Program as of June 20, 2018

Time Program Session Description Speakers

Day 1 – Monday 25 June

7:30 am to 5:30 pm Registration
8:25 am to 8:50 am Doors Open

Note: attendees requested to be seated by 8.40am. Doors will be closed at 8.45am, with entry restricted until approximately 9.10am

8:50 am to 9:00 am Opening of BX2018
9:00 am to 9:10 am Welcome to Country
9:10 am to 9:15 am Welcome and Introduction
9:15 am to 9:45 am Opening Plenary: Why Behavioural Insights Matters
9:45 am to 10:45 am Keynote Address: Ethics and Behavioural Insights

Many working in behavioural insights believe in the utility and role of behavioural interventions to help people make better decisions and act on them. However, it’s not impossible to imagine interventions which are unethical. Given recent ethical concerns on private sector activities, this keynote by Cass Sunstein is relevant for everyone. In this keynote, Cass will present an ethically-grounded pathway for us to consider in developing behavioural interventions, based on the implications for welfare, autonomy, dignity and self-government.

10:45 am to 11:15 am Morning Tea
11:15 am to 12:45 pm Breakout Sessions
Journey 1: Behavioural Insights 101

Designed for those new to or needing a refresher on behavioural insights, this introductory session will provide an overview of behavioural insights, its key concepts and how it can be used to improve the wellbeing of citizens.

Journey 2: Neuroscience and Behavioural Insights

You can easily change people’s behaviour while ignoring the brain, just as you can perfectly write software without knowing anything about a computer’s hardware. But are we so sure that knowing what the brain does is not important for behavioural insights? Can neuroscience improve behavioural science? How could neuroscience be a useful additional tool for behavioural insights practitioners? And what is the risk of failing to keep up with the latest developments in neuroscience?

In this session we will discuss if and how some challenging policy problems, such as pathological gambling and financial decision-making, could be better addressed with the help of neuroscience.

Journey 3: Taking Nudges to Scale

Hundreds of ‘nudges’ have been trialled over the past decade around the world, but how many of these have been successfully rolled out, or significantly influenced policy design?
This session will explore what we mean when we talk about ‘scaling’, and discuss the barriers, enablers, risks and opportunities for doing this in practice.

You will hear public and private sector representatives talk candidly about what works and what doesn’t in terms of scaling ‘nudges’, and have the opportunity to discuss how this aligns with your own experiences. The session will conclude with practical tips, lessons and questions for taking nudges to scale in the future.

Robyn Mildon, Edwina Crawford (via video)

Journey 4: Education: From nudges big things grow

The rewards for investing effort in education can be immense, but the payoffs virtually always involve a substantial delay. Insights from behavioural insights suggest such circumstances are highly prone to the risk of poor decision-making. Education, and early childhood education in particular, is among the most promising areas for the application of behavioural insights. In this session you will hear from keynote speaker John List on his pioneering work on early childhood learning, followed by a facilitated discussion of the implications for policy.

Facilitator: Jackie Wilson

Journey 4: Diversity: Make variety count

Improving the diversity of our organisations and exploring opportunities to implement behaviourally-informed interventions to overcome biases is a hot topic in both private and public sector organisations. Australia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner, Dr Tim Soutphommasane, will open this session with a keynote address discussing the latest research conducted by his office exploring the key diversity-related challenges facing the leaders of tomorrow. Virginia Haussegger will then facilitate a discussion with a panel of representatives from the international behavioural insights community on how behavioral insights can help.

Facilitator: David Ireland

12:45 pm to 1:45 pm Lunch
12:55 pm to 1:10 pm Hotspot

Topic: Energy

1:15 pm to 1:30 pm Hotspot

Topic: Helping People Find Employment

1:45 pm to 3:15 pm Breakout Sessions
Journey 1: Policy-Making and Experimentation: Try before you BI

How can government move to a more innovative and evidence-based approach to policy making? How can we convince our leaders? Why should we experiment with policy? What is an RCT and why is this method of evaluation the BI practitioners’ preferred tool to test what works? How can you run an RCT in a policy setting? Why are RCT’s not used by all agencies all the time? This session will answer these questions, and more.

