On Mindfulness with the Self


Speaker Ida Tin

On Day 3 Stage 7 was reserved exclusively fort he re:health track: 40 speakers, 24 sessions, 15 hours of content. Never before did the re:publica host so many events on the subject of health as this year! A review of the opening keynote and the period tracker app.

With their speech, Milena Glimbovski and Jan Lenarz introduced the key aspect of the topic, discussing “how to live a “radically mindful life digitally, as well as analogue”. Both speakers did not, however, voice an entirely radical approach: “We are no mindfulness gurus” says Lenarz, founder of the company Vehement that produces vegan boxing cloves. Accompanied by the slogan “mindfulness=empowerment” presented on the screen in the background, Lenarz encouraged each member of the audience to attentively tune in with him or herself. “Happiness must come from within; mindfulness must be learned”, he says. “Today, we tend to focus on our emotions only when they are already extreme.”

More digital mindfulness

Glimbovski, co-founder of a supermarket without packaging, subsequently addressed digital mindfulness. It is not the constant availability that poses the problem. “We just never learned to cope with it.” To make life with the internet easier, she always presents to herself what she is currently tending to. “We create social media strategies for companies but never for ourselves”, says Glimbovski. Then Lenarz and Glimbovski consciously watch a Panda video together with the audience.

Glimbovski‘s and Lenarz’s suggestions serve merely as ideas and guidance. “You do not need to do anything right now”, Glimbovski says at the end. “Having listened to all of this is already half the battle.”

Track your period with an app

Following Glimbovski’s and Lenarz’ speech on mindfulness, in her talk “Why data will revolutionise global female health” Ida Tin presents her app “Clue”. Clue aims to help women track their period and understand what’s going on in their bodies, with astounding success: counting 2.5 million users worldwide, this is the most popular period tracking app and was named “Best App of the Year 2015” at the iTunes-Store and Google Play. Ida Tin confirms that period tracking apps are the second most downloaded apps involving health.

Her company collaborates closely with universities as the data the app generates is highly valuable for research purposes. Past surveys worked only with very small data sets, she says. Today, thanks to big data, content can be optimised. “Now we receive millions of data points each month.” The company does not, however, sell any user-data. “We don’t want to make a living from that”, is her opinion on the subject.

Photo credit: re:publica/Jan Zappner (CC BY 2.0)