How The Laughing Otter Is Forging A Web3 Social Impact
In today’s Web3TV interview, we’re with Jeff Bogensberger, founder and CEO of the Laughing Otter and we’re going to discuss the inspiring story of the Laughing Otter, which is building a global community of people using blockchain technology who want reasons to be happy, share experiences, support the arts and most importantly make a positive social impact.
Jeff has a proven record and establishing high growth start-ups and providing strategic leadership focusing on driving growth and streamlining operations. He has a passion for making a positive impact on mental health and improving the lives of children around the world.
Background Story of Jeff Bogensberger of The Laughing Otter
Jeff tells us his entrepreneurship really began from the cradle, as his parents ran their own business and he and his brothers were involved right from the beginning, ever since they could hold a shovel. Business has always fascinated him which has been a constant throughout his career, in various business roles with startups and in the corporate world.
Then about two years ago, he turned fifty and I decided that the last third of my career had to be about more than just simply making money. He wants to make a big social impact as well.
There a number of motivations for this change in direction. Firstly was covid, where he was working for a company that was in the health and fitness world and he could see the writing on the wall that things weren’t going to be good for anybody in that space.
So he started looking at ways to change and also started getting rather disillusioned with the corporate world and the purpose of it, having seen so many board room conversations where all you want to do is blow the whistle and go like time out. Does anybody else realize that this conversation is ridiculous, like we’re all just reading from a script and if one more person uses a buzzword, I think I’m going to plant them face down in the fruit platter. Jeff knew he had to do more.
Secondly, over the last few years there was the birth of his son and although he’s always had a real soft spot for children and the underdog, the birth of his son just heightened that empathy, not only for children who are suffering but for the parents of those children.
Jeff knows he is so fortunate to have such great medical facilities and help where lives in Australia, and can’t imagine what it must be like when you’re watching your child cry and the only reason they stop crying is because they’re exhausted either from hunger or sickness and there’s nothing you can do, through no fault of your own, through no lack of love or caring, but simply because your environment just does not allow it. When he was deciding on the direction of The Laughing Otter, Jeff realised not only did he want to make a difference in the world, it had to involve children.
Thirdly, he lost a friend who took his own life, which was a real eye opener, not only in his case but also the people in his social circles and network. People who from the outside look like they are fine as they have homes, food, a car, a family and then you look in their eyes and they open up that they’re not doing that well.
On a broader world level, he also acknowledged the last ten years has not been fun with Trump, Brexit, refugees in South America and Syria, watching a little boy get washed up on shore in Turkey, the war in Ukraine, climate change and all of the usual stuff that bombards us, and then you layer covid on top of it and people have just had it really tough.
Jeff wants to provide an opportunity for people to be able to step back and remind them that actually, the world is getting better and the quality of life is improving if you listen to the right people.
What Is The Vision For The Laughing Otter And How Is Web 3.0 Helping Bring It About
The mission statement for The Laughing Otter is to improve global mental health and the lives of children around the world.
He found the community of people within Web 3.0 were open and receptive to wanting to bring about this change, and definitely wants to be a part of this movement of using blockchain and Web 3.0 to help underprivileged people in many ways, including to grow their own financial wealth. He sees one of the most powerful tools in Web 3.0 is the peer-to-peer interaction. So whether that be for people to generate their own personal wealth, or by removing a lot of the bureaucracy that ends up eroding the profits of arts and artists, that really excites Jeff.
He can see no reason for example why an NFT can’t be created utilizing blockchain technology to support robotics to help provide clean energy. Anything really that people drive up value because it’s still a creative process where the owners should retain that IP and the value with it, along with the people who support them, rather than it being eroded through corporate channels and traditional investment channels.
What Are Some Of The Things The Laughing Otter Is Building To Create A Better World?
The Laughing Otter will consider any business proposal that makes entrepreneurial and business sense that also makes a difference. So right now, they have everything from NFTs to building a play, to earn game that has social impact in the real world. The Laughing otter have merchandise, a podcast, and a website, that shares nothing but positive content.
There’s events being planned, some other sponsorships on the cards and Jeff has this pipe dream that someday the Laughing Otter will sponsor an ice hockey team or e-gaming team.
So long as it creates happiness and it’s something fun for people and there’s a potential to improve brand equity through giving back to the community and helping children and improving mental health and it’s profitable, that is the goal. Then everything can be, as a friend of Jeff’s summed up, a Web 3.0 version if Disney and Unicef had a baby.
What Types Of People Can Benefit Most From Being Part Of The Laughing Otter?
While the key mission of the Laughing Otter is to improve the lives of children in general as well as the mental health aspect of it, anyone who just wants to engage with something that’s more positive than traditional social media can benefit. It could be through simply visiting the Laughing Otter website and reading an article about a man in New York who built a music studio for homeless kids.
Then there are experiences that can be offered from local wine tasting to attending a music concert. Anything that’s fun and brings people together that makes a profit where some of those profits can be shared with not-for-profis that are helping the children or in the mental health space is the vision.
The aim is to create a space for anyone who wants a better experience, and then share the profits to make a difference in the world.
What Are Some Of The Ways The Laughing Otter Can Help Improve Mental Health?
There are currently two simple goals for improving mental health. The first is simply to create an environment, such as their website, where people can go and just start the day in a better mood. Ultimately, this then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy where they’re more courteous to their bus driver, their work colleagues, they simply have a better outlook, can keep what is happening around them in perspective and look forward to experiences coming up such as concerts.
Jeff, while acknowledging people are struggling with mental health and encourages them to seek support, wants to reminding people the world is a fun place to be, and encourage people smile and laugh again.
Where Can People Go To Find Out More About The Laughing Otter?
If you’re say a creator, an artist, a philanthropist or just want to be part of a community, you can find Jeff on LinkedIn or also go directly to The Laughing Otter website.
Thanks for having me and I’ve talked to you and Peter behind the scenes and love what you’re doing with Web3TV and your vision as well. We share this idea that Web 3.0 is as much a social movement as it is a technology movement and, like it or not, there is going to be change in the world.
We’d also love to invite you to watch all episodes of Web3TV where we share inspiring stories of all things web 3.0 at www.web3tv.com.au/watch
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