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Peoplehood launches a workout for relationships through custom, virtual meeting platform

Participants enter a Peoplehood Gather at their New York location

After selling their first business, SoulCycle, Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler went on to develop Peoplehood, a first-of-its-kind relational wellness practice. 

To bring their vision to life, Peoplehood built its first location in NYC and partnered with Lumenalta (formerly Clevertech) to build a custom video platform.
We sat down with Rachel Link, COO and CFO of Peoplehood, to learn more about Peoplehood’s journey and our partnership.
What is Peoplehood?
Peoplehood is creating a new wellness vertical centered around social and relational health. Research shows that the #1 predictor of our health and happiness is actually the quality of our relationships. Just last year, the U.S. Surgeon General declared the loneliness epidemic as one of the biggest health crises of our time. Peoplehood is a remedy.
Peoplehood helps people do relationships better. We give people tools to live happier, healthier lives while simultaneously building a community of support.
The Peoplehood practice consists of 60-minute guided group conversations that we call Gathers. Gathers are led by our Guides and are architected to help participants flex their empathy muscles, build trust, gain new perspectives and form unlikely bonds.
Peoplehood Gather in their NYC space
How have gathers changed since you started in 2019?
When we started building Peoplehood back in 2019, we were focused on building an IRL business that was supported by tech. 
The pandemic changed our plans. We pivoted quite a bit in 2020/2021 and started testing on Zoom before people were comfortable getting together in person.
We were surprised at how meaningful the connections our beta testers found virtually were and realized that offering our product online would help us reach even more people than a purely IRL business would. So we started working with [Lumenalta] to create our digital experience at the same time we built our NYC location. 
Peoplehood highlight
What was the vision you had for the tech?
Post-pandemic, people spent so much time in meetings on Zoom. We wanted to build a differentiated digital experience that transported people to a place they did not associate with work or other things on their to do list. We wanted a platform that created trust and felt as relaxing and connective as our in-person experience. 
With [Lumenalta], we created a seamless digital experience that includes our marketing site, booking system, member portal, facilitator dashboard, and video platform.
It was critical that the experience was frictionless so people can focus on what’s really important: connecting with each other.
We also built backend tools to enable our team to deliver a remarkable customer experience. 
Online Peoplehood gather on their fresh new custom video platform
What did that technology unlock for Peoplehood?
It’s extremely important that the platform helps create a space where people feel safe to open up, share, and connect. From the minute someone logs in to join a Gather, they read and agree to the PPLHD Pledge (our community rules).
GIF of online Peoplehood Gather waiting room experience and questionnaire
We wanted the tech to easily guide participants through the journey: the platform enables us to pre-set the share order and breakout pairings, indicate who is sharing and who is listening, display prompts on the screen, and let people know how much time they have left to share. 
One of the things that was really important to us was music. Similar to SoulCycle classes, the music has a big impact on the experience. Zoom just isn’t great about playing music and allowing people to talk over that music. 
Two attendees participating in a Peoplehood Gather answering a prompt in a break out room on the custom video platform
What was your experience working with Lumenalta?
We have absolutely loved working with [Lumenalta.] Since Day 1, they have felt more like an extension of our internal team than an external agency. Every team member that we’ve worked with has been passionate, dependable, and great at creative problem solving. 
One of the benefits has been the ability to scale up and down as needed; that’s critical for us as an early stage startup. We needed a big push up front with a larger team to get the product off the ground, followed by a flexible period where we shift into daily operations with a smaller team. [Lumenalta] has been great at helping us identify the right size team for our needs at each stage of the business.
“The video platform is easy to use and is helping us scale Peoplehood across the globe. It feels inviting and differentiated from other video experiences. We were thrilled to partner with [Lumenalta] to bring our digital sanctuary to life.”
Julie Rice, Co-Founder of Peoplehood

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