Exploiting Brain Vulnerabilities: Chaotic Good at Scale

Note: Presentation times are in Pacific Daylight Time (PDT).

Tuesday, June 01, 2021 - 9:45 am10:30 am

Maia Sauren


Have you ever tried convincing your high school friends that they should use a password manager?

This talk is about how to change people's minds and successfully introduce new concepts to groups and individuals without damaging relationships.

Each of us travels across cultures—work, home, multiple friendship groups. We even travel across micro-cultures—adjacent work teams, different arms of the family. We navigate groups with distinctive communication norms, consent norms, political awareness, technical knowledge, and assumptions of morality—and we do it several times a day.

How do we do that successfully? More importantly, how do we bring new concepts to existing groups without damaging relationships? We do it by accepting that normal is different everywhere, and it doesn't have to remain the same over time.

We will cover change management theory and practice, organisational transformation techniques, complexity communication, and theories of mind. The audience will leave with concrete tools for enabling organisational and group behaviour change, and adaptive communication strategies for translating contexts and concepts across domains.

Maia Sauren[node:field-speakers-institution]

Dr. Maia Sauren is a program and project manager, strategist, delivery team lead, and analyst, specialising in healthcare and data-intensive domains. Maia's background includes a biomedical engineering Ph.D. and a variety of international roles as technical educator, science communicator, and data scientist, with work spanning data science and architecture strategy, from large-scale organisational transformation to healthcare analytics applications for specialised and low-resource settings.

@conference {272773,
author = {Maia Sauren},
title = {Exploiting Brain Vulnerabilities: Chaotic Good at Scale},
year = {2021},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},
month = jun,

Presentation Video