Harvard conference

David speaking to delegates

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:


Lunch with Walter

Walter Mischel, author of one of the most famous psych experiments of all time – the ‘marshmallow test’ of self-control – and with a wonderful new book summarising his work, dropped into BIT for lunch on Friday.


Behavioural Exchange 2015 (BX2015)

On 2 and 3 September 2015, the Behavioural Insights Team will host the largest gathering of the world’s greatest behavioural scientists and policy practitioners.

There will be space for some 500 delegates over two days, with sessions that combine the latest academic findings with real-world results from projects being undertaken by governments around the world.

We already have a stellar cast list of speakers, including:


Victoria, Australia, steps up to the Obesity challenge

health stairs

(Update from David Halpern)

A quick report from Victoria Australia, where we are working with VicHealth, before heading back to London tomorrow. The Australians have often led the world on public health measures, so it’s pretty cool to be working with them for the next 2 years, with a special focus on obesity – seen by some as the Mount Everest of contemporary behavioural challenges, and one that virtually all industrialised nations are wrestling with.


An analysis of mobile phone theft

Last Sunday, The Behavioural Insights Team and the Home Office published the report “Reducing Mobile Phone Theft and Improving Security”.

The report provides detailed evidence of which mobile phones are most likely to be stolen, where they are likely to be taken, and who the most typical victims are likely to be. In addition to this, we have been able to quantify, for the first time, the positive impact on thefts of security functions introduced by manufacturers.


Empowering consumers in order to reduce mobile phone theft

On 3rd September the Home Secretary announced that we will be publishing a joint BIT/Home Office analysis intended to better inform consumers about mobile phone theft and security. The analysis uses Metropolitan Police Service data to show how offenders disproportionately target certain phones; how these patterns are sensitive to security features in the phones themselves (as well as desirability, of course); and how users can alter their own behaviour to reduce risk of theft.


The secret cost of laundry

Purchasing a laundry appliance, such as a washing machine, can be a complicated choice involving lots of different factors. However, consumers may be surprised to find out that the cost of using the appliance is not one of the factors often taken into account. Annual energy consumption, which relates to the appliance’s efficiency, incurs continual costs to households. Without taking into account the energy efficiency of an appliance, consumers may inadvertently be buying more than they bargained for.



Subscribe to Blog