Speaking Engagements

Leonard Mlodinow is widely known as a clear and charismatic speaker, and has given technical and general-level lectures in over a dozen countries on four continents. He has spoken to a wide variety of audiences on topics ranging from the role of chance in our lives to how our unconscious mind affects our thoughts, decisions, and feelings—and at venues as varied as Harvard, the Major League Baseball General Manager’s Winter Meeting, Pepsico, and the World Science Festival. As engaging in person as he is on the page, Dr. Mlodinow will change the way you think about yourself, and the world.

Leonard Mlodinow is available for speaking engagements. For more information contact him here.

TESTIMONIALS

We were looking for a speaker on statistics at our General Manager's meeting, and I thought of Len after reading his books. Although MLB's General Manager's are a sophisticated (and jaded) group when it comes to presentations on probabilities, Len wowed the group with his insightful and engaging presentation. In fact the reaction to Len was so positive (as reflected in an article that appeared on MLB.com), that I will have him present to all of MLB's owners in the future.
-- Daniel Halem
Executive Vice President, Labor
Office of the Commissioner of Baseball
245 Park Ave
New York, NY

A warm and engaging speaker, Len Mlodinow presents scientific insights simply and clearly, in a way that entertains as it informs. At the CQA conference, he artfully demonstrated that cognitive bias is inescapable, even for us quantitative investment pros well schooled in these very ideas in behavioral finance. It's all too rare to find accomplished scientists with his storytelling skills, let alone Hollywood writers with his scientific chops.
-- Rosemary Macedo
Chief Investment Officer
QS Investors

Leonard's skill in connecting with our audience made for a powerful presentation. He made complex and innovative ideas accessible, and even entertaining, giving the audience innovative ways to look at and assess important information. His presentation generated very positive feedback and we would welcome him again as a speaker.
--Nancy Graham, CPA, CA, CIM, CFP, TEP
Portfolio Manager
PWL Capital Inc.,
265 Carling Avenue, Suite 401 | Ottawa, Ontario K1S 2E1

I had found Len's books to be so compelling that I asked him to speak to our legal team on the topics of probabilities and unconscious biases. I was blown away by the talk he gave us. He was engaging, approachable and able to take complex concepts and make them understandable and relevant to our work. Len is a delightful man who will challenge the way that you think.
--C. Anthony Reale, senior assistant general counsel,
the Altria Group, Inc.
6601 W Broad St Richmond, VA, 23230

When Leonard spoke to the Chartered Financial Analyst Society of Los Angeles, he showed his rare ability to treat material that is deep and numerate in a captivating way. As with his books, the talks flow with a clear story line. His speaking style is warm and engaging. This demanding audience was satisfied and entertained!
--Cynthia Harrington, CFA,
Chair of Applied Behavioral Finance Group, CFALA

SAMPLE TOPICS

Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior
Everyday we make personal, financial and business decisions, confident that we have properly weighed all the important factors and acted accordingly — and that we know how we came to those decisions. But in recent years it has become increasingly clear that the way we experience the world — our perceptions, behavior, memory and social judgment — is largely driven by the mind's subliminal processes and not by the conscious ones, as we have long believed. Although our unconscious mind thus plays a critical role in our perceptions, feelings and thoughts, we are unaware of its influence. As a result, our view of ourselves, our motivations and society is like a puzzle with most of the pieces missing.

In this talk Mlodinow will explore how the past two decades of revolutionary neurological research shows that our view of ourselves is far less accurate than we may believe, creating a new, modern understanding of the commanding role the unconscious mind plays in our conscious thoughts. Presenting vivid interactive demonstrations and striking examples, he will discuss some of the many ways the unconscious mind influences how we misperceive our relationships with family, friends, and business associates; and how we misremember important events — along the way, changing our view of ourselves and the world around us.

Combatting Cognitive Illusions & Mental Barriers for Optimal Decision-Making
By overcoming cognitive illusions and mental barriers, Mlodinow believes anyone can obtain optimal risk assessment and decision-making. Focusing on psychological barriers and barriers arising from misguided intuition about probabilities and chance, he begins his talk with interactive exercises that will illustrate how the brain constructs reality from the data it takes in, rather than simply recording it.

Mlodinow addresses a range of barriers that affect us all, such as how the presentation of facts, or added detail, can influence the perception of likelihood or truth; how people have great trouble accurately judging the risk or probability of certain events; how the memory works, why people can have clear memories of things that didn’t happen, or didn’t happen as they recall; and how and why people have trouble objectively assessing data or situations when they would prefer a certain conclusion. Providing expert tips on taking control and achieving desired outcomes, Mlodinow shares how understanding our behaviors in relation to our brains can result in more productive negotiations and decisions.

The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives
This irreverent and illuminating presentation explores how random events shape the world and how human intuition fights that fact. Although Mlodinow explains that things are more random than people realize, his talk is not about giving up due to that, but rather, about how to avoid being misled by randomness.

Although our brains naturally want to see patterns and order, life doesn’t necessarily work like that. Mlodinow shares how an understanding of randomness reveals a tremendous amount about our daily lives, our investments and our business decisions. He analyzes examples from business and the financial markets, revealing how successes and failures are often attributed to clear and obvious causes, when in actuality they are more profoundly influenced by chance.

As he discusses the basics of probability and statistics, Mlodinow provides wonderful illustrations from fields as wide-ranging as sports, medicine, psychology and the stock market. Clear, accessible, very friendly, engaging and often very witty, this speech can be enjoyed by absolutely everyone (including the math-phobic) with the aim of changing the way people view their lives, their business dealings and the world around them.

The Grand Design
When and how did the universe begin? Why are we here? Leonard Mlodinow, the physicist/author behind The Drunkard’s Walk, explores his collaborative work with Stephen Hawking in their #1 bestseller, The Grand Design. Created for any lay audience, this speech presents the most recent scientific thinking about the mysteries of the cosmos, and describes the current theories of the fundamental forces of nature and the origin and evolution of the universe.

In a very interesting, detailed, thought provoking and often humorous way, Mlodinow discusses why some of life’s biggest questions can be answered by science and scientific theory, including: Why is there something rather than nothing? Is the apparent “grand design” of our universe evidence of a benevolent creator who set things in motion – or does science offer another explanation? The theories he expounds upon are sometimes old and sometimes groundbreakingly new, but all will either surprise you, educate you, or both. This is a presentation that is not to be missed.

SELECTED PAST TALKS:

Altria (annual lawyers meeting)
Celfin Capital (Santiago, Chile)
Center for Skeptical Inquiry (Tacoma conference)
Certified Financial Analysts of Los Angeles
Chicago Quantitative Alliance
City of Hope (Arcadia, CA)
Commonwealth Club (San Francisco)
Dayalbagh Educational Institute (Agra, India)
Fair of Science and Technology (Osorno, Chile)
Farallon Investment
Google
Idea Fest (Louisville)
Innovation Forum (Rio Grande de Sul, Brazil)
Jonathan Club (Los Angeles)
Los Angeles Times Book Festival
Major League Baseball (general managers’ annual winter meeting in Palm Springs)
Meltingpot Festival (Ostrava, Czech Republic)
Microsoft
National Institute of Standards and Technology (Washington)
Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism (New York conference)
Pepsico Europe (annual marketing meeting, Barcelona, Spain)
PWL Capital (3 Talks in Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal)
ReComm 12 (real estate conference, Salzburg, Austria)
Sages and Scientists Annual Conference (Carlsbad)
Second Dynasty Foundation Popular Science Festival (Moscow, Russia)
Skeptics Society (Pasadena conference)
Small Ventures USA (Bill Perkins)
Society of Forensic Engineers Annual Meeting (Kona, Hawaii)
TEDx (Bratislava, Slovakia)
TEDx (Istanbul, Turkey)
TEDx (Newark)
Toward a Science of Consciousness Conference (Stockholm, Sweden)
Washington State Hospital Association
Wellington Management
World Science Festival