong woman and men didn’t like that. The first thing that led me to believe this was how this woman who was such an awful character give birth to the greatest queen of Europe and the whole church of England, which is the Protestant movement completely different from what was there before.
That’s two big things dropped into this woman’s lap for no reason. When we talk about a story, we talk about history as written by the victors. That brings me to women’s stories, in general, I feel like have been told by men mostly, unless it’s an oral tradition where it was hidden. That can’t be underestimated.
I haven’t read this work that you’re talking about, but what I’m seeing through the lines is your passion for these incredible women that had played a lead role in shaping culture, which is through a story. People pass down stories from culture to culture, and doing that through her eyes is giving it a first account. What I hear you saying also is that sometimes we read these historical stories, these books, and all different things, and always have to look at who the narrator is to understand the perspective.
It was mind-blowing when I said to a friend of mine, “You got to read this book.” They’re like, “Who’s the author?” I was like, “I don’t even know.” “I don’t even resonate with that author’s perspective.” That’s the beautiful thing about what you’re saying. Maybe some of these stories have been written by narrators that are potentially men talking about women. It’s important to look at the narrator. Women can start to tell their story firsthand or first account and/or pass down the knowledge through a story, and it doesn’t have to be this framework of a story where it’s all these complicated things. It could be very simple. The way we’re speaking about it is through a sequence of events like a mini-story or something that’s happened. That’s important.
I’m starting to look at those stories myself and bring people back into them. Look at some historical women figures and their lives, break it down, and see how powerful they were and what they had to overcome to be able to continue to empower the next generation. I’m in alignment with you in terms of that. I don’t know the actual content of some of the stuff you’re talking about, but I agree with that philosophy. We could go down the story rabbit hole in such a big way because I’m so passionate about it.
Tell me what storytelling in Web3 looks like or what you think it’s going to evolve into using Web3.
What I’m seeing is a couple of components that haven’t yet come together that are driven by new technology. We call this Metaverse, which is not an actual destination. It’s a broad term for more spatial technology and virtual technology, which can be enhanced.
For me, the Metaverse is like the internet but wrapped around your head. Immersive environments are the Metaverse, but also, being able to have an immersive experience online. Both of those things mean the Metaverse to me.
What I translate it into is story world. Each different metaverse or each different spatial environment or virtual environment is like a story world like we’re in Zoom. We’re creating this environment where we’re having a conversation, and it’s cozy. I don’t know what’s in front of you or what you’re looking at. It’s limited. We could put ourselves in another environment and another story world, but I look at this new technology as a story world.
One of the things that are becoming more important is to create those worlds for us to put characters into, which people are putting themselves and character traits into these funny character avatars and different things you see around, and then be able to create events. The three components of a story are your character traits, character identities, and putting them in a story world. You give them something to do, and then there are obstacles, and you then have to overcome them.
That’s what I’m saying. I look at everything as if it’s the elements of a story. For me, technology is allowing us to create a more vibrant story world. Brands that are figuring this out and playing with it, creating gameplay, gamification, and even learning are the ones that get it. We’re saying Web3, but we’re just moving into this new emerging tech that’s going to allow us to create more stories and story worlds. To me, that’s the next beautiful aspect. There are some negative things, too, but I’m going to focus on humanity and the possible things.
[bctt tweet=”Technology is now allowing people to create a more vibrant story world. Brands are figuring this out and playing with it mainly through gamification.” via=”no”]
I love that. You talked a little bit about your wellness journey as well. How do you feel like wellness is fitting in with the work that you do?
I work with a client that has an app. It’s a meditation app called 1 Giant Mind. I run their academy and operations. I’ve been doing this for the last couple of years. I’m using Web3 tools to help the community connect in a stronger way. It’s a community of teachers because we graduate and certify teachers. They are teachers from around the world, from South Korea, Australia, London, Hong Kong, and everywhere. We use Discord, and I’ve gotten them all into a community with tech tools that we’re using.
