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2020 Speakers

Rory Sutherland

Vice Chairman of Ogilvy

Rory Sutherland is the Vice Chairman of Ogilvy, where he has worked since 1988.

This attractively vague job title has allowed him to form a behavioural science practice within the agency whose job is to uncover the hidden business and social possibilities which emerge when you apply creative minds to the latest thinking in psychology and behavioural science.

Rory's TED talk

Cass Sunstein

Co-author of ‘Nudge’ and Robert Walmsley Professor, Harvard

Cass Sunstein is the co-author of ‘Nudge’ and is currently the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard.

Cass is the founder and director of the Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy at Harvard Law School. In 2018, he received the Holberg Prize from the government of Norway, sometimes described as the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for law and the humanities.

From 2009 to 2012, he was Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, and after that, he served on the President's Review Board on Intelligence and Communications Technologies and on the Pentagon's Defense Innovation Board. Cass has testified before congressional committees on many subjects, and he has advised officials at the United Nations, the European Commission, the World Bank, and many nations on issues of law and public policy.

He is the author of hundreds of articles and dozens of books, including Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness with Richard Thaler, and Too Much Information. He is now working on a variety of projects involving the regulatory state, "sludge" (defined to include paperwork and similar burdens), fake news, and freedom of speech.

Q&A with Cass Sunstein

Dan Ariely

Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics

Dan Ariely is the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University, and a founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight.

Dan is the author of the bestsellers Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, The Honest Truth About Dishonesty, Dollars and Sense and Amazing Decisions. He is also co-creator of the film documentary (Dis)Honesty: The Truth About Lies.

He is committed to describing his research findings in non-academic terms, so that more people will learn about this type of research, discover the excitement of behavioral economics, and possibly use some of the insights to enrich their own lives.

Q&A with Dan Ariely

Laurie Santos

Human Cognition Expert

Psychologist Dr. Laurie Santos is an expert on human cognition, its origins, and the evolutionary biases that influence our all-too imperfect life choices.

She is also immensely knowledgeable in how behavioral change through positive psychology can lead to a happy and fulfilling life. Currently, Laurie's big project is to positively influence the culture of Yale University by teaching happiness and well-being.

Laurie created a course so meaningful that it became the most popular class taken at Yale in over 316 years.

Laurie's Happiness Lab Podcast

Chiara Varazzani

Behavioural Science Adviser to the Australian Government

Neuroscientist Dr Chiara Varazzani applies behavioural science to government and public policy.

Dr Chiara Varazzani is a leading specialist in applying behavioural science to public policy. She has set up and led units of behavioural scientists in government, designed behaviour change interventions and shaped the communications across different areas, including health, education and international development.

Today, Chiara is Principal Advisor of the the Behavioral Insights Unit in the Victorian Government's Department of Premier and Cabinet in Australia. Prior to this, Chiara was Senior Executive Advisor in behavioural economics in the the Australian Federal Government and Research Fellow at the Behavioural Insights Team in London.

She holds a PhD in Behavioural Neuroscience from Sorbonne University, a MSc from the School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences and a MSc in Cognitive Sciences from the École Normale Supérieure.

Dilip Soman

Founder of Behavioural Economics at the Rotman School

Dilip Soman is a Canada Research Chair in Behavioural Science and Economics, and the founding director at the Behavioural Economics in Action centre at the Rotman School [BEAR], University of Toronto.

Dilip has degrees in behavioural science, management and engineering, and is interested in the applications of behavioural science to welfare. He is the author of several books (including "The Last Mile"; UTP 2015) and research papers. Dilip's massive open online course BE101x: Behavioural Economics in Action (edX) has been a stepping stone into the world of behavioural science for many of the approximately 200,000 registrants.

In 2020, he is looking forward to the first of a series of books arising from the "Behaviourally Informed Organizations" project at BEAR. His non-academic work includes stints in marketing, advertising, and government. When not working, his interests include procrastination, cricket, travel, and taking weekends seriously.

Q&A with Dilip Soman

Geoffrey Miller

Evolutionary Psychologist

Geoffrey Miller is an evolutionary psychologist best known for his books The Mating Mind (2001), Mating Intelligence (2008), Spent (2009), Mate (2015), and Virtue Signaling (2019).

Geoffrey has a B.A. from Columbia University and a Ph.D. from Stanford University, and is a tenured associate professor at the University of New Mexico (USA). His 120 academic publications have addressed sexual selection, mate choice, signaling theory, fitness indicators, consumer behavior, marketing, intelligence, creativity, language, art, music, humor, emotions, personality, psychopathology, behavior genetics, and machine learning.

