Sunday Assembly Founder Sanderson Jones talks Deathless Humans and Salmon Sandwiches

The Economist called him “a stand-up comic and now a kind of preacher” and The Guardian referred to him as “a ginger Jesus.” Sanderson Jones is definitely a presence and that’s why we are thrilled to be welcoming him to the 4YFN stage as the Master of Ceremonies for the Banco Sabadell Stage! Here he shares with us his philosophy of Lifefulness and his unusual predictions for the future (spoiler alert, one of them involves a smoked salmon sandwich).

What are you talking about at the conference?

I will be hosting the main stage for two days bringing joy, passion, enthusiasm and few tricks to get the place rocking and rolling. Demonstrating how the practice of Lifefulness can bring people together like nothing else.

What are you passionate about?

My big passion is creating meaning and belonging in the workplace. For the past 6 years, Sunday Assembly, the not-for-profit that I started has been building communities across the world. Now, I’m taking the techniques we developed there, a practice we called Lifefulness, and showing how it can create teams that are engaged, purposeful, passionate and happy (and if they’re not happy, they know it’s OK to talk about it).

What is the future of your field?

Within businesses, as well as in society and culture, there will be a new understanding of the importance of consciousness, the different types of consciousness and how we can work with it to create, innovate and thrive. Lifefulness gatherings already create peak experiences that bond people together, and help them get into flow states. How will technology, in particularly VR and AR, effect the practice. A big question is will consciousness technology end up enabling real world interaction, or will it lead to further isolation?

Why is it so important?

Across the world people are retreating into local identities as we battle to make sense of globalisation. Unless we find new ways of coming together, and new stories about how we can live together, the division, polarisation and atomisation we’re living with now will only accelerate. A lonelier planet is a situation we can ill afford as whole world problems can only be solved by whole world thinking. Earth needs to be an ‘us’ without a ‘them’, and we need it fast.

What are your favourite sayings (they can be your own)? Words to live by?

Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. ….get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. – Abraham Heschel

What does the world look like in 50-100 years?

Either 1) The Road meets Mad Max or 2) a shiny utopia with deathless humans living blissfully in circuit boards as pure consciousness or 3) Scenario 1 for the poor, and scenario 2 for the people who attend 4YFN (let’s make sure that doesn’t happen people!).

Where will you be four years from now?

In the M11 motorway services ordering a smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich from Pret A Manger (I know it’s unlikely to happen but, if it does, I’ll look like a real Ray Kurzweil).


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