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Why Your Brain Needs Negative Feedback

#sxsw #badbrain


There is beauty in the brain's electric, neural storm when it knows what you’re doing just isn’t good enough. Yet many people abhor criticism, direct conflict resolution, or a task that truly challenges their brains. Generations have grown up with a never-ending supply of trophies, and this constant positive feedback can have an adverse effect on the way our brains function. We often forget our brains are wired for the type of survival where conflict and struggle are the norm. As a result, when it comes to the brain and feedback, negative is more revealing than positive. Scientific research confirms that negative feedback can be stronger, more effective and requires more thinking and neural processing than positive. Too much positivity can actually re-wire the brain, making people less tolerant of risk, criticism, and even creativity. This session will help shed light on the science of negativity, and the direct implication it has on experiential design, culture, and innovation.



Niki Weber Digital Planning Dir TBWAChiatDay

Driven by a restless curiosity and a passion for all things digital, Niki Weber has spent the past twelve years designing and developing innovative, emotive, and physical brand experiences. With a unique multi-disciplinary background in planning, analytics, digital, media, and tech development, Niki has had numerous successes validating and defining new-to-world concepts through the holistic development of brand strategies across all traditional and non-traditional channels for Visa, adidas, the Grammy's, PepsiCo, and Adobe.

“I truly like to build things: make things tangible; do things; experiment with things; research things; commit myself to the never-ending and impossible pursuit of perfection of things via optimization. Simply talking about things in a haze of never-ending meetings and self-affirming awards is failure in my eyes. I prefer timeless to fleeting; the mixture of modern and vintage; wisdom; learning from the past and applying to the future; taking risks and complete acceptance and appreciation for failure.” – Niki Weber

Weber has provided digital thought-leadership to several North American digital and integrated advertising agencies on both the East and West Coasts developing award-winning, digital strategies for Adobe, MINI, Pioneer, Aquafresh, Zippo, PG&E, and many others. Most recently, as the Director of Digital Strategy for TBWAChiatDay in Los Angeles, she led and grew digital at the agency across their roster of brands including Visa, Gatorade, adidas, and the Grammy Awards. Her successes in that role led to Weber becoming the agency’s first Creative Innovation Director. Weber’s work has been recognized by all major award shows, including the Hive, the Webbys, Jay Chiat, Cannes, and the One Show.

To follow her true passion for innovative technology, however, Weber departed from the ad agency world two years ago to focus her attention on startups. Since then, she has been providing consulting services to innovative technology shops, like BrainSport: a startup helping elite athletes train their brains as they would train their bodies. Responsible for leading the Product Marketing & Innovations group, Niki developed and led the customer experience from the front-end of product development to the branding, and the go-to-market strategy of all BrainSport products. Her successes at BrainSport paved the way to consulting for startups full-time. In 2012, Niki was actively involved in leadership roles across 14 startups spanning everything from sport, health, gaming, and social media/community.

“The only award or success that matters to me is to somehow, in some small way, measurably improve the world through technology. And the best reward would be to someday round-up and create alongside the tight-knit group of ridiculously talented friends I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the years, and to do my best to always rise to their ever-increasing standards." – Niki Weber