Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

• Silicon Valley futurist and technologist

ALEX SOOJUNG-KIM PANG

Alex Soojung-Kim Pang studies people, technologies, and the worlds they make. His book SHORTERexplores the global movement to shorten working hours, and how companies in a variety of industries are moving to 4-day weeks or 6-hour days while improving productivity and profitability. Through his company Strategy+Rest, Alex speaks and work around the world with companies who want to apply these insights in their organizations. Alex received a Ph.D. in history and sociology of science from the University of Pennsylvania, and has been a lecturer or visiting scholar at Stanford University, UC Berkeley, Oxford University, and Microsoft Research Cambridge. He is also the author of REST: WHY YOU GET MORE DONE WHEN YOU WORK LESS, and THE DISTRACTION ADDICTION. [📁 Alex's Press Kit]

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Speech topics

Why We Get More Done When We Work Less

We live in a world where overwork is the new normal. The biographies of tech titans, hedge fund managers, and Instagram influencers tell us that in today's fast-moving world, success requires non-stop hustle. But this way of working, and the underlying belief that long hours are a sign of virtue and success, is actually counterproductive for individuals and organizations. Drawing on his book REST: WHY YOU GET MORE DONE WHEN YOU WORK LESS, I explain how a variety of research-- ranging from neuroscientific studies of creativity, to studies on sleep and recovery in elite athletes-- shows that balancing periods of intense work and "deliberate rest" helps us be more productive, more creative, and enjoy longer careers. I show a variety of high achievers— ranging from Nobel laureates to World War II-era generals to modern Olympians— have learned to practice deliberate rest, and how we can draw on their examples in our own lives.

How 4-Day Weeks Can Save the World

In today’s 24/7 global economy, long hours seem like an inevitable and inescapable fact of life. But a growing number of ambitious, high-achieving companies around the world and in a variety of industries have discovered that it’s possible to get a competitive advantage by moving to 4-day workweeks. Shorter workweeks give people more time for rest and recovery; boost company recruitment and retention; improve work-life balance; and force companies to be more effective, productive and often profitable. Moving to a 4-day week can help us deal with looming problems of automation and aging workforces, and make economies more equitable, more family-friendly, and more sustainable. In this talk I go inside companies that are making this transition; explain how they find time to work less; and what lessons we can learn from them.

Trialing a 4-Day Week

This workshop is designed for companies interested in deciding whether the shorter workweek could work for them, and for companies planning to implement a trial. Building on the method I outline in SHORTER and my interviews with leaders and employees at companies around the world that have successfully transitioned to a shorter workweek, I offer a one- or two-day workshop that helps companies prepare for a trial 4-day workweek or 6-hour workday. We first explore how companies are redesigning their workdays, and what benefits they get. We’ll then go through a series of exercises to game out worst-case scenarios; build a toolkit of new practices; articulate desired outcomes and KPIs; and create a roadmap for further planning, and a company-wide trial phase.

Books

Shorter: How Working Less Will Revolutionize the Way Your Company Gets Things Done

Forget the old concept of the 9-5. Companies around the world are redesigning the work week to increase efficiency, health and happiness in their workers.

Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less

Overwork is the new normal. Rest is something to do when the important things are done - but they are never done. Looking at different forms of rest, from sleep to vacation, Silicon Valley futurist and business consultant Alex Soojung-Kim Pang dispels the myth that the harder we work the better the outcome.

The Distraction Addiction: Getting the Information You Need and the Communication You Want, Without Enraging Your Family, Annoying Your Colleagues, and Destroying Your Soul

The question of our time: can we reclaim our lives in an age that feels busier and more distracting by the day?

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