Start the New Year off by focusing on managing technology mindfully rather than letting it manage you!
I’m delighted to be speaking at this free London event organised by The Multimedia Information Technology Committee of Cilip on 9 Jan 2019.
I’ll be talking about How to feel better without logging off. Encounters with nature have measurable positive effects – heart rate slows, blood pressure goes down, stress melts away and the brain is more able to concentrate. This talk looks at how the same benefits can be gained by accessing nature in VR and online, and explains why we need more nature, not less technology. This is a chance to be mindful of the ways we connect to the natural world both on and offline.
The other speakers are David White, Antony Goves, and Andy Tattersall. For more information, and to book, visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mmit-2018-agm-and-free-talks-on-mindful-technology-and-beating-digital-distractions-tickets-51333887038
1.30 welcome by Chair
1.40 Andy Tattersall – 20 ways to beat digital distraction
2.00 David White
2.50 AGM and refreshments
3.10 Antony Goves
3.30 Sue Thomas – How to feel better without logging off
4.20 Chair’s closing remarks
Tickets are limited.
I’m excited to be invited as a Visiting Professor this May at James Cook University, Singapore. As part of my work there I will present a public lecture on Thursday, 7pm 18 May 2017. If you’re in Singapore then and would like to come along, please follow the link below to the University website.
Living well with nature in a wired world: an introduction to technobiophilia
Do you worry that wired life is taking you away from nature? You may be surprised to learn that you could be getting your daily dose of the natural world through your screensaver, or in virtual reality, or simply by ‘liking’ pictures of sunsets on Facebook. This talk explains the concept of biophilia, the deep genetic memory of our early evolution in the ancient wild, and introduces the concept of technobiophilia. Dr Thomas explains how our ancestral attraction to nature can soothe our connected lives and help us to feel better without logging off.
Video of my webinar for the Biophilic Cities Project, 13 May 2015.
(The name I stumbled over in the Q&A was of course Wallace J. Nichols’ book Blue Mind. I highly recommend it.)
Technobiophilia: soothing our connected minds and easing our wired lives
In her 2013 book Technobiophilia: Nature and Cyberspace, Sue Thomas interrogates the prevalence online of nature-derived metaphors, and comes to a surprising conclusion. The root of this trend, she believes, lies in biophilia, defined by E.O. Wilson as ‘the innate attraction to life and lifelike processes’. Working from the strong thread of biophilia which runs through our online lives, she expands Wilson’s definition to the ‘innate attraction to life and lifelike processes *as they appear in technology*’, a phenomenon she calls ‘technobiophilia’. Attention to technobiophilia and its application to urban design offers a way to make our digital lives integrated, healthy, and mindful. In this talk she outlines the key elements of the concept and shows how, even in an intensely digital culture, the restorative qualities of biophilia can alleviate mental fatigue and enhance our capacity for directed attention, thus soothing our connected minds and easing our wired lives.
Here is a PDF of the slightly revised presentation, with a few more links added and a couple of formatting issues fixed.