Meditation, tech addiction and your brain in VR – Why mindfulness matters

Loic Le Meur Trends

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This year at LeWeb we have expert curators inviting world class speakers to talk about the most important technology trends. In addition to coordinating the overall LeWeb content, I am also curating a trend myself, on The Future of the Mind.

Mindfulness is a significant trend in Silicon Valley. Well-known entrepreneurs such as Twitter’s co-founder Evan Williams and Kevin Rose practice meditation on a regular basis. Giants such as Google have meditation classes and sessions available to all employees.

There is also an ecosystem of apps being created around the mindfulness space. Last year we had the founders of Headspace on stage, a mobile guided meditation class, now a huge success with hundreds of thousands of users. New to the space is Zen Friend, an iPhone app that makes meditation easier as well as social, by showing you other friends meditating around you.

I am thrilled to have three of the foremost experts in brain research and development onstage at LeWeb this year.

Judson Brewer is a psychiatrist and internationally-known expert on mind addictions. Mindfulness is about controlling your brain, and addiction is one of the most difficult weaknesses to tackle. We are all addicted to social networks, email and our mobile devices in general. Judson will offer a very thought provoking talk on the future of the mind. Find out more about his work here.

Tania Singer is the director of the Department of Social Neurosciences at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig. Tania and I spoke in the same mindfulness session at the World Economic Forum in Davos this year (watch her presentation here) and I was extremely impressed by the results of months of scientific research Tania has conducted on meditators and how it has changed their brains.

Adam Gazzaley is the founding director of the Neuroscience Imaging Center of UC San Francisco. I visited his lab recently and Adam put an Oculus Rift mask and electrodes on my head allowing me to see my brain in real time 3D. I saw which parts activate as I think and change my mind state. It was truly remarkable. His research is very impressive and I am so excited Adam will talk about it at LeWeb. Find out more about his “Glass Brain” project (pictured above) here.

Mindfulness is a big trend not only in the technology world, but in some unlikely places too. Super Bowl champions the Seattle Seahawks were taught yoga and sitting meditation as a part of their training. What happens when we all just slow down for a minute? What is the human mind really capable of? Neuroscientists are focused on the development of effective approaches to enhance brain function and cognition in both healthy and impaired individuals.


Don’t miss The Future of the Mind sessions this year at LeWeb, Dec 9-11! Find out more about this year’s programme trends here.

Top photo from tweet by Adam Gazzaley