How Can Gen Ys Become Gen Wise?

Rohan Gunatillake gave opening keynote at Future Everything in Manchester. Thought-provoking, intriguing and, to some in the audience a bit baffling. I enjoyed it – here’s the Storify:

How Can Gen Ys Become Gen Wise?

Rohan Gunatillake

Storified by Brian_Condon · Fri, May 18 2012 01:25:29

Keynote Speaker: Rohan Gunatillake | FutureEverything ConferenceFutureEverything Conference Keynote Speaker Rohan Gunatillake presents one of the most original talks you are likely to see this year – on how people are using technology to reinvent Buddhism. Rohan was recently named in Wired Magazine’s The Smart List 2012: 50 People Who Will Change The World. Conservative, dogmatic and authoritarian…
Hoping Rohan Gunatillake, founder of urban Buddhism app, is going to help soothe my morning stress @FuturEverything #futr

The importance of good beginnings

Rohan says “memorable” can go one of two ways. At the beginning of a conference we have fresh minds and we don’t know where it might go.

Starts in 2007 in a meditation practice and study centre – and he met a young novice and realised that he was also 2nd generation Sri Lanken. They had lots of mutual connections. He was a monk in Thailand and saw something in Rohan and asked “Have you thought about becoming a monk” and I said no.
And we’re off! @rohan_21awake, explaining his experiences in Thailand #futr to begin his Keynote "Generation Wise"
@rohan_21awake : if you want to stay there for more than 3 nights you have to shave your head, and that includes your eyebrows #futr

Buddhism in the Digital Age

But he also realised that Buddhist practices can work in cities and big organisations. The are lots of people making Buddhist practice work in urban environments and in technology.

@rohan_21awake "Generation Wise wants to make Buddhism part of our lives but our lives are digital, relational, urban" #futr
"it’s not fashionable to talk about religion" and now we delve in to the thick of it, note convoluted subtitle #futr
RT @bilalr: Buddhism as an innovation tradition, in inner technologies and design – by @rohan_21awake at #futr
@rohan_21awake in full flow at #futr Buddhist practice in the Digital Age

“Inner Technologies”

RT @findmandy: Like @Rohan_21awake #futr description of the Buddah as a protoscientist- using inner technologies to gain insights into the human condition
@rohan_21awake "We’re here in a cathedral to external technologies. Meditation is an inner technology of attention and intention" #futr
@rohan_21awake talking about the Buddha and the development of "inner technology" #futr
Moving into the Zen aesthetic and a change in inner technology – about simplicity and Koan practice. The 3 grand traditions of Buddhism innovating and changing but in their own largely geographic areas. Once the hippies came along this changed – as some of them engaged and took the thinking back to the West.
But now it’s not in the Hippies – it’s in the Hipsters! Now you have all the traditions in one place whose teachers are baby boomers and it’s all a bit of a mess.
#futr Buddhism has now moved from the realm of the hippies to the hipsters.
Paraphrasing @rohan_21awake: hipsters are a growth market for Buddhism #futr
Hipster meditators. Ha. #futr
Lots of comment on Twitter about Rohan’s comments about Hippies to Hipsters transition.
Buddhist GeeksDiscover the Emerging Face(s) of Buddhism
Now he’s talking about Buddhist Geeks as “hackers of the mind” – and he made the Buddhify app as an example of meditation design applied to the modern world.
Buddhist geeks are "hackers of the mind" says @rohan_21awake at #futr
@rohan_21awake #OMCru is a community of people all around the world practising meditation together, mediated by Twitter #futr
Buddhist geeks as mind hackers, online meditation communities, urban meditation, buddhify. Real food for thought #futr, and I’m an atheist!
Corporate buddhism – scary. Buddhist geeks – intriguing. Hacking operations of the mind – ?! @rohan_21awake at #futr
#omcru buddhify as learning mediation walking around the city #futr #wellbeing
RT @futrConf: @rohan_21awake : Buddhist geeks are working on hacking the operating system of the mind. They take it seriously. #futr
BrainBotBrainBot began as a trip to the Himalayan mountains to measure the brainwaves of meditating monks. In the summer of 2011, we won a grant from the non-profit healthcare incubator to help people be more mindful through technology.
His hypothesis is that using your phone will aid mental health – and eventually we will start to integrate technology into ourselves.
There seems to be hi-minded a Buddhist "inner technology" meme at #FUTR. I was going to talk about Data Wombles #pullmysocksup
@rohan_21awake : I get a lot of flak…someone’s writing a masters thesis on the spiritual disaster of [my app] @buddhify #futr
I like the sound of “algorithmic meditation”, I’d be so much more inclined to meditate if I had a robot teacher #futr
Now he’s looking at attention and activism and how we can soften the minds of activists as well – as a way to avoiding ‘burn out’ and the feeling of being overwhelmed. He sees this happening in the next 5 years – where inner technologies can play a bigger part. Mentions Steve Jobs (influenced by Zen aethetics) and Eric Ries and the Lean Startup movement.
Attention economy, why don’t we design with the mind in mind? Is silence actually silent from an attention point of view? Interesting #futr
QuestionsRe use of term Buddhism – does it become obsolete?It’s why we called it meditation by design – not Buddhism by design. Not necessarily using the transformative power.
great opening keynote by @rohan_21awake at @futureverything: meditation as internal technology of attention and intention #futr
@rohan_21awake interesting! Something to munch on this morning……. @VincentHorn
@rohan_21awake great talk Rohan! Really enjoyed it.

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