It’s always been in me to be in wellness, to take care of myself, my mind, my body, and my spirit. To be able to work with a meditation company, become a meditation teacher, and then go on all those advanced retreats and all the things that it offers since 2018 as one of my clients, it’s completely changed the game in terms of me being able to manage stress and understand how important it is in this new environment, especially in Web3. It’s high-stress, 24/7, with a lot of bad actors, and a lot of stuff happening. I’m seeing the wellness communities are not there yet like the new human resources for projects and businesses.
Do you mean that I would go to a wellness company to hire my staff because they would be better adjusted because of their wellness programs, or are you talking about something else?
I’m a futurist. I think all the time about where we’re moving, how it weaves together in a story, and then how it fits into the future story. Let’s go back to regular companies. A lot of the tech companies in the earlier days implemented wellness programs. We started to see apps come up like Headspace and so forth. Google and those kinds of communities offered this as a perk for being an employee. It didn’t expand to other companies. Other companies didn’t offer that. They offered an HR you could talk with, and maybe they would bring in somebody every once in a while to talk about stress but hardly ever. They never offered programs like that.
What we’re seeing in this emerging tech space is that every single project and every single company at all the conferences and summits are all incorporating a wellness component. It’s still fractioned. It’s still not based on these strong pillars that we would pitch a regular company because we’re still setting up the governance of how this new emerging tech lives. I’m seeing these wellness companies and wellness being a component of every project.
If I look at 5 years or 2 years from now, I don’t see it so fragmented. I see it governed, organized, and structured. Wellness is going to be in every single business. It’s not going to be like, “This is a meditation. Take a breath.” You’re going to have people that are trained in how to facilitate. They’re going to walk you through stress, mental health, and how to get help, especially with this next generation, which is the woke generation. They all are relying on it. They’ve been brought up with these apps that teach you to calm down.
There’s a ton of mental health awareness every time there’s a high-profile suicide. We’re starting to turn the spotlight on what’s been swept under the rug prior to now. I see that we’re moving in that direction. My last guest is founding a wellness DAO and is already quite well along the path to having funding for that and bringing names to it. It’s very interesting because you guys are talking in a very overlapping way. I got to be privy to both conversations.
Hopefully, by the time our readers read this episode, they’ll have seen the one prior to that, but I love how this is dovetailing so beautifully with that. What you’re saying from that future perspective is vital because it will mean integration. The thing that has made me so frustrated with the insurance industry for years is the idea that we will not cover wellness. We will cover illness.
There are some insurance companies who would always cover baby visits, for example, but otherwise, it’s like one checkup a year, the end. If I say, “I need to go to the chiropractor every three weeks in order to maintain my back so that my back never hurts,” they’re not interested in covering that much, but they’ll cover me for $10,000 or $100,000 surgery when I throw my back out because I didn’t take care of it in the first place. That’s one of the bazillion examples.
The idea that we would move from cure to prevention would fix so much in healthcare, the insurance business, and the workplace because of how many sick days people take. Giving two mental health days a year or whatever would go a long way to making people feel like somebody freaking cared about them in the workspace. I love everything you’re saying.
Once again, these are my own conclusions. I do a lot of research and advisory. I have other clients, one of them is a bank, which I won’t be able to say. They’re looking at their Web3 strategy, and that means in the Metaverse, should they be in it? I do a lot of research on these kinds of topics. What I see is the next generation is driving the needs of the way organizations are going to support them. They’re very focused on mental health because of things that are happening around the world.
I see the future of every single conference, summit, project, and organization that will need to have a component of this timeout, Zen zone, or health and wellness that is teaching about stress. That’s one of the things that I’m super excited to be a part of a company that sees people change and transform based on bringing this meditation, getting still, or wellness into their lives, and watching them be able to manage stress at a more optimal level whenever they go into the red excites me. That will be part of every single thing that I do, but I see it as mandatory in the future.
I went to PodFest 2022. Are you familiar with that show?
It was for podcasters, and it’s pretty big. As I was getting ready to go downstairs, I passed this thing called The Red Tent, and I’m like, “Wait, like the book?”
