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“We need non-violent weapons of soul & mind” – an Interview with Jonathan MacDonald

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“We need non-violent weapons of soul & mind” – an Interview with Jonathan MacDonald

When I was recently in London to speak at the RETHINK! conference, I also met up with thought-leader Jonathan MacDonald and recorded a video-interview with him for The Dignified Self. I am happy to share the interview with you today, as Jonathan is one of the most inspirational people I know.

Video-Interview Jonathan MacDonald & Lilian Güntsche for The Dignified Self
Video-Interview between Jonathan MacDonald and Lilian Güntsche for The Dignified Self

In this interview we discuss the importance of mindfulness in the technology age and what it means for the future we are facing. For further details about the topics and questions covered in the video, please see below.

Jonathan is a professional speaker, author, and founder of TEN – Thought Expansion Network. Besides being the founder of The Dignified Self, I am honored to also be one of the leaders of TEN Germany. Thus, I am delighted to also provide you with background information and the vision of TEN through out the interview.

Jonathan was one of the very early supporters of The Dignified Self, which I am very grateful for. He himself has been practicing mindfulness and meditation for many years and states the high relevance to him as follows:

“Without meditation I think I wouldn’t be here today. Meditation is nothing that is optional in my life. I’m unable to live well without sitting quietly”. 

“I’m a fan of anything that drives mindfulness. There is never too much of it”. 

And now: Time to “let the sunshine in…!” Enjoy, stay tuned, and stay DIGNIFIED!

Interview with DIGNIFIED Jonathan

Topics & Questions covered 

Topics discussed in this video-interview*: 

  • Definition of mindfulness and ways to practice it despite of having a busy life,
  • Importance of mindfulness in the technology age,
  • Effects and power of meditation,
  • Importance of The Dignified Self and its mission to cultivate more mindfulness,
  • The Dignified Self in a business perspective,
  • TEN – Thought Expansion Network and its mission,
  • The need for “non-violent weapons of soul of mind” (with AI rising),
  • Professional skills needed in the future, referring to the published Future of Jobs report,
  • Skills needed in leadership,
  • The role of mindfulness in leadership

*Detailed list of questions & time frame information:  

  • 00:37 – Introduction of Jonathan MacDonald
  • 01:34 – What is mindfulness to you?
  • 04:12 – How do you personally practice mindfulness especially when you travel?
  • 05:20 – How would you describe the relevance of mindfulness in today’s digitally driven times?
  • 06:59 – Will mindfulness be part of the new normal in a few years?
  • 09:03 – How has meditation influenced or effected your life?
  • 14:39 – You once mentioned to me that being on stage is actually part of your meditation. Why is that?
  • 17:47 – Thoughts about fear and about positioning it by being mindful
  • 19:53 – You were one of the very first supports of The Dignified Self. What motivates you to support the mission for more mindfulness in the technology age?
  • 21:51 – What else do you think The Dignified Self could provide to also bring mindfulness into the business world? 25:10 More Mindfulness-Workshops for example – do you think that would help?
  • 27:50 – Mindfulness is a soft and tender flower. So you have to be careful with putting it into a tough box that is called „return on investment“. Don’t you think?
  • 28:35 – Let us speak about your “sunshine project”, the Thought Expansion Network (TEN), which follows the mission to create change by changing the way we think. Why do you feel that is needed?
  • 30:51 – Besides being the founder of The Dignified Self, I’m honored to also be one of the leaders of TEN Germany. How do you think The Dignified Self and TEN can combine efforts to create a positive future?
  • 32:38 – On the future of Jobs and the Importance of  “non-violent weapons of soul and mind”
  • 35:37 – Which skills will be needed in the future? Referring to the future of jobs report released, which mentions emotional intelligence, creativity & critical thinking along the most important skills needed in 2020.
  • 37:08 – You advice some of the biggest companies in the world, what is good leadership to you?
  • 39:24 – What role will mindfulness play in leadership?
Good times at the video-interview for The Dignified Self
Good times at the video-interview for The Dignified Self in London

Please note: The lovely mindfulness cards seen in the background and partly included in the conversation in the video are by Mindfulness Everywhere. The Dignified Self supported their successful kickstarter campaign and loves carrying them around in meetings. The future of jobs, which is being mentioned in the interview, predicts the most important professional skills needed in 2020. These include emotional intelligence and creativity, both skills that can be increased by the practice of mindfulness, as several studies have proven.

The interview with Jonathan MacDonald along with further inspiring interviews and many more insights on mindfulness, will also appear in the book by author Lilian Güntsche, which will be published in Germany in 2016.

If you would like to to keep in touch, learn more about mindfulness or support the mission of The Dignified Self, please register to our newsletter. Thank you!


About Jonathan MacDonald
Founder of Thought Expansion Network (TEN), Professional Speaker, Author

Jonathan MacDonald, Foto: Dan Taylor, Heisenberg Media
Jonathan MacDonald,
Foto: Dan Taylor, Heisenberg Media

Jonathan is an internationally acclaimed speaker, author and entrepreneur who expands people’s thinking around the potential of technology, the shaping of society and the realities of business, all of which are constantly influenced by fast-paced, relentless change. This thought expansion inspires a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities, enabling people to utilise that knowledge to explore what the future could look like, and whether they are building one they want to live in.

As an adviser, he is one of the few people that businesses including Google, Apple, P&G, Unilever, Nestlé and IKEA trust to challenge their thinking and provide new perspectives and avenues of thought. Jonathan is also the founder of the Thought Expansion Network (TEN), which is about creating change by changing the way we think. Further info on TEN: Thought Expansion Network / Facebook: TEN (Global)  / TEN (Germany).