Wisdom 2.0 is an unlikely conference. Its goal: to help people “not only live connected to one another through technology, but to do so in ways that are beneficial to our own well-being, effective in our work, and useful to the world.”
There, tech titans such as LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner mix with masters of mindfulness, including Jon Kabat-Zinn. Having experienced that breadth of perspectives, each attendee leaves with a different takeaway. This is mine.
The 6th-ever Wisdom 2.0 felt less wide-eyed and more mature. Soren Gordhamer, founder of the W2.0 movement, set the tone: “At the end of our lives, what’s gonna be important?” Adding, “What is it like to live like any one moment isn’t more important than another moment?”
The conference covered compassion in business, wisdom in leadership, and mindfulness in everything. But the overall theme was Time—and the battles being waged over how we spend it.
The term “peak attention” emerged. Like peak oil, or “the point of maximum [oil] production,” peak attention suggests we humans are maxed out mentally. We’ve reached the point that every moment of our time can be filled with more information than we could ever process. I know that some nights, my forehead feels almost hot to the touch after cramming messages and reports left over from the day.
In the way we so freely and constantly text and tweet and email, “we bulldoze each other’s attention,” claims Tristan Harris. Tristan, who works for Google and considers himself a design ethicist, gave a presentation about Time Well Spent, the same as his talk at TEDx Brussels.
Tristan believes our ever-present smart phones and search engines present us with an all-or-nothing proposition: Continue reading