Wisdom 2.0 was started by Soren Gordhamer in 2009 as a way to examine how we can live with technology without it swallowing us whole. To put it in his words, “What the culture is craving is a sense of ease and reflection, of not needing to be stimulated or entertained or going after something constantly. Nobody’s kicking out technology, but we have to regain our connection to others and to nature or else everybody loses.”
Wisdom 2.0 claims to be one-of-kind event that brings together technology leaders, Zen teachers, neuroscientists, and academics to explore how people can live with deeper meaning and wisdom in our technology-rich age. It includes speakers like Ariana Huffington, Eckhart Tolle, Tony Hsieh and Evan Williams just to name a few. It attracts mostly young audience from in and around of the Silicon Valley tech scene and entirely fed up with taking orders from Siri. Speakers present apps and courses named “Search Inside Yourself”, “GPS for the Soul”, ” Get Some Headspace” while the Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz told Wisdom 2.0 audiences about modeling his current software start-up, Asana, after lessons learned in his yoga practice. Speakers claim that meditation thickens the brain’s cortex, lowers blood pressure, it can heal psoriasis and “it can help you get a promotion.”
The first conference in 2009, held outside in the San Francisco Bay area, gathered a modest 325 people. By 2012, the wait list ran to 500, with headliners that included co-founders of Twitter, Facebook, eBay and PayPal. Last winter’s lineup featured Ford’s chairman, Bill Ford, interviewed by his meditation guru, Jack Kornfield; Congressman Tim Ryan on using mindfulness to transform education; and Marianne Williamson, on ending world hunger with the aid of social media.
Wisdom 2.0 Europe was held in Dublin from September 16-18th. Its next Intensive in the Bay Area is on October 27th and the annual conference is planned for February 2015 and is expected to draw around 2,000 attendees over four days. Stay tuned for announcement on Wisdom 2.0 coming to India.
2.0 version of anything is supposed to be a better, updated version but the critics, however, see these events as a ‘networking opportunity with a light dressing of Buddhism’ or a conference suffused with self-satisfied glow that’s found at corporate feel-good events where powerful and wealthy elites come to network, schmooze, and congratulate themselves on their own generosity and understanding.