Sunday, December 09, 2012

Don't Use Drugs Rap - From Unity's Vault

Here's a special video from The Vault as they say.  Actually the first time this home video clip was ever shown publicly was last week at my 'Friends and Family Talent Show' as part of our 3 day Wedding celebration in Tulum, Mexico.  (more pics and vids of that to come).

I wasn't sure if I would ever show this movie or not to my friends and family, but given so many of our crew brought their A-game to the stage during our Talent Show...I figured if not then, when!?

After numerous requests since the debut last week, I decided to post the video and share it more broadly. Why not?... it's a part of my history, youth, and upbringing afterall...

A few comments for context:
  • Please remember this was the mid 80's. Additionally, this was shot with one of the first home video camcorders. I did all the editing myself and was learning on the fly.  
  • At the time (and still now), I was heavily influenced by a movie called Wild Style.  I was fortunate enough to grow up in a community (Iowa City, IA) where they had an art house theater where they played this film. This is the first movie I'm aware of to have breakdancing in it and it changed my world. I was also lucky enough at the age of 11 to be able to go see this film, in big part to my great friend Orion Meyer, a tastemaker and bon vivant always way ahead of every trend and style.  
  • By way of context, the purpose of the video was for a homework assignment that I did for elementary school.  Basically, I transformed the book report assignment into a video project likely because I wasn't used to conventional homework projects (but that's another story). 
  • This was how I dressed in that era all the time.  The black jacket was my favorite article of clothing and I rarely took it off.  The tie must have been added for affect.  I've always been a super fan of hats, but this one was a favorite.  
  • I don't recall the song I'm spinning, but I think I bought it in a record store in Cleveland, the Rock and Roll Capital of the world. I think I was hunting for rap albums and this was what I found. I used to try to scratch and spin on my folks turn table as best I could.  I never got that down.  
  • My two favorite parts of the video are when I keep looking down at a sheet of paper with the lyrics and also about 3:30 into the video when my mom makes a cameo appearance and enters in the background apparently doing laundry. I wave her off with my head and the show goes on. All done in one take...

And the film that started it all: Wild Style.  Groundbreaking in so many ways...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Graffiti Hunting in Brooklyn

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood for Graffiti Hunting! Check out these amazing murals near my place on Kent Ave....

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Becoming a Samurai: 21 Lessons to Help You Own Your Future

I had the opportunity to speak again recently to the Freshman class at Boston University's College of Communication.  The talk I gave was titled: On Becoming a Samurai: 21 Lessons on How to Own Your Future.  Basically, I shared a bunch of lessons that I wished someone had shared with me when I was a Freshman at BU.  

It was a wonderful experience and I hope I have the opportunity to spend more time with COM students again soon.  I was impressed by the passion and interest that so many of the students demonstrated.  And all of this at an 8AM lecture in a large auditorium! 

I am finally getting around to posting my prezi of the session.  Sorry, I don't have video for this.  The slides will have to do.

Ping me @unitystoakes if you have any questions or suggestions.

23 Emerging Digital Health Trends: Unity Stoakes's Talk at Health 2.0 Chicago

I had the great honor of giving a talk on Friday September 28th at the first Health 2.0 Chicago Conference.  I wanted to share the slides for whoever wants them.  Ping me @unitystoakes if you have questions or learn more at

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Social Media Soul - Boston University Lecture July 2012

I had the honor of speaking at Boston University a few weeks ago during Mashable's Social Media Day.  The titled my closing remarks: Social Media Soul.  I could have pontificated for way too long on the topic, but in honor of Twitter, I kept the lecture brief and to the point.

Here is the transcript and video.

Title: Social Media with Soul
Slide 2: [Will your next tweet change the world?]

Imagine for a second that your next tweet could change the world...How would you use your 140 characters?

What if you could write only one more blog post...What would you say?

What if you could share just one more link...What would you share?

Slide 3: [suh logo and mission]

My name is Unity Stoakes, cofounder of StartUp Health, an Academy for Health and Wellness entrepreneurs.

I'm on a mission to help build an army of health innovators who will transform healthcare and enable people to live healthier, happier lives. Over the next decade our goal at StartUp Health is to support and help build 1,000 health and wellness startups that we believe will change the world.


Slide 4: ["Now that we all own the printing press, how are we going to use it?"]

Today I'd like to wrap up today's Social Media Day by asking some important questions and leave you all thinking about your next tweet or blog post:

"Now that we all own the printing press, how are we going to use it?"

As the speakers today have discussed, and this audience well knows, social media is a powerful marketing and communications tool.

Slide 5: [how do we unleash its true potential to enhance our lives and improve our world?]

"But how do we unleash its true potential to enhance our lives and improve our culture?"

For me, I've been thinking a lot about how Social Media is impacting the Social Good, and I've been thinking about how social media can inspire and affect rapid change and progress, particularly in areas in desperate need of severe and dramatic disruption like health and education.

I've been thinking a lot about what makes something worth communicating in the first place using social media....And I've tried to figure out what helps make one message relevant enough to spark a movement and another evaporate into the cloud.

I've been thinking about what gives social media "soul".

Slide 6: [Giving Social Media Soul]

The same can be said about any media, but especially for social media to achieve its potential, I believe it needs soul.  For your message to connect and make a difference there are several characteristics that matter.

You may know what you want to communicate or how you want to say it, but are you thinking about why?

Slide 7: [7 Characteristics of a Post with Soul]

Those who are using social media to change the world and make a difference have an innate way of baking these 7 characteristics into their communications.

Before your next tweet think about:

[Slides 8-14]

·      Purpose - What is your purpose for using social media?
·      Mission - Do you have one and can you communicate it clearly?
·      Authenticity - Movement or marketing?
·      Message - Does it inspire action or make people think?
·      Social Gift - Will people want to gift it and share it with others?
·      Story - Does it make people laugh or cry (or both)?
·      Organic - Does it feel right and taste good?
The best test of all: You know it when you feel it.

For better or worse there are no rules when it comes to social media...there's no right or wrong...there is good and bad but that's just a matter of perspective...

Slide 15: [Why are YOU using social media?]

So I'll leave you with this final question:

Why are YOU using social media and will your next post change the world?

Thank you.

Closing Slide: [Social Media with Soul]

#startuphealth @unitystoakes

Friday, July 13, 2012

THE MAN IN THE ARENA - by Teddy Roosevelt

A friend emailed this quote out today and I thought it was worth sharing. Long live the doers, the innovators, and all those who dare to step into the arena... THE MAN IN THE ARENA - by Teddy Roosevelt Excerpt from the speech "Citizenship In A Republic" delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910 It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

(2 Videos) StartUp Health Founders and Entire Class of Healthcare Transformers Interviewed by TechCrunch TV

Two TechCrunch interviews about StartUp Health and our class of Healthcare Transformers within a week. So inspiring and energizing to work with all these amazing entrepreneurs everyday...Here's the video from last week where we explain our mission and what we are building with StartUp Health Academy:

Here's the interview with our entire first class of Healthcare Transformers:

Friday, March 09, 2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Come to our party at SXSW! StartUp Health and Health 2.0 Celebrate Health Tech


Come party with StartUp Health and Health 2.0 at SXSW!

Register to be put on our VIP Invite list here

StartUp Health and Health 2.0 are teaming up to throw a party to celebrate all of the innovators, entrepreneurs, developers, clinicians, investors and angels, thought leaders and people who are dedicating their time, resources, and passion to changing healthcare! Come party with us on Monday March 12th at SXSW!