Dr. David Halpern: Behavioural Insights

23rd March 2018

Dr. David Halpern: Behavioural Insights

We were so privileged to have Dr. David Halpern, the Chief Executive Officer of the Behavioural Insights Team (or, the “Nudge Unit”) – the world’s first government institution dedicated to the application of behavioural sciences – as our guest speaker on 23rd March 2018.

Many of you will already be aware of the huge social impact he and his team have had through their work, all completed with the overriding aim of improving the quality of life and society in the UK. Their incredible results include everything from improving exam results for disadvantaged students, reducing reoffending rates, increasing transitions out of unemployment and reducing missed medical appointments and procedures. This groundbreaking initiative has not only massively improved the quality and the way we live as a society, but has also produced multi-million pound saving initiatives across the UK.

The Behavioural Insights Team have demonstrated how intelligently applying psychology to the challenges we face in the world today can produce the now famous ability to make a big difference through influencing small, simple changes in our behaviour.

This was one of the most influential insights on how we as a society can produce massive improvements to the quality of our lives with simple, guided and target small changes.

Prior to this, David was the founding Director of the Institute for Government and between 2001 and 2007 was the Chief Analyst at the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit. Before entering government, David held tenure at Cambridge and posts at Oxford and Harvard. He has written several books and papers on areas relating to behavioural insights and wellbeing, including Social Capital (2005), the Hidden Wealth of Nations (2010), and co-author of the MINDSPACE report. David has recently written a book about the team entitled Inside the Nudge Unit: How Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference.

The lunch was hosted by Boisdale restaurants, who are, as we all know, one of London’s most famous and dearly loved private restaurant groups. Boisdales features a unique and very successful selection of some of the greatest seafood along with their stunning Boisdale’s game and grill dishes. All accompanied by a great wine list, an unparalleled range of whiskies, and one of the most widest selection of Cuban cigars in the world.

We were all highly engaged and fascinated hearing from Dr Halpern and the ways he and his team are continuing to produce massive improvements for the lives of us all.