Who we are

The Team outside Number 10

The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) is a social purpose company. We are jointly owned by the UK Government; Nesta (the innovation charity); and our employees.

BIT started life inside 10 Downing Street as the world’s first government institution dedicated to the application of behavioural sciences. Our objectives remain the same as they have always been:

  • making public services more cost-effective and easier for citizens to use;
  • improving outcomes by introducing a more realistic model of human behaviour to policy; and wherever possible,
  • enabling people to make ‘better choices for themselves’.

We do this by redesigning public services and drawing on ideas from the behavioural science literature. We are also highly empirical; we test and trial these ideas before they are scaled up. This enables us to understand what works and (importantly) what does not work.

We have around 150 employees, who have either a strong academic grounding in economics, psychology and research methods or a background in government policymaking. Our headquarters are in London. We also have offices in Manchester, New York, Singapore and Sydney.

We have recently established BI Ventures, a team within BIT, which works on building scalable digital products that address social issues. We currently have three revenue-generating products in our portfolio, with more in development.

Our Academic Advisory Panel includes Richard Thaler, co-author of Nudge; former Cabinet Secretary Lord Gus O’Donnell (the panel’s chair); and senior academics from leading UK Universities.

BIT’s company Board is chaired by Robert Taylor. The Cabinet Office representative is Janet Baker, and the Nesta representative is Nathan Elstub. David Halpern, our Chief Executive, Owain Service, CEO of BI Ventures, and Simon Ruda, our Director of Home Affairs and International Programmes, also sit on the Board.

If you are interested in finding out more about the team, feel free to get in touch.

Or if you’d like to find out more about our policy work, you can find out more about the team’s work on the publications part of our website or you can sign up for our newsletter.


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