I know that one.
I went inside, and it was this beautiful room with red tents. There are beautiful carpets and fabrics creating a tent space and flowers strung up. It was 2 or 3 women who were like, “Welcome. I would love to have you relax in here.” There were massage, some guided meditation, and tarot readings. It was super peaceful, but I loved the idea of being encouraged. It was the first thing that I had seen that was that specific. The Red Tent book was very famous. They welcomed men as well. They didn’t have to be a woman to go in, which I thought was interesting. It’s not like what the original The Red Tent was for. If you haven’t read the book, it’s for women to go in during their cycle or whatever.
I thought that was nice. There’s something about nurturing ourselves that we tend to forget in business. I love the idea that bringing a nurturing, mindfulness, and wellness component allows us to be in a more holistic environment even in our work. That’s so important. The fact that you’re bringing that background and doing this work there is so powerful. That’s wonderful.
At the moment, I’m not leading with wellness in terms of how I’m advising clients or setting up. I embody it. Anyone that works with me is going to get that narrative and perspective. Every time I write a research report, I always report conclusion is about humanity, remembering to step outside, get offline, remember there are people behind the avatars or pictures, and to breathe. I incorporate and integrate it into the things I do.
[bctt tweet=”Humanity must remember to step outside and get offline. There are actual people behind avatars and pictures.” via=”no”]
That is leading to me.
It’s a massive part of my life. It’s a complement to the other business that I do.
Talk about the people behind the avatars and names. There’s a lot of toxicity. I was reading an article on Yahoo, and I was like, “Why am I even paying attention to this? I know why because we were going to have this conversation, and the universe wanted me to know about it.” It was seventeen different stories of people exchanging online like somebody going to buy something from somebody else.
Almost every single one of the stories deteriorated when the guy didn’t get the price he wanted, and all of a sudden, people are cursing the other person out. The other person is maintaining total politeness, but the other person is super mad. You see all this toxicity behind, “I don’t know you personally, and therefore, I can treat you like the worst.” Why do you think that happens online, and what do you think it means about our humanity?
I first started seeing it mostly a lot on Facebook. I removed myself from conversations because I felt like every conversation was a debate. I felt like that was not where I want to put my energy. I’m on Twitter because that’s a big part of the emerging tech community.
I see it on there too. I have to remove myself from those conversations because we have a certain amount of mind space. The things that we allow into that space determine how we end up talking to ourselves in a way like what we are exposed to. It happens on the road, too, with road rage, but you’re in your car. It’s like everybody’s on the road raging.
Let’s go to the big picture. Over the last couple of years, a lot of what’s happened in the world shocked people. It threw people out of their routines. Mothers had to stay at home and watch their kids, and it created problems between spouses. It created a lot of conflict and challenge. There was a lot of division as well. People get locked into these narratives and the stories that they wanted to be a part of or the communities that believed in what they believed.
I wasn’t in the United States. I was in Indonesia in Bali watching it all happen because that was the place that I thought would be a great place to be. I was watching this all to go down, and I was able to be one step removed like the narrator. A narrator writing a book is watching it while writing. In meditation, when you sit still, you can start to be aware of your mind, body, and different things. I was watching the world like this.
A lot of people woke up to weird stuff that was going on. They had more time on their hands. Sometimes when you wake up from some of the realities and stories you were living and they aren’t what you thought they were, it can be a disruptive wake-up. It’s not graceful. I always hope that when people wake up to things that they wake up gracefully, but that’s not what’s been happening.
In fact, it jarred a lot of people in ways. We’ve seen a big division and a jarring. We’re now dealing with the aftermath of that and creating a whole new cycle around that. There are empowered people that are standing up that embodied and are willing to step into a leadership role to demonstrate and show how it’s done, not just tell.
What I’m most excited about is there are people that woke up and said, “I need to adhere to this call, demonstrate, and be it for others to see.” Even introverts are willing to step into that role. That’s what’s happening. The toxicity in that space or what we see on Twitter and stuff is a lot of different people colliding. It’s going to be part of the way it works. We can only do as much as we can and be around the people that resonate. It’s like your community here, getting everybody in a place where they’re empowered, aligned, and in their best self. Let’s be around that.
