The Being Human Conference, which looks at the science behind the human experience, presents this "welcome and overview" session."
For many years, Peter Baumann has focused on the exploration of well-being and quality of life from a philosophical, conceptual and experiential perspective. In the spring of 2009, Baumann established the Baumann Institute a nonprofit educational and research corporation. “We want to find out whether or not non-dual awareness can be instrumental in the alleviation of suffering and the experience of well-being,” Baumann states. “The results of scientific research were instrumental in exploding meditation into mainstream awareness and acceptance over the last 35 years. We’re hoping over the coming decades our work may lead to similar results with non-dual awareness.” Peter Baumann has brought to all his endeavors, a satisfying balance of natural, free-flowing intuition and rational, businesslike precision. Most recently, he’s focused this innate approach on finding the secrets to “the highest quality of life.” Baumann is a happy, fulfilled human being. “We all like to share what has made a difference in our lives,” he notes. With this in mind, he’s now intent on discovering if what he’s realized for himself can be of service to a broader humanity.
Neuroscientist Richard Davidson was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2006. His research focuses on correlating emotional states with the brain activity underlying them. Davidson has reached the conclusion that our brain circuitry isn't set in stone: though our emotions are evolved responses, they are remarkably plastic and can be shaped over time. As he says, "I think that what modern neuroscience is teaching us is that, in fact, there is a lot of plasticity, that change is indeed possible, and the evidence is more and more strongly in favor of the importance of environmental influences in shaping brain function and structure and even shaping the expression of our genes." At the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, Davidson and other researchers investigate qualities of mind such as compassion and mindfulness in order to understand how healthy minds might be cultivated. He is perhaps most famous for his investigations into the neurological effects of meditation, showing how this practice can functionally rewire the brain. In 2012, he spoke at the Being Human conference in San Francisco.
When not focused on parenting his pre-teen daughter and serving as Executive Director of The Baumann Foundation, Jeff Klein runs Working for Good, a conscious marketing and business development company. He is the author of the award winning book, Working for Good: Making a Difference While Making a Living (Sounds True, 2009), a director of Conscious Capitalism, Inc, and producer of the annual Catalyzing Conscious Capitalism Summit. Jeff has been working with Peter Baumann off and on since 1984, when they teamed up to build Private Music. He enjoys surfing, martial arts, ChiRunning, Yoga, and moving in general.
Fundamental dispositions and traits of humans. Theories about the nature of humankind form a part of every culture. In the West, debate has traditionally centred on whether humans are selfish and competitive (seeThomas Hobbes; John Locke) or social and altruistic (Karl Marx, Émile Durkheim). Recent research in genetics, evolutionary biology, and cultural anthropology suggests that humans may be both, and that there is a complex interaction between genetically inherited factors (nature) and developmental and social factors (nurture). Basic drives shared with other primates include food, sex, security, play, and social status. Gender differences include greater investment in reproduction and child-rearing among females, hence less risk-taking; and concomitantly less investment and greater risk-taking among males. See alsobehaviour genetics; Homo sapiens; personality; philosophical anthropology; sociobiology.