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WiN 2019 Summit: The Future of Human Interaction and Performance

September 13, 2019

Friday, September 13 | 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM EDT
The Study at University City

Thank you for your interest in our annual summit. Pre-registration for this event is now closed.

If you are still interested in attending, you are welcome, but because of limited space, we cannot guarantee a seat will be available, nor provide lunch. We ask that those not pre-registered come willing to potentially stand if there are no seats available, and be ready and willing to give up their seats to all pre-registered attendees.

This year’s summit will focus on how neuroscience, AI, business, athletics, and peak performance practitioners are exploring and probing how people communicate, interact, and perform, and the potential for and challenges to optimization for individuals and teams within business, performance, healthcare, sports, and the future of human discovery and exploration.

A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided for all pre-registered attendees and a reception will follow the summit.

Program Details:

8:30am Registration Opens

9:00am Welcome and Program Introduction with Michael Platt, Faculty Director, Wharton Neuroscience Initiative and James S. Riepe University Professor, UPenn

9:05 – 10:40am Session 1 “Human Performance in Science and Society”

  • 9:05-9:30am  Brian Ferguson (Founder and CEO, Arena Labs) “Human performance: ancient rituals, teams and technology”
  • 9:30-9:55am Suzanne Dikker (Senior Research Scientist, NYU) “Harmonic dissonance: connecting brains through art, science and education”
  • 9:55-10:40am Panel Discussion: moderator- Michael Platt, Brian Ferguson, Suzanne Dikker, Emily Falk (Professor of Communication, Psychology, and Marketing; UPenn), and Ritika Chaturvedi (Engineer, RAND Corporation)

10:40 – 11:00am Coffee Break

11:00am – 12:35pm Session 2 “Leadership and Optimizing Human Potential”

  • 11:00-11:25am Christian Ruff (Professor of Neuroeconomics and Decision Neuroscience at the Department of Economics, University of Zurich) “Why we choose to lead”
  • 11:25-11:50am Thalia Wheatley (Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences and Director of the Center for Social Brain Sciences, Dartmouth) “How conversation aligns minds”
  • 11:50-12:35pm Panel Discussion: moderator- Angela Duckworth (Founder and CEO of Character Lab and the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Psychology, UPenn), Christian Ruff, Thalia Wheatley, Mahe Bayireddi (CEO and Co-founder, Phenom People), and Art Finch (Senior Psychologist, U.S. Army Special Operations Command)

12:25 – 1:35 pm Lunch (provided with pre-registration)

Session 3 “Cooperation, Competition, and Communication”

  • 1:35-2:00pm Allan Reiss (Robbins Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Professor of Radiology and Pediatrics; Stanford University School of Medicine) “Birds do it, bees do it, even human beings do it: the neuroscience of human cooperation and communication”
  • 2:00-2:25pm Uri Hasson (Professor of Psychology and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, Princeton University) “Face to face, brain to brain: exploring the mechanisms of interpersonal communication”
  • 2:25-3:10pm Panel Discussion: moderator- Anna Jenkins (Assistant Professor of Psychology, UPenn), Allan Reiss, Uri Hasson, Andrea Wieland (Associate Athletic Director and Director of Sports Performance for Penn Athletics), and Anand Dass (Director of Platform Partnerships at Workplace by Facebook)

3:10 – 3:25pm Coffee Break

3:25 – 5:00pm Session 4 “Optimizing High Performing Teams”

  • 3:25-3:50pm Preston Cline (Director of Research, Mission Critical Team Institute) “The mission critical team tacit knowledge transfer problem”
  • 3:50-4:15pm Michael Platt (Faculty Director, Wharton Neuroscience Initiative and James S. Riepe University Professor, UPenn) “The neurobiology of team chemistry” 
  • 4:15-5:00pm Panel Discussion: moderator- Brian Ferguson, Michael Platt, Preston Cline, Doug Johnston (Vice Chairman, Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Director of the Aortic Valve Center, Program Director for Thoracic Surgery Residency, Cleveland Clinic), and Adam Decker (Performance Conditioning Specialist at Cirque du Soleil’s International Headquarters)

5:00pm Concluding Remarks with Elizabeth (Zab) Johnson, Executive Director, Wharton Neuroscience Initiative

5:15 – 7:30 pm All Attendee Open Reception



  • Date: Friday, September 13
  • Time: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM EDT

Event Organizer

  • Wharton Neuroscience Initiative
  • Phone Number: 215-898-7766