The Weekend University - A Day on Potential

Learn how to become the best version of you in this full day of talks on the science, psychology and philosophy of human potential.

Do you have free will? Or are you simply a product of your culture?

Can you consciously change your personality? Or is it set in stone from a young age?

Why are life crises (quarter, mid and late) so common in modern society? And how can you use them as a catalyst for personal growth?

These are just some of the questions we’ll be exploring at this upcoming Day on Potential at The Weekend University.

In this series of talks, we’ll explore the science, psychology, and philosophy of human potential.

We’ll discuss evidence-based ways human beings transform, grow and develop over time, and how you can use these insights to realise more of your potential in this lifetime.

You’ll learn:

 The truth about free will. Do you actually have it? Or are you simply a product of your culture?

 The surprising link between life crises (quarter, mid & late) and personal growth

 The science of personality change. Can you consciously change your personality? Or is it set in stone from a young age?

You’ll leave with a clear understanding of how these ideas can help you become a better version of you, and also how to bring out the best in those around you.


The format will be similar to a TED event, but with in-depth lectures and focused on the science, psychology and philosophy of human potential.

  • 10:00am – 12:00pm: Session 1
  • 12:00 – 1:00pm: Lunch break
  • 1:00pm – 3:00pm: Session 2
  • 3:00pm – 3:15pm: Afternoon break
  • 3:15pm – 5:00pm: Session 3

Full Day Pass: £40

Student: £20


Sun 24th June 2018
09:30 – 17:00 BST

Add to Calendar
06/24/2018 09:30 AM
06/24/2018 5:00 PM
Birkbeck, University of London, London
The Weekend University – A Day On Potential

Birkbeck, University of London,
Malet Street, Bloomsbury,
London, WC1E 7HX

Lectures & Speakers

The Science of Personality Change – Dr Christian Jarrett, PhD

Your personality is the set of basic traits that makes you you, influencing your habits of thought and behaviour. But how fixed are they? The great American psychologist William James said that our personality is set like plaster by age 30. But new findings show that while there is a degree of stability in our traits, we also continue to change in meaningful ways through our lives – our personalities are more like plastic than plaster.

In this talk, psychologist and author Dr Christian Jarrett will explore the pros and cons of the main personality traits, the role they play in shaping our lives, how your traits are likely to change as you age and in response to different experiences. But we don’t have to be passive: you’ll also discover evidence-based ways that you can deliberately change your personality.

Dr Christian Jarrett

Dr Christian Jarrett is a psychologist and author of PERSONOLOGY – using the Science of Personality Change to your advantage. A cognitive neuroscientist by training, Christian now works for the BPS as editor of their award-winning Research Digest blog. He writes regularly for the BBC, 99U and his recent TED-ED lesson has been viewed over 500,000 times. He tweets at @Psych_Writer.

Crisis & The Release of Human Potential – Dr Oliver Robinson

If you log onto Facebook, you will see reams of photos of your friends doing happy and fulfilling things, and seemingly cruising through life. Yet below this surface of carefully-staged online impression management, life is a far rougher ride for many adults that they would be likely to admit. Indeed, in a nationwide survey, participants were asked to evaluate whether their life was in a major crisis. 22% said yes, 33% said maybe, and 45% said no.

So why is crisis so prevalent in adult life? Does it have a function, or are humans just inherently fragile? In this talk, Dr Oliver Robinson explores how crises can help you unlock new potential that would otherwise remain dormant, that they have a clear function in acting as a stimulus for seeking new information, making positive changes, and making new (sometimes hard) discoveries about ourselves and the reality around us.

Dr Oliver Robinson

Dr Oliver Robinson is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Greenwich, and the course coordinator for Adult Development and Mental Health. His research focuses on how identity, wellbeing and mental health are affected by major life transitions, crises and ageing processes during adulthood. Dr Robinson’s work has gained attention from the New Scientist, The Guardian, BBC Radio 4, The Telegraph and The Times.

Free Will & Human Potential– Julian Baggini

Do you have free will? Or are you simply a product of your culture? How much responsibility should you take for your actions? Are your neural pathways fixed early on by a mixture of nature and nurture, or is the possibility of comprehensive, intentional psychological change always open? What role does your brain play in the construction of free will, and how much scientific evidence is there for the existence of it?

In this talk, Julian Baggini will explore free will from every angle, blending neuroscience, philosophy, sociology and cognitive science. Contemporary thinking tells us that free will is an illusion, but Baggini challenges this position, providing instead a new, more positive understanding of our sense of personal freedom: a freedom worth having.

Julian Baggini - The Weekend University

Julian Baggini is a British philosopher and author of several books including ‘The Ego Trick’, ‘The Pig that Wants to be Eaten’, ‘Freedom Regained’, and most recently ‘A Short History of Truth.’  He runs the popular blog: Microphilosophy, and writes regularly for national newspapers and magazines such as the Guardian, the Financial Times, the TLS and Prospect. He is a regular guest on BBC Radio 4, and tweets at @microphilosophy.

What TWU attendees are saying:

    5 star review  I found the 3 speakers to be extremely well prepared, professional, charismatic, authentic in their delivery of there content. They all had something to share. They were very clear on the "takeaways" which I found in important for such a long day. They all 3 were also very generious in spending time after their talk, to answer more 1-2-1 questions on the side of the room. Very generious. I look forward to future weekend university days.

    Anthony Lee Avatar Anthony Lee
    January 29, 2018

    5 star review  I attended The Weekend University event for the first time and I can honestly say you'd be missing out by not attending.This is a wonderful idea in general and an even better executed event. Such eye-opening topics presented from the 3 speakers in an engaging and interesting way. The speakers were absolutely fantastic, utilising humour and facts to convey the ideas of the lectures. I am looking forward to attending future events and would recommend it in a heartbeat to anyone. Thanks so much Niall

    Sedem Jubey Avatar Sedem Jubey
    July 1, 2018

    positive review  Second visit today and really enjoyed it again. Excellent speakers! Looking forward to the next one....

    Sylvia Ross Avatar Sylvia Ross
    March 25, 2018
TWU 100% Money Back Guarantee

The Weekend University seeks to guarantee an excellent learning experience. If you are not fully satisfied with the day, you will receive 100% of your money back, and we will cover the cost of your travel to and from the venue.