Closer to One: Buddhism and the Internet of Things

A session at SXSW Interactive 2012

Tuesday 13th March, 2012

12:30pm to 1:30pm (CST)

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.

About the speakers

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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.

This person is speaking at this event.
Sara Ohrvall

Senior Vice President, 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.

Next session in Room 616AB

3:30pm Getting the Most out of Google+ by Keri Kandel


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16 attendees

  • Björn Jeffery
  • Emil Salonen
  • Gianfranco Chicco
  • Gui Ambros
  • Johan Ejermark
  • Juliana Nascimento
  • Patricia Marinho
  • Mark Pors
  • Marc Blanchard
  • Sara Öhrvall
  • Sarita Bhatt
  • Alex Watson
  • Martin Thörnkvist
  • Vincent Horn
  • Mary Beth Faccioli
  • Mikael Zackrisson

12 trackers

  • Alan Botvinick
  • Anna Uleander
  • Cam Bevis
  • Brian Duggan
  • Rick Mason
  • Dan W
  • Jen Simmons
  • Daniel Hansson
  • Kitty Leering
  • Nimit Maru
  • Paul McAleer
  • Ralph Brandi

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Time 12:30pm1:30pm CST

Date Tue 13th March 2012


Room 616AB, Hilton Austin Downtown

Session type

Core Conversation

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