What to Watch at Ideas Week: Phil Zimbardo


There's a lot to wrap your mind around with the approaching Chicago Ideas Week, and we're helping with series of speaker profiles designed to highlight the benefit to you.

In this profile: Phil Zimbardo

Accolades: The world-renowned psychologist is somewhat infamous for his Stanford prison study, wherein two dozen college students were made to be "prisoners" or "guards" in a mock prison. He has since dedicated himself to using psychology in in a more positive bent, and has written several best-selling books on shyness, the psychology of perceiving time, and how good people turn evil.

Why you should care: Zimbardo is now president of the Heroic Imagination Project, which "provide[s] the knowledge, tools, strategies, and exercises to help individuals overcome the inertia which keeps them from taking positive action at crucial moments in their lives." If you recently lost your job -- which these days, is a lot of people -- and are pussyfooting around about whether to start your own business, think of this as a more palatable and reasonable version of going to a Tony Robbins session. Zimbardo is more likely to speak from a grounded, psychological standpoint than spout off one-liners that are the verbal equivalent of cotton candy. 

When you can see him: October 13, Museum of Contemporary Art, 12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

You can check out the full list of speakers here, and register for passes here.

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