Kunal Gupta is the CEO of Polar, a digital media technology provider for the world’s largest publishers and agencies. Polar has clients in 20+ countries and offices in New York, Toronto, London & Sydney.
Kunal lives in New York, volunteers with several mental health organizations, teaches meditation and yoga and writes about leadership, mindfulness and technology culture on his blog.
Connect with Kunal on LinkedIn.
Mindfulness and Climate Justice
Saturday May 2, 2020 — 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
Climate change is the existential issue of our age.
This workshop will unpack how we can bring the tools of mindfulness to bear on the issues subverting an effective global response to the climate threat.
In the first part of this workshop we will zero in on the inter-relationships of the 3 threats to effective climate action. Capitalism drives economic growth. Economic growth, distributed across a larger and larger population base, has been the primary driver of global warming. Capitalism, the spur to innovation and technological progress, has accelerated global warming, as a technologically advanced society is (today) characterized by high energy intensity. The socio-economic effects of unfettered capitalism and technology have subverted the political system. The feedback loop from failed democracy to ineffective regulation and redirection of the economic system and technology completes the death spiral that is the essence of our existential predicament.
In the second part of the workshop we will consider the elements of a mindful response, both at the individual and collective level. Individually we can use the space that mindfulness opens up in our consciousness to select wise action — e.g., reducing our carbon footprint and aligning our action with our insights. We recognize that this does not go far enough, and that it is only through collective action at the national and international level that effective change can be implemented.
Mindfulness can contribute special qualities to meeting these challenges. First, an open awareness of the interconnectedness of all things is essential to understanding our predicament. Second, mindfulness allows practitioners to maintain equanimity in the face of stressful circumstances, of which accelerating climate change is a prime example, and to devote their mental energies to solutions. Third, mindful meditation engenders compassion, essential if climate justice is to be achieved.
Participants will come away with:
1) A greater awareness of the key political, economic, and social threats we face today
2) A sense of urgency – we need to be active participants in addressing these issues
3) A sense of agency – as mindfulness practitioners and as a mindfulness sector, we can make a difference