Conscious Capitalism

Mindfulness in business: these upcoming conferences demonstrate it's moved from fad to best practice, says James Gimian, Mindful's Publisher. 

Photo: iStockPhoto.com/laflor

Mindfulness in business, work, investment, and leadership—what’s up with all that? I can remember not that long ago when the mention of mindfulness practices in the boardroom or workplace was met with blank stares; now it’s all over the place. It amazes me how quickly it’s moved beyond the fad stage into the realm of best practices.

Last week I watched Arianna Huffington talking about mindfulness and business on CNBC’s Squawk Box, featuring moving first person accounts by Aetna CEO John Bertolini and Harvard Business School’s Bill George. That was followed by a HuffPost Live broadcast about mindfulness and work that included our friend and mindful.org contributor Janice Marturano, head of the Institute for Mindful Leadership. Apart from the occasional predictably snarky comments by the Squawk Box hosts, it all seemed so matter of fact and accepted.

Business and work are central to our lives, so I’m very pleased about this development. If you are too and you want to learn more, here are a few events coming up in April that you’ll want to know about:

On April 5 and 6 in San Francisco is the two-day conference Conscious Capitalism: Elevating Humanity Through Business. Our friend Jeff Klein, a leader in this area, tells us that you will be able to learn from CEOs who are actually doing it about how conscious businesses focus on their purpose beyond profit and include the aspirations of all the stakeholders, including employees, customers and the surrounding community. This conference is about big cultural change and also about immediate practical steps you can take.

Also in the Bay Area on April 30, Stanford’s CCARE will be hosting a one-day conference on Compassion and Business, presenting research and best practices by leading experts and business leaders who have successfully implemented compassion-based programs in their organizations. It will include three of our favorite leaders in the mindfulness and business world: Chade-Meng Tan of Google and SIYLI, Scott Kriens of Jupiter Networks and the 1440 Foundation, and Chip Conley who developed the Joie de Vivre hospitality chain.

On the East Coast on April 26, the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce and its new Contemplative Sciences Center will co-host a half day on Investing in Markets, Society, and Ourselves: Views from Investment Masters. Four investors who consistently beat the market over more than 25 years discuss their philosophy and strategies for investing and giving. And as part of the discussion, our friend Jeff Walker (retired Managing Partner, JPMorgan Partners and venture capital fund Bridge Builders Collaborative partner) will lead the panel in a discussion of their own unique strategies for personal development and how these strategies help them to live a more complete and fulfilled life.

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