Episode 03: Innovation and Meditation: An Introduction to Mindfulness



This introduction to mindfulness will elucidate the whys and wherefores behind resurgent the popularity of this “Once and Future” technology. Jon Kabat-Zinn, the “Father” of secular mindfulness, describes the practice as, “Learning how to focus attention on moment-by-moment experience with an attitude of curiosity, openness and non-judgment.” ABC News Anchor man (and author of 10% Happier), Dan Harris says it this way, “The ability know what is happening in your head, right now, without getting carried away by it!”

In this first exposure, I’ll de-mystify and normalize meditation, offering practical ways to integrate a consistent practice into one’s life; both at work and at home.

I will also go over the eye opening neuroscience behind hundreds of mindful-awareness studies, demonstrating its “broad-spectrum” effects against stress, depression and anxiety. Other findings, presented in the Keynote, demonstrate that a consistent meditation practice improves attention, boosts the immune system, reduces emotional reactivity and promotes a general sense of health and well-being.

Bio

Nick Stein is an award winning TV producer and show runner who has worked on countless hours of non-fiction television for myriad networks and production companies. His list of credits run the gamut from a Smithsonian series on the oil boom in North Dakota, to a National Geographic/Peter Gabriel World Music Special. He created ESPN’s Amazing Games and was the series producer of 40 episodes of Discovery Channel’s hit Monster Nation.

Stein was also ran the highest rated series in the history of the National Geographic Channel – Border Wars. Spanning 4-years and 56 hours, he and his crews gained unparalleled access to the hottest areas of the US/Mexican border, embedded with the operational units of Customs and Border Protection, ICE, DEA and the U.S. Coast Guard.

In that role he spent the better part of four years (56 episodes) deeply embedded with the tactical units of a various federal law enforcement agencies, including CBP, ICE, DEA and the US Coast Guard. Stein’s persistent reporting on the human suffering of “ illegal” immigrants, cartel drug runners, unaccompanied children, overburdened agents and officers, and others, left him depleted and burnt out.

Seeking relief while working in Montreal, Canada, Nick availed himself of a highly effective secular form of meditation – Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) – a science based contemplative system developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Grateful for his newfound equanimity, Nick brought his practice back to California, taking myriad courses at UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Research Center (MARC) and going on silent retreats. After 2 years, he was accepted into MARC’s Intensive Practice Program (IPP), and later, intent on teaching, Nick gained entrance into the Engaged Mindfulness Institute (EMI), a nationally renowned secular mindfulness certification program.

Because of his work at the border, Nick has dedicated himself to finding ways introduce the techniques and ideas behind mindfulness to the men and women of Law Enforcement. Working with the mindful-policing pioneer, Lt. Richard Goerling, Nick has co-taught a series of ½ day seminars at regional security conferences around the country. Nick has also worked with inmates inside LA County’s Men’s Jail and is slated to work with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Chaplains in Georgia, as well as Border Patrol Agents in South Texas.


Episode 02: Surfing the Digital Media Revolution



Hop along on Jürgen’s journey through technology and media as digital advances have empowered creative professionals and consumers to express themselves. Along the way, explore some of the hard-learned entrepreneurial lessons that grew out of managing product development at publishing icon Quark, serving as CEO of consumer software company Nero, and founding Stashimi, the mobile app and platform for musicians to connect to their fans.

Stashimi revolutionizes how artists engage with fans by using proprietary technology that aggregates content from social media avenues like Facebook and Instagram as well as media outlets like Billboard and Stashimi creates a feed of information tailored to its users’ interests accompanied by Pandora-style music stations. In addition, the app is making moves to intertwine itself with the cultures surrounding music.

Just 25 years ago, music and video production, along with almost every kind of publishing, was available only to companies with deep pockets. Today everybody can be a publisher using Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud and other platforms and tools. Some see challenge, others see the opportunity. Jürgen Kurz has seen both sides and has the stories and insights to show for it.

Bio:

Jürgen Kurz is entrepreneurially driven software executive with a proven track record to develop, launch and scale award winning products. Throughout his career, Jürgen has enjoyed to develop, launch and scale many award winning products. Prior to founding Stashimi, Jürgen was the CEO of Nero, a household consumer brand for audio and video management with a base of well over 100 Million customers. Before Nero, Jürgen led product development at digital publishing icon Quark (QuarXPress). Nero has an installed base of well over 100 Million loyal consumers with over 1 Million monthly app downloads. On top of Nero’s own products, many of the world’s leading PC, mobile and TV manufacturers bundle its technologies. At Quark, Jürgen helped to build some amazing products and quickly ended up managing the entire product development organization with multiple desktop and enterprise products and hundreds of passionate PMs and engineers in our development centers in the US, Germany and India.


Friday Coffee Meet-Up Podcast: Episode 01



Topic: The Challenge of A Unique Food Brand

Choctal’s products are based upon some very unique sourcing and production techniques never before seen in the ice cream industry. Like fine gourmet coffees, and varietal wines, Choctál ice creams are made from single-origin ingredients—one variety of cacao or vanilla, harvested from a single region. It’s the unique flavor profile of each local variety that gives Choctál chocolates and vanillas their deliciously distinctive nuances. Besides single-origin ingredients, we add more chocolate or vanilla than most ice creams— and less air. (Who likes the taste of air?) Our all-natural cream base contains no artificial additives, eggs or gluten. Since our launch, over 2 1/2 years ago, our products are now found in over 400 retail accounts in 10 States.