He has given over 200 talks in 16 countries, and also worked at NYU Stern Business School, UCLA, University College London, the London School of Economics, and University of Sussex. He has consulted for a variety of Fortune 500 companies, governments, NGOs, market research companies, and social media companies. He has been active in the academic free speech movement, the Effective Altruism movement, and popular science outreach.

Patrick Fagan

Chief Scientific Officer at Capuchin

Patrick Fagan is a behavioural scientist who specialises in ‘turning minds into money’ - that is, practically applying psychological science for commercial outcomes.

On the academic side, Patrick is a part-time lecturer at two universities, has authored papers on topics from facial expressions to Facebook psychology, and published a book on comms psychology with Pearson. On the commercial side, he has been consulting and running research for blue-chip clients for over a decade.

Patrick was previously the Lead Psychologist at Cambridge Analytica. He is now Chief Scientific Officer at behavioural science outfit Capuchin.

Q&A with Patrick Fagan

Paul Dolan

Professor of Behavioural Science, London School of Economics

Paul is currently Professor of Behavioural Science at the LSE. He is Head of Department in Psychological and Behavioural Science and Director of Executive MSc Behavioural Science.

There are two main themes to Paul’s work: Developing measures of happiness and subjective wellbeing that can be used in policy and by individuals looking to be happier; and considering ways in which the lessons from the behavioural sciences can be used to understand and change individual behaviour, and to add to the evidence base in this regard.

He uses a range of data and methods to address these issues, and to better integrate them e.g. surveys, big data, lab studies, and field experiments.

Bri Williams

Expert in Behavioural Influence

Bri Williams is one of Australia's leading experts in behavioural influence - how to get customers, staff and stakeholders to take action.

A CPA with a degree in Applied Psychology, Bri worked in finance, HR and product development for some of Australia's leading brands before founding her company, People Patterns in 2011. Her aim? To maximise the results you get and make life easier through behavioural science.

A regular contributor to Smartcompany, Bri has written five books including "Behavioural Economics for Business" and "The How of Habits" and appears regularly as a presenter, panellist and media commentator.

Q&A with Bri Williams

Nicholas Gruen

CEO, Lateral Economics

Dr Nicholas Gruen is a thinker in economics, innovation, government and society. As a current investor in numerous international start-ups, he brings a breadth of vision and experience to his presentations.

Nicholas is CEO of Lateral Economics, Visiting Professor at Kings College London Policy Institute and Adjunct Professor at UTS Business School, Chair of the Open Knowledge Foundation (Australia) and Patron of the Australian Digital Alliance.

He has advised two Cabinet Ministers, taught at ANU and sat on the Productivity Commission from 1993 to 1997 and worked within the Business Council of Australia.

He chaired The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) from 2010 to 2016, the Federal Government’s Innovation Australia in 2013-14 and in 2009 chaired the Government 2.0 Taskforce.

Q&A with Nicholas Gruen

Dan Makoski

Chief Design Officer, Lloyds Banking Group

Dan Makoski is a design executive who leads innovation by design. He is Chief Design Officer at Lloyds Banking Group, leading a multi-disciplinary human-centered team with the singular goal of helping Britain prosper through empathetic and courageous design.

Dan was Head of Design at Walmart (the Fortune 1), started Project ARA at Google, designed the original Surface at Microsoft, led design research globally at Motorola, and was the first VP of Design at Capital One. The common thread across his career is the belief that design is most powerful when it's an expression of service, and innovation is most impactful when it fosters openness and inclusion.

Learn more

Peter McGraw

Global Expert in the Scientific Study of Humour

Dr. Peter McGraw is a behavioral economist and global expert in the scientific study of humor.

Peter directs The Humor Research Lab (HuRL), hosts the podcast I’M NOT JOKING, and is the co-author of The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny. McGraw is a business school professor who teaches MBA courses for the University of Colorado Boulder, University of California San Diego, and London Business School. His work has been covered by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, NPR, BBC, and CNN.

His book, Shtick to Business: What the Masters of Comedy can Teach You about Breaking Rules, Being Fearless, and Building a Serious Career, launched on April Fool’s Day 2020.  

Learn more

Elke Weber

Professor of Psychology & Public Affairs, Princeton University

Elke Weber is the Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor in Energy and the Environment and Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton University. Her research models decision-making under uncertainty and time delay in financial and environmental contexts from a psychological and neuroscience perspective.

