Hannes Bend
Yoga Teacher and Founder of Breathing.AI

Hannes is a certified yoga instructor and has been teaching yoga, breathwork and meditation since 2014 in preschools to toddlers, in jail on Rikers Island, to his Meetup group of almost 400 members weekly and offices (Google NY, WeWork HQ). He has developed an award-winning (Stanford 2016) XR biofeedback projects with universities and founded the mindfulness technology company Breathing.AI in 2018.

Pixels and Presence for Well-Being in Life and Workplaces
Saturday, May 2, 2020 — 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM

How can one feel better at work and using technical devices? The workshop explores mindfulness practices that can be integrated into the stream of experiences within a day – and to support a joyful flow in private and at work. We will also examine which technologies are available, which ones are being developed and which ones we can imagine.

Mindfulness has recently been discussed as being supportive of capitalism by providing tools to cope with the status quo (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/jun/14/the-mindfulness-conspiracy-capitalist-spirituality). It has been argued that mindfulness is the “enemy” of activism, compassion (the activity to reduce individual and collective suffering) and ethics – crucial parts of Buddhist and Tibetan practices from which mindfulness is heavily derived from. The workshop addresses the ethical practices and explores a wider range of techniques supportive of active compassion and alertness of inequality.

Similarly, the technology industry has been able to profit from mindfulness with apps, wearables, and VR devices – by adding time spent with pixelated or audio technical devices instead of presence with oneself or other human beings.

How can mindfulness practices become integrated into existing usage of technical devices instead of adding more time? We will discuss developments and research of current solutions, and imagine possible solutions we wish to be developed.

The workshop will inspire controversial conversations on ongoing mindfulness practices. It also offers meditative practices encouraging an active mindset to hopefully feel happier as oneself and with each other, and to be able to enact compassion.

Participants will come away with:

  • What techniques and technologies are accessible or soon available to improve workplaces for digital health
  • How can workplaces be changed to support the well-being of the employees
  • Which futuristic or implementable ideas emerged from the workshop and what could be possible solutions or possibilities to take home or to suggest for one’s workplace