Facilitator: Jacqui Brewer

Journey 2: Big Data and Machine Learning

Want to improve your behavioural science applications using cutting edge techniques? Come learn how machine learning can be used to address public policy issues; the next cutting edge of applied behavioural science. Machine learning combines large data sets and uses advanced statistical techniques to make predictions that can be used to better target policy interventions. No technical knowledge necessary, but come prepared to learn how this powerful tool can identify behavioural biases, enhance BI intervention design, and target populations most likely to respond to an intervention.

Facilitator: Teresa Dickinson

Journey 3: Second Generation Nudges

To date, behavioural insights teams have demonstrated the value of applying simple targeted “nudge” interventions designed to optimise implementation, take up of programs and compliance (for example, reminders to attend vaccination appointments). This session will explore opportunities for the field to think about more systemic behavioural interventions. These are likely to be more ambitious behavioural interventions targeting large effect sizes through systemic and structural solutions, capable of delivering persistent behavioural change. What will the “second generation” of behavioural interventions look like and in what areas of public policy should they be targeted?

Facilitator: Tara Oliver

Journey 4: Health and Behavioural Insights

This session will provide an overview of Australian health policy challenges and the value of applying behavioural insights to improve health outcomes. Representatives from both policy and academia will provide varying perspectives on the role of behavioural insights in health interventions, including to reduce over-prescribing of antibiotics and increase immunisation rates.

Facilitator: Jerril Rechter

3:15 pm to 3:45 pm Afternoon Tea
3:45 pm to 4:50 pm Fire Side Chat

Be part of this fireside chat between Cass Sunstein and Tara Oliver as they discuss the latest and interesting developments in behavioural insights and hear about their views on all things BI related. This is also your opportunity to ask questions to two people you may not have the chance to meet again.

Facilitator: David Ireland

4:50 pm to 5:20 pm Rising Star Awards

5:20 pm to 6:15 pm Rising Star Awards Reception

Day 2 – Tuesday 26 June

8:30 am to 8:35 am Introduction
8:35 am to 9:30 am Plenary: Behavioural Insights in Regulated Markets

Facilitator: Nina Terrey

9:30 am to 10:30 am Plenary: Financial Decision Making

Carole Comerton-Forde
Facilitator: Nina Terrey

10:30 am to 11:00 am Morning Tea
11:00 am to 12:30 pm Breakout Sessions
Journey 1: How to set up a Behavioural Insights Team

If you’re sold on the benefits of using behavioural insights and want to know how to set up a behavioural insights team in your organisation, then this session is for you. We will explore the critical success factors for setting up a BI team, as well as hear about different operating models and some key lessons learnt across different sectors in Australia and internationally.

Kelly Bidwell (via video)
Facilitator: Julia Fetherston

Journey 2: Behavioural Insights and Design Thinking

In this session we will hear from leading researchers, heads of innovation labs and leading design thinkers about behavioural insights and design thinking. How are these approaches different? How do they complement each other? How do we know if we’re using the right tool for the job? Delegates will hear about new case studies from Australia and around the world and better understand how to use behavioural insights and design thinking for maximum impact.

Journey 3: N³: Nudging the Nudgers’

All people, including behavioural experts, are subject to behavioural biases. In this session we turn the spotlight on those of us focused on de-biasing the lives of citizens. We will consider examples of how we can fall prey to biases ourselves and hear from Varun Gauri about the World Bank’s recent experiment to uncover biases of policy officials.

How can we apply insights from behavioural science to organisations and those of us providing advice on policy, program and product design? Come along to this session to explore how we can ‘nudge the nudgers’.

Journey 4: Energy: Amping up consumer power

Across the world we are witnessing transformations in energy markets. Countries are increasingly being forced to address challenges around the reliability, affordability and sustainability of energy supply. In Australia, we are facing significant price rises over recent years putting financial pressure on households and businesses. We know consumers face a range of challenges when engaging in the energy market and making choices about the energy they consume.

