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Catherine Steiner-Adair: Screens Hinder Emotional Intelligence

In advance of Techonomy 2018, we asked our speakers crucial questions that frame our upcoming flagship event. Request your invite to join us this November in Half Moon Bay, CA. 

Q: How big of a responsibility does business have to make the world more equitable? 

Huge. Given the challenges we continue to face in governing with a unified voice, I think it is incumbent upon business to take a leadership role in developing, modeling and disseminating a set of ideas and practices that will bring about a sustainable society.

Q: What emerging technology can have the greatest positive impact on society?

Educational technology and curricula that teach empathy, social and emotional intelligence, deep reading, critical thinking, and character development, and the principles of interdependence and equity that are essential for a sustainable society. We need to develop approaches to education for children that will nurture astute consumers of mass information and innovative visionary problem solvers who leverage the positive potential inherent in AI while avoiding its dangerous pitfalls.

Q: What is the biggest issue that you worry is not getting enough attention?

As children spend more and more time playing, learning and socializing on their screens, both at school and at home, they are crowding out opportunities to play in the 3D world, to talk and interact with peers and adults IRL, to read deeply and make time for solitude.  Whether correlation or causation, this troubling trend is accompanied by a spike in social cruelty, reactivity, political polarization and an inability to detect media disinformation and think critically.  I fear that behind it is a decline in the capacity for self-regulation, empathy, deep reading and critical analysis that are the foundations of moral and ethical behavior so necessary in a civilized society.
Read more about Catherine Steiner-Adair and her work here and discover the current conference program.

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