Jason Silva is the Emmy-nominated host of National Geographic Channel’s #1 rated and Emmy-nominated TV series ‘Brain Games’, seen in over 100 countries.
He is the creator of the Discovery Digital web series SHOTS OF AWE, micro-documentaries exploring creativity, innovation, exponential technology, futurism, metaphysics, existentialism and the human condition. In short: Philosophy, Science and Art for the YOUTUBE generation.
Jason has been described as “A Timothy Leary of the Viral Video Age” as well as “part Timothy Leary, part Ray Kurzweil, and part Neo from ‘The Matrix.’” His videos, which “play like movie trailers for ideas” according to The Atlantic, have spread like wildfire across the internet, being viewed more than 60 million times.
Influencers such as Ron Howard, Richard Branson, Leo Dicaprio, Tribeca Films Co-founder Jane Rosenthal, actor Mark Ruffalo, NASA, and many others have tweeted Jason’s videos.
An active and prolific global speaker, Jason has also spoken at TEDGlobal, Google’s Zeitgeist Conference, keynoted multiple events for Microsoft, IBM, Adobe, Oracle, Electronic Arts, Honeywell, PEPSICO, Intel, Dolby, the Tribeca Film Festival, The Sydney Opera house, The Economist Ideas Festival, the main stage at SXSW Interactive and the MainStage at CANNES LIONS festival of Creativity.
1. You say that we are ‘captains of spaceship earth’ – what exactly does this mean and what responsibilities does it entail?
It means we are “steering the starship”, to echo Buckminster Fuller’s idea… It means we have decommissioned natural selection, we are a geological force, our tools and technologies can manipulate nature – so we must take responsibility to be the stewards of the planet!
2. What excites you most about the future of technology?
Technology is an extension of our mind- We are incorporating non-biological “props and scaffoldings” into our cognitive machinery- Through our technologies we turn our minds inside out – So in the future I see a deeper symbiosis– greater tools for greater minds, as we continue to redefine what It means to be human. WE transforms and we transcend.
3. A lot of people argue that technology hinders society’s well-being – but you argue the opposite. Why is that?
When we invented the technology of “Writing” big thinkers like Plato felt that it would rot our brains because by writing things down, we’d hinder our memory… so there’s a history of FEAR in regards to technology – and YET, technology is the only way we have ever overcome problems. Vaccines, aviation, science, medicine, all of these are technologies. Music, painting, cinema, all of these are too!
4. What does the data revolution mean for sustainable development?
It means we can gain insights into our world that we can leverage to address the grand challenges of humanity. The more we understand what’s going on, at a deep, data-driven level, the better the tools will be at our disposal.
5. You’ve redefined a billionaire as someone who positively impacts the lives of a billion people – what role does data play in this?
This has been echoed by others at Singularity University – but the idea is that exponentially advancing technologies give individuals the power to affects the lives of a billion others. Big ideas can scale like never before. Big ideas can change the world faster than ever before! Data plays a huge role, because data is the quantifiable measurement of what’s happening!