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Educating For Happiness and Resilience: Dr. Ilona Boniwell
Dr Ilona Boniwell is one of the most prominent positive psychology academics in Europe. Her first bestselling book, Positive Psychology in a Nutshell, has been translated into many languages. She is the author or editor of five other books including the Oxford Handbook of Happiness. She founded the European Network of Positive Psychology and the first Masters in Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) in Europe. Currently, she teaches at l’Ecole Centrale Paris and assists the Government of Bhutan in developing a framework for happiness-based public policy, at the request of the UN. Her research and applied interests include: psychology of time, resilience, eudaimonic well-being and applications of positive psychology to leadership, coaching and education.
Building and Interacting with Virtual Brain
The Virtual Brain (TVB, thevirtualbrain.org) is an international project that uses real neuroimaging data to construct a simulation of the human brain. Anatomical data setup the conduit for communication between different brain regions. The dynamics for each region are generated from a library of nonlinear models, and produce large-scale activity patterns that can be compared directly to empirical functional data, such EEG/MEG or functional MRI. The talk will present the core of the platform and its applications to understanding the structure-function interplay that forms the basis of cognitive architectures. TVB’s use of real data is also at the heart of a larger social neuroscience initiative, wherein small groups of people interact with TVB through wireless EEG headsets, modifying an immersive audiovisual environment that mimics a dream — My Virtual Dream. The goal is to make use of individual brain signals to augment the group experience through TVB. The two avenues of development for TVB will inform neurally-inspired computing architectures and the evolution of interactive devices that can use a person’s physiology to redesign their experience.
Randy McIntosh, PhD.
Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Toronto
Director, Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest Centre
John McWhorter: Txtng is killing language. JK!!!
Does texting mean the death of good writing skills? John McWhorter posits that there’s much more to texting — linguistically, culturally — than it seems, and it’s all good news.
Linguist John McWhorter thinks about language in relation to race, politics and our shared cultural history.
WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HIM?
John McWhorter studies how language has evolved — and will evolve — with social, historical and technological developments, in addition to studying and writing about race in America.
In recent work, he’s been urging grammarians to think of email and text messages not as the scourge of the English language but as “fingered speech,” a new form between writing and talking. These digital missives, despite their “shaggy construction,” represent an exciting new form of communication in which “lol” and “hey” are particles, he suggests, and written thoughts can be shared at the speed of talking. Should we worry that knowing how to parse “haha kk” means we’ll lose the ability to read Proust? No, he told the TED Blog: “Generally there’s always been casual speech and formal speech, and people can keep the two in their heads.”
McWhorter teaches at Columbia, where his students, including Yin Yin Lu, Sarah Tully, and Laura Milmed, teach him all about the world of texting. He’s also a contributing editor at The New Republic and TheRoot.com. Among his books on language and on race, a selected list:What Language Is (And What It Isn’t and What It Could Be); Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English; and Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America.
“The man changed my mind about texting. I love to gripe about it, but John McWhorter made me rethink how I felt.” Ginette Evans on TED.com
Colin Camerer: Neuroscience, game theory, monkeys
When two people are trying to make a deal — whether they’re competing or cooperating — what’s really going on inside their brains? Behavioral economist Colin Camerer shows research that reveals just how little we’re able to predict what others are thinking. And he presents an unexpected study that shows chimpanzees might just be better at it than we are.
Colin Camerer is a leading behavioral economist who studies the psychological and neural bases of choice and strategic decision-making.
WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HIM?
Colin Camerer focuses on brain behavior during decision making, strategizing and market trading. He is the Robert Kirby Professor of Behavioral Finance and Economics at the California Institute of Technology. A child prodigy in his youth, Camerer received a B.A. in quantitative studies from Johns Hopkins when he was just 17 and a PhD in decision theory from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business when he was 22. Camerer’s research departs from previous theory in that it does not assume the mind to be a rational and perfect system, but rather focuses on the limitations of everyday people when they play actual games, and seeks to predict how they will behave in situations that involve strategy. His studies focus on neurological findings from economic experiments in the lab (on humans — and monkeys!) Camerer is the author of Behavioral Game Theory.
Understanding the intersection of gender, generation and leadership
The 5th Annual Women’s Empowerment Principles Event Perspectives from Dr. Elisabeth Kelan on understanding the intersection of gender, generation and leadership. You can visit http://www.pwc.com/IWD to learn more about Dr. Kelan’s book and read, watch or listen to further resources that PwC International have created specifically to support International Women’s Day 2013, with the theme: Gender, generation and leadership: supporting the millennial woman craft her career.
Shared Leadership for Community Change: Andre Leroux
As Executive Director of the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance, André has led efforts to reform zoning laws, increase transportation investment, and create a network of great places. He established Great Neighborhoods to support local groups and helped launch Transportation for Massachusetts to advocate for walking, biking, and public transportation.
Before joining the Alliance, André led the Reviviendo Gateway Initiative (RGI) in Lawrence, Massachusetts, a model of public-private partnership for urban revitalization. Composed of residents, property owners, government officials, artists, nonprofit organizations, and businesspeople, RGI sparked more than $120 million of investment in the City of Lawrence in three years. André also led the creation of two smart growth zoning districts in the city, helped to found a cultural economic development initiative, and coordinated a research and educational collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology called MIT@Lawrence.
A taste of leadership: Alf Rehn
The theme of the speech will be creativity, and that what we normally label as creativity in fact is nothing near what creativity actually is. Alf will take his examples from the world of restaurants, where chefs manage to stay at the cutting edge of creativity. At the same time, they deliver a dish to a customer at top quality and with top performance every time. This is something the rest of us can learn from, and through Alf’s speech, we might do just that.
Creative leadership and employee well-being: Farida Rasulzada
Her current research revolves around the promotion of creativity leadership, how to generate creative / innovative organizations and what management and organization achieves when staff are given space to be creative both in the private and public sectors.
Keith Chen: Could your language affect your ability to save money?
What can economists learn from linguists? Behavioral economist Keith Chen introduces a fascinating pattern from his research: that languages without a concept for the future — “It rain tomorrow,” instead of “It will rain tomorrow” — correlate strongly with high savings rates.
Keith Chen’s new research suggests that the language you speak may impact the way you think about your future.
WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HIM?
Does the future look like a different world to you, or more like an extension of the present? In an intriguing piece of research, Keith Chen suggests that your attitude about the future has a strong relationship to the language you speak. In a nutshell, some languages refer to the future using verb helpers like “will” and “shall,” while others don’t have specific verbs to refer to future actions. Chen correlated these two different language types with remarkably different rates of saving for the future (guess who saves more?). He calls this connection the “futurity” of languages. The paper is in the process of being published by the American Economic Review, and it’s already generated discussion. Chen says: “While the data I analyze don’t allow me to completely understand what role language plays in these relationships, they suggest that there is something really remarkable to be explained about the interaction of language and economic decision-making. These correlations are so strong and survive such an aggressive set of controls, that the chances they arise by random lies somewhere between one in 10,000 and one in 10^32.”
Chen excels in asking unusual questions to yield original results. Another recent work (with Yale colleague and TEDGlobal 2009 speaker Laurie Santos) examined how monkeys view economic risk–with surprisingly humanlike irrationality. While a current working paper asks a surprising, if rhetorical, question: Does it make economic sense for a woman to become a physician?