Contributing to the next giant step in the relationship between humans with life limiting circumstances, legacy therapy and technology, lets exploring After Cloud. Join me in conversation with a social business that has created a free award-winning app bridging the digital 🌁 gap by:
💾 Capturing your digital memory,
⏳ Creating your digital timeline,
⛲ Life enrichment,
💓 Personalized digital legacy
Imagining if you could record your voice, create 🎥 video, upload images, 🖊️ write or dictate letters and share important information and ⛲ memories with your loved ones, as well as post to a future date to 💓 celebrate any future 💓 occasion in one easy to use the intuitive award-winning app.
Why not develop a Life legacy that securely stores:
Life story, memories, thoughts, wishes, and important or meaningful information privately in the After Cloud App as a 🎁Gift 🎁 for your loved ones?
Meet After Cloud 🌤️ a business in the ‘Life tech’ space with this exact social purpose: “Sharing life's enriching moments with messages of love!”
An app bridging the digital legacy 🌁 gap
📖 Digital Legacy Plan, Angela Crocker Vicki McLeod (2019)
About the Guest
Darren Evans is the CEO of After Cloud a digital life legacy and life enrichment award-winning app.
About the Show
Podcast Host: Life & Leadership: A Conscious Journey with Dr. Michelle St Jane
A podcast for Global and Re-Emerging Leadership creating community/tribe, a circle of influence, transcendency of compassionate leadership in the world and wider universe. A unique destination for learning about Leadership + Conscious Stewardship + Legacy.
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Intro: [00:00:00] You're listening to Life and Leadership: A Conscious Journey. The podcast that shares wisdom and strength. Join your host, Dr. Michelle St Jane's weekly conversation on how to have a positive impact for people, planet, and the wider world. If you want to live a life of intention, to be proactive with your time and bring your vision for the future to live one today at a time, you’re in the right place at the right time. Let's get started.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:00:37] “Tomorrow is promised to no one. Prioritize today,” according to author Gina Greenlee. She shares wise words with us there about the meaning of life and imprinted memories we leave behind in the hearts, minds, and digital sands of time. Reminder: We are part of a bigger story. Imagine: as if this was your last day on earth.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:00:56]
🤔 What would you want to say?
🤔 What life moments, thoughts, information, or share content would you like to leave?
🤔 What would you celebrate in a world and a future without you?
This is the essence of After Cloud, always there, and award-winning innovative app and the life tech space. This app captures and shares life moments in a close group setting.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:01:17] Darren, is the CEO of this award-winning app After Cloud, that maintains a living record and leaves a lasting digital memory legacy. A little background on Darren. He has worked in arenas that deliver solutions to health and social care providers for over 20 years. He's passionate about using technology to make progressive change in society, taking a more joined up interdisciplinary approach to the delivery of care.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:01:42] Darren has been instrumental in implementing some very early pilot sites for social prescribing and creating best practices. Darren you're on a dynamic journey.
As you've moved through your life and leadership, over decades in the health and social sectors, I can see how you've come to this moment. But a bigger impact occurred on a personal level that caused you to pivot deeper into the tech space, that was driven by a close family member. Can you share how you managed this process and the wisdom gained on the grief.
Darren Evans: [00:02:13] Sure. Michelle, I mentioned that I've been involved in health and social care technical provision for about 20 years. I was working for a consultancy in London at the time. My wife and her sister were primary carers effectively for my mother-in-law Emma, who had a very aggressive form of dementia. And it was during that time, really that we saw the decline, obviously leading to the point of death. That a six-month journey.
Darren Evans: [00:02:37] After that we were going through family possessions, as you do, and realized two things:
💡There was very little in the form of digital content.
💡Going through family photo albums and the like, we didn't really have the information.
Darren Evans: [00:02:56] My wife, Pam lost her father some years ago. Obviously, now with her mum dying, that rich family history is gone. Lost forever. My son, Dylan, said, “you know, dad, you work in technology. Can't we do something that will benefit others who find themselves in a similar predicament?”
Darren Evans: [00:03:15] That's really where it started. That was the light bulb moment.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:03:18] Thank you for sharing. Often, it is those people close to home and out of the mouth of our children that inspire the greatest progress.
