03/27/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

The Wisdom 2.0 Conference: Can Technology And Wisdom Unite?

I generally walk in two worlds: the first is with those interested in inner practices such as mindfulness, personal growth, and wisdom. The second is with those interested in technology, gadgets, and social media. I have decided that it is high time these two worlds came together.

In fact, to address the numerous challenges of our age, the various groups in our world -- the techies with their gadgets, the wisdom folks with their practices, the social activists with their campaigns -- need to come together. After all, we do not just need new technology; we need technology used wisely and purposefully.

The Need to Come Together

In fact, if there is one thing with which we can likely all agree, it may well be that in the shift to a more conscious, sustainable, and livable world, no one person or group has the answer. Instead, it is through a uniting and engaging of different parts that a real shift occurs and answers begin to emerge.

This is the spirit of the first annual Wisdom 2.0 conference, which brings together those from the tech community (who are largely focused on developing external gadgets and technologies) with those from wisdom communities (who are primarily focused on the inner technologies of the mind and heart) to explore what it means to live with mindfulness, meaning, and wisdom in our day and age.


The Age of Wisdom

While there are those who have renounced technology, and also those who are religiously devoted to it never swaying from their cellphone, there is a growing number of people who seek to live a wise and engaged life. They want to say Yes to both a connected life, including social media like Twitter and Facebook, and Yes to a meaningful and mindful life. It is a movement from the information age to the wisdom age.

What it Means ...

What it means to live with a deeper sense of purpose and connection amidst this age may well be one of the most important topics of our age. Are we going to live connected to technology with our cell phone always in hands-reach, but largely disconnected from ourselves and a sense of purpose? Or are we going to engage with a balance and focus, using the tools of our age to bring forth greater compassion and wisdom to the world?

This greatly depends on the quality of our engagement. As Eckhart Tolle likes to remind us, "The state of your consciousness now is what determines the future." A society of overworked, stressed out, overwhelmed, and distracted people, no matter how smart, are not likely to create anything truly useful to the world.

Therefore, the challenge is not just to use technology and be "connected," but to do so with a sense of purpose and vision. After all, living connected to technology is easy; living meaningfully connected is the real challenge.

Soren Gordhamer is organizing the Wisdom 2.0 Conference, which brings staff from technology companies such as Twitter and Google, with Zen teachers, neuroscientists, and others to explore this living with deeper mindfulness and wisdom in the modern age. More info at: