This past weekend, I attended my first Wisdom 2.0 conference held in San Francisco. Unlike other conferences I’ve attended in the past, this conference incorporates the personal and professional “you” with a focus on technology and your inner insight.
In the incredible age of speed looming over us, there is a need to slow down to discover our life’s purpose. At most other conferences I typically attend every session possible, but this time I focused on fewer sessions to ensure I had time alone. This was my intent before attending and it was reinforced through my interaction with Michael Aston Smith, Co-Founder of the awesome meditation app, Calm, that I have used for years.
Highlights That I Learned
Mindfulness is Gaining Traction
Scientific data supports that it is impacting families, schools, companies, and even healthcare systems of all sizes.
Marc Brackett, of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, is quantifying the impact of mindfulness on our lives and beginning a new study on mindfulness in the workplace. He was authentic and funny, and he spoke about what strategies we can both teach to children and use as adults to deal with stress more effectively.
A Business World Based on Wisdom & Compassion
LinkedIn tested mindfulness and created a Conscious Business Academy and I want to learn more about this and how it is being adopted throughout their organization.
Fisher is a pioneer in both the fashion industry and the art of purposeful living using yoga and meditation in her $350M company. She is an amazing leader and we need more women like her as role models. Like many mindfulness practitioners, she asked the audience to focus on how they are feeling in that moment and follow it as it is. One small, yet big item I took away from her was to allow others to have their reactions and just be with them. For us individually, we need to check in with our body and notice what is going on inside. Continuing to practice mindfulness is crucial. It is a journey. I’m making note of this constantly.
Question Your Thoughts (Especially Stressful Ones)
That and limiting judgement of them was a key theme from the Byron Katie, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and Soren Gordhamer discussion on “Mindfulness, Self-Inquiry and the Process of Awakening.” One quote I loved was, “give your mind a home to rest.”
Crowdfunding for Good
Social entrepreneurism with Indiegogo was very inspiring; strangers want to connect via crowd funding and help others. That is some positive news I want to read.
Focus on Yourself
The last day was driven by an honest and open conversation with John Donahoe, meditator and former eBay CEO, and Jack Kornfield, author, former Buddhist monk, and teacher who together discussed the importance of today’s leaders taking time to both focus on and support the internal pieces of ourselves. John’s leadership criteria is centered on those who are authentic and focused on learning and personal growth — in addition to being resilient, confident and self-aware.
Reducing Healthcare Costs & Improving Outcomes with Mindfulness
Standing ovation for presenters in the “Mindfulness and Medicine” session which was followed by a packed Q&A session. Aetna, a health insurance company, is leading the charge in mindfulness. They’ve quantified results of their own employee-based mindfulness programs showing a 7.5% reduction of healthcare costs for their participants (Journal of Occupational Health). This triple play discussion included Congressman Tim Ryan, Aetna’s CEO Mark Bertolini, and scientist, writer, and meditation teacher, Jon Kabat-Zinn. Solving healthcare issues requires collaboration from Federal and State lawmakers, companies expanding plan coverage options, and health insurance companies embracing health before it turns into disease. Presenters advocated not spending more on healthcare, but reallocating the budgets to scientifically backed programs to stop health problems before they start.
See Things Differently at Wisdom 2.0
Medical professionals, business leaders, educators, scientists and a host of professionals are embracing mindfulness given its quantifiable benefits to improve all aspects of our lives. Attendees and speakers were friendly, kind, vulnerable, and authentic, resulting in deep and stimulating conversations often overlooked in our daily, frantic lives. I will go back to Wisdom 2.0 for the opportunity to pause, think, and discuss meaningful topics of our time while connecting with others to do something about them. Attend a Wisdom 2.0 event and you will begin to see things differently.