The Secrets of the Brain, the Gift Economy, and Social Networks in China*

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Following the “Gala” evening for which the Deauville Casino had been specially fitted out…the sparsely occupied rows in the morning plenary session bore witness to a hard morning after the night before.

But so what? This didn’t prevent the third and last day starting by raising awareness of what we all more or less know. In this case, it had the merit of being documented and analysed, with research performed by Harvard researchers on hand, and tested directly on the audience, if we still needed to turn the demonstration into evidence.

Nathalie Malige, the CEO of Diverseo, bases her approach on studying the way the brain works, while Ray Kurzweil actually told us that the brain will soon reveal all its secrets among other “particularities”… The aim here is clear: to combat cognitive distortions (and even automatic cognition processes) in order to encourage women’s access to senior management positions; as leadership is most often associated with the male gender. As a reminder, cognition is the scientific term for the thought process. Nathalie Malige’s research therefore reflects one way in which the brain works – by simplifying it to the extreme – on two levels, which she incidentally calls “processors”. Processor No 1 uses reflective cognition, while Processor No 2 twists – if I dare say so – this analysis via automatic processes that hinder reflective cognition where 20% of the decision-making process is concerned. Meanwhile, given the clichés that associate leadership with the male gender, this prevents women gaining access to positions that are most often predestined for men. Surprising, isn't it?

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*I was invited to attend Women's Forum 2012 by Orange Group to join their Social Media Team. Read more about these 3 days reports from the team at Live Orange Blog.

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