The Tripod Mindset (TM)



There are individual, organizational, and societal human and technological approaches available today. However, there is little integration of these dimensions into a coherent mindset, educational concept, or cooperative platforms. Therefore, I’ve dedicated the last couple of years to the study of leadership, learning & development, psychology consequently from cross-culturally, multi-disciplinary, and inter-generationally cooperative perspectives. And I’ve performed intensive testing of a, as I think, new discovery of a pattern of the human mind, which I’m calling the ‘Tripod Mindset (TM).’ I have found that three logic matrix-derived socio-temporal conditions put together to a “tripod” mindset would eliminate random, imbalanced, and unconnected ways of traditional and contemporary human thinking in favor of more healthy attitudes and drive for positive human evolution.

Tripod Mindset (TM) Highlights

My background in education sciences, leadership, art, technology, and psychology have equipped me with different perspectives on individual, organizational, and socio-cultural functioning. My navigation between the philosophy of time represented by the past, present, and the future, and the intra-, inter-, and extra-personal dimensions of information and communication (technology) have led me to discover a, as far as I’m aware of, novel and lawful socio-temporal matrix in which our temporal thinking about ourselves, our relationships, and humanity consolidates.

The mapping of thousands of (scientific) resources to the matrix of aforementioned socio-temporal dimensions revealed the striking finding of three coordinates that jointly form a set of mental states that governs human psyche and thriving, which I’m going to call the “Tripod Mindset (TM).” The further study of TM as an interdisciplinary concept shall explicitly consider aspects such as the Internet as a tool for democracy and global citizenship. The time seems to be ripe for leading the way to more distributed and participative approaches including a broader range of stakeholders globally. For example, the TM can be translated into design principles, which would be informing the development of next-generation and more cooperative online platforms that integrate the intra-past, inter-present, and extra-future thought patterns necessary for progressing agile approaches and human flourishing in the virtual and physical world.

Also, the TM could be used to get a balanced view on how sustainable (from an individual and collective point of view) any kind of services and products are. Are they based on a mindset that is backward oriented, protective of the status quo, or facilitating innovation?  What does each of these temporal aspects mean for the individual, the team, and the broader communities’ respectively the human context? The consistent integration of such a coherent “tripod”-stabilized mindset view will guarantee not losing sight of all that is important for true next-generation solutions.


There are many apt formulations, and rich collections of human qualities proposed to be packaged into so-called mindsets that are deemed to be favorable for individual well-being, organizational performance, or societal functioning. However, looking at worldwide suffering, competitive challenges, and societal issues, there is, apparently, still a lot missing regarding a more holistic, systematically consistent, and continuous awareness that leads to positive human behavior. Technology progress, for example, may enable positive change, but it will not be without a change in human mindset that an improved development and use of technology will occur. The Tripod Mindset (TM) has the potential to inform a new type of guiding principles in sociology/psychology, education, communication, and technology with a disruptive impact on how humanity’s collective mindset, and participative and cooperative policies and economies further develop.

  • Your post stimulated my thought of how often we run 21st century technological lives with the moral/mindset of Homer. Meaning The Iliad and the Odyssey – rather than Homer Simpson. But come to think of it the reference to Homer Simpson works too…. I think we’re going to need a whole lot of artist’s and writers and teachers to give us a “new story” to work with; one that reflects and normalizes caring for everyone and how we all benefit from that instead of recycling the old predatory “i’m going to get mine the ‘eck with you” attitude story.

