Jane tailors each presentation to the needs of her audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest her range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.
How to Think Like a Futurist
"Any useful idea about the future should at first seem ridiculous."
Based on the popular Stanford University course from acclaimed Silicon Valley futurist Jane McGonigal, this one-hour master class will help you think more creatively about the future.
You'll learn the three most powerful techniques for anticipating the future:
- How to collect signals, or clues about how the world is changing
- How to turn the clues into ten-year forecasts about the strange new worlds we might find ourselves living in
- And how to create unique personal foresight about what you alone could contribute in any given future.
After you've learned these skills, we'll practice them together, and create collective wisdom about the most surprising changes that might unfold over the next decade.
This interactive talk can be customized to include future signals and forecasts relevant to the audience and event.
This talk works best as a one-hour session. It could be expanded to a 90-minute workshop.
Unimaginable: How To See Things That Aren't There... Yet
No one can predict the future. But thinking about the future can change your life right now. Recent scientific research shows that futures thinking leads to stronger willpower, greater creativity, faster learning, and heightened empathy. But most people rarely, if ever, imagine their far-off future selves. In fact, when we imagine our future selves, our brain treats that person like a stranger — or worse, like someone we don't like or care about at all. This has massive consequences for the decisions we make today.
In this interactive session with acclaimed Silicon Valley futurist Jane McGonigal, you'll practice "first person futures", the one futures thinking habit that has been shown to have the biggest impact on your brain's ability to connect with your future self. You'll hear about some of the strangest things "future you" might experience in the next decade — and then you'll imagine it in vivid detail, as if it had already happened. You'll get tips for improving the clarity and creativity of your futures imagination. And you'll discover the surprising neuroscience that explains how imagining your future self can retrain your brain to make better decisions and solve problems more creatively today.
The Future is a Place Where Everything Can Be Different
"To create something new of make any kind of change, you have to first be able to imagine how things can be different. And the future is a place where everything can be different."
In this interactive session from master game designer and acclaimed futurist Jane McGonigal, you’ll learn and practice the three most important mental habits for "unsticking" your mind about what's possible.
- How to predict a past that never happened (or “counter-factual memory”)
- How to remember a future you’ve never experienced (or “counter-factual future”)
- How to feel an emotion you’ve never felt (or “hard empathy”)
These three skills make up the triangle of "What if?", and you can use them any time you want to approach a problem with more creativity or flexible thinking. You'll learn the neuroscience behind each of these habits, and how they strengthen the brain pathways required for creativity, innovation, and change.
This talk can be done TED-style (20 minutes) or as a more traditional 30-45 minute keynote. If done in the longer format, this talk can be customized with future "signals" and "forecasts" relevant to the audience and event.
How to Game the Future
If you want to see the future, don't try to predict it. Play it instead. World renown game designer Jane McGonigal explains why massively multiplayer games are the best way to investigate the future and uncover your future blind spots. She'll show you her latest future forecasting games and teach you exactly how to design and run your own. How far can you stretch your powers of imagination to see things that aren’t there… yet? Find out as you learn to game the future.
This talk is a traditional 45-minute keynote and can be customized with future "signals" and "forecasts" relevant to the audience and event. A shorter 20-25 minute version can be done without an interactive component.
The Engagement Economy
The neuroscience of games reveals how you can motivate and empower any community to achieve extraordinary "epic wins"
Jane’s talk looks at:
- the neuroscience of games that drives unprecedented engagement
- how they create behavior change (particularly around physical activity and social interaction)
- how they create a learning culture (key audience: educators)
- the connection between play and mental health (anxiety, depression)
- what it can teach us about building a better work culture (for business audiences)
- why augmented reality is a better engagement tool than virtual reality
This talk includes a deep dive into the design of Pokemon Go, the most successful game launch in the history of the world. With 100 million daily users in less than 30 days, Pokemon Go is not only the fastest downloaded app in history, it's the fastest growing product of any kind in the history of the world. That makes it essential to understand — why do people love it, and what is the neuroscience behind the way it is changing people's behavior so dramatically.Jane sets up lures at the talk so audiences could play the game if they hadn't yet — it is a hands-on experience for the audience. As Jane explains, “you can't understand what it feels like to have your brain activated by a game unless you play it yourself” — so add this hands-on component to a session!
Learning is an Epic Win
Why gaming is the future of learning.
Why don’t our learning platforms work more like a game? In the best designed games, our engagement is perfectly optimized: we have important work to do, we’re surrounded by potential collaborators, and we learn quickly and in a low-risk environment. When we’re playing a good online game, we get constant useful feedback, we turbo-charge the neurochemistry that makes challenge fun, and we feel an insatiable curiosity about the world around us. None of this is by accident. In fact, game developers have spent the past three decades figuring out how to make us more optimistic and more likely to collaborate, how to make problem-solving more fun and social, and how to satisfy our hunger for meaning and success. And all of these game-world insights can be applied directly to amplify and augment the way we teach, learn, and do research in the real world. You’ll learn how online game design and game theory can transform our learning communities — and help re-invent higher education as we know it.
Gaming and Youth
Why videogames are making young people better — and preparing them to change the real world.
The average young person racks up 10,000 hours of gaming by the age of 21. That’s 24 hours less than they spend in a classroom for all of middle and high school if they have perfect attendance. But the good news is: These 10,000 hours aren’t an escapist waste of time. Gaming is a productive part of young people’s lives — it produces positive emotion, stronger social relationships, a sense of accomplishment, and for players who become a part of a bigger online community, a chance to build up a sense of meaning and purpose. Scientific research shows that all of these feelings and activities can trickle into our real lives and impact our real-life confidence, ambition, likability and willingness to help others. In fact, when we play a good game, especially multi-player games, we become the best version of ourselves: the most optimistic, most creative, most focused, most collaborative, the most likely to set ambitious goals, the most resilient in the face of failure.
Why Games Make Us Better
How games can help us achieve extraordinary goals.
We spend 3 billion hours a week as a planet playing computer and videogames — and these 3 billion hours are far from an escapist waste of time. Gaming is actually one of the most productive ways we can spend our time — it produces positive emotion, stronger social relationships, a sense of accomplishment, and for players who become a part of a bigger online community, a chance to build up a sense of meaning and purpose. Scientific research shows that all of these feelings and activities can trickle into our real lives and impact our real-life confidence, ambition, likability and willingness to help others. In fact, when we play a good game, especially multiplayer games, we become the best version of ourselves: the most optimistic, most creative, most focused, most collaborative, the most likely to set ambitious goals, the most resilient in the face of failure. In this talk, find out how you can unlock the power of games to achieve extraordinary goals in your real life — and how gaming can become a source of innovation and collaboration for your most important work.
Games for Health — or How to Get SuperBetter
Find out how games can be used to transform healthcare and create "epic wins" for patients.
Drawing on the latest clinical trials and peer-reviewed research, Jane McGonigal, PhD explains how games build positive health assets, such as resilience, optimism and self-efficacy. She explores how games can be used as a powerful tool for behavior change, particularly in tackling chronic and lifestyle-related challenges such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease. She will demonstrate how to create stronger social support systems through games to speed recovery from injury and illness. And she will share her own research on how games can increase longevity — by creating physical, mental, social and emotional habits that lead to 10 extra years of healthy life.