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2019 speakers

Rory Sutherland

Vice Chairman of Ogilvy

Rory Sutherland is the Vice Chairman of Ogilvy, where he has worked since 1988.

This attractively vague job title has allowed him to form a behavioural science practice within the agency whose job is to uncover the hidden business and social possibilities which emerge when you apply creative minds to the latest thinking in psychology and behavioural science.

Rory's TED talk

Gerd Gigerenzer

Father of Heuristics.

Gerd Gigerenzer is a German psychologist who has studied the use of bounded rationality and heuristics in decision making.

Gigerenzer is director emeritus of the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition (ABC) at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and director of the Harding Center for Risk Literacy, Gigerenzer investigates how humans make inferences about their world with limited time and knowledge. He proposes that, in an uncertain world, probability theory is not sufficient; people also use smart heuristics, that is, rules of thumb. He conceptualizes rational decisions in terms of the adaptive toolbox (the repertoire of heuristics an individual or institution has) and the ability to choose a good heuristic for the task at hand. A heuristic is called ecologically rational to the degree that it is adapted to the structure of an environment.

Gigerenzer argues that heuristics are not irrational or always second-best to optimization, as the accuracy-effort trade-off view assumes, in which heuristics are seen as short-cuts that trade less effort for less accuracy. In contrast, his and associated researchers' studies have identified situations in which "less is more", that is, where heuristics make more accurate decisions with less effort. This contradicts the traditional view that more information is always better or at least can never hurt if it is free. Less-is-more effects have been shown experimentally, analytically, and by computer simulations.

Risk literacy: Gerd Gigerenzer at TED x Zurich

Tricia Wang

Global Tech Ethnographer

Tricia Wang is a global tech ethnographer. She co-founded Sudden Compass, an enterprise solutions firm that architects cutting-edge human systems, driving business growth through customer data and insights. Tricia is a pioneer in popularizing the need for companies to integrate “Big Data” and what she calls, Thick Data, which she describes in her talk on TED. Organizations she’s worked with include P&G, NASA, Kickstarter, Spotify, and GE. Tricia’s work with Fortune 500 companies and her fieldwork research have been featured in Techcrunch, The Atlantic, Al Jazeera, Slate, Wired, The Guardian and Fast Company. Through extensive fieldwork in China and Latin America from living in internet cafes with migrants to working undercover alongside street vendors, she transformed her style of hyper-immersive ethnography into a sprint based research that her company, Sudden Compass, sprint-based work for big data. She advises start-ups and organizations that are making extraordinary social impact. Go to for more information. She's the proud companion of her internet famous dog #ellethedog.

Tricia Wang - TED talk

Will Page

Chief Economist at Spotify

Will Page, Chief Economist at Spotify, previously held the same title at PRS for Music - where he published pioneering work on Adding Up the Industry, the Long Tail and Radiohead's In Rainbows - memorably asking whether legal free could compete with illegal free. Using economic and statistical arguments, he had a pivotal role in saving BBC 6Music.

Since joining Spotify in 2012, Will has explored ‘the anatomy of a hit’ for artists like Lorde, Mr Probz and Meghan Trainor; and his annual calculation of the global value of music copyright has become an essential tool for all music industry stakeholders. Asking whether the definition of catalogue ‘needs an upgrade’, Will has been instrumental in helping industry stakeholders adapt to streaming and to let go of outdated, ineffective concepts.

As the digital renaissance gathers momentum, Will’s work reflects a renewed focus on key policy issues: reducing piracy (whether illegal or not), music’s contribution to UK GDP (seven times more valuable than previously thought); and music’s value as an export (Spotify Data Shows the World Loves British Pop). Three academic papers question fundamental long-standing practices in collective management, copyright and royalty distribution.

A passionate communicator, Will’s work is regularly featured in The Economist and Financial Times. He has also been profiled in The Daily Telegraph. From his first break - writing for Straight No Chaser magazine - to producing a recent documentary on West African Highlife, Will demonstrates that economics should be explained while music is being enjoyed.

To date, Spotify has launched in 79 markets, has over 200 million active users of which 96 million are paying subscribers; and has paid over €10bn to rights holders since launch. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Learn more

Candice Hogan

Head of Uber's Applied Behavioral Science team

Candice Hogan heads Uber's Applied Behavioral Sciences team, a specialized data science team focused on applying theoretical insights and statistical methodologies from behavioral science to shape programs and products and make them more intuitive and enjoyable for customers.

Before Uber, Candice earned a PhD in Psychology from Stanford where she studied relationships among emotional experience, cognitive performance, and health behavior change across the adult life span.

Learn more

Sir Paul Collier

Professor of Economics

Sir Paul Collier is Professor of Economics and Public Policy Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford.

Professor Sir Paul Collier’s research covers fragile states, a topic on which he is co-directing a Commission of the British Academy; restoring growth in African economies, on which he worked for the 2017 G20 at the invitation of Germany’s Minister of Finance; the implications of group psychology for development, on which he is co-managing a research network led by Nobel Laureate George Akerlof; migration and refugees, which are the subject of his two most recent books; urbanization in poor countries, a program which has just won challenge funding from the Foreign Office; and the crisis in modern capitalism, which is the subject of his forthcoming book, The Future of Capitalism, to be published in October.

5 books published since 2007, including The Bottom Billion which won the Lionel Gelber, Arthur Ross and Corine prizes and was the joint winner of the Estoril Global Issues Distinguished Book prize, and his latest, Refuge, which is an Economist ‘book of the year’. Received a knighthood in 2014 for services to promoting research and policy change in Africa and has been listed as one of the hundred most influential public thinkers in five of the past ten years.

Milena Bogdanova Bursztyn

The University of Chicago Booth

Milena Bursztyn is an MBA candidate and student of Richard Thaler's behavioral science school of thought at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Her work specializes at the intersection of digital product experimentation and behavioral science. She spent several years in Silicon Valley developing and growing digital products, most notably at ScoreBeyond (#1 test prep app in App Store several years in a row with over 1 million users, now part of LinkedIn), where she focused on user growth and digital learning product improvements through behavioral experimentation. Most recently, she's been working in the digital music and video streaming industries at both Spotify and Hulu with a focus on applying behavioral science concepts to drive user satisfaction and engagement.

Milena is passionate about leveraging behavioral nudges to create meaningful digital experiences. She holds an undergraduate degree from The USC Marshall School of Business and a master's degree from Harvard University.

Dr. Stefanie K. Johnson

Associate Professor of Leadership

Dr. Stefanie K. Johnson is an associate professor of leadership at the University of Colorado, Boulder's Leeds School of Business.

Dr. Johnson studies the intersection of leