How Meditation Benefits Business


Buddhism and Beyond

It’s no secret that meditation and mindfulness are growing dramatically in popularity across the country. Today tens of millions of Americans use meditation to find greater calm and balance in their lives — and increasingly, they've brought these practices to the workplace as well. Today, Wall Street traders, investment bankers, and corporate executives are using mindfulness techniques not only for themselves but to boost productivity and reduce stress in some traditionally volatile work environments. Several companies have developed formal training plans for meditation to help employees improve their health and productivity in often stressful environments.

As part of our “Buddhism and Beyond” season, the Asia Society brings to its stage Aetna CEO Mark T. Bertolini and New York Times journalist David Gelles to speak about the power of meditation and mindfulness in the workplace. Bertolini’s personal journey has led him to bring mindfulness to his corporate culture; Gelles has written extensively about mindfulness in the workplace. The conversation will be moderated by Stephanie Mehta, editor-in-chief of Fast Company.

Why are business leaders embracing meditation? What are the different types of meditation? How can companies incorporate meditation at an organizational level? Join us as we uncover the secret power of meditation.


Mark Bertolini, Chairman and CEO, Aetna Inc.

Mark T. Bertolini is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Aetna Inc., a Fortune 50 diversified healthcare benefits company. Aetna serves approximately 44.6 million people with information and resources to help them make better-informed decisions about their healthcare and has operations in North America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.  Mr. Bertolini assumed the role of CEO on November 29, 2010 and of Chairman on April 8, 2011. Mr. Bertolini recovered from a near-death experience in 2004 with the help of mindful practice. He then started offering free yoga and meditation classes to Aetna employees after he took over as chief executive.

David Gelles, The New York Times

David Gelles writes the Corner Office column and other features for The New York Times’s Sunday Business section and works with the Well team to expand The Times's coverage of meditation. A reporter for The Times since 2013, Mr. Gelles has written about mergers and acquisitions, media, technology and more for the paper. Before joining The Times, he was a reporter for the Financial Times in New York and San Francisco. Mr. Gelles is the author of Mindful Work: How Meditation Is Changing Business From the Inside Out, which was published in 2015 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Stephanie Mehta

Stephanie Mehta (moderator) is editor-in-chief of Fast Company, overseeing its print, digital, and live journalism. She previously served as a deputy editor at Vanity Fair, where she edited feature stories and coedited the annual New Establishment ranking. She also curated the invitation-only New Establishment Summit and Founders Fair conference for women entrepreneurs, which she launched in 2017. She has worked as a writer and editor at Bloomberg Media, Fortune, and The Wall Street Journal. Mehta began her career as a business reporter at The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Virginia. 

Event Details

Thu 24 May 2018
6:30 - 8 p.m.

Asia Society
725 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021

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Members: $20; Students/Seniors: $30; Non-Members: $40
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