Darren, you, and your team have created a creative way to help individuals develop a digital legacy. How does this digital sharing platform capture lives?
Darren Evans: [00:03:36] The actual app itself is an app we've specifically created because most people, these days, have their mobile phone with them. We thought mobile first is paramount. What it does is it allows you to create a moment based on multiple content types.
Darren Evans: [00:03:55] For example, you can:
Upload an image.
📸 Take a photo.
✉️ Upload or you can write or dictate letters in app.
⏺️ You can speak to it
🖋️ write out your letter.
What we found is it's being utilized in various guises. It is certainly for: storytelling,
Darren Evans: [00:04:18] People going through their photo albums, uploading images, and telling the wider narrative, the story, if you will, of what that photo is. And there's a about, and the family members, and that's where you really start to capture that rich life history and family.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:04:34] Oh, wonderful. I just love the new lexicon around it. Maintaining your:
💾 digital memory,
⏳ digital timeline,
💓 personalized digital legacy
I was voted for the app in the UK health awards for this year. How has After Cloud done?
Darren Evans: [00:04:50] Oh, that's brilliant. Thank you so much. It is actually a listeners vote so that it was great.
Darren Evans: [00:04:56] Pete Hill, who runs the UK health radio dementia category, if you will, put us forward, nominated, then shortlisted. We were unaware of it until he informed me. Then it's a listener vote.
Darren Evans: [00:05:15] We found out and were just overwhelmed, really, really, really pleased because we'd not officially launched as a product yet. We're in beta. Although we're being used in many, many projects, and services. To receive that kind of recognition is just brilliant.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:05:33] I am so grateful and appreciative of that because there's not a lot of family history. My paternal family have set up a group online. I'm inspired to share After Cloud with them because it would be really wonderful to have more information about our ancestral lineage and the stories as well.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:05:52] I'm really appreciative on another level as well because of the diversity of age and the generational identities that are online. We have a population in the world as of January, this year, 7.8, 3 billion. You're talking about mobile first. There are unique mobile phone users in the region of 5.2, 2 billion. Those are massive numbers.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: I really appreciate that this is also research backed as well. I have a major concern around digital dementia as a grandmother of four grandchildren ranging from three to 18. I get very concerned about what I believe is a real concern around digital dementia, you know, which is basically the over use of screen time.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:06:36] That leads to the breakdown of like cognitive abilities and deteriorated posture and developmental delays and degraded short-term memory and seclusion and lack of motivation, blah, blah, blah. But there are biological effects. It's good to see devices being used for good, but also the fact that you're in this dementia, health, and the social side.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:06:56] It is a perfect fulcrum point to be able to measure what's happening in terms of brain chemical, imbalances and DNA damage immune system and things like that. I'm really excited to hear a little bit about your research back projects.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:07:13] According to the statistics I'm looking at the typical internet user are spending 40% of their waking life on these devices. What can you tell us about where your projects are going?
Darren Evans: [00:07:22] I find incredible, actually, certainly during this period that we found ourselves in the level of homeschooling for kids, you know, I think in that sense, it's a real positive move because it's allowed them to still maintain their social networks, you know? I think without that, it might've been a little bit more challenging and difficult, let's say.
We've got Dr. Maggie Ellis of St. Andrew's University in Scotland actively involved in two of the projects we're working on with Alzheimer's Scotland and the dementia arts trusts. Suzie Beresford has been project managing for us an active project in relation to artwork, for people living with dementia. Their art work is created then shared within a closed group, i.e., with their family members so that other family members are privy to what they've created.
What we're also finding through that research is that in enhances further reminiscence and those types of memories are joyful.
Darren Evans: [00:08:19] If we can do that, what we're also then finding is that it's enhancing mental health and wellbeing in both respects, not only with the person with dementia, but also the family members, because they're involved in that journey to. I think what we'll also do downstream, although it's very, very early to say just yet, Michelle is by the fact that we are capturing voice.
Darren Evans: [00:08:39] In fact, we got a few over here in the UK national health service trusts that are intimating that they'd like to see social prescription offered to individuals that are diagnosed with any form of life limiting illness, because what they can then start to do is capture their journey.
