The Science of Collaboration:
Why Working Together Matters
June 8, 2023 — 9:15-10:15 a.m.
We tend to regard innovation as being the product of individual genius, but the reality is that the majority of big discoveries made in the last few decades have been the result of teamwork. Managers and employees today now spend a significant portion of their time working together, and thanks to technology, collaborative activity has ballooned by 50 per cent. So why are top-down hierarchical structures still the norm? And why do we continue to prize competition over collaboration?
Jay Van Bavel, a professor of psychology and neural science at New York University, studies the science behind collaboration, and why it matters. The smartest teams aren’t the ones that necessarily have the highest IQ, says Van Bavel—they’re the ones who know how to interact with each other freely, and who feel safe enough to challenge one another. This is how breakthroughs are made. In this talk, Van Bavel reveals how people develop group identities and the forces that bind us together. By harnessing the power of collaboration, he explains how to create groups that are more efficient, more successful, and, ultimately, happier.