Her expertise in the behavioral decision sciences has been sought out by advisory committees of the National Academy of Sciences on Human Dimensions in Global Change, an American Psychological Association Task Force that issued a report on the Interface between Psychology and Global Climate Change, and Working Group III for the 5th and 6th Assessment Report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

She is past president of the Society for Neuroeconomics, the Society for Judgment and Decision Making, and the Society for Mathematical Psychology. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, the Society for Risk Analysis, the Society for Experimental Psychology. She received the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the Society for Risk Analysis and was also elected to the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the US National Academy of Sciences.

Adam Ferrier

Consumer Psychologist

Adam Ferrier is the founder of THINKERBELL, an agency that creates 'measured magic' and is currently Adnews' Creative Agency of The Year.

Adam is also one of the leading consumer psychologists in Australia, a brand strategist and an authority on Behavioural Economics. Adam sits on the boards of social giving company Good Thnx, social influencing company TRIBE, and the Publuc Intetest Jourbalism Initiative (PIJI).

Adam loves the intersection of marketing science and creativity - his work has won oodles of awards, and is largely captured in two books he’s written: ‘The Advertising Effect’ and ‘Stop Lustening to The Customer: Try Hearing Your Brand Instead’.

Adam also founded and curated The Marketing Sciences Ideas Xchange (MSIX).

Q&A with Adam Ferrier

Sonia Friedrich

Behavioural Economics Strategist & Mentor

Sonia Friedrich has been called a “Growth Hacker”. Sonia empowers people by showing how to apply behavioural economics interventions both in business and in life.

Sonia has helped build individual brands up to $250M in Australia and New Zealand; has repositioned companies; restructured businesses and helped save small businesses from closing their doors. Sonia was previously the General Manager for GREY Healthcare Advertising, Sydney and had a career for more than 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry.

She has inspired start-ups and entrepreneurs and works with businesses of any size, from multi-national Fortune 500 companies to solo directors, across all industries. She employs a team of Statisticians, Data analysts and applied Behavioural Scientists, to prove measured outcomes of B.E interventions.

Christopher Graves

Founder, Ogilvy Center for Behavioral Science

Christopher Graves works on wicked problems by decoding “The Real Why & The Hidden Who” of human behavior.

Christopher Graves founded the Ogilvy Center for Behavioral Science after first serving as regional CEO then Global CEO & Chair of Ogilvy Public Relations. Prior to joining Ogilvy, he worked in the news business for 23 years (CNN, WSJ, CNBC) and headed two international TV news networks.

His work has been awarded with a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Residency, and he has won four Atticus Awards for writing, research and thought leadership. His writing and work has been featured in the Harvard Business Review, Washington Post, and hundreds of other publications. He is an elected life member of the US Council on Foreign Relations.

Graves co-invented a new research methodology to decode and predict human behavior based on an individual’s sensemaking genome, which won four global awards in 2019.

Jason Collins

Director of Behavioural Economics, PwC Australia

Jason Collins co-founded and leads PwC Australia’s behavioural economics practice, a multidisciplinary team of social and behavioural scientists. He also runs a leading blog at

Previously, Jason was data science lead with Australia's corporate, markets, and financial services regulator, and has also worked as a lawyer and an economic policy adviser with the Australian Treasury. Jason has a PhD in economics, when he researched the evolutionary foundations of economic growth. He is a founding columnist at Behavioral Scientist, and is organiser of the Sydney Behavioural Economics and Behavioural Science Meetup.

Q&A with Jason Collins

Luca Dellanna

Author & Independent Researcher

Luca Dellanna is an Operational Excellence consultant, a researcher on complex systems and emergent behaviors, and published author of 5 books.

An automotive engineer by training, after having consulted for large multinationals, Luca quit his corporate job to open an individual consulting practice in which he helps CEOs and COOs to build antifragile businesses and to change the operational culture of their teams.

Luca divides his team between Italy and Singapore. He writes regularly on Twitter and on his website (

Q&A with Luca DellAnna

Tara Austin

Chief Strategy Officer, Kindred

Tara Austin is incoming Head of Strategy for PEAK, a decentralised creative consultancy, and the outgoing Chief Strategy Officer of Kindred – an agency that specialises in delivering behaviour change campaigns across the public and private sectors.

