Founder and CEO of Character Lab
Angela Duckworth is the Founder and CEO of Character Lab, a nonprofit whose mission is to advance scientific insights that help children thrive. She is also the Rosa Lee and Egbert Chang Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, faculty co-director of the Penn-Wharton Behavior Change For Good Initiative, and faculty co-director of Wharton People Analytics. A 2013 MacArthur Fellow, Duckworth has advised the World Bank, NBA and NFL teams, and Fortune 500 CEOs. Prior to her career in research, Duckworth founded a summer school for underserved children that was profiled as a Harvard Kennedy School case study and, in 2018, celebrated its 25th anniversary. She has also been a McKinsey management consultant and a math and science teacher in the public schools of New York City, San Francisco, and Philadelphia.
Duckworth completed her undergraduate degree in Advanced Studies Neurobiology at Harvard, graduating magna cum laude. With the support of a Marshall Scholarship, she completed an MSc with Distinction in Neuroscience from Oxford University. She completed her PhD in Psychology as a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. Duckworth’s TED talk is among the most-viewed of all time. Her first book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, is a #1 New York Times best seller. She is also co-host, with Stephen Dubner, of the podcast No Stupid Questions.
True Grit: The Surprising, and Inspiring, Science of Success
Who succeeds in life? In this keynote, Angela Duckworth presents her influential work on grit—the tendency to pursue long-term goals with perseverance and passion. She describes the predictive power of grit for performance in a variety of fascinating contexts. Angela has studied groups like the West Point cadets, National Spelling Bee competitors, rookie teachers, and students from Chicago Public Schools—all people performing in high-stress environments—to examine the correlation between grit and achievement. Drawing from these examples, she explains what makes gritty individuals different from others and shares her belief that grit “can be instilled and cultivated by anyone, anywhere, and at any time in life.”