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 Continue reading →
Sometimes, fate needs to knock you right over to get you to pay attention. That’s what it took for me to be mindful.
It was a winter Saturday morning and I was ready to tackle a long list of home projects, when I took a last peek at my email. A town meeting popped up and suddenly I had to be there. I figured I could also get some exercise if I rode my bike.
The week had been sunny and I was confident the snow that had been covering the trail had melted. I grabbed my foldable, filled the tires and quickly assembled the frame. The latch for the handlebars didn’t look quite right, but it felt secure so I was off and rolling.
Finding the meeting less than scintillating, I grew antsy and was soon rushing back toward home.
By then, the trail was more crowded. Up ahead were a duo of walkers and a small patch of ice. But as I tried to pass between them, my handlebars buckled and I crashed to the pavement.
Stunned and embarrassed, pain searing through my back, I was glad for the help of the pedestrians I had tried to avoid. As one gave me a hand up, the other secured the handlebars—carefully this time. Offering a shaky thanks, I winced my way home with only a cracked rib and a bruised ego.
It took a trip to San Francisco to find out why the accident happened.
I was there for Wisdom 2.0, a conference jammed with Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and executives from the likes of Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. But they weren’t going to talk tech. This gathering was meant to connect people “in ways that are beneficial to our own well-being, effective in our work, and useful to the world.” Since I’ve written a book on that subject, I was curious to know what “ways” they were talking about. Continue reading →