Neuroscience, Economics, and Policy

A live, international debate with the World Economic Forum and the University of Geneva. How neuroscience is changing the understanding of the mind and cognition, and the impact in other fields.

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
730 Montgomery St., San Francisco, 94111 United States


February 25, 2013 from 9:00 am to 11:00 am America/Los Angeles (UTC-07:00)

Together with the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and the World Economic Forum (WEF), swissnex San Francisco hosts Bay Area experts in an interactive web conference (part of the UNIGE – WEF Debate Series) with speakers and participants across the globe in Switzerland. This session gathers experts from the Forum’s Neuroscience and Behaviour Council along with senior academics from UNIGE to explore how neuroscience and cognitive sciences are changing the understanding of the human mind and cognition, and how this changing view could impact related fields in economics, policy making and wider social sciences.

Understanding of complexities of human cognition has the potential to both challenge a number of theories within aligned social disciplines, but also provide a number of interesting opportunities for increased understanding.

The following key questions will be addressed in the debate:

– How does neuroscience and cognitive science challenge existing social science disciplines?
– What are some of the opportunities and threats that this challenge uncovers?
– How could neuroscience research be more effectively disseminated and leveraged?


9:00 am  welcome and networking
9:30 am  presentations
11:30 am  doors close


Prof. Olivier Oullier

Prof. Olivier Oullier is Professor of Behavioural and Brain Sciences at the University of Aix-Marseille, and advisor in the Centre for Strategic Analysis to the French Prime Minister, where he is responsible for the Neuroscience and public policy program. Olivier is also a Young Global Leader with the World Economic Forum and a vice-chair of its Neuroscience and Behaviour Council.

Prof. Patrick Vuilleumier

Prof. Patrick Vuilleumier is the head of NIC group, a new interdisciplinary platform for cognitive neurosciences, affiliated with the Departments of Neurology and Neurosciences (University Hospital & Medical Center) as well as the School of Psychology.

Mr. Darko Lovric

Moderator Darko Lovric is a Senior Manager at the Strategic Foresight team of the World Economic Forum. He has bachelor’s degrees in business economics and psychology, as well as master’s degrees in clinical psychology and futures studies. He has previously worked for Goldman Sachs and Deloitte Consulting.

Charlene C. Wu

Charlene C. Wu is a doctoral candidate in Psychology at Stanford University and member of the Symbiotic Project on Affective Neuroscience. She received bachelor’s degrees in economics and psychology from UCLA (Los Angeles, CA). Prior to graduate study at Stanford, she was a Post-Baccalaureate Research Fellow in Affective Cognitive Neuroscience at the National Institutes of Mental Health (Bethesda, MD).

Her research uses psychometric and brain imaging methods to examine the neural mechanisms of emotional experience and financial risk-taking, and explores implications of this work for real world financial decision-making.

Wu has received graduate award fellowships from the National Science Foundation and National Institute of Mental Health.



Photo: Myleen Hollero

Event Photos