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Harvard conference

30th Oct 2014

On the 21 and 22 October, Harvard’s Behavioural Insights Group hosted a two day conference on “Lessons from the front lines of global policy”. The event, which was funded through the joint BIT/BIG Sloan Foundation grant, featured talks from leading Harvard Academics and practitioners from around the world.

Highlights of the conference included:

  • Professor Michael Norton from Harvard Business School on the value of transparency and of “showing your working” when selling delivery pizza, flights, or even when administering public services.
  • Professor Michael Luca, also from HBS, talking about the insights that can be gained from data analytics that are helping US cities revolutionise the way they conduct food hygiene inspection.
  • Professor Christina Roberto from Harvard’s School of Public Health, whose work on “strategic science” exists at the intersection of academia and policymaking
  • Early examples of applying behavioural insights by new teams, including in Israel, Cape Town and Chicago
  • New results on getting people back to work from BIT’s collaborators in Singapore.

The conference also featured a presentation by BIT’s CEO David Halpern on the origins and future of Behavioural Insights in government. David also took part in a forum discussion at the Kennedy School of Government, with Harvard’s Max Bazerman and Iris Bohnet, and Odette Van Der Riet from the Dutch energy ministry – the video can be found here, as well as proof that even world leaders in behavioural science are not immune to the biases they study.