[RE]LEARN 2020 - The Learning Innovation Festival has ended
Thursday, November 12 • 16:15 - 16:30
Reimagining education for the 21st century: Wellbeing at the core, technology

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The internet has brought many advances; trade, education and entertainment can be delivered at almost zero marginal cost, and perhaps more importantly, ideas can spread across the world instantaneously, through high definition conversations. These conversations and sharing of ideas are how we begin to solve some of the global problems we now face; the environmental, economic and political crises, and so on.

However, along for the ride of this increased connectivity is increased complexity – as if our lives weren’t already complex enough before the internet arrived. This complexity comes at a massive cost - to distract ourselves from the burden of our overly complex lives, we consume more, contributing to the environmental crisis, as well as becoming more materialistic and less connected to our deeper selves.
To further distract ourselves we engage with social media, which exacerbates our consumption habits and manipulates our emotions and instincts in order that we remain engaged, while increasing the complexity of things. That’s how our political and economic crises arrive.
And when the complexity gets too much we – in particular young people – self-harm and worse. And so we have another crisis – the mental health crisis.

It would seem then, that the solution to these crises, would be to somehow decrease the burden of complexity that we all carry. How we do that is very simple. We retreat from complexity without ignoring it. We take a step back and listen to our heart beat and lungs breathe. We remember that we are not our digital avatars, or our social media fuelled emotions. We are simply alive, here and now.
There are a number of tools to help us do so. In a lot of cases these tools came pre-packaged with religions, and our society either gets caught up in religious dogma or throws the baby out with the bath water. However, one tool in particular, mindfulness meditation – one of the most complete of these tools, can be extracted from religion without losing any of its benefits. As the Dalai Lama says “if meditation can be taught to every 8 year old we will end violence in a generation”.
By sitting still, in non-judgmental observance of what’s occurring in the body & mind, you distance yourself slightly from the complexity of your thoughts and emotions. You can see them rather than be them fully; this is the beginning of wisdom. With wisdom comes the joy of changing yourself and the world for the better – and so personal ethics springs from within.

The fundamental solution to the crises we now face is not a technological one; it is a global shift in consciousness beginning at the level of the individual. It’s occurring now, and technology will allow the shift to spread to all corners of the globe.
Our company, Ciúnas Learning Ltd. (Ciúnas means silence in Irish) seeds this shift, using education technology techniques to prompt students to bring a little silence into their lives. It is no longer a luxury, but a necessity.

avatar for Colm Fallon

Colm Fallon

Founder of ProjectOneSky - a Wellbeing Edtech Company, Project One Sky
After suffering with mental health issues as a teenager, Colm gained a strong interest in discovering meaning, the keys to happiness, and what it means to live a good life. He studied yoga, Tai Chi, meditation, science, psychology, sociology, and various philosophies and religions... Read More →

Thursday November 12, 2020 16:15 - 16:30 CET