The “Aspen Ideas to Go” podcast is a weekly show featuring fascinating speakers who have presented at the Aspen Ideas Festival and other public programs offered by the Aspen Institute—including Aspen Words, the Alma and Joseph Gildenhorn Book Series, and various events around the country. For a curated listening experience subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or listen to each episode on the Aspen Ideas website.
Scientific evidence suggests that we can change our brains by transforming our minds and cultivating habits of mind that will improve well-being. These include happiness, resilience, compassion, and emotional balance. Each of these characteristics is instantiated in brain circuits that exhibit plasticity and thus can be shaped and modified by experience and training. Mental training to cultivate well-being has profound implications for schools, the workplace, and society as a whole.
University of Wisconsin psychology and psychiatry professor Richard J. Davidson shared a couple of short video clips during his talk at the 2015 Aspen Ideas Festival. The first shows video games developed for kids to cultivate habits of kindness and pro-social behavior. The second is a demonstration of the preschool kindness curriculum that he refers to in the podcast.