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Speeches matching topic Science
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We Are Predictably Irrational.

Do you know why we so often promise ourselves to diet and exercise, only to have the thought vanish when the dessert cart rolls by?

Do you know why we sometimes find ourselves excitedly buying things we don’t really need? Or at prices that we would otherwise concede are beyond our budget?

Do you know why we still have a headache after taking a five-cent aspirin, but why that same headache vanishes when the aspirin costs 50 cents?

Do you know why people who have been asked to recall the Ten Commandments tend to be more honest (at least immediately afterward) than those who haven’t? Or why honor codes actually do reduce dishonesty in the workplace?

Dan Ariely provides answers to these and many other questions that have implications for your personal life, for your business life and for the way you look at the world.

For businesses, these irrationalities help unlock our understanding of common behaviors and choices in shopping, pricing, investing and saving, employee recruitment and selection, office politics and a myriad of other choices and interactions.

As a bonus, you will also learn how much fun social science can be, and how to see more clearly the causes for our everyday behaviors, including the many cases in which we are predictably irrational.

Positive Psychology, "the scientific study of optimal human functioning," provides practical tools for better living. This new subfield within psychology is unique in that it creates a bridge between the Ivory Tower and Main Street -- making rigorous academic ideas easily accessible. In this session, Ben-Shahar discusses current research related to the science of happiness and introduces ideas and tools that can actually make you happier. He covers topics including giving ourselves the permission to be human, simplifying our lives, recognizing the mind-body connection, and re-focusing on the positive.

After her stroke Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor made a decision a million times each day to recover. That decision not only led to her eventual recovery, but a remarkable opportunity to share her experiences with audiences. In a presentation that has been called nothing short of mesmerizing Taylor relives her experiences of having a stroke and gives audiences a brief guided tour of the brain. She describes the biological underpinnings of watching half her brain deteriorate and shares valuable insights on:

  • Why she initially studied the brain, her research and her own brain disorder
  • How to get the brain to do what you want it to do
  • How to capitalize on the brain’s two hemispheres
  • How the choices we make and the thoughts we think directly influence our level of joy

In addition, Dr. Jill is happy to create an original topic in order to cater her presentation to an organization's specific needs.

Business leaders and policymakers take heed – your social, cognitive, and emotional biases (and those of your consumers) will affect your finances. Todd Buchholz examines how generational differences, habitual cognitive decisions, and work relationships all operate together to inform market decisions and public choices.

Todd takes a sweeping view of the nature of competition in business, arguing for the vitality, growth, and progress it inspires in us.  Drawing on biography, he also looks into the lives of influential entrepreneurs to explain how little ideas were turned into big successes that overhauled the way business is done, providing immediately actionable takeaways.

As talented journalists such as Malcolm Gladwell and David Brooks delve into the fields of behavioral economics and behavioral finance, Todd’s analytical work offers a deeper understanding particularly suited for business people and policymakers who need to apply psychological principles to everyday life.

Burns discusses the great gift of our national parks. Here both “the immensity and the intimacy of time” merge, as we appreciate what the parks have added to our collective and individual spirit. Begins with a 13-minute clip (the intro to The National Parks: America’s Best Idea).

This is a less formal, Inside-the-Actors-Studio type of event. Burns responds to questions from moderator on all his films (or film-specific) and issues in history and contemporary American culture. Audience Q&A to conclude if wanted.

Steven Chu (Exclusively WSB)

As director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the first Nobel Laureate to serve as Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu has been at the center of scientific advances for four decades. Referred to by MIT Technology Review as a brilliant thought leader who is uniquely “animated by solving problems,” Chu has played a pivotal role in reshaping the Department of Energy, to improve its ability to stimulate private sector investments in clean energy and energy efficiency, and to enhance its role as a knowledgeable and honest broker in the energy industry. Chu offers audiences invaluable insight on the critical challenges of today: how developments in science and technology not only make good sense for science but also for business and economic growth. Chu discusses the numerous scientific and technological advances that have been achieved to date, what exciting new opportunities lie ahead, and why and how clean energy research and applied policy will both improve our lives and our national prospects for growth in business and industry.

Steven Chu (Exclusively WSB)

While progress in developing new energy technology typically has a long time horizon, the successes achieved by the Department of Energy under Steven Chu—most notably ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy)—are groundbreaking. The ARPA-E initiative began funding energy technology research in 2009. Less than three years later, ARPA-E’s portfolio had reached close to $800 million, fueling millions of dollars of private sector investment and funding approximately 285 projects—such as a 1-megawatt silicon carbide transistor to engineered microbes that use hydrogen and carbon dioxide to make liquid transportation fuel. Similarly, the Energy Innovation Hubs, designed to strengthen the translation of scientific discovery into successful commercialization, are off to a strong start and have garnered broad-based support. Drawing from his own experiences as a scientist and manager at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Stanford, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and as U.S. Secretary of Energy, Chu discusses how one can shape a work environment that fosters innovation by creating a culture that invites scrutiny, open discussions and constructive criticism.

Steven Chu (Exclusively WSB)

Developing efficient, affordable alternatives that serve to decrease the use of fossil fuels, minimize the dependence on foreign oil, create jobs and mitigate environmental concerns around the globe is a critical component of renewable energy research and technology. Steven Chu—recent U.S. Secretary of Energy, Nobel Prize-winning physicist and esteemed university professor—discusses with audiences the current state of clean energy, including the numerous cutting-edge advances that have been made over the course of the last four years and the myriad of government-industry partnerships that have been established, providing America’s innovators and entrepreneurs with a competitive edge in the global arena. In a dynamic and uniquely accessible fashion, Chu discusses the roles and responsibilities of government and industry in clean energy development and implementation, the transformative and positive impact of renewable resource advances on job growth, independence and prosperity and why and how renewable energy will give us, the U.S., an new set of economic opportunities. Chu also explores the development of specific business models that can best seize the economic opportunities, both domestically and around the world, in the transition to sustainable energy.

Amy Cuddy (Exclusively WSB)

From the classroom to the boardroom, nonverbal behavior directly impacts the levels of trustworthiness and strength we present to others—and to ourselves—in our daily interactions. MBA professor of influence, persuasion, leadership and decision-making at the esteemed Harvard Business School, best-selling author Amy Cuddy shares the groundbreaking and compelling research for which she has garnered national acclaim to teach audiences how to become more influential in their personal and professional lives. Explaining how nonverbal behavior and snap judgments influence people, Cuddy examines how leaders can use this cutting-edge science to prepare the brain for high-stakes situations, perform at their best and empower others to do the same. 

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