Beau Lotto

Neuroscientist, Entrepreneur, and Author of Deviate
Beau Lotto
  • Founder & CEO of Lab of Misfits, the world’s first neuro-design studio, and Ripple, which holds several highly influential patents in Augmented Reality (AR)
  • 3-time main stage TED speaker with over 9,000,000 views
  • A world-renowned expert in the science of perception that helps people act differently in the face of change

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According to Dr. Beau Lotto, “Once you understand how perception works, you can't but help see yourself in the world in a different way and engage in it in a different way.” Renowned neuroscientist and entrepreneur, Beau Lotto, has spent decades studying the way we see—and in his three-time mainstage TED talks with over 7 million views, he shows us how to see differently. As Lotto puts it, "the brain never sees the world as it actually is, only the world that is useful to see." By illuminating these principles of perception, Lotto helps companies overcome biases, embrace uncertainty, transform their approach to creativity, and unlock innovation.

Lotto is the founder and CEO of The Lab of Misfits, the world’s first neuro-design studio that seeks to “break down the walls of the traditional laboratory” and study humans in their natural habitats. Part lab, part creative studio, Lab of Misfits takes a disruptive approach to research, partnering with brands to blend science, art and performance to explore pivotal principles in current culture. Their "experiential experiments" invite consumers to engage with brands and offer brands science-backed insights that foster innovation. The measurable insights gleaned from these experiments have led to organizational breakthroughs for clients as diverse as Cirque du Soleil (awe and wonder), L’Oréal (empowerment), The Charles Koch Institute (tolerance), BCW Public Relations (insight), and The London Science Museum (curiosity).

Lotto is a professor of neuroscience at the University of London, and a visiting scholar at New York University. He is the author of Why We See What We Do, and Deviate: The Science of Seeing Differently, which explores the surprising science of creativity and unveils the unexpected relationship between perception, reality and innovation. In addition to his role at The Lab of Misfits, Lotto is the Founder and CEO of the sound-based AR company Acoustigram.

Lotto spoken at large-scale events such as the G8 Innovation Conference, as well as for companies like WIRED and Google. He has contributed to television and radio documentaries produced by influential media such as the BBC, National Geographic, Netflix, and PBS.

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The Power of Diversity

Unleash Creativity by Changing Assumptions

Seeing Differently

Shift Perspective to Expand Possibilities

The Challenge: The world changes making the future uncertain. The only constant in life is change. The future is unknown. It always has been and always will be. Whether the source of that uncertainty is technological innovation, wars, climate change, elections… or a pandemic, change happens.

The Problem: The Certainty Trap. The problem is that our brains hate change. Which is why when we face the need to change, we will do almost anything to stand still. We create structures that engineer out as much need for change as possible. I call this the ‘Certainty Trap’, which is the fundamental barrier to all personal and professional success at the individual and organisational levels.

The Solution: ‘Evolve or Die’. In nature the most successful systems are adaptable. Things that stand still die. A deer frozen in the headlights gets hit. Brains that respond better and faster do better. Those that don’t, are selected out. Think Nokia and Kokak. These were organisations that could not change with change … even though their own innovations were the source of that change. Which is why adaptability is the “skill” most sought by leaders and organisations.

The How: Leadership. How a leader leads in uncertainty defines their success. It’s the leader who creates the context for their organisation to thrive in the unknown. They achieve this, not by following rules, but practicing a way of being, which is already encoded deeply inside their brain. It’s perception. Perception matters because it underpins everything it is to be human. By becoming Perceptually Intelligent, leaders create cultures that are agile, resilient, creative, and more loyal. How can we Be Better in the face of change?

Being Better: Perceptual Intelligence. Perception Matters! Perception underpins everything it is to be you as an individual, leader and organisation. Behavioural change begins with perceptual change. Only by understanding how and why you see what you do can you adapt to and lead others into uncertainty. Becoming Perceptually Intelligent and practicing the Spiral Process of Discovery enables Leaders and their teams and organisation to succeed when others fail.

The When: Conflict. Adaptability is a practice. The most important time to practice adaptability is in conflict. Conflict is the only place where our brains can evolve. So, it’s not conflict that’s the problem. It’s how we enter conflict that shapes a leader and an organistion.

The Results: (i) Financial success; (ii) Happier, more creative and collaborative teams; (iii) Increased employee and audience loyalty, and (iv) Personal and organisational well-being. Perceptually Intelligent Leaders create contagious cultures of well-being that increase innovation, empower diversity and inclusion, and increase the retention and recruitment of their teams by adding true value to their lives.


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Beau Lotto's Book Deviate

Deviate: The Science of Seeing Differently