A globally renowned Buddhist monk will teach delegates at the IFIP World Computer Congress (WCC2015) in October how to harness the power of the mind to enhance creativity and innovation.
Ajahn Brahm, Abbot of the Bodhinyana Monastery in Serpentine, Western Australia, will deliver a keynote presentation discussing the importance of rebellious thinking, not just for the sake of progress, but for the joy of creativity.
“Like any other cutting edge area of human culture, IT needs new ideas and they generally come from people who think and live outside the box,” Brahm said. “We live in a very competitive society. Mindfulness and meditation are important not just for reducing stress, but also for improving productivity and innovation. When the mind is dull, then productivity goes way down and creativity is stunted. Sometimes we need a spark from someone way outside our own paradigm to help s see things differently.”
A Cambridge graduate who studied theoretical physics, Ajahn Brahm today heads up the largest community of Buddhist monks in Australia, while also acting as Spiritual Adviser to various other monasteries and Buddhist societies around the world.
In our digitally disrupted world, Brahm says people need to switch off their devices and disconnect from the Internet in order to better connect with themselves and others.
“Everyone knows that we’re too connected in this digital world. The Internet, email, social media ? it’s never-ending. In order to work effectively and creatively, the brain needs a break. We have to learn to turn off our devices and connect more to ourselves, our colleagues and our families so that we can later reconnect from a more grounded space,” he said.
“It’s far healthier for the brain and the body to see a sunset on a mountain top rather than on a screen. Virtual experiences can only give us virtual happiness.”
In his presentation, Brahm will explore some of the obstacles to creativity and how to overcome them, applying his 40 years experience as a monk along with insights from meditation and modern psychology. He will demonstrate how simple practices of mindfulness meditation can train our brains to perceive reality in totally new ways, enabling us to find new and original ways to solve problems.
“Brian Josephson, who won a Nobel Prize in Physics for developing the Josephson Junction, one of the building blocks of supercomputers, attributed his breakthrough to his regular practice of transcendental meditation. There are many problems facing the world where the innovative use of technology can provide solutions, if we can open our minds to create them,” he said.
The 23rd IFIP World Computer Congress, WCC2015 (http://wcc-2015.org/) will be held from 4-7 October in Daejeon, South Korea. With 13 different streams of content happening under the WCC umbrella, the Congress is expected to attract over 2,000 ICT professionals, computer scientists, researchers and academics to attend over 100 presentations, workshops and panel sessions.