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Motivation and Transformation

Aaron Fotheringham + Dr. Lauren Eskreis Winkler

Monday, February 3, 2020
7:00 PM–8:30 PM

Modern neuroscience has established that we can change our brains by thinking differently. How long-lasting those changes are depends on how disciplined we are about applying the practice. Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham has been on a wheelchair since the age of eight. By age 18 he could do a double-backflip on his wheelchair. What does it take to change what a body can do? With psychologist Dr. Lauren Eskreis-Winkler, learn about the role of grit, perseverance, and the nature of practice play in transforming and overcoming obstacles.

About the speakers

Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham is a 28-year-old wheelchair moto-cross athlete from Las Vegas, Nevada. Aaron was born with Spina Bifida, which resulted in him having no use of his legs. Yet even as a baby and small child, he did everything everyone else his age could do; he just had to figure out how to make it work for him. Aaron started riding at skate parks at the age of eight. Over the last ten years Aaron has challenged himself to try progressively more difficult tricks; carving, grinding, power-sliding, hand planting, and spinning are just a few of his accomplishments. In 2005, he perfected a midair 180-degree turn. Then on July 13, 2006, he landed the first wheelchair backflip, culminating in landing his first ever 360-degree backflip off the Mega Ramp in New Zealand on March 23, 2019. Aaron wants to change the world’s perception of people in wheelchairs, as well as help everyone see their own challenges in a new way.

Dr. Lauren Eskreis-Winkler earned her PhD in psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. As a researcher, she tries to motivate people who struggle with goal achievement. With this objective, she has developed and disseminated motivational interventions in the United States, West Africa, Australia, Macedonia, and the United Kingdom. These interventions aim to motivate individuals across the spectrum: struggling athletes, students in grade school and college, individuals in the workforce, people trying to quit smoking, and unemployed individuals on the job market. She has studied the science of motivation in collaboration with businesses, educational organizations, Minor League Baseball teams, the Macedonian Ministry of Education, and the World Bank.

Lead support for Brainwave is provided byScience Sandbox, an initiative of Simons Foundation, and by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Major support is provided by Gerry Ohrstrom, Rasika and Girish Reddy, and Noah P. Dorsky.

Program support is provided by Eileen Caulfield Schwab, Eva and Yoel Haller, Cheryl Henson, and Heather Beth Henson.


Free with Registration

This program is free thanks to generous support from Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation initiative dedicated to inspiring a deeper interest in science.