    • Thank you so much for your great comment!
      I agree that we need to ‘normalize caring’ as you say so aptly. All the wisdom is still useful, but we need to combine it coherently. While some teach us how to care for ourselves (as the basis to be able to be kind to others too), others promote loving our neighbors like ourselves; and yet others dedicate their focus to humanitarian causes. All fine? I think saying so is the big fallacy of humanity so far. The big problem is that we don’t have a mindset that integrates these views, although we have the mental capacity to consider all three “levels” at any given time. Everyone just seems to care only for their family, their organization, their country, or any other separated entity. As nice as this often seems, this “care” is unnecessarily limited and comes at the cost of who is not included in the scope of care.
      One might say it is not possible to care for everyone. My answer to that is that in case of such seeming conflict or doubt in what relational level to favor over the other, always the broadest context, the common good, should lead our decisions. This will be the best for all individuals (all humanity of which 1 in 3 people suffer from some form of malnutrition, and of which 35% still don’t have access to improved sanitation), although that might require us to abandon some immediate ego-driven cravings for more than we need. The intrinsic psychological benefits of such a way of thinking, despite some seeming extrinsic sacrifices, is great and comes in the form of joy (of higher quality than just pleasure), fulfillment, and meaning.
      Thanks again for sparking this discussion!

      • Yes, I think finding a way to expand the definition of “our” beyond ones personally preferred small-circle group. So that “us” includes a broader spectrum. I’ve wondered if it would help if we were to focus on thinking of the overall system (rather than individual/tribal groups). As in talk about caring for the educational system as an organic whole – and approach it as a design issue; how to design school systems so that all of the kids (regardless of color, economic level etc.) are able to benefit from a systems function. Take school lunches. Everyone has a right to a basic lunch. Period. Stop with the niggling of who is on assistance and who is paying their own way or who “deserves”…. That’s ego-driven sorting I think. Instead why not ask the question of “Did everyone get a good lunch today?” and “How can we make sure everyone in a school district/system eats and no one is singled out due to ability to pay etc.” I think in general that the U.S. public school system has been an attempt to think in the broadest context for the common good. The U.S. school system has been co-opted and manipulated for ego-driven cravings far too often. But the public-school concept as a whole is an effort toward a broad context public good. The question is how to focus on what works well and improve it while minimizing the ego-driven small-minded manipulative efforts. I think some countries have done public education (and healthcare) better than the U.S. has. My wish is that more people in the U.S. were willing to learn from what works well in other countries… But that would mean stepping away from ego-driven cravings… At any rate I digress… Great discussion! Thank you!

      • Hi Sue.
        Thanks a lot for continuing the great discussion, indeed!
        I wholeheartedly agree with your point of the need to abandon ego-driven cravings (which by the way don’t satisfy the cravings at all, but instead only reinforce them!). Your example illustrates well your point!
        I agree with your mentioning that focusing on an overall system beyond group-thinking is a matter of “thinking design.” Exactly! And educating people not just with vague interpretable “systems” understanding but rather with a lawful and simple enough mindset will be crucial to promoting an extended scope of mind. The ‘Tripod Mindset’ concept is based on the matrix of the human dimensions of time and relationships, reaching from our past source to the future of the next generation of all humanity. I’m working on how to convey the use of such a system more effectively:-).
        Thanks for your appreciated contribution/discussion to this.
        Thanks again, and all the best!

      • Glad for the chance to share! I hear you on figuring out how to convey “ways of thinking” “use of a system” more effectively! It’s a challenge; how to convey a complex issue simply enough so people will grasp it – but to not over-simplify it either. I’ve noticed that sometimes people will give something that seems “complex” more importance but won’t actually take the time to comprehend it. Sometimes when something seems “simple” it is dismissed entirely. After observing that when I talk about my artwork I strive for a balance between the complexity and simplicity of my work. Other times I find it’s better to just stop talking. 😉 Lol! All the best to you!

      • You are so right, thank you for your great addition. I also think that the effectiveness of messages depends on the right balance of sophistication and simplicity in the right context and at the right moment. As good messages should be spread effectively, such “marketing” considerations are important. On the other side, I can very much relate to your point of just staying quiet. It means for me also to stay authentic. In the long run, this likely is an effective source of persuasiveness too. Many thanks for the discussion! Take care

  • Congratulations at your latest developments (school & advisory), dear Mathias. Currently following a course designed by you at Udemy and so far (half way through) really interesting. Best of look on your future endeavors, although I am sure we will connect soon again 😉 Kind regards, Patty

  • Very interesting notion you’re pushing forward here. Whilst I appreciate the deeper thought process behind your concept and the clever use of systems theory as a means of connecting the dots, I don’t quite understand what facets constitute the TM? Also, how would you quantify this if you had to take it to the next level of being studied from an academic perspective?

