B.E.GOOD! Podcast

Behavioral Economics for Good!
Nudging Better Business and Better Lives.

Hear from our all-star lineup of leaders in the behavioral sciences to spark your curiosity and passion for this emerging field.  Listen in for fresh insights, inspiration and to hear about some of the latest evolutions in behavioral science. 

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Listen to the B.E. GOOD! Podcast

Episode 1

Dan Ariely: From Death to Invisibility

During our first episode we are speaking with Dan Ariely, James B. Duke professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University and author of three New York Times best-selling books, including Predictably Irrational.  In this episode we dive into:

– Dan’s frightening experience as a hospital patient, which later prompted him to launch an inquiry on how we can die better.

– How finding his writing voice took him a while, and how his “cookbook” is still in the works.

– Why an alternate career choice of becoming a politician wasn’t for him.

– How making the invisible visible became one of his most important pieces of research.

– What prompted him to say “the more I study decision-making, the more I’m willing to be paternalistic.”

– And the link between office furniture, employee salaries and company profitability.

For more information on Dan, you can visit him at www.danariely.com

Let us know what you think about the episode on Twitter @BVANudgeUnit.

Don’t have social media?  Our inbox is always open: contact@bvanudgeunit.com

Sketchnote of the episode

Dan Ariely BVA Nudge Unit Sketchnote

Episode 2

Cass Sunstein: Nudging for Good – From the White House to the Workplace

In our next episode of B.E. GOOD!, we will be speaking with Cass Sunstein, one of the leading legal scholars who, for the past fifteen years, has been at the forefront of behavioral economics.

Cass is the founder and director of the Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy at Harvard Law School and a prolific author, including the book Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness, which has had an enormous impact in the field.

In this episode, we will:

– Learn how Cass came to collaborate with his friend Richard Thaler – and to work for President Obama, as the Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

– Hear his advice for policymakers and behavioral scientists in helping to combat both the coronavirus crisis and political polarization.

– Get Cass’ perspective on the power of behavioral science to make workplaces happier and more productive.

– Get a preview of his upcoming work on information disclosure – and hear why we all underestimate the importance of “cognitive scarcity”.

Let us know what you think about the episode on Twitter @BVANudgeUnit.

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Cass Sunstein BVA Nudge Unit Sketchnote

Episode 3

Wendy Wood: Good Habits – from Context to Rewards

Research conducted by Wendy Wood, psychologist and worldwide expert in habits, tells us that nearly 43% of the time people are engaging in habits, repeating behaviors that they’ve done in the past, in the same context, while they’re thinking about something other than what they’re doing.

A few weeks ago, we spoke with Wendy Wood, the author of Good Habits, Bad Habits, the science of making positive changes that stick, where we unpack what she’s learned over her 30+ year career studying habits. 

Let us know what you think about the episode on Twitter @BVANudgeUnit

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Wendy Wood

Episode 4

Paul Dolan: Finding Happiness through Behavioral Science  

Paul Dolan, is Head of Department and Professor of Behavioural Science in Psychological and Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is Director of the Executive MSc in Behavioural Science.

Please join us to hear… 


– How an “Economics of Happiness” conference and a chance meeting with Daniel Kahneman changed Paul’s life  


– Why people are often poor at predicting how health issues will impact our happiness  


– Why we all need to “chill out” stop reaching – and care less about others’ life choices    


– What organizations can do to promote happiness in the workplace  


– How the lockdown is experienced differently – and one positive outcome that Paul hopes will come from this crisis 


– And why sometimes it’s better not to think about what’s next! 

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Paul Dolan_Finding Happiness through Behavioral Science_Sketchnote_Adrien Liard

Episode 5

Michael Luca & Max Bazerman: Experimentation in the New Age

During our fifth episode we speak to Harvard Business School’s Michael Luca and Max Bazerman, co-authors of the book The Power of Experiments: Decision Making in a Data-Driven World.

In this episode we dive into:

• How experiments were a necessary condition for the development of behavioral economics, and how without them, applied behavioral economics consultants would not exist.

• The birth of experimentation in business and the role experiments are playing in shaping customer behavior.

• Why the tech sector has been a leader in this space, and how the rest of the private sector can catch-up.

• Advice to grow better leaders, including the role of intuition in decision making and what the data tells us.

• A perspective on experimentation in the context of our rapidly changing world.

To learn more about their book, The Power of Experiments, and where you can buy it, you can visit: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/power-experiments

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Michael Luca & Max Bazerman

Episode 6

Caroline Webb: Upgrade Your Workday with Behavioral Science

Our sixth episode features Caroline Webb, workplace productivity expert and author of the best-selling book “How to Have a Good Day: Harness the Power of Behavioral Science to Transform Your Working Life”, which has been published in over 60 countries and in 14 languages. In this episode we learned:

• What a “good day” at work looks like

• How to avoid common productivity traps

• Advice on making the best decisions in the workplace

• The key things to say to persuade organizational leaders to adopt behavioral science learnings

• Tips on working from home, as an employee or a manager, during the coronavirus pandemic


To learn more about Caroline and her work, visit www.howtohaveagoodday.com

Episode 7

Kelly Peters: The Power of Data, Evidence & Scientific Thinking

Listen in to hear Kelly Peters, founding CEO of BEworks, talk to us about:

