Dr. Alex Soojung-Kim Pang : Hachette Speakers Bureau

Dr. Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

Alex Soojung-Kim Pang studies how people create, and the worlds they create. His work uses history, anthropology, neuroscience, and psychology, to understand how great minds use both intense focus and mind-wandering to stimulate and sustain their creativity, and how technology can be used to enhance rather than erode those efforts. He is the author of two books with Hachette publishers:Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less (Basic Books, 2016) and The Distraction Addiction(Little, Brown & Co., 2013).

Drawing on history, neuroscience, and psychology, Rest argues that rest plays a hidden but critical role in the lives of some of history’s most creative and prolific people, ranging from Charles Darwin to Bill Gates. A century of research has shown that overwork is counterproductive and has long-term effects on our health, careers, and even longevity. More recently, neuroscientists have explore how leisure and mind-wandering create space for creative thinking, and mapped the neurological processes that let us explore new ideas and discover new insights.

The Distraction Addiction explores our profound and problematic relationship with information technologies. He argues that humans have a remarkable capacity to use technologies to extend their cognitive and physical abilities; that this capability is a source of great pleasure and power, but is hijacked by technologies designed to commoditize it; and that through the practice of contemplative computing, we can learn to use technologies to help us be more focused, mindful, and productive, rather than constantly distracted.

Rest andThe Distraction Addiction have been translated into a dozen languages. His articles have appeared in Scientific American, Wired, The Atlantic Monthly, and numerous scholarly journals, and he is a regular contributor to Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global blog.

Alex is a frequent guest on podcasts, radio and television, and has given talks on five continents. In addition to speaking at professional and academic conferences, independent schools, and corporate events, he has given talks at the Globe Theatre in London (not on the main stage, alas), Amsterdam’s Westerkerk, and at meetups via telepresence robot.

Alex’s current explores how organizations ranging from startups to the US Navy are finding ways to exploit the power of rest in their work, and how emerging technologies, technology trends, and culture are shaping the future of work, rest, and play. Though The Restful Company, the boutique consultancy he founded in 2016, he is bringing deliberate rest to an overworked world. Alex also works as technology forecaster and futurist in the Silicon Valley office of Strategic Business Insights, and is a visiting scholar at Stanford University. He has a Ph.D. in the history and sociology of science from the University of Pennsylvania.

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  • Why You Get More Done When You Work Less
  • Getting the Information You Need and the Communication You Want, Without Enraging Your Family, Annoying Your Colleagues, and Destroying Your Soul

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