This is the archived SXSW 2012 schedule. Please see the current schedule here.

Closer to One: Buddhism and the Internet of Things

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For millennia, eastern philosophers have talked about the “interconnectedness of all things;" the idea of an invisible web that links together beings and objects, organic and inorganic. For the first time in human history, this idea is becoming physically manifest as we begin to network more and more objects—and even our own bodies—with the help of WiFi, sensors, and RFID.

These technologies are turning up in everything from grocery packaging to household devices to self-monitoring tools like the FitBit and JawBone Up, and pointing to a future in which the minute details of our lives will be coordinated online.

But could all this connectedness make us better people? In this fascinating session, we’ll bring together a researcher examining the trends of quantified self and “the Internet of things” (Sara Öhrvall from Bonnier R&D), a top connected-product designer (Matt Rolandson of Ammunition Group), and tech-savvy Buddhism teacher Vincent Horn, who will shed light on what the networked future might mean for human spirituality.


Sara Ohrvall Sr VP, Bonnier R&D Bonnier R&D

Sara Öhrvall leads the Research & Development initiative at Bonnier, managing digital product development for all Bonnier’s international media channels, including magazines, newspapers, books, TV, movies and games. The Bonnier R&D lab is based in San Francisco and Stockholm and is behind the Mag+ concept, which launched with Popular Science magazine on the day the iPad was introduced.

Sara has previously worked at Volvo Cars, where she was responsible for concept development of SUV hybrids, sportscars and eco-friendly cars. Other experiences include Managing Director and partner of brand agency Differ and founder of the innovation-focused consulting firm Ninety. Sara has worked in Tokyo, London, Singapore and Brussels and has an MBA from Umeå Business School in Sweden. She has also studied architecture and design at Parsons School of Design in New York.

Vincent Horn Chief Buddhist Geek Buddhist Geeks

Vincent Horn is a Buddhist Geek, teacher, and explorer. In 2006 Vincent helped start, and now runs, a popular media project called Buddhist Geeks. Buddhist Geeks includes a popular podcast program and an annual conference, which has been featured on the pages of Fast Company, the LA Weekly, and the Los Angeles Times. In addition to running Buddhist Geeks Vincent also teaches meditation online and at the InsightLA meditation center in Santa Monica, CA.

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