Host of Nat Geo's Brain Games, Origins; Creator of Shots of Awe
Host of Nat Geo's Brain Games, Origins; Creator of Shots of Awe
Jason Silva is a Venezuelan-American filmmaker, philosopher, television personality, and public speaker whose stated goal is to use technology to excite people about science and philosophy.
Described as “a Timothy Leary of the viral video age,” Silva lectures internationally on such topics as creativity, disruptive technologies, and humanity, writes and produces short films, and co-hosts National Geographic's #1 rated series Brain Games. He can most recently be seen as the host of the eight-part National Geographic series Origins: The Journey of Humankind.
A self-professed wonderjunkie, Silva is the creator of the web series Shots of Awe, micro-documentaries exploring creativity, innovation, technology, futurism, metaphysics, existentialism, and the human condition. In short: Philosophy, Science, and Art for the YouTube generation. The videos, which “play like movie trailers for ideas,” according to The Atlantic, have spread like wildfire across the internet and have been viewed more than 13 million times. Influencers such as Ron Howard, Richard Branson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tribeca Films Co-founder Jane Rosenthal, actor Mark Ruffalo, NASA, and many others have tweeted Jason's videos.
Silva also created the web series Future of Us for AOL, exploring exponential technology and the future of humanity.
From 2005 to 2011, Silva was a presenter on Current TV, the Emmy-winning, independent cable network started by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, where he hosted, wrote, and produced more than 100 hours of original content. He left the network to become, according to The Atlantic, “a part-time filmmaker and full-time walking, talking TEDTalk.”
The Imaginary Foundation wrote of Silva, “like some kind of Ontological DJ, he recompiles the source code of Western philosophy by mixing and mashing it up into a form of recombinant creativity, which elevates understanding from the dry and prosaic, to a sensual cognitive romance.”
Others have described Silva as “a modern performance philosopher, a Digital DJ, a re-vitalizer and remixer of optimism, and above all, a curator: of ideas, of inspiration, and of awe…like a trumpet player or modern-day digital Mingus, he jams, riffs and rhapsodizes through a tumbling thicket of ideas with such a sharp and vital alacrity that it can take the breath away.”
An active and prolific global speaker, Silva has spoken at TEDGlobal, Google's Zeitgeist Conference, keynoted multiple events for Microsoft, IBM, Adobe, Oracle, Electronic Arts, Honeywell, PEPSICO, Intel, Dolby, and many more all over the world. Silva has been featured in such publications as The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, The Economist, Forbes, and Wired, among others.
He was also keynoted at the Tribeca Film Festival, The Sydney Opera house, The Economist Ideas Festival, The DLD Conference, The Singularity Summit, the PSFK Conference, Mexico’s Ciudad De Las Ideas, Seattle’s Interactive Conference, Chicago Ideas Week, the main stage at SXSW Interactive, and the MainStage at CANNES LIONS Festival of Creativity.
Technology is upending the world. Acceleration is the new normal... disruption has gone mainstream. There is a sense of vertigo and disorientation. Jobs may become obsolete. Artificial intelligence is superseding human capacities. Biology is becoming a programmable medium. Anxiety is running high. Mental health is in turmoil. These are mind-blowing transformations — and humans don’t like change. How to respond? How do we leverage these exponentially emerging technologies to impact the world in a positive way? Furthermore — what is the mindset, the creativity, and the consciousness required to thrive in the 21st century? Positive psychologists tell us “the cave we fear holds the treasure we seek”. It turns out, moving past our comfort zones is cognitively beneficial. Blowing our minds boosts cognitive flexibility. We become more resilient. More creative. More adaptable. Join Jason Silva on a mind-blowing journey into the future of technology, of imagination, and humanity.
Jason has presented his work twice at The Economist Ideas fest, including giving a presentation on "innovation and inspiration" at their Berkeley event. Jason elucidates the relationship between 'out of the box thinking' and innovation--and highlights the role of "inspiration" in de-conditioning our thinking" in order to arrive at these innovative, insightful moments. He has spoken at numerous advertising agencies on this topic as well, including at Berlin/Cameron United and Saatchi and Saatchi's 7x7 event.
People say 'creativity is just putting things together" and this is exactly what Jason addresses when explaining creativity. His talks focus on "expanding our associative net" and teaching ourselves to look for patterns across seemingly disparate areas. He talks about the importance of removing ourselves from habituated mental patterns and pulling ourselves drastically out of context in order to "gawk in amazement at the ubiquitous everyday wonder's we're culturally conditioned to ignore" and have creative insights.
The rapid, exponential growth rate of technological development is transforming our world, disrupting established industries and leading us towards a radical transformation in many key areas. There are 3 overlapping revolutions occurring in biotechnology, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence, all of which game-changers. Jason's unique approach towards placing these transformations in context and "looking at the big picture" has made him a sought after speaker who brings an enthralling vision of what's next.
People are always looking for inspiration and awe, but only recently did a study from Stanford confirm that transcendent awe has numerous health benefits. But how do we put ourselves into these states of wonder and awe? Jason's highly viral series of short films have literally ignited a conversation about the role of content and media in creating "awe-inspiring" experiences. His video and talk look at AWE as a pivotal ingredient in making ideas resonate and disseminate. As a self-professed "epiphany addict and wonderjunkie," Jason has been compared to Carl Sagan for his unique ability to convey a sense of awe with this talks and work.
Jason was amazing! He was energetic and insightful and seriously just a lovely person. I was fortunate enough to be with him over the last two days and thoroughly enjoyed every part of working with him. The audience loved him, he blew Twitter up! Thank you for all your help!