JoyTech was born as a ‘passion project’ but it has become more relevant with each passing day. Three years ago, the niece of one of the founders, Mimi Scarr, took her own life aged just 21. She was a lovely, charming and attractive girl who had been suffering from mental illness.
She’s not alone. Suicide is the biggest cause of death in men between 19 and 56 in the UK. Women are catching up fast. One in every three Londoners are mentally ill. 25% of all US citizens are taking psychiatric medication. But what can be done?
We are in an epidemic of mental illness and it is growing exponentially.
The JoyTech group first looked at the traditional forms of treatment for mental illness - talking therapies - but there aren’t enough therapists and there isn’t enough money to pay for them. So the group tried to figure out a new strategy. Maybe they could create some technology to mimic the work of therapists - Therapy Bots. After all, tech can scale. So they tried a few and learned more about what to expect of this type of technology. It wasn’t going to be the answer. It was only a small part of the answer.
They explored more. Pharmaceuticals and many other therapies. The more they learned, the more they understood that cures were never going to keep up with the rising tide of society’s ills. They had to change society and the thinking that has created such an injurious landscape.
The JoyTech group - now nearing 100 company leaders and a thousand members - has formed around a theme that is best described as the Technology for Joy. How can we understand Joy better? What creates Joy and how can humanity find more of it? How might we adjust the goals and targets of people, business and governments in order to produce more Joy rather than sap it.
The group is committed to technology as a saviour of mankind - not the seed of its destruction. Technology is not, after all, deterministic.
How this might work?
Establish a metric for Joy - probably something like the Net Promoter Score. This could even be a currency unit too. Imaging measuring business outcomes not simply in profits but also in units of Joy?
Create an investment vehicle - that would enable investments to be made based simply on the Joy return for the capital utilised.
Build and lead the JoyTech Institute - a global organisation founded simply to study and amplify Human Joy.