With a decade in brand strategy behind her at Publicis and Ogilvy, Tara considers herself fortunate to have been at the forefront of the revolution in applied behavioural science in advertising, as an early member of Ogilvy Consulting's Behavioural Science Practice. She won her first Gold Lion in 2012 for the agency's inaugural experiment, which saw it paint the faces of local babies onto shop security shutters to bring down antisocial behaviour in Greenwich after the London riots.

Since then Tara has delivered integrated behaviour change campaigns for clients from HM Government and WRAP to Budweiser Brewing Group. She is a certified trainer of Edward de Bono’s lateral thinking techniques and an all-round de Bono fangirl.

Eric Johnson

Director, Center for Decision Sciences, Columbia University

Eric Johnson is the inaugural holder of the Norman Eig Chair of Business, and Director of the Center for Decision Sciences, Columbia Business School at Columbia University.

Eric's research examines the interface between Behavioral Decision Research, Economics and the decisions made by consumers, managers, and their implications for public policy, markets and marketing.

He has been on the faculty of Carnegie-Mellon, the University of Pennsylvania, and was a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford. Honors include the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the Society for Consumer Psychology, being named a Fellow by the Association for Consumer Research and the Association for Psychological Science, and an honorary doctorate in Economics from the University of St. Gallen. His work is highly cited in Psychology, Business and Economics. He has also been president of the Society for Neuroeconomics and the Society for Judgement and Decision-Making, and was a visiting scholar at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau 2014-2017.

Anjali Kelkar

Founder & Director, Studio for Design Research

Anjali Kelkar is the Founder and Director of Studio for Design Research and based in Hong Kong. She has over 2 decades of experience as a Design Strategy leader, practitioner, mentor and educator and has lead strategy and research teams across Asia, Africa and the Americas.

Having lived, studied and worked internationally, Anjali's key expertise lies in helping multinational stakeholders seamlessly cross cultural chasms to action insights and collaborate effectively.

Client experience includes multiple industries ranging from Finance, Pharma, Insurance, electronics to NGOs, government and educational institutions. She has been published and cited in User Experience and Business journals; is an Internationally invited thought leader, speaker & panelist; a Board member and Adjunct faculty at Design Institutes and universities globally.

Q&A with Anjali Kelkar

Jennie Roper

Head of Insight, Kinetic

Jennie Roper has 15 years of media experience. She started her career at Kantar Research which included 2 years working in their Swedish office.

Moving to the BBC she ran the insight department for the global news division where she won an MRS award for Best International Research Project in 2012. At Kinetic she has pioneered behavioural economics in OOH planning. Her team was shortlisted for an MRG Award for Best Research Initiative in 2016. She is an evangelist for media research and brings an undying love of insight to everything she does.

Q&A with Jennie Roper

Troy Andrews

Presentation Designer & Coach

Troy Andrews is the founder of He is a Presentation Designer and Coach based in Shanghai China since 2008.

Troy regularly runs both public and private workshops for clients at many Fortune 500 MNCs.

By applying the Principles of Persuasion, Behavioral Economics, Nudge Theory, and Neuromarketing to the strategic design of presentations, he has learned how to optimize the core message of his clients' presentations for maximum persuasion.

Noticing the overabundance of public speaking books and experts that focus on speaking skills, body language, and how to sound like TED talks, yet lack real substance and strategic content, he made it his mission to simplify and demystify persuasive presentations.

Q&A with Troy Andrews

Xu He

Vice President, Shanghai Rhizome Cultural Development

Xu He is a Partner and Vice President at Shanghai Rhizome Cultural Development.

Xu is an expert of business anthropology. As the head of research in Rhizome, Xu with her team provide research and consultant services for over 100 brands, both at home and abroad. Client includes multinational brands like Chanel, Coca-Cola, Citizen, Unilever, Mastercard, Cadillac, and also leading Chinese brands like T-mall (of Alibaba), DJI, Oppo and Shui On Land.

Xu was previously the Harvard-Yenching visiting fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and has a Phd in Sociology from Fudan University, Shanghai.

Evan Hanover

Director & Anthropologist, Conifer Research

Evan Hanover is a Director and anthropologist at Conifer Research in Chicago.

By day, Evan draws on his fascination with language and culture in order to better understand how people create meaning and value in everyday experiences. Of late, his days are focused on how to make ethical considerations a fundamental part of organizations’ innovation processes.

By night, he is a photographer in Chicago’s theater scene with pictures featured in publications ranging from American Theatre Magazine to the New York Times.

Q&A with Evan Hanover

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