This session will explore some of these challenges and how we might overcome them. It will showcase hot off the press Australian and international research.

Facilitator: Dr Ross Lambie

Journey 4: Morality, Decision-Making and Compliance: Navigating moral wiggle room

From having an extra piece of cake to committing tax fraud, people often make decisions at odds with what they consider to be the ‘right’ or ‘responsible’ choice. Come and learn about how and why these decisions are made, implications for policy makers and what the leading thinkers are doing about this issue.

Faciliator: Paul Boehm

12:30 pm to 1:30 pm Lunch
12:55 pm to 1:10 pm Hotspot

Topic: Environment

Amy Arbery

1:30 pm to 3:00 pm Breakout Sessions
Journey 1: Behavioural Insights from Around the World

Hear from prominent organisations applying behavioural insights across the world about some of their recent work, where they will be heading next, and the opportunities and challenges of applying behavioural insights across countries and cultures.

Faciliator: Kate Glazebrook

Journey 2: Behavioural Insights Online: Let's get digital

The marked rise in online platforms is presenting new opportunities for government and business alike, by creating new markets, service delivery platforms and sources of information. This session will explore the challenges and opportunities arising from the rise of online activity and explore if and how we behave differently offline compared to online. How does the design of technology platforms affect the way users engage and use them?

Speakers will present new ways to experiment and investigate human behaviour on online platforms both in the private and public sector, including ways these data sources can help target policies.

Facilitator: Simon Gordon

Journey 3: The Great BX 2018 Debate

Are there any more low-hanging behavioural insights fruit to be gathered? Are BI units now mostly in the business of replicating each other’s trials? Come along to hear from some of the world’s leading BI practitioners argue for and against the proposition, “There are no more ‘easy wins’ in applied behavioural insights.” They will challenge you to stretch your imagination as you think of creative applications of BI to more and more policy arenas. Then you will have an opportunity to vote for the team you think has won the debate!

Facilitator: Shea Houlihan

Journey 4: Violence and Crime: Putting behavioural insights on trial

The session will shed light on how behavioural insights can be used to address more complex, serious, and ingrained social problems such as violence and crime. It will also showcase the work of Australian behavioural units in this space. During the session we intend to start a conversation about using behavioural insights to address ‘wicked’ policy problems and whether and where there are certain policy areas where BI can’t be used to effect change.

Faciliator: Anne Hollonds

3:00 pm to 3:30 pm Afternoon Tea
3:30 pm to 4:35 pm Plenary: New Frontiers in Behavioural Insights

Virginia Haussegger replaced with MC

Facilitator: Nina Terrey

4:35 pm to 4:45 pm Wrap up and close


When you register you will need to select a preferred breakout session for each of the four breakouts at BX2018.

Breakouts have been arranged into four ‘journeys’ which share a common theme. These are:

  • Journey 1 – Behavioural Insights “How To?” A journey for attendees new to BI, those interested in how to build a behavioural insights unit, or delegates who want to learn more about how international organisations are using nudges.
  • Journey 2 – Behavioural Insights Intersections. If you’ve ever wondered how BI interacts with big data and machine learning, online environments, and what’s going on in our brain when we make decisions, this is the journey for you!
  • Journey 3 – Behavioural Insights for Impact. For those practising behavioural insights this journey will advise on how to make nudges persist? How can BI interventions be scaled? And who nudges the policymakers? All these questions and more answered!
  • Journey 4 – Behavioural Insights for Policy. A journey for practitioners and academics interested in translating BI into real world solutions, in areas as diverse as energy, education, health, and compliance.

This program indicates the expected duration of sessions, however, there may be minor changes to the commencement and completion of some sessions. Please keep checking in to view program updates.


Rising Star Awards

Commonwealth Bank logo


Rising Star Awards Reception

Commonwealth Bank logo