NEWS & TRENDS October 2012

October 09, 2012 | bit-wartung | Learning Elsewhere |


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The next week’s NeuroLeadership Summet in New-York. A brain friendly f2f meeting.

On the programme: Morning breaks of 30 minutes; small group lunches and 60 minutes digestion breaks scheduled in the afternoon. Breaks include mindfulness sessions, special interest groups, and Argentine Tango workshops…


The NeuroLeadership Summit aims for the most brain friendly conference in the world. Over the last 5 years David Rock, Co-Founder and Director of NeuroLeadership and his team have been experimenting and adapting the design of their conference. They base the programme design on the findings from brain sciences and on participants’ expectations. Conference participants normally want to gain: ‘useful new ideas’ and ‘new human connections’.

With the findings and the participants’ goals and interests in mind the organizers of the NeuroLeadership Summit defined the following 4 basic principles:

1. Ideas are like food: Our brains need time to digest before we can add more. As meeting organizers we build in thinking-breaks, time for little group discussions, room to reflect the application of new ideas.

2. Social is everything: Participants want to connect with new and old colleagues. We plan enough unstructured time for people to meet.

3. Do less, but do it really well: We make sure that only the most important topics are on the agenda; not more than that.

4. Work with, not against, the natural flow of energy: We go for the big ideas in the morning and tackle the after-lunch dip with interactive sessions, preferably small group discussions.

Jeff Hurt is writing in his blog Velvet Chainsaw – Midcourse Corrections how to make conferences lively, inspiring and attractive learning experiences.

John Medina author of Brain Rules points out what our brains need to function well at work. Our brains are for example bad at multitasking. Our brains want to see. Our brains need afternoon naps and physical exercise: The best business meeting would have everyone walking at about 1.8 miles per hour!

As organisers of face-to-face meetings, listening to our brains seems to be a good advice to make our meetings more engaging and energetic.  

What is your experience with brain-friendly face-to-face meetings? 


– The NeuroLeadership Summit 2012

Rethinking how we conference by David Rock

Four Basic Conference Principles You Must Adopt by Jeff Hurt

F2f-meetings of SDC networks – lessons to be learned (II) by Michèle Marin 

12 brain rules by John Medina

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