BUSINESS
01/25/2014 06:27 am ET Updated Jan 14, 2015

Otto Scharmer Shares What You Can Do For A Few Hours Each Day To Revolutionize Your Brain

Arianna sat down with Otto Scharmer, chair of The Presencing Institute, on HuffPost Live at Davos on Saturday, where he discussed the impact of mindfulness practices on brain plasticity.

"Even a few hours of mindfulness practice actually can change the epigenetic structure of our brain," Scharmer said.

Scharmer said he has seen "an exploding awareness" for mindfulness, especially among business leaders.

"The fast-paced lifestyle is really... more and more disconnecting us," Scharmer said, noting people are looking for a way to connect with themselves.

In addition to mindfulness practices, Scharmer said being a good listener can improve quality of life.

"What I'm surprised by... is how fast you can change your quality of listening," Scharmer said.

Scharmer said listening is "at the root of everything." He said there are four types of listening, two of which many are already familiar with -- listening where "we attend to what we already know" and factual listening, where we learn something new.

But Scharmer said people today need to master two more types of listening -- empathic listening, where we are able to put ourselves in another's place, and what Scharmer calls generative listening, where we see another person in terms of past, present and future possibilities.

Scharmer cited the late Nelson Mandela as someone who was a master of generative listening, which he said is perhaps the most important of each kind of listening.

See Scharmer's interview above, and read more on Davos below:

01/25/2014 10:07 AM EST

Bill Gates Discusses The Hyper-Connectivity Concern

01/25/2014 10:06 AM EST

Polman's View On Work/Life Balance

"We are very fortunate to do what we like to do... so I get a lot of energy out of what I do," Polman said.

"I don't personally believe in work/life balance," Polman said, adding that he hopes to have a happy life balance that includes his work.

"We have to watch what we do, I like to run so I do that every day, and increasingly watch what you eat and maintain your health a little bit," Polman said.

01/25/2014 10:00 AM EST

'We Have A Moral Obligation'

"I think we have a moral obligation to use what is given to us for the benefit of all," Polman said.

"We have no rights to exclude people," Polman said.

01/25/2014 9:59 AM EST

Statue Of Responsibility

"I always say when they built the Statue of Liberty on the east coast of the United States, they forgot to build the Statue of Responsibility on the west coast," Polman said.

01/25/2014 9:56 AM EST

'We Really Need To Move Into Reaction Mode'

"I think people are starting to discover that we really need to move into reaction mode," Polman said.

Polman said the political process has become "incredibly difficult" and is riddled with "poor agreements."

"There is some progress but frankly, not fast enough, and the business community can not wait," Polman said.

"There is more of an urge from responsible business... to drive to action," Polman added.

01/25/2014 9:55 AM EST

'There Is An Enormous Demand On Food'

"Obviously as the population grows with the changing dietary habits, there is an enormous demand on food," Polman said.

Polman said he's worked to find sustainable solutions to food production.

01/25/2014 9:52 AM EST

'There's An Enormous Pressure On The CEO Of Today'

Arianna sat down with Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, on HuffPost Live at Davos on Saturday to talk about pressure in business.

"There's a lot of pressure on the short-term," Polman said.

"There's an enormous pressure on the CEO of today," Polman added.

Polman said "the real purpose of business is to serve society," not to cater to the shareholder, but often the latter is what CEOs are focused on because of pressure.

01/25/2014 9:22 AM EST

Al Gore: 'We Need To Put A Price On Denial In Politics'

01/25/2014 8:49 AM EST

Brad Smith On Unplugging

Smith said he unplugs by getting outside and learning new things by doing things like reading.

"To me, that's a real joy," Smith said.

01/25/2014 8:45 AM EST

Relationship Between Business And Government

Smith said the relationship between business and government has a few different dimensions that usually exist at the same time.

"The government defines the laws and we comply with them," Smith said. "There may be times we think the government goes too far and we challenge them... there are times when we work together. There are times when the government is our customer."

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