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Meet the cybersecurity expert who’s hacking his own brain so you can protect yours.

The Brainisphere15 Pillars Program was created by Neal O’Farrell, widely regarded as one of the longest serving cybersecurity experts on the planet, and who turned his hacker mindset to the massive challenge of brain and mental health.

His more than 40-year-career finally came crashing down under the weight of nearly 50 years of a collection of untreated mental illnesses, which in turn triggered more than 30 years of chronic stress that nearly ended his life.

He turned those hacking skills on himself – hacked his own brain, used the hacker mindset to find out why. How the brain works, how mental illnesses work, what control we have over our mind and brain, and what science says about all these therapies and treatments.

As part of his work, he led an initiative through the National Institute for Science and Technology to explore how future smart cities could tune in to the mental health of their residents.

– How networks of sensors could communicate with wearable technologies to measure stress levels amongst pedestrians.
– How neuro architecture could result in building design that can calm the mind.
– How dog parks could serve as stress reducers for people without dogs.
– And even how things like pollution, noise, and vibration can impact the brain.

He’s currently working on a number of initiatives, including the Psyber Resilience Project, to address the chronic levels of stress and mental illness in the cybersecurity community, the world’s digital first responders.

He’s also working on a United Nations program to help communities become more psychologically resilient in the face of growing disasters, including climate change.

And he has shared his discoveries and ideas with audiences in more than 50 countries.


“Neal has again hit it out of the park by making the mental health topic personable with his storytelling skills. His dry humor also helps! “DAM”, Dismiss, Accept, Manage will definitely help me cope when I feel overwhelmed next time. Thank you Neal.”

“Neal received our Highest 2019 Attendee Satisfaction Survey Results. 95% Overall Value and 93% Education Value. Huge!” The Silicon Valley Business Travel Association

“Incredibly interesting and relevant topic, especially in today’s Covid world. The “DAM” piece (Dismiss, Accept, Manage) related to stressors was highly useful. And always remember to BREATHE!”

“So many people suffer from anxiety, depression, etc., and this just helps to reinforce with people that they are not alone. THANK YOU!!!!!”

“Thank you for your amazing and truly relevant content in today’s environment which is heavily impacting Mental Health.”