Behavioural Exchange

2 June 2014 - 3 June 2014

Location: Four Seasons Hotel, Sydney

Behavioural Exchange 2014 was the world’s first global behavioural insights conference, bringing expert academics and practitioners from around the world to Sydney. Four hundred delegates from around the world gathered in Sydney to discuss behavioural innovations shaping the policy landscape. Behavioural Exchange 2014 gave participants access to the best and brightest from the academic, public, and private sectors in the field of behavioural insights. 



Day 1: Monday 2 June 2014


Welcome to Country & Official Welcome

The Hon. Andrew James Constance, MP, Treasurer

MC: Mr Martin Stewart-Weeks

  Grand Ballroom

Why Nudge?  

Professor Cass Sunstein, Harvard University (telepresence) talks about why governments use behavioural insights, and reflects on his time at the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

Professor David Laibson, Harvard University, talks about the growing use of behavioural insights by government and business. 

  Grand Ballroom

Morning Tea

  Pre-function Area

Nudging in Government

Dr David Halpern, Chief Executive, United Kingdom Behavioural Insights Team reflects on setting up the world’s first "Nudge Unit," and on the application of BI in the UK.

Dr Maya Shankar, Senior Adviser, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (telepresence) talks about the use of behavioural insights in the White House.

  Grand Ballroom

Lunch and The Exchange

Optional: From 1pm-2pm, you will be able to hear from practitioners who have been implementing BI trials in Australia and overseas in this informal and interactive lunchtime session. Presentations will be given at 1pm and 1:30pm on: health; employment; tax and fines; and examples from overseas.


Pre- function area
The Galleries & The Studios


Opportunities, Risks, and Common Challenges: An Expert Panel 

This will be a panel session will include brief introductory remarks from each speaker followed by an extended Q&A. You will hear about some of the common challenges in implementing behavioural insights and ways to overcome them. Session speakers include: 

Dr Thia Jang Ping, Director, Singapore Ministry of Finance
Professor Michael Hiscox,
Harvard University
Professor Peter ShergoldAC, Chancellor, University of Western Sydney
Mr Nicholas Gruen, CEO, Lateral Economics

Facilitated by Mr Martin Stewart-Weeks

  Grand Ballroom

Afternoon Tea

  Pre-function Area

Stream Sessions – The Fundamentals
The fundamental elements that are critical in developing behavioural insights trials are the three D’s: Data, Design and Delivery. Select a stream to hear senior policymakers, academics, and practitioners talk about their experience and specific case studies.


Stream 1 - Data
Ms Cheryl-Lea Field, Deputy Commissioner, Australian Taxation Office
Tam Shepherd, General Manager, Digital Transformation Division, Department of Human Services
Dr Kerry Chant, NSW Chief Health Officer

Facilitated by Mr Martin Stewart-Weeks

  The Studios

Stream 2 - Design  
Ms Jane Treadwell, former Chief Executive Officer, DesignGov
Hector Salazar Salame, Executive Director, JPAL Southeast Asia
Han Siong Ngan, Industrial Designer, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital Singapore
Ms Carolyn Curtis, Chief Executive Officer, The Australian Centre for Social Innovation

Facilitated by Mr Peter Poulet, NSW Government Architect

  The Galleries

Stream 3 - Delivery
Professor Cliff Hughes AO
, Clinical Excellence Commission
Department of Human Services
Mr Tony Newbury, Chief Commissioner, Office of State Revenue 
Ms Jerril Rechter, Chief Executive Officer, Vic Health
Dr Liam Smith, Behaviour Works, Monash University

Facilitated by Alison Frame, A/Deputy Secretary, NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet

  Grand Ballroom



End of Day 1 Sessions




Conference Drinks

  Luna Park Crystal Ballroom



End of Day 1


Day 2: Tuesday 3 June 2014

08.15   Conference Registration   Four Seasons Hotel Pre-function Area


Professor Bates Gill, Chief Executive Officer, United States Studies Centre

Overview from Day 1 and Agenda for Day 2

MC: Mr Martin Stewart-Weeks 


Grand Ballroom


Common Ground: Nudging in Government and Business

Professor Richard Thaler, University of Chicago, in conversation with Professor Max Bazerman, Harvard University.They will discuss opportunities for collaboration between academia, business and government and how this can make BI interventions more effective.


Grand Ballroom


Morning Tea 

  Pre-function Area

Stream Sessions – The Fundamentals
The fundamental elements that are critical in developing behavioural insights trials are the three D’s: Data, Design, and Delivery. Select one stream to hear three experienced corporate leaders and academics talk about their experience and specific case studies. 


Stream 1 - Data
Mr Adam Welsh, Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs APAC, Opower
Professor Robert Slonim, University of Sydney
Dr James Guszcza
,Senior Fellow, Deloitte Analytics Institute

Facilitated by Stephen Brady, Deputy Secretary, NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet

  The Studios

Stream 2 - Design
Professor Kees Dorst, Professor of Design, University of Technology Sydney
Mr Damien Mu, General Manager, AIA/Vitality
Mr Bram van der Lans, General Manager, Telstra Digital Studio 
Professor Dan Lovallo, Professor of Business Strategy, University of Sydney

Facilitated by Martin Stewart-Weeks

  The Galleries

Stream 3 - Delivery
Mr Michael Pratt, Customer Service Commissioner, NSW Government
Mr Martin Laverty, Chief Executive Officer, Catholic Health Australia
Mr Arun Abey, Founder of ipac Securities, AMP
Mr Tim Fawcett, General Manager (Government Affairs), Cisco 

Facilitated by Mr Adrian Renouf, Lead Partner - NSW Government and Public Sector, Ernst & Young

  Grand Ballroom


  Grand Ballroom

Reflections from Business 
In this session, speakers will discuss some of the lessons that have been gained from applying behavioural insights in the corporate sector. Speakers include:

Professor Mike Norton, Harvard University 
Ms Mia Garlick,Head of Policy Australia and New Zealand, Facebook
Mr Gautam Jaggi, Lead Analyst, Ernst & Young
Dr Jack Dan, National General Manager (Government), Telstra

  Grand Ballroom

Afternoon Tea

  Pre-function Area

The Future of BI 
Professor Iris Bohnet, Harvard University
Mr Donald Low, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore, look ahead to the future application of behavioural insights.

They will be joined for an interactive panel session by

Mr Michael Coutts-Trotter, Secretary, NSW Department of Family and Community Services
Ms Lucille Halloran
, Commonwealth Government Leader, Ernst & Young
Mr Graeme Head, NSW Public Service Commissioner
Dr David Halpern, UK Behavioural Insights Team 

This will be the final exchange of ideas for BX2014, drawing together the main themes and ideas from the conference. 

  Grand Ballroom
16.45   End of Conference    

What is "Behavioural Insights"?

"Behavioural insights" (BI) draws on research from behavioural economics, psychology, and neuroscience to understand how humans behave and make decisions in everyday life. By better understanding how people respond to different contexts and incentives, decision-makers can design and implement better policies and services.

BI provides a useful approach to policymaking, as the process of facilitating behaviour change requires a deep understanding of the practical and structural barriers that people face. Traditionally, many policies and programs have been developed with an underpinning in conventional economics, which assumes that people are rational agents always seeking to "self-maximize" in their decisions. The reality, as behavioural economists and cognitive psychologists have discovered, is that people tend to make decisions that depart from rationality in often predictable ways. BI seeks to use the learnings from academia, and there is a growing network of practitioners applying BI in the private and public sectors around the world.

One of the strengths of BI is its experimental approach to policy and service design. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs), used wherever possible in BI, are a powerful tool to help policymakers and practitioners decide which of several policies is the most cost effective, and which interventions are not as effective as expected. This approach enables us to adapt our policies so that they steadily improve in quality and effectiveness.

Behavioural Insights in Australia

In November 2012, the New South Wales Government entered into a partnership with the United Kingdom Cabinet Office to support the application of behavioural insights to policies and programs in NSW.

NSW is the first state in Australia to create a centrally staffed and funded BI unit, and BI is providing a new way of looking at existing challenges.

The federal government and several state governments in Australia have been increasing their BI expertise and implementing behavioural trials, contributing to the growing pool of knowledge and research demonstrating proven policy outcomes.

Event partners

Behavioural Exchange 2014 was hosted by the NSW Government, the United States Studies Centre, and Harvard University’s Behavioural Insights Group. 

NSW Government


Event sponsors




Alfred P. Sloan Foundation






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