From real life to virtual worlds, modern presence and learning encompasses adeptness in emerging technologies, combined with curiosity and self-awareness. We are constantly faced with the question of what it means to "be present", and also to be human, even as humans and computers become increasingly connected. We use technology such as virtual and augmented reality, as well as practices in mindfulness and presence, to sharpen awareness, focus, and creativity. We are no longer "cogs in a system", operating in a traditional factory input-output schema. We are connected and inter-related, thriving in a "Factory 2.0" neural network of connections, and many different layers of meaning and context. We can now creatively embrace many interactive methodologies as part of complex learning, using them in ways that support engaging, empathetic, meaningful understanding, context and growth. Best of all, for those of us who are “hacks and hackers”, problem-solvers and designers, we adopt solutions-based approaches that keep our own minds empathetic and flexible. We begin to see, quite truly, that no man is an island. The advantage of a connected mindset, with mindful awareness, is core to design thinking and interrelated systems, with a better world in focus.