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As the US grapples with staggering job losses, climbing COVID-19 mortality rates, civil unrest, and an uncertain economic future, leaders are seeking pragmatic solutions. With all the challenges the world faces what may truly be needed is a paradigm shift, one that values well-being over wealth.
“People are reflecting about the economy of tomorrow,” says Nelson Abreu, author, founder, and Iovine and Young Academy alum. “The GDP has long shown that it could go up alongside with the misery of populations...We know something is wrong with this picture.”
Abreu at the International Congress on Consciousness, 2017
In his most recent book, The Tao of the Dow: Economics of Being, Abreu examines the underlying mindsets, values, attitudes, and patterns of behavior that influence today’s economy and workplaces. He highlights the growing disparity between the health of the economy and that of the collective good while offering an alternative vision that comes from a renewed mindset rooted in well-being and human thriving.
“I realized one approach to address problems such as climate change and rising inequality is to help people shift mindsets through transformative experience,” says Abreu. “This book...find[s] the intersection of consciousness and everyday life.”
Abreu is no stranger to shifting mindsets. A former electrical engineer turned entrepreneur, Abreu underwent a number of transformative experiences throughout his life, such as losing a parent at 13, mindfulness-induced cognitive shifts, out-of-body experiences, traveling the world and encountering the struggles of everyday people. These moments led him to look inward, create a new life narrative, and develop human-centered innovations that bridged technology, mindfulness, and well-being.
The Cymatix recliner
Abreu is the co-founder of two companies, Neumascape Studio and Neuma Being, which merges design, business, technology, and mindfulness. Neuma Being operates in the space of “transformative technologies” which develops products such as the Cymatix recliner, a semi-enclosed chaise lounge with embedded technology that provides deep relaxation via oscillating patterns of micro-vibrations. The recliner is designed to achieve a "body asleep, mind awake" condition, in a short amount of time to facilitate transformative altered states. With Covid-19 in full effect, Abreu has volunteered this technology to help those on the front lines.
Neuma Mind Spa
“At this very moment, my startup Neuma Being is communicating with the local government to donate access to our Neuma Mind Spa well-being technology for use by first responders,” says Abreu.
It was through his studies in the USC Iovine and Young Academy’s Master of Science in Integrated Design, Business and Technology program that Abreu refined his startup’s integrative experiences and engaged stakeholders on a whole new level.
Nelson pitching at the USC Stevens Student Innovator Showcase competition, 2019
“I have even more respect and appreciation for other disciplines like design, marketing, and finance and I hope I can have that type of talent in all my teams,” he says.
As we continue to work our way through a time of economic and social upheaval, The Tao of the Dow brings a message of creativity and empowerment. It is a call-to-action for those who wish to transform their relationships, homes, companies, and communities to co-create a future based on our highest principles. With its timely publication, Abreu hopes the book will give people a renewed vision for the future and themselves.
“The central message of my book is that the hero the world needs right now is the one you see in the mirror every morning.”