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Silvia Damiano (About my Brain Institute): Why not democratise access to neuroscience?

Sil­via Dami­ano

What is your cur­rent job title and orga­ni­za­tion, and what excites you the most about work­ing there?
I am the CEO of the About my Brain Insti­tute, based in Syd­ney, Aus­tralia, with activ­i­ties in Europe and North Amer­i­ca. What excites me the most is work­ing with the young tal­ent in my organ­i­sa­tion, as a great way to keep my brain young and con­tin­u­ous­ly learn­ing.

Please tell us about your inter­est in brain health and per­for­mance. What areas are you most inter­ested in? What moti­vated you to pur­sue work in your field?
I had my own brain scanned last year and, being in the lead­er­ship space for so many years, I thought, this is great, but why not democ­ra­tise access to neu­ro­science? I believe that being aware of our brain capa­bil­i­ties, and how to opti­mise them, is some­thing that every­body needs to do. The brain is at the cen­tre of what we do, it affects our deci­sion-mak­ing process and the abil­i­ty to lead our­selves and oth­ers effec­tive­ly.

What is one impor­tant thing you are work­ing on now, and where can peo­ple learn more about it?
We spe­cialise in assess­ing per­son­al lead­er­ship and organ­i­sa­tion­al capa­bil­i­ty, allow­ing peo­ple to have unique insights into how agile, inno­v­a­tive, col­lab­o­ra­tive they are, as well as mea­sur­ing items relat­ed to brain per­for­mance. At the moment we are expand­ing our glob­al reach by cer­ti­fy­ing con­sul­tants, coach­es, Organ­i­sa­tion­al Devel­op­ment and Lead­er­ship spe­cial­ists, as well as change agents and busi­ness lead­ers.

What are 1–2 key things you’d like every per­son to under­stand about his/ her own brain and mind, that you think are com­mon­ly mis­un­der­stood?
Peo­ple tend to com­pare them­selves with great lead­ers, such as Man­dela, Churchill, Gand­hi, and they imme­di­ate­ly lim­it them­selves think­ing they could nev­er be like them. The real­i­ty is that any­one can improve their lead­er­ship capa­bil­i­ty and learn the skills required to influ­ence peo­ple and events. We can change the behav­iours and habits that may be lim­it­ing our growth, and doing so we rewire our brains for the bet­ter, and then we con­tin­u­al­ly devel­op the capa­bil­i­ties to max­i­mize our unique poten­tial.

Where do you see clear “low-hang­ing fruit” to shape the future and the prac­tice of brain fit­ness?
I believe that edu­cat­ing those who teach young minds is the best way into the future. New solu­tions devel­oped to enhance brain func­tion­al­i­ty should be with­in the reach of edu­ca­tors to help cre­ate a future gen­er­a­tion of peo­ple who become more aware and con­scious of the poten­tial of their brains and minds.

What would you like the 2014 Sharp­Brains Vir­tual Sum­mit to accom­plish?
I would like to see the Sum­mit reach­ing every cor­ner of the plan­et so any­one can learn the impor­tance of brain fit­ness.

Final­ly, if I may…what do YOU do to stay sharp?
I stay sharp by cre­at­ing, learn­ing and shar­ing. I believe that when we work on some­thing we love, we are able to access the state of flow eas­i­er. We can then become more resource­ful and bet­ter prob­lem solvers, over­com­ing exter­nal obsta­cles and neg­a­tive self-talk.

2014_SharpBrains_Virtual_Summit_Shaping the Practice and the Future of Brain FitnessThis con­ver­sa­tion is part of a new inter­view series with Spon­sors & Speak­ers @ 2014 Sharp­Brains Vir­tual Sum­mit (Octo­ber 28–30th). You can reg­is­ter with a 10% dis­count using pro­mo­tional code: sharp2014. Please join us!

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Categories: Education & Lifelong Learning, Peak Performance

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