Highlights from the Wharton Neuroscience Initiative (WiN) 2019 Summit

Highlights from the Wharton Neuroscience Initiative (WiN) 2019 Summit

Members of the AIIR team at the 2019 Annual WiN Summit. From left to right: Kristine Zeiset, Dr. Claire Jaffe, Alyssa Garcia, Terence Jones, Megan Danowski, Chris Cotteta, and CEO Dr. Jonathan Kirschner. 

Scientific Theory Meets Practical Application

On September 13th, 2019, several members of the AIIR team visited the University of Pennsylvania campus for the annual summit presented by the Wharton Neuroscience Institute, an AIIR partner. Neuroscience leaders from around the world presented on new findings that indicate the future of human interaction and performance. Topics included:

  • Human Performance in Science and Society
  • Leadership and Optimizing Human Potential
  • Cooperation, Competition and Communication
  • Optimizing High Performing Teams

In addition to WiN Director, Dr. Michael Platt, speakers included neuroscientists and leaders from academia, special forces, creative arts, and business.


Dr. Michael Platt (right) leads the morning panel on Leadership and Optimizing Human Potential.

From left to right: University of Pennsylvania professor Dr. Emily Falk, New York University Senior Research Scientist Dr. Suzanne Dikker, RAND engineer Dr. Ritika Chaturvedi, and Arena Labs Founder and CEO Brian Ferguson.

“How do we coach people to get them into those states of neurosynchrony?”

– Brian Ferguson, Founder and CEO, Arena Labs

University of Pennsylvania psychology professor Dr. Angela Duckworth introducing University of Zurich neuroeconomics and decision neuroscience professor Dr. Christian Ruff.

Dr. Ruff presented his neuropsychology research on “Why We Choose to Lead.”

Dr. Angela Duckworth’s popular TED Talk on Grit and the Power of Perseverence.

Dartmouth professor Dr. Thalia Wheatley presented her research on “How Conversation Aligns Minds.”

Seen here is an illustration of the “Brokerage” concept that illustrates how some individuals are central to group dynamics and connections.

AIIR Executive Coach Dr. Claire Jaffe asking questions of the morning panel on Leadership and Optimizing Human Potential.

Panels throughout the day fielded questions from participants and discussed intersectional neuroscience topics.

The WiN Leadership panel featuring (from left to right) University of Zurich professor Dr. Christian Ruff, moderator Dr. Angela Duckworth, Phenom People CEO and Co-founder Mahe Bayireddi, US Army Special Operations Senior Psychologist Dr. Art Finch, and Dartmouth professor Dr. Thalia Wheatley.

In the afternoon, Princeton Neuroscience Institute professor Dr. Uri Hasson presented on the topic “Face to Face, Brain to Brain: Exploring the Mechanisms of Interpersonal Communication.” Dr. Hasson is seen above presenting his TED Talk, “This is Your Brain on Communication.”

From left to right: The University of Pennsylvania campus, the WiN Summit 2019 program, and The Study at University City.

Co-founder and Director of Research of the Mission Critical Team Institute, Dr. Preston Cline, gave a very powerful presentation on the Tacit Knowledge Transfer Problem.

Dr. Cline works primarily with small, integrated teams where the consequence of failure can be catastrophic.

The final panel of the day was on the topic of Optimizing High Performing Teams and featured (from left to right) Cirque Du Soleil Performance Conditioning Specialist Dr. Adam Decker, Mission Critical Team Institute Co-founder Dr. Preston Cline, Cleveland Clinic Thoracic Surgery Vice Chairman Dr. Douglas Johnston, Moderator Dr. Michael Platt, and Arena Labs Founder and CEO Brian Ferguson.

The Wharton Neuroscience Institute is an AIIR partner. You can watch Dr. Michael Platt’s full talk on the neuroscience of teams here.

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