We had the good fortune of connecting with David Koepsell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi David, what matters most to you?
Having been an ethics professor for half of my life, and raising young children now, the value that is most important to me to teach my children is the importance of duty to others. Much of our culture has been built, at least in our popular discourse, on the centrality of the idividual, and seems grounded in a myth that we are all rugged, isolated individuals set apart and even at war with, the community of people we are part of. Our community, our country, and even our world is a diverse and disparate collection of people of all types, with varying degrees of access to goods, and differing degrees of opportunity. We owe duties to each other individually, and collectively, and these duties are not grounded in rights but rather in what Kant calls the categorical imperative, close in some ways to the Golden Rule. We must treat others as equals deserving of dignity, and not as means to ends, or risk a moral contradiction. This is central to our future, if we are to grow, or even survivie, as we are all ineluctably enmeshed in a worldwide community of dignity-deserving equals.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My partner and I started EncrypGen as a way to rectify what we thought was a wrong: that people’s DNA data is being used in science and business without paying people properly for its value. It’s a story that echoes the wrong done to Henrietta Lacks, if you’ve seen the movie or read the book about her cancer cells that made such an impact even as she died in poverty. We built the Gene-Chain to avoid this injustice, and also helped form BTblock Health to do likewise for other issues in healthcare in general. We have learned along the way the important distinction between those willing and eager to seek and work for opportunity and justice, and mere opportunists. We have struggled with the balance between monetary and moral profit, and realized the centrality of time and commitment to family above all. We believe our brands, both EncrypGen and BTblock Health, have captured our belief in our values and benefitted from them in our communicating about them to the world.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We take them to Butterfly World and Silverball Pinball Museum in Pompano Beach, and for dinner at the Fifth Element Indian Grill.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My parents, my extended family, and my spouse and children.