Darren Evans: [00:08:58] Now, whether that's something that enables them to manage cognitive decline or whether it's something that will enable them to assist them to benefit their mental health and wellbeing, as I mentioned previously, it's an either or really, or both types of scenarios in terms of research?
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:09:14] That certainly hits the ball out of the park for elder care and for intergenerational collaborations in terms of memory and being able to track your family lineage. I'm hopeful.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:09:25] It'd be great to hear about National Healthcare Service Trust is looking at. I think it will be a big capture point for young people, teenagers through to their thirties, who are now facing dementia illnesses. That could be digitally driven though nobody's willing to say this is so yet. After Cloud is still providing a service on what I think is going to be an up-and-coming pandemic essential.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:09:49] What are you most excited about? What's making you smile this year?
Darren Evans: [00:09:55] Well, apart from the award that we've just won, which is phenomenal. It's fantastic. The level of support we've been receiving as well.
Actually, three things I'll tell you now. One is we are provisioning After Cloud free for children's services because it's paramount that any child with any form of life limiting illness has the ability to capture their moments. What we're finding from some of the children's hospices we're working with is that the families really benefit from that. They get to see things that they wouldn't otherwise be able to see whilst the child is being cared for. I'm passionate about that.
Darren Evans: [00:10:28] The second thing is we are developing what we call the digital timeline. Let's take us as an example. We both know our date of birth. We both know where we were born. We don't know what date our transition is as yet. We don't know when we're going to die.
Darren Evans: [00:10:46] At some point, none of us are here forever, a digital timeline gives a real rich history of someone's life story. What we're allowing people to do is create those moments, obviously within the app. Within the timeline feature what we're also allowing people to do is to share content they have of other people to the timeline with appropriate permissions in place.
You will have friends, relatives, colleagues that have digital content of you that you might be unaware of. They will be able to add those content times to your timeline again, again with appropriate permissions.
What we found out during a business challenge week for Oxford Brookes University is this can be for any type of event. Social events, happy events, birthdays, christenings, weddings, and it will allow people to share those content moments as a pivotal moment on the digital timeline. That's really, really exciting. Further downstream, we're doing all sorts in terms of what is capable within a mobile app and digital content.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:11:52] I mean, this is like sky high and worldwide. It's just fabulous. That is just amazing.
If you had it all your way, how would you like to see the next decade roll out?
Darren Evans: [00:12:04] I think I'd like to see humanity be a lot more caring. I think this period we've had, I mentioned it before, COVID allowed us all to be aware of our own mortality. I've said it before, actually it's been painted in a multitude of colors right in front of us. We are now implicitly more aware.
I'd like people to be a little bit more human. A bit more real. Just be thankful and kind. I think kindness is everything. I think if we could all be a little bit kinder.
Darren Evans: [00:12:30] In terms of digital progression, I'm really thankful for where we are and hope it continues in that regard.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:12:41] You may well be the Steve jobs of the digital tech space. I am very grateful for your contribution and service and your kindness and investment and the legacy of all of us to thank you, Darren.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:12:55] Any last words as we wrap up?
Darren Evans: [00:12:57] I'm really thankful and grateful for your time. Really much appreciated and wish you every success with your future as well.
Outro: [00:13:11] Dr. Michelle St Jane is a conscious steward as meaningful leadership in the world and the wider cosmos. Tune in every Thursday for real talk around life, leadership, and your conscious journey. Be ready to create and cultivate your dreams and wholehearted desires. Your support is valued. Please follow, subscribe, leave a review and a rating. More importantly, share with your connections.
Reach out. I am interested to hear from you. Do you have a topic you'd like to explore? It would be great to have your feedback.
Dr. Michelle St Jane
Podcast Host: Life & Leadership: A Conscious Journey
Let’s Get Social
Founder and CEO
CEO of After Cloud a digital life legacy and life enrichment award winning app! Known for producing solutions to Health and Social care providers for over 20 years, as well as leading the team that rolled out some of the early ‘joined up’ social prescribing projects now widely adopted internationally, Darren is passionate about using technology to make progressive change in society with a more joined up, interdisciplinary approach to the delivery of care, particularly Aged Care, Dementia and End of Life services.