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How mindfulness meditation is infiltrating the corporate world

mindful workI thought I’d read everything about mindfulness, but this was news to me: Steve Jobs was a meditator. Back in 1981, long before mindfulness meditation became a popular subject of scientific inquiry, Jobs, the cofounder and public face of Apple Computers, was already practicing mindfulness as a way to calm his mind, stay focused, and feel happier.

According to David Gelles, business reporter for the New York Times, Jobs is not some lone outlier—the number of business leaders embracing mindfulness is at an all time high, and growing. To write his new book, Mindful Work: How Meditation Is Changing Business from the Inside Out, Gelles traveled the country, talking to Read the rest of this entry »

The Next Frontier: Neuroscience, Business and the Arts

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” – Oh The Places You’ll Go, Dr.Seuss.

The space between creativity and entrepreneurship is one of the most exciting areas unfolding in our modern world right now. Read the rest of this entry »

The Business and Ethics of the Brain Fitness Boom – Part 4: The Future

Building Blocks for a Better Future

The best alternative for tomorrow should be better than the best alternative available today. How do we get there, when “cognition” and “brain fitness” remain elusive concepts in popular culture? I believe that the lack of public education is the major obstacle that limits the brain fitness field’s potential to deliver real-world benefits, since only informed demand will ensure the ongoing development of rational, structured “rules of the road.” What could be done to address this and other particular obstacles? Read the rest of this entry »

The Business and Ethics of the Brain Fitness Boom – Part 3: The Real Need

Engaging people where they are in the life-course

Eighty percent of the 38,000 adults over age 50 who were responders in the 2010 AARP Member Opinion Survey indicated “staying mentally sharp” was their top ranked interest and concern (Dinger, 2010). What exactly does this phrase mean? And what role can technology play in “staying mentally sharp”? Intel CEO Paul Otellini has said, “You have to start by thinking about what people want to do… and work backward.” Read the rest of this entry »

The Business and Ethics of the Brain Fitness Boom – Part 2: The Ethics

The terminology “fundamental attribution error” describes the tendency to overvalue personality-based explanations for observed human behaviors, while undervaluing situational explanations for those behaviors.  I believe that a primary reason behind many perceived and real ethical challenges in the brain fitness field is due not so much to certain stakeholders’ lack of personal or professional ethics, but derives from the flawed societal construct that underpins current, relevant innovations. To improve the ethics of the brain fitness business and its application (and empower consumers’ informed decision making), there must first be agreement about a meaningful, appropriate way to analyze and guide innovation. This is the crux of the problem. The current medical model is not up to the task at hand, since it is heavily skewed toward invasive drugs and devices driven by disease-based models, and fails to leverage Read the rest of this entry »

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