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Bridging divides & changing minds with behavioral science

MAY 6 & 7


Join leading behavioral scientists, executives, policymakers and journalists at our annual Conference to explore the latest insights from applied behavioral sciences research for addressing social challenges...

*bspa is 501(c)(3) non profit


The Speakers


2021 bspa conference chair


Margaret Levi


Director, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS), Professor of Political Science and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University

Robert Cialdini


Arizona State University Regents' Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing, Department of Psychology

new perspectives from familiar voices


Daniel Kahneman


2002 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences

Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology, Emeritus, and Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs, Emeritus, Princeton University

Richard Thaler


2017 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences

Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics, University of Chicago


Shankar Vedantam



The host of Hidden Brain

how national security and intelligence rely on behavioral science

Martin Dempsey


18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Sue Gordon


Former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence

Sim Sitkin



Michael W. Krzyzewski University Professor, Professor of Management and Public Policy, Director, Behavioral Science & Policy Center, Duke University

political polarization - causes and cures


Francis Fukuyama


Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at Stanford University's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), Mosbacher Director of FSI's CDDRL, Professor of Political Science.


Arlie Hochschild


Professor of Sociology, UC Berkeley.


Michael Podhorzer


Assistant to the President for Strategic Research, AFL-CIO


Robb Willer


Professor in the Departments of Sociology, Psychology, and the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.

David Brooks



Op-Ed Columnist, The New York Times

the critical art of rethinking: learning to question your opinions & open other people’s minds


Adam Grant


The Saul P. Steinberg Professor of Management,

Professor of Psychology, at The Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania 


Morela Hernandez



Donald and Lauren Morel Associate Professor of Business Administration, University of Virginia

authors shaping new perspectives – overcoming resistance to change


Leidy Klotz

Subtract: The Untapped Science of Less


Copenhaver Associate Professor at the University of Virginia


Robert Livingston

The Conversation: How Seeking and Speaking the Truth About Racism Can Radically Transform Individuals and Organizations


Lecturer of Public Policy at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government


Katherine Milkman

How to Change: The Science of Getting From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be


James G. Dinan Endowed Professor

Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania


Dave Nussbaum


Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Chicago

topic focused panels - most relevant current findings


Hunt Allcott



Senior Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research, and Visiting Professor of Law, Harvard University 


Max Bazerman

Justice & Ethics


Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School


Angela Duckworth



Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania


Dean Karlan

Financial Decision Making


Frederic Esser Nemmers Distinguished Professor of Economics and Finance at Northwestern University, and the Founder and President of Innovations for Poverty Action


Jeffrey Pfeffer



Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University

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Ashleigh Rosette

Management & Labor


Senior Associate Dean and Professor of Management and Organizations at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University

government applications of behavioral insights


Matthew Clark


City Of Durham


Crystal Hall

Associate Professor of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington & Fellow, U.S. Office of Evaluation Sciences


Anita Ravishankar

Senior Fellow at The Lab @ D.C. & research scientist on the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department


David Yokum


Adjunct Associate Professor in International and Public Affairs, Director, The Policy Lab, at Brown University

ethical applications of behavioral science


Kevin Brilliant


Director of Business Strategy & Analytics, Chicago Bulls

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Elizabeth Kim


Behavioral Scientist, Spotify


Neela Saldanha


Independent Applied Behavioral Scientist


Chiara Varazzani

Lead Behavioural Scientist,
OECD Observatory of Public Sector Innovation
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Scott Young


Senior Vice President of the BVA Group


Christopher Nave



Managing Director of the Master of Behavioral and Decision Sciences program at the University of Pennsylvania


Evan Nesterak



Editor-in-Chief, Behavioral Scientist

special announcements & awards


Lena Belogolova


Head of Behavioral Science, GoodRx

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Connor Joyce

Behavioral Science Researcher, Microsoft


Todd Rogers


Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and Director of the Student Social Support R&D Lab

bspa team 

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Craig Fox


Harold Williams Professor of Management, Area Chair, Behavioral Decision Making, Professor of Psychology and Medicine, UCLA


Kaye de Kruif


Senior Program Co-ordinator and Managing Editor, Behavioral Science & Policy Association


Kate Wessels


Executive Director, Behavioral Science & Policy Association

Sim Sitkin

Michael W. Krzyzewski University Professor, Professor of Management and Public Policy, Director, Behavioral Science & Policy Center, Duke University

...and many more lightning round speakers - see Agenda for details



MAY 6 & 7

With the common goal of exploring ways to collaborate to serve the public interest, our speakers will discuss how behavioral insights can enhance private and public-sector practice, helping bridge the divide between behavioral scientists and practitioners.

Talk Formats

Authors Shaping New Perspectives

Challenge your assumptions on how the behavioral sciences can be applied across multiple contexts as you hear from pre-eminent researchers and experts discussing their original publications. 


Interact with our community thought leaders as they present the behavioral science findings most relevant to private and public sector practitioners aiming to promote the application of rigorous behavioral science research to societal issues.

Lightning Talks

How is behavioral science being implemented in practice? Engage with academics and behavioral science practitioners as they highlight cutting edge behavioral science insights. 

Panel Discussions

Join us as we explore a 'hot button' topic and convene a cross disciplinary, engrossing panel  including speakers from leading behavioral policy organizations, universities, think tanks and nonprofits.

Industry Awards

Join us as we announce the 2021 winners of the Behavioral Policy Publication Award and New Investigator Award (early-career) to those whose work has advanced the rigorous application and development of behavioral/social science to policy and practice in public, private and nonprofit sectors. 





"I found the BSPA conference incredibly useful for connecting academic researchers with practitioners. Presenting at the conference led to a meeting with a financial industry professional, which has turned into one of my most fruitful collaborations. I believe that both of us view the venue and the format as instrumental in facilitating this important relationship."                                                 

                                                                      - Dr. Alex Imas

                                                              Carnegie Mellon University

Who are we?

Behavioral Science in Policy & Application is a global community of leading scholars, practitioners and policymakers promoting the thoughtful application of behavioral science to policy and practice.

We facilitate unconventional behavioral solutions that address society’s most pressing challenges.

The research is powerful
From enhancing retirement saving, to promoting energy 
conservation, to reducing opioid prescription by doctors, behavioral science insights have generated proven results.


We focus on impact
BSPA is a leading organization dedicated to bridging the gap between behavioral research and practical application. We provide intellectual triage across healthcare, financial decision making, energy & environment, justice, education and labor domains, through events, publications and advisory services.


We deliver curated thought leadership
BSPA is at the center of a network of applied behavioral science organizations promoting the application of social science to public and private sector issues. Our advisory board members are giants in the field and include: Paul Brest, David Brooks, John Seely Brown, Adam Grant, Daniel Kahneman, Denise Rousseau, Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler.