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How to Outsmart Your Unconscious Bias


Valeria Alexander




The human brain is a remarkable achievement in evolution. Unfortunately, the brain activity that kept the human species alive for millions of years is the same brain activity that keeps us from achieving equality today. Author, speaker and CEO, Valerie Alexander, explains how the human brain instinctively reacts when encountering the unexpected, like saber-toothed tigers or female tech execs, and proposes that if we have the courage to examine our own behavior when faced with the unfamiliar, we can take control of our expectations, and by doing so, change the world. Valerie Alexander is the Founder and CEO of Goalkeeper Media, maker of communication bots to amplify happiness, including the Happy Couples Bot. Valerie has extensive experience in corporate and start-up arenas, but left Silicon Valley to find success as a screenwriter in Los Angeles. Valerie wrote, produced and directed more than 50 shorts, commercials and PSAs, including the award-winning, anti-bullying short film, “Ballpark Bullies”, and the groundbreaking commercial, “Say I Do”, in support of marriage equality. As author of the Amazon #1 seller, “Happiness as a Second Language”, and a nationally known speaker on happiness in the workplace and the advancement of women, Valerie is a recognized expert on the topics. In addition to “Happiness as a Second Language”, Valerie’s books include “Success as a Second Language” and “How Women Can Succeed in the Workplace (Despite Having “Female Brains)”. She holds an honors certificate in the Science of Happiness from the Greater Good Science This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.


Let's start with a brain exercise. I'm going to ask you to visualize three scenarios. The visualization part is very important, so please close your eyes, take a deep breath and imagine. You're late to catch a flight. You rush through the airport, you make it through security. You run to the gate, you make it down the jetway, you step on the plane just as they

close the door behind you and the pilot steps out of a cockpit to say hi.

You get to your destination, you go to a local restaurant, and you have the best meal of your life. I mean, really enjoy this. There's no calories in visualization, . And at the table next to you is a couple happily celebrating their anniversary. The next morning you go to the biggest technology conference in the world, and the CEO of this year's hot, hottest tech startup just took the stage to speak.

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