About Chris Rhyss Edwards…
Former Army Combat Engineer & Peacekeeper turned digital media professional, author and health tech entrepreneur. After spending a decade in uniform in the Australian Army, I’ve spent the past two decades developing commercially successful digital products and teams for NewsCorp, Sensis & Clemenger BBDO as well as launching two successful start-ups.
In 2017, I founded Soldier.ly with a mission to develop military-grade ‘empathic technologies’ to enable veterans, civilians & organisations to detect and manage stress. We developed the world’s first stress detection & management smartwatch app named ID.STRESS. Our tech tracks a range of biometric data and then alerts the wearer when their anxiety, stress or PTSD is being triggered. The partner app then provides the wearer with practical exercises and tools to reduce anxiety and stop the bodies ‘fight or flight’ response before it takes over.
ID.STRESS went on to win the Bronze medal in the Zurich Innovation World Championship, and I was later named a Global Entrepreneur of the Year at the Pitch@Palace event, and named as a finalist in the Prime Minister’s Veteran Entrepreneur of the Year awards.
I’ve studied Entrepreneurship & Innovation from the University of Adelaide, hold a Masters in Creative Writing from Queensland University of Technology, and am commencing an eHealth PhD focused on digital phenotyping and the use of empathic (smart) technologies to encourage positive behavioural and psychological changes.
Why I write…
I write because I love hearing people’s stories. We all have one, we should share them more.
In 2010, I took a sabbatical from corporate life to began a five-year research project to understand why people kill. I wanted to know, as a former soldier, do we ever have a good reason to kill? Over the following five years, I researched and interviewed people on controversial topics including euthanasia, abortion, child soldiers, infanticide, state execution, terrorism, honour killings and more in an attempt to try and understand why we kill.
In 2015, I published Good Reasons to Kill: an Anthology of Morality, Murder & Collective Madness and took the TEDx stage to speak on The Uncomfortable Truth Between Right & Wrong.
Good Reasons to Kill was an epic project to say the least, but it’s simply the latest project I’ve given my heart and soul to. Over the years I’ve written news stories on euthanasia law reform, same-sex marriage and the homeless crisis in Australia. I’ve had the good fortune to meet and interview a wide range of interesting people.
I’ve interviewed soldiers who’ve served in multiple theaters of war, doctors who’ve operated in the dirt in Africa, men of God who carry guns and the world’s leading Euthanasia campaigner. I’ve also had the pleasure to chat with, drink, argue and laugh with an assortment of fascinating people just like you and me who oftentimes have interesting, terrifying and intriguing stories to share.
Life wielding the written word is far more daunting than the days I wielded a loaded weapon. Words are a more powerful weapon, and a far healthier pursuit. They lift spirits, shift minds, topple governments and change the world. I’m thankful you’ve taken the time to read mine.