Santa Clara University Tackles “Tech and the Human Spirit”

Santa Clara University Tackles “Tech and the Human Spirit”

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As technology becomes more and more ubiquitous in our lives, discussions are unfolding about the profound impact and potential of these high-tech capabilities. From Internet access and its influence on human communication and relationships, to artificial intelligence, bioengineering, and quantum computing – poised to transform everything from business to education to healthcare – we are experiencing an unprecedented wave of tech driven change, a ”Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

While tech insiders and users are pondering technology’s influence, few forums exist for exploring the most profound and complex questions about technology’s impact on what it means to be human.

Santa Clara University is building a unique program to engage partners in an inclusive and intrepid examination of technology’s impact and promise.

The Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education at SCU – committed to full human flourishing across and beyond the SCU community – is launching a one-of-a-kind initiative that will engage a diverse array of partners in conversation, reflection, and action at the intersection of technology and the human spirit.

Santa Clara University believes such topics are the domain of the human spirit: the place in each of us where questions of identity, meaning, purpose, and human interconnection dwell. In Jesuit philosophy, cultivating spirit is as essential to human flourishing as knowledge and invention, as safety and access to essential resources. If we are to steward technology to its highest good, shouldn’t spirit be part of the conversation – and an inspiration for action?

Tech and the Human Spirit will transcend ethical and technological considerations to explore the full spectrum of human flourishing: mind, body, and spirit. The program will pursue questions at the very heart of our humanness: In the midst of this Fourth Industrial revolution, what does it mean to be fully human? And who, as technology creators shaped by our own creation, are we becoming?

The Ignatian Center is inviting participants including industry leaders, experts in the human sciences, scholars and theologians, and people of faith and all convictions, to join in providing the opportunity for challenging, fruitful discussions, and for networking not only among specialists but also across points of view, experiences, and backgrounds.

Events currently scheduled on campus include:

  • October 14: Predicting Justice: Optimizing Data in the Criminal Justice System,
    8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Panelli Courtroom of Charney Hall. The event will address how tech and data are being used in our criminal justice system.
  • October 23: American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology, 5 p.m. at the Adobe Lodge. A conversation with Diana Walsh Pasulka, Professor of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina, Wilmington, who will be joined by SCU Professor James Bennett, Religious Studies.