    From an innovation perspective I genuinely believe that many apps/companies have developed market offerings aimed at bettering the world e.g. ride hailing apps reduce environmental pollution, apps are sometimes developed to teach people new languages – decentralizing knowledge acquisition, many organizations have started implementing open innovation in order to create collaborative communities where synergistic value is created between organizations and the general public…I think that maybe…innovation is actually being used rather positively.

    • Hello, and thank you very much for your valuable feedback. I appreciate it. I’m aware of the missing details provided in the introductory article that was for announcement purposes only. So, thank you for providing the opportunity to elaborate further. I hope that’s helpful.

      The aspects respectively the three tripartite legs of the tripod (mindset, TM) are comprised of the nine perspectives that result from the matrix of the likewise tripartite dimensions of relation (intra-, inter-, and extra-personal) and time (past, present, future) (I will also graphically visualize it in a future article). Like a tripod, the combination and length (focus) need to be balanced to achieve a stable state (of mind).

      Yes, there are many ideas for how to operationalize that concept so that it can be further scientifically studied. For example, common wisdom and related quotes tell us that we should live in the present moment. Living in the moment as a mantra is not helpful in reminding us that such a single focus risks leaving potential inconsideration for the future of our children, for example. Therefore, the TM mindset would clarify that the healthiest state is to live in the inter-present (living in the moment with others (while their past is not our affair, as is not their specific future but rather the future of everyone)). This inter-present aspect then is reconciled against the two other tripod legs respectively mindset components of (1) not forgetting where our genuine self is coming from (= the intra-past) and (2) that we are only a part of a bigger whole that includes the future of the next generation as well (= the extra-future). Such a mindset can be studied not only theoretically but also practically through the development of experiments and assessments.

      Regarding your mention of the positive use of innovation: Yes, we can, but collectively we don’t (yet).
      There are admirable individual exceptions, but finally, capitalist growth requirements do compete beyond equal cooperation among all value creators/stakeholders.
      I’m also very privileged to consume many nice technology innovations that are even seemingly for free for the ones who can afford a computer. They rarely are though. Either we don’t see the business model yet (e.g., Facebook having monetized our free data long before the public was aware of), or the model will change to paid usage plans inevitably. Besides all good intentions and technological possibilities, most (open) innovations have to become sustainable at some point and to generate profit if not sponsored by taxpayers, or they will not be able to compete and finally disappear.

      I don’t know a lot of people who are willing to give their money “just” for good causes that don’t pay financially back in some way. It is difficult to be aware of, even in the best meaning community, but the big global picture is that the rich controlling the corporate and public administrations get richer, while the poor get poorer. Still today, every couple of seconds a child dies from poverty, although there is enough wealth/food on earth to care for and feed all. The current decentralization trends (e.g., blockchain technology promising its further facilitation) are used to harness networking and global-reach effects to create the next generation of platform monopolies. Again, there is no way to get the finances to develop, market, and operate a technology innovation beyond the local scope that is not projecting economies of scales with the required returns on investment to satisfy investors.
      This is the collective situation, for which nobody can be blamed. However, if the 1% of the people who own the majority of the worlds wealth/assets decided to change, a change could happen. Another scenario is that a new mindset would create the shift in consciousness that eventually lets the pendulum switch. A complicating factor in promoting any new ideas is that the monopolist technology solutions we are using (on our mobile phone) have controlling influence on our way of conscious and unconscious thinking and behavior in almost all aspects of life through their intrusive and ubiquitous presence.

      Nevertheless, to conclude optimistically, I believe the state of globalization and distributed designs may also help the evolution of human thinking that embraces and integrates more holistically the set of socio-temporal dimensions required (and promoted through the TM). A new mindset would help to see beyond the cultural systems we have learned to live in: incl., family, sports club, church, state, technology usage communities (!), nation, race, gender, and any other “tribal” separations. The TM concept is intriguing through its lawful derivation and consistent benefits. Therefore, it could create the necessary traction to make a revolution of the human mind possible:-).