24 Questions with Tom Chi

TOM CHI is a technologist looking at how technology can help create ecological health and resilience. He also teaches leaders to be consistently effective at solving tough problems and innovating.


1. What does thriving mean to you?
To stay engaged in the process of illuminating truth and creating beauty.

2. What’s the one domino that moves you toward thriving?


3. What was or is your favourite way to sabotage yourself?
Distraction via tasks that are mentally engaging but not important.

4. What gets you back on track?
Being in nature and recognizing that our lives are extraordinary and finite.

5. What question should we ask ourselves?
What is my medium and how can I love it more deeply/honestly?

6. What did you learn recently?
I learned that 90% of soil function comes from just a couple percent soil organic matter and that this process doesn’t happen without photosynthesizing plants.

7. Divide your age by half , who were you then?
I was in 3 bands that gigged multiple times per week. I was finishing up my astrophysics research and was learning how to relate to people.

8. What was one of your aha/breakthrough moments?
I almost died at age 29 from massive internal blood loss.

9. Whats the one resource you would recommend?
This is a pretty open ended question — If you want to understand the psychological dance of existence, probably the bhagavad gita. If you want to understand the physical dance of existence, probably the Feynman lectures.

10. What is your favourite quote?
“All in life is physics or psychology. Physics at core is about truth. Psychology at core is about beauty – i.e. using our minds beautifully.”

11. What is your focus this year?
Have a working draft of how humanity can become a net positive to nature.

12. What is your 3/5 year focus?
Shepherding/contributing to at least 3 technologies that will be transformative to the ecological health of the planet.

13. What do you want to be known for, generations to come?
A different practical philosophy of what progress is. That humanity is here to be a net positive to nature, and through this a net positive to humanity. The purpose is not to conquer, win, or be known.

14. Who is one of the people that made an impact on your life?
Robert Ohotto

15. What are you thankful for?
Literally everything in the universe that has made this breath possible. It’s a lot of stuff.

16. If a dysfunctional home/past has three legs holding up a table (which is unstable). What leg(s) would you add to make one’s life stronger?
Depending on where the 3 legs are, a round table could be stable. Anyhow – I’d add fun.

17. What is your favourite memory of this year?
Swimming a pristine reef off of North Sulawesi Island

18. Think 3/5 years from now, what is your hell if you don’t take action or self sabotage?
I’ve done nothing to advance the ecological health of the planet through invention or mindset shift.

19. What do you need to have LESS of in your life?
Internet. I work well on paper.

20. What rule should we be breaking?
Don’t worry about scale. Only depth. Make something that is worth scaling before you even think about scale at all. Even if it makes “success” slower, dedication and depth is where it is at.

21 . What’s the one thing you want to do before you die?
I did the easy ones already and also nearly died. There are many things I hope to contribute to, but they’ll likely not be considered “done,” since it’ll be part of a continuum of contribution that many others will add to.

22. If i am just starting out to transform my life, what one week practice would you recommend?
Gather a bunch of materials on something you are passionate about and want to make a difference in, and just breathe that material every minute of the day for a week. No internet or electronics – gather it beforehand and work on it with paper or chalk.

23. Who do you recommend be showcased on THRIVEMASTERS?
Daniel Epstein

24. How can people connect with you? A project you want to share? A cause/organization you support?

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