Human of Beautiful Business: Haje Jan Kamps, Co-Founder and CEO, LifeFolder

Could robots teach us how to have more vulnerable conversations?

“We know when we were born. Only in rare circumstances does it become knowable when we will breathe our final breath.

It is at the contact surface of this question — not knowing where and how death will find us — that we are facing some really fascinating challenges.”

So begins Haje Jan Kamps’ thoughtful exploration on tackling the last taboo.

Talking about death and how we want to end our lives are some of the hardest conversations we can have. Through his company LifeFolder, Haje is allowing people to work through the “complicated emotional landscape that lies behind these questions”, that prevent us from thinking and talking about it.

The fascinating twist? LifeFolder is enabling these end of life conversations through a Facebook messenger bot. As he explains in this engrossing interview with House collaborater Typeform, the bot guides people through these conversations. It covers topics like priorities and wishes, and helps people gain clarity over what their values are, what situations would make their life not worth living anymore, and what decisions they would want carried out in those circumstances.

In addition, the bot introduces people to the vocabulary around these conversations, which many of us are simply not equipped with. It also helps people to gain an understanding of various terminology that they may have been too uncomfortable to discuss with a human. For example, if someone does not understand ‘life support’, the bot will stop and talk about what it is, when it is used and the success rates. This equips people to then have these conversations with loved ones and medical staff.

Gaining clarity on your wishes and being able to communicate them with others is the ultimate goal. “That sureness of the answer helps a lot of things”, says Haje. For relatives, it means that they are not giving their opinion, but are able to honour the informed decision of their loved one. “It makes it easier for hospital staff as well if they can see you have thought this through and talked this through and can answer on the person’s behalf.”

The idea that AI could actually ease and equip us humans to have more intimate, difficult, but crucial conversations, will be explored further with Haje and fellow House speakers, at the House of Beautiful Business. Join us there…

The House of Beautiful Business takes place in Lisbon, November 3–10, 2017. Alongside start-up founders, executives, nonprofit leaders, investors, writers, philosophers, scientists, designers, technologists, artists, we will be discussing and prototyping how to lead with purpose and passion; how to build human companies and workplaces; and how to design for deeper connections in an age of exponential change and massive societal disruption.

Hosted in collaboration with the BCG Henderson Institute, the House will serve as salon, stage, and sandbox for people who are keen on rehumanizing business and exploring meaningful conversations around humanity and technology. You can find more information and buy tickets at: houseofbeautiful.biz