0   /   100

ChalkNotes Philosophy

We’re doing this internet thing wrong. 

We are endlessly scrolling our lives away. 

We’ve let screens detach us from the physical world. 

Companies have gamed psychology so we consume more. More videos. More scrolling. More posting. More liking. More.

We’re unhappy, addicted, and lonely. And the benefits of being connected are being outweighed by the costs.

It’s time to stop scrolling and start doing.

It’s time we connect better.


chalknotes origins heart

It was March 2020. New York City schools had just announced they would close and wouldn’t reopen for months. We (Ethan and Phil, founders of ChalkNotes and both fathers) would be raising our girls at home until further notice. 

As winter’s grip waned, people wanted to head outside but were unable to connect in person with their friends and loved ones. All around our neighborhoods, children’s chalk drawings started appearing on sidewalks and driveways. Messages assured friends and neighbors they could be together in the same space, even if not at the same time. These notes in chalk inspired us to consider the crucial importance of place, of having the right information at the right time for the right reason, of agency (which was in short supply during the lockdown) and, most importantly, of community.

We began ChalkNotes as a project to help people safely connect with each other through place. While people were feeling lonely, we wanted to help scale messages of love and support across the world.

ii.  createdFor:

Loneliness is becoming a major public health crisis. Even before the pandemic separated us, we were feeling alone. If technology connected more than half the population to the internet, why is this happening?

Author, explorer, and educator Dan Buettner wrote an article in 2005 for National Geographic in which he identified Blue Zones, areas of the world with the highest concentration of centenarians. Common trends for longevity include being active, having purpose, and being part of a strong community. 

Social media has created a false sense of communities. Over time, companies focused on sustaining attention to hold us captive to scrolls. This did not take away the fundamental desire for community, but it did convince many people that they were no longer going to find it through a screen. 

So how do we use technology to create a sense of community? Of shared purpose? Of the feeling of belonging to a group in a meaningful way, instead of passively following?

We start by redefining our digital world so it is in harmony with our physical world. We want technology to enhance our lives, but we want to stop living on our phones. We choose engagement over addiction, connecting over following, and experiencing over scrolling.


Everything you’ve ever seen, done, or felt has occurred somewhere. Where matters. Place provides the social fabric upon which we can all connect. It is where history was forged and culture was formed.  Yet, for decades, digital has sought to make experiences in the world more appealing through a screen rather than actually being “there.” 

There is nothing more powerful than connecting with a place and engaging all of your senses, triggering memories and emotions. Activating your senses while on-location is unavoidable provided the technology is built to fade into the background. That’s why we focused heavily on audio, a wonderful tool to convey information while freeing the rest of the body to experience a place. 

When we activate all our senses, when we understand the connection we and our friends and community members have to a place, when we have an opportunity to visit the very place someone else has, and for a moment, experience it like they may have, we no longer follow – we connect.


At ChalkNotes, we are inspired to build a future where technology will: 

a) connect people and places in the real world instead of separating them behind screens;

b) enable anyone to create and promote active experiences; and

c) create harmony between our physical and digital worlds, where neither competes for our attention without taking into account our intention. 

By building a platform for all communities and every person, people can experience the world from various points of view. Notes from diverse creators can be stacked on top of a single location to make a lattice of interconnected experiences. It is through our differences that we connect in surprising ways and strengthen our empathy for others. And the world could use more empathy right now.

This evolution of how we deliver messages on location promises to transform the use of mobile technology in a way that may help to define the fourth wave of the internet: the internet of you.


The economy is rapidly transforming from a focus on goods and services to a system economy built around experiences. This transformation will change the world as profoundly as digital did in the last two decades. 

Before COVID19, spending on experiences was growing four times faster than spending on goods. During the pandemic, experiences, and the connections that came along with them, are what we missed most. After the pandemic, we will go on an experience spree, turning everything we can into an experience. 


Passive scrolling and increasing likes do nothing to build loyalty and trust. Those qualities require a connection. One of the most powerful ways to create a connection is through a shared experience. When people feel that their intentions and needs are respected, they turn from members and customers into partners and advocates.

That’s why shared moments are the future of commerce, fueled by easier ways to communicate and transact while on premises. 

We built ChalkNotes for every community – brands, groups, influencers, and organizations – to interact with their audiences through on-demand digital experiences. People converse as they live the experience. ChalkNotes turns messages into adventures – and uses the Earth as the background for every conversation. Delivering the right message to the right person at the right time and location with the right intent is the most powerful of messages there is. 

Join us in building a future where the world is our canvas, and connections to place, people, and ourselves matter most.

The screen is the facilitator…not the experience.

The screen is your guide…not the venue.

We will no longer be captives to the screen.

The screen helps you locate…not do.

The screen shall be for reference, not dependence.

Look up


A single platform for communities to create, discover, and share location-bound experiences. Connect better with each other and where we are.


First, Place

The most powerful technologies of tomorrow are not just for escaping the real world. They are for engaging with it. We prioritize places over pages, where the digital merges with the real to coexist in harmony on and off screen. The real world is our canvas, where digital will provide context to setting. Without context, content is fleeting and unmemorable. Place is the essential glue to connect best with the world and each other.

Stronger Together

The world needs one aggregator platform where communities converge to co-locate people and activities to meet various interests. It makes it easier for people to discover new communities that speak to them, and aligns with the need to connect with several interests in one outing. We make building communities and creating digital experiences seamless, easy, and accessible to anyone regardless of technical ability. Because we will not stop until every story is able to be told.

Attention Follows Intention

People have expectations from technology. We must ensure it serves them instead of dividing and hijacking their attention. We choose to elevate how we interact with the world by graduating from static posts on endless feeds to accomplishing goals and being active.