Beware: “Lifetime Brain Fitness” Expo

Dear readers and colleagues,

You may have received one or several unsolicited email communications from a group called “Lifetime Brain Fitness”, now presumably organizing a “Brain Fitness Expo” in San Francisco. You may have wondered how they got your email address in order to send unsolicited messages. I need to apologize, since I am partially responsible.

Based on feedback from many 2010 SharpBrains Summit participants who wanted to be in touch with other participants, we decided to share the list of participants – including email info. We shared, only with Summit participants (which included one of “Lifetime Brain Fitness” founders), a protected PDF document that could be printed but not copied and displayed this very visible Terms of Use at the top of the document:

“Terms of Use: this List of Participants can be used for one-on-one communications among registered Summit participants. Information may not be reproduced,  duplicated, copied, sold, resold, or otherwise exploited for any commercial purpose. Complaints about inappropriate use will result in exclusion from future Summits.”

Shortly afterwards, the group “Lifetime Brain Fitness” started sending unsolicited emails to that same list of SharpBrains Summit participants (we have documentation to prove it), and we received puzzled messages from a number of you. Further, we have also received complaints from individuals affiliated with SharpBrains that some of their recent magazine material published by “Lifetime Brain Fitness” suspiciously resembles, and without any attribution, our own published materials.

In light of this repeated inappropriate behavior, we have decided not to invite the team behind “Lifetime Brain Fitness” to any future SharpBrains event, and not to collaborate with them in any shape or form. This may be unfortunate, because there’s certainly much work to do, but I believe that, above all, the DNA of an emerging field needs to reflect professionalism and integrity.

If you want to share any views, please feel free to email me. Since our minds are already immersed in preparing the agenda for the 2011 SharpBrains Summit, please feel free to share any suggestions too.

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