I completely agree. Especially for women, I always talk about the fact that as women we need to support each other even when it’s easier to say, “Look at her. She’s doing this. She looks like that.” It’s so important that we are kind to each other, build each other up, and empower each other because there’s not enough of that.
As a sisterhood, we all have the ability to change the narrative and the story of our future, which you’ve been talking about this whole time. We are empowered to do that ourselves. It’s just a lot of us are brought into the cultural beliefs that men have brought to us. It makes sense. For many years and now the last several years, the story’s been changing a little bit.
We’re now starting to get to realize, “We have more control over this.” We can take ourselves out of the conversation. We can say, “This is not where I’m choosing to put my energy right now.” That’s a choice, and that’s very powerful. A lot of people get drawn in and think, “I have to react a certain way,” but you don’t have to get drawn in or react.
You were talking about that mind and body connection, doing that meditation work. When you meditate and get the top of the breath and at the bottom of the breath, there’s a pause. You get the grace for that pause in the real world because of doing that internal work. That to me is enough. That’s what makes such a big difference. It’s giving yourself permission for that.
I’m thinking about a few things that you mentioned. I see a lot of male allies as well. Being in there, I saw a lot of men working hard on themselves, like learning how to have more than three comfortable emotions. Those men are brave. The way that they can become even braver is through us supporting them in their journey to evolve. We don’t want to isolate and put into stack all gender in a particular way. We want to celebrate the work they’re doing because they’re going against the grain and everything they’ve been taught and brought up with. It’s not easy. They’re ridiculed by other men for it. We can support them and make them belong for the work that they’re doing.
They can give us the nudge and the push to keep trusting our intuition rather than fixing things, allowing us to step into our power and find ways to hold space because they’re natural space holders. That’s the framework. That’s a male thing. They could hold space for us to become even more. That’s a beautiful female-male thing. We’re talking about many things like story, health and wellness, and Web3 strategies, and I want to weave them together if that’s okay with you.
I love that. I always ask at the end, “What’s one more thing you want the readers to know?” This is going to be your one more thing.
What I embody is empowering others to be connected with themselves and be their best self, but I step into the world and embody that certain wellness. I live by these principles. That comes with me wherever I go. A clear head, and not clear of thought because thought is fine, is allowing those stories and limiting beliefs, noticing them, reworking them, being your best, and then stepping into the world. I do this through understanding the power of story and narration. I focus on a play like gamifying workshops and things through a story. Advisory on every project requires these certain things.
This new emerging technology space is toxic sometimes, but if we have those things and step into it, all we can do is serve as an example of the lead that others can follow and become. I’m happy to be able to share this time. I’m not shilling anything. I’m encouraging everybody, wherever they are, to embody those things and not be afraid to step into a toxic environment because you’re stepping in to demonstrate the power of all of the principles that you live by, bring the play and all those things, and change the conversation. That’s what I’ve got. It’s a lot.
If you have enjoyed this episode, please comment, like, and share it with all of the women in your life, your mothers, your daughters, your besties, your girlfriends, your wives, and all women that you know. I’ll see you next episode.
About Jennifer Capo
I’m an advisor to brands and the next generation of storytellers and creators. You’ll find me working with human-centric founders and CEOs on Web3 strategy and events across global markets. Culture, community, gamification, story, and partnerships are foundational themes in garnering the attention in the next wave of emerging tech.
I founded Storystation as an events platform for artists and founders to develop their stories. Today, we are growing as a Web3 consultancy designing strategy, programs, and events to engage new audiences.
My career has roots in film, journalism, tech, and media. I’ve worked with Paramount, Flaunt Magazine, CNN, Yahoo, Vevo, Square and ran global partnerships and event production for both tech and media.
What gives me goosebumps?
Mentoring young women to become forces of nature. This is life changing.