Digital Detox: Why We Take Time Away from Tech During a Tech Camp


Create Peace Project collaborative painting

Over the holiday weekend, our Exponential Youth Camp (XYC) students had the opportunity to visit a Bay Area horse ranch and vineyard, with the caveat that they couldn’t bring along their phones, tablets, or computers.

As anybody who’s ever attended any event hosted at or by Singularity University can attest, learning about and experimenting with exponential technologies all day, every day, can be exhausting, all the more so when we test our students’ knowledge against older students. This exhaustion is physical, of course, but the endless ideas, hopes, concerns, and ethical dilemmas that these conversations about technology expose students to can be especially draining mentally.

During this summer’s XYC we took a full day away from SU’s campus at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View and brought our students to a vineyard and horse ranch, where, among other relaxing activities, they took some time creating a collaborative, analog painting with the help of the Create Peace Project.

Create Peace Project collaborative painting with XYC students

The afternoon painting experience with IDEAco’s XYC Camp group on their Digital Detox day was awesome! The intention was to allow the group to express themselves freely and without control: to get out of their heads and into the body, to simply play and dance with each other using color. I so enjoyed watching how each person found their inspiration to add color, shape, and lines to the canvas. The XYC group was fun and adventuresome. There was nice group energy and enthusiasm. Watching the evolution of the canvas – as we moved from spontaneous emotive expression into deeper control – the group began to listen and look, respond and engage with the tone and texture of the canvas in a beautiful way. I am still inspired.
– Ross Holzman, Executive Director, Create Peace Project

Completed collaborative painting by XYC students with the Create Peace Project


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