– How a VCR changed everything for Kelly and got her interested in behavioral sciences

– Kelly’s roots in financial services and building empirical models to help predict risk

– How she learned that listening to people never helps us get at what they truly need and value

– The most satisfying aspect of Kelly’s 10+ years of applying behavioral science

– Kelly’s perspective on freedom, unity and liberty – and how this relates to the American and Canadian responses to COVID-19

Episode 8

Faisal Naru: Bringing Behavioral Science to Organizations for Improvement & Results

Listen in to hear OECD’s Faisal Naru, Head Strategic Management & Coordination, Executive Director’s Offices, talk to us about:

– How using mind maps to better understand the biases in recruitment changed the UK civil service’s approach to talent acquisition in the late 1990s/early 2000s

– How reading the book Nudge while in Vietnam, confirmed Faisal’s curiosity and focus on understanding context, culture, and behavior

– How do you integrate Behavioral Science into organizations and really mainstream it

– The importance of data and evidence to advance Behavioral Science as a field

– The power of Behavioral Science to change policy and reform in the public or private sector for the benefit of people and business

– How the diversity of thought and backgrounds of practitioners in Behavioral Science are helping to improve the field

– How the talent pool of young enthusiastic behavioral scientists in academia and private enterprise inspires Faisal about the future of our world and development of the field

Check out OECD’s report Behavioural Insights and Public Policy: Lessons from Around the World.

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Faisal Naru

Episode 9

Dilip Soman: Behavioral Economics in Action

Dilip Soman is a Canada Research Chair in Behavioural Science and Economics and serves as a Director of the Behavioural Economics in Action Research Centre at Rotman [BEAR]. His research is in the area of behavioural science and its applications to consumer wellbeing, marketing and policy.

Please join us to hear…

• How Dilip’s mechanical engineering experience with earth-moving machines got him interested in behavioral science

• Three things that Dilip learned from Richard Thaler as a PhD Student at University of Chicago

• The story behind Dilip’s pioneering MOOC – and several big ideas from his book, The Last Mile

• Two big issues that Dilip thinks will be the future of behavioral science

• Where Dilip sees “win-win-win” opportunities for businesses, consumers and society


For more, check out Dilip’s book, The Last Mile.

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Dilip Soman

Episode 10

Iris Bohnet: A Nudge for Equality!

On our next episode we speak to Iris Bohnet, the Academic Dean of Harvard Kennedy School and author of the book What Works: Gender Equality by Design. In this episode we dive into:

– The application of behavioral economics, including the use of role models and norms, to accelerate gender equality

– The role and impact of Diversity Training programs in the private sector, and what the data really shows

– The ways in which Harvard has applied gender equality nudges to its environment and hiring processes

– The differential impact of current events and remote working on men and women

Learn more about Iris Bohnet and access associated resources here.

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Iris Bohnet

Episode 11

Amy Edmondson: From Psychological Safety to Organizational Performance

On our next episode we speak to Amy Edmondson, the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School and author of the books Teaming and The Fearless Organization.  In this episode we dive into:

– The importance of psychological safety within organizations and its direct link to preventing failures.

– Why organizations fail at psychological safety, including why employees fail to use their voice.

– The best nudges to support the behaviors that lead to psychological safety in organizations.

– Advice for leaders navigating the uncertainty of today’s world.

To learn more about Amy Edmondson and her publications, you can visit her HBS profile page here.

Let us know what you think about the episode on Twitter @BVANudgeUnit.

Don’t have social media?  Our inbox is always open: contact@bvanudgeunit.com

Episode 12

Jonah Berger: How to Drive Change

On our next episode we speak to Jonah Berger, professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, bestselling author of The Catalyst and Contagious, and world-renowned expert on change and how products, ideas and behaviors catch on.

Listen in to hear:

– How to change minds and incite action

Why traditional approaches to change are so ineffective

– What the key barriers are to change and how to mitigate them

– The mistake that many business leaders and governments make in trying to drive change

– What Jonah has learned from studying urban legends and the spread of disinformation

Episode 13

Annie Duke: Making Better Decisions

OIn our next episode we speak to Annie Duke, former professional poker player and author in behavioral decision science and decision education. She is also author of Thinking in Bets and How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices.

 Listen in to hear about:

– Annie’s framework and six step process to make better decisions and avoid traps
– Annie’s unusual career path from cognitive psychology to poker
– How very few decisions in life are chess-like – almost every decision is more poker-like
– Annie’s motivation for writing How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices
– Annie’s vision of the future of behavioral science

Episode 14

Behavioral Insights: From the BIT to a New Book (with Michael Hallsworth)

We speak to Dr. Michael Hallsworth, Managing Director – North America for the Behavioural Insights Team and an Assistant Professor (Adjunct) at Columbia University. Michael has been a leading figure in developing the field of applying behavioral science to government and public policy and is co-author of the book, Behavioral Insights.

Listen in to hear about:

– How a hand washing study helped Michael realize the power of behavioral science
– What Michael has learned from working with David Halperin and helping launch the BIT
– The three elements that define behavioral insights
– Two primary communications challenges tied to the COVID vaccine

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