Beau Lotto is represented in North America by Promenade Speakers. For engagements booked by entities based outside North America, we can refer you to another manager.
Beau Lotto’s Keynotes:
If you truly want to understand why there’s nothing creative about creativity, why change is hard, why there’s no inherent value in any piece of information … if of itself, what (branding) narratives the brain needs to create a relationship – and why the narratives are different for maintaining a relationship … and if you want to do it while experiencing first-hand how your perception of the world is not what you thought it’d be … then you’ll discover why with Beau.
There are two aspects to innovation: efficiency and creativity. I.e. the ability to create novel solutions to a meaningful problem and ability to realize that solution. Innovation is inherent in both of these processes. In recent decades, we focused on efficiency.
What makes a good leader? When asked this question of a diverse audience, I’ll receive many different possible qualities that are ‘essential’. And yet, there are only three such descriptions that correlate with the success of a company. What are they and why do they matter? Here we will address these questions from the perspective of behavioral neuroscience, and consider a new answer: the quality of a leader is defined by how he/she leads others into uncertainty.
We do not exist in isolation, but in relationship to our world. The most essential aspect of that world is other people. Our relationships become meaningful according to the narrative of those relationships: the more nuanced, creative and personal the narrative, the more valuable it is and thus the stronger is the relationship. Imagine instead having a narrative that described another as the average man or woman. Not surprisingly, it’s not going to work out very well. It’s knowing how others deviate from the average which defines how well you know them. Branding is nothing more than telling stories that foster relationships. But brands treat people as the average, hence their stories do not foster what they truly need – indeed anyone needs, which is value, meaning and loyalty. Understanding the mechanisms and principles of behavioral neuroscience that enable relationships to start, as well as the relationships that enable them to be maintained (which are not the same mechanisms) is essential to any brand. And key to this is authenticity. So how can brands be authentic? How can they understand themselves and communicate that to their audience? These are the questions with which we will engage.
There is no inherent value in any piece of information! Data is meaningless. Why? This is because the brain deals with meaning and not information since information doesn’t tell you what to do. In fact, THE fundamental challenge that the brain evolved to solve is to take meaningless data and make it meaningful. This is true even at the most basic level of our senses: seeing light. Which is why we never see the world in any direct sense. Instead what we see is the meaning of information grounded in our personal, cultural and evolutionary histories. And it’s the historical meaning of stuff that we literally see, experience and know (not the stuff itself). Here we’ll explore – and experience – how to see new meaning in data that has always been there, but remains hidden. The result will be an understanding of the principles by which the brain makes the meaningless meaningful.
There is no inherent value in change. Whether change is good or bad is – like everything else in life – context-dependent. Here, using principles in behavioral and perceptual neuroscience, we’ll explore what lives at the heart of change: why it’s often essential for success but equally the most feared of human activities. Indeed, to ask ‘why?’ is historically the most dangerous thing you can do. Hence, organization, businesses, religions and even our education systems are designed to reduce question-asking. And yet all revolutions (and revelations) begin with a joke (“you mean it could be different from this?”). See how and why questions and metaphor are mediators of change; what makes a good question; and how change – when properly pursued – has no direction or goal. Which means change is personal and – when properly considered – inevitable.
One of the most dangerous things one can experience in life is doubt. During evolution, if your ancestors weren’t sure whether that ‘thing over there’ was a predator, well … it was too late for them. Thus, we hate doubt … and that’s usually a good idea (throughout evolutionary history). We are genetically programmed to do so: Sea-sickness, and indeed most of our mental health problems being direct manifestations of our fear. The deep irony, however, is that nothing interesting begins without it. So taking the risk to step into uncertainty is an essential aspect of adaptation, which we know is at the root of success in all natural systems. What’s more, nature also tells us when it’s best to risk uncertainty. So how to deal with uncertainty is the fundamental problem that your brain evolved to solve. Here we discuss in a highly experiential way how and why everything is uncertain, and nature’s solution to it.
Changes that lead to innovation, leadership and learning all require letting go of certainty. Thus, understanding the relationship between uncertainty, experience and brain plasticity in creating perception is essential to understanding the principles of behavioral change … and why change is so difficult. Without this awareness, the ability to innovate, lead and learn will be limited, since at the core of these most essential and creative human behaviors is the ability to ‘see differently’ … to live with intention.
As a neuroscientist who studies how the brain evolved to resolve uncertainty at the physiological, personal and social levels, my aim is to transform our understanding of change through discovery: It’s only through discovery that we embody the understanding that leads to resilience … i.e. the ability to share and adapt knowledge to your own social and personal context. To this end, in collaboration with behavioral scientists, producers and designers, we have created a one-day lab (not a workshop) for collective discovery. The lab assumes that your future success is more a function of the questions you ask – not the answers to derive. You (and we) will question whether creativity is in fact a mysterious, messy process irrelevant to business and education.
We’ll explore why the three most important qualities of leadership involve uncertainty … and why ‘seeing differently’ is essential to succeeding in all aspects of the contemporary society.
The day will last 5 to 7 hours (depending on discussions). We will focus on the experiential, through a combination of formal presentation, open discussion and participatory experimentation. The experiments will be literal i.e., they are not demonstrations. Rather than a how-to-guide that offers only a superficial translation of information, we will discover together and thus embody the knowledge we discovered. At the end, you will have a renewed sense of wonder, motivation and understanding that are the essential tools to see differently (though – whether in a corporate, educational or governmental context – seeing differently is ultimately a personal choice).
Additional Workshops on Innovation, Learning, Leadership and Branding are available – contact us for descriptions.
About Beau Lotto:
Dr Beau Lotto is the Founder and CEO of Lab of Misfits Studio, the world’s first neuro-design studio. The lab creates unique real-world ‘experiential-experiments’ that places the public at the center of the process of discovery. By spanning social and personal boundaries between people, brands and institutions, their aim is to create, expand and apply their insights into what it is to be perceiving human. By focusing on how the perceptual brain resolves the fundamental challenge of uncertainty, The Lab of Misfits gives audiences and clients the opportunity to see differently … more than this … to embody an ecology of innovation. The Lab of Misfits turns the world into a lab as a way of enabling insights for companies and organizations.
Perception is the foundation of human experience, but few of us understand why we see what we do, much less how. By revealing the startling truths about the brain and its perceptions, Beau Lotto shows that the next big innovation is not a new technology: it is a new way of seeing, how uncertainty and the brain’s need to resolve it is essential for thinking about not only branding and business, but specifically design, leadership and innovation.
Beau is one of the few speakers to have given two TED talks, which have amassed over 5 million views combined. He has also spoken at Google’s Zeitgest Minds, Wired, G8 and made significant program contributions to BBC’s Horizon, National Geographic Channel and PBS in the US.
In 2017, Beau published his first major book, Deviate: The Science of Seeing Differently. He draws on over two decades of pioneering research to explain that our brain didn’t evolve to see the world accurately. It can’t! Visually stunning, with entertaining illustrations and optical illusions throughout, and with clear and comprehensive explanations of the science behind how our perceptions operate, Deviate will revolutionize the way you see yourself, others and the world. With this new understanding of how the brain functions, we can apply these insights to every aspect of life, love and work. Deviate is not just an illuminating account of the neuroscience of thought, behavior and creativity: it is a call to action, enlisting readers in their own journey of self-discovery.
Links to Deviate Articles:
Beau is also the Founder and CEO of a US Augmented Reality tech startup, which has several patents.
Traces is a digital AR platform that blends the physical and the digital. Combining augmented reality, geo-tagging and digital messaging, Traces brings together brands, people and the content together in the real world, the potential impact of Traces on Enterprise is immense. More information on Traces can be found at www.traces.io.
MEEGO is an app that lets float your ‘animal spirit’ in AR, telling the world who you are right now. MEEGOs follow you wherever you go, and are visible in AR by anyone nearby. When you find another MEEGO, say hi with a comment or read other people’s comments … or save their MEEGO into your Tribe and carry on the conversation via messaging. MEEGO is a wholly new way to see, not only who is around you more playfully and more meaningfully.