April 11 2017
By Nicole Andreou

Speaker announcement: Alexander Avanth

Photo credits: Claudia Adeath/PhotoTrack (photo) & Charles Ndwiga (editing)

Navigating Digital Mindfulness

In an age when we must be ‘always on’, our smartphones become an easy escape from problems we don’t want to solve, and issues we don’t want to face. But how can we explain the constant iteration and repetition of this habit, and begin to understand the reasons behind why it exists? Can we become more mindful of technology and how we use it? Alexander Avanth takes TEDxCopenhagen on this journey.

An optimistic futurist, ordained Buddhist Monk, entrepreneur, and passionate individual about exponential technology and positive impact, Alexander is dedicated to creating a holistic framework through which we can understand and explore our relationships with technology. He believes that we must be conscious of where our awareness goes, and how we spend our extremely valuable attention spans in the 21st Century. 

“I became a Buddhist monk to start over again, to find out what it actually means if you completely release yourself from everything”

It was only when Alexander decided to immersively study becoming a Buddhist Monk that he began to fully appreciate the relationship human beings have with their devices - smartphones in particular. By cutting out all forms of digital communication, he developed an holistic understanding of how we use our smartphones.

He was concerned that we as human beings are wasting our most valuable currency, our attention, by spending time on distractions. This inspired him to become part of Hold, an app which helps students be more mindful of their attention, and rewards them for staying away from distractions. With a background in neuroscience and exponential technologies, he found these worldviews lacked the human perspective needed to fully understanding technology. Something he found in Buddhism through meditation.

“We should increasingly be more aware of our attention in the 21st Century”

Alexander will help us navigate how to be more aware of our attention in an always-on environment. He will provide a framework through which we can explore and understand our relationships with technology, and begin to draw awareness through meditation and reflection.

 

- By Alexandra Connerty

 

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Alexander is an Exponential Technology Consultant at DareDisrupt & Chairman of Hold Danmark - an app designed to reward students for focusing on school. He is also a Board Member of Human Ventures, a firm investing in social impact and technologies that make life easier and more fulfilling. 

Twitter @AAvanth