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Brain talk around the world

In 2017, Harald S Harung could boast lecturing about the brain and its development in 16 cities in nine countries, including together with the well-known film director David Lynch.

Olav Johan Øye Published: Updated:
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Associate professor Harald S Harung has been on the up and up with his research on the brains of top performers and what can trigger their development, most recently in the newspaper Aftenposten in connection with the impressive Norwegian performance in the Winter Olympics.

The research has also gained international attention, and contacts and networks built over many years have led to frequent requests for lectures.

One example he highlights is a business executive conference with customers in Australia, including the world-leading producer of hearing implants, Cochlear, which invited him to give a lecture for 150 employees and guests.

‘They were curious and the ball started rolling, and a network of business consultants invited me to give a lecture at the Australian Film, Television & Radio School in Sydney,’ Harald S Harung explains.

Harald had previously been in touch with the well-known film director David Lynch, who has recommended the book Harald and the American brain researcher Frederick Travis have published entitled ‘Excellence through Mind-Brain Development’.

David Lynch took part in the lecture from Paris via Skype and took questions from the students.

‘I gave the lecture and he talked about his experience of performing at a high level, which complimented my lecture really well.'

David Lynch could also provide input on the creative process:

One student said: 'I’m making a film and there are always some parts that just don’t fit in.' 'No, you just have to reshuffle and it’ll be fine,' was his answer. Lynch makes six or seven scenes on impulse on then puts them together later.

The same business consultant was also going to hold a business executive course in Cambodia , and she invited Harald along to give a lecture.

There, he also gave an hour-long TV interview on the ‘CEO Institute for Cambodia’. The programme boasts an audience of 50,000 small business managers across the country.

‘I was also invited to take part in the conference Euro Talk 17 in Barcelona. I already had a contact there who arranged an interview with La Vanguardia, one of Spain’s major newspapers. The interview resulted in an article that covered the whole back page.’

Harald is an active practitioner of Transcendental Meditation , (TM), which, based on research, he believes to be the most effective method of developing the mind–brain qualities found in top performers. The TM organisation invited him to hold a course in Tyrol.

There was someone there who had contacts at a business university college based at FHWien University of Applied Sciences for Management & Communication, and Harald also gave a lecture here.

A friend who is a member of the Austro British Chamber  also invited him to give a lecture for the organisation at the top of one of the tallest buildings in Vienna.

In his lectures, Harald continuously encourages interaction and tries to have a dialogue with the audience.

‘You have to start off with something that tempts or engages them, like a story.’

Giving a lecture is different in different parts of the world.

‘In Cambodia, it might be harder to encourage interaction, since there is a stronger hierarchy there, while in Norway, there is more equality. But we managed to get a dialogue going in Cambodia as well, and I think that is very important to the learning outcome.’

Harald has also held a course in a small town called Skelmersdale near Manchester, under the auspices of the TM organisation .

In 2017, he also gave lectures at HiOA, and in Trondheim for LOS – the Learning Organisation Society , an organisation comprising HR personnel from Norwegian businesses. They held a seminar attended by close to 100 representatives from some of Norway’s most successful businesses.

‘I have also given talks describing my thoughts to a number of businesses in Oslo, often to just one or two executives.’

He always takes his book along, and he usually sells many copies at his lectures.

What do you get out of it yourself?

‘It is a great privilege to work with something you are really passionate about, and human development and the brain are topics that are currently very popular.’

Most of Harald's work has been on the fields of business and sports.

‘It is in these fields I’ve received the best response, and they are very keen to become even better. That is a good basis for starting a dialogue, and when we’re talking about the brain, things are quite specific, which people appreciate.’

Frederick Travis and Harald are currently working on a summary of their book, to be entitled ‘World Class Brain’.

‘Our conclusion in this book is that if you’re happy, you’re a top performer. So being happy is more important than being a world champion.’

In the first week of March 2018, Harald was one of the most read authors from the Faculty of Technology, Art and Design on ResearchGate, an achievement he has also enjoyed several times before.