Well-attended Seminar on Behavioural Economics

On May 18, 2015 the PP Platform hosted a well-attended seminar on Behavioural Economics at CBS. Among the speakers was nudging expert Professor Peter John from University College London (UCL).


On May 18, 2015 the Public-Private Platform hosted a well-attended seminar on Behavioural Economics at CBS. 

Christoph Burmester, an expert on the seminar topic, welcomed all the speakers and participants. First on the agenda, the Platform had invited Peter John from UCL to talk about the UK experience of having a concrete ‘nudge unit’. This unit, formally known as the UK Cabinet Office’s Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), stands out as perhaps the most successful example of recent rethinking of public policy. The unit is known for integrating interdisciplinary insights about human decision-making into the rigorous design of highly cost-effective interventions, often challenging the dominant public policy in question. Read more about the UK Cabinet Office’s Behavioural Insights Team.

Peter John set out to illuminate what actually explains this successful establishment and implementation of the BIT. He argued that by applying behavioural insights it is possible to reduce fraud error and debt. He also talked about BIT’s willingness to work in a non-hierarchical way, its excellent skills at forming alliances, and ability to form good relationships with expert audiences. PDF icon Download Peter's presentation here.


Following Professor John’s talk, the event included three Danish perspectives on how behavioural economics is thought of and applied.

Mette Margrethe Elf, Head of Collective Impact, Realdania, gave a presentation on ‘collective impact’ – and the dependence of (changed) behaviour. From her perspective, ‘collective impact’ is about challenging conventions, trying new ways and working together much more integrated around common agendas.PDF icon Download Mette's presentation here.


Mikkel Brok-Kristensen, Business Anthropologist and Partner at Red Associates focused on behavioural insights and radical innovation in his presentation. His argument was that we should be aware of how we use behavioural economics and that it is not suitable for all challenges. PDF icon Download Mikkel's presentation here.

Lastly, Jesper Christiansen, Program Manager and Anthropologist at MindLab gave a presentation entitled: ‘Enabling ‘The Political’ Through Human-Centred Innovation’. Jesper elaborated on different topics such as the common features of behavioural insights and human-centred design, and how to enable and rehearse a new culture of public service. One of his mentioned examples was rehabilitation, where focus is on building resources and cross-professional collaboration.

The seminar was rounded off with a very interesting and lively panel-debate.

The entire event was recorded – watch it here.


The page was last edited by: Public-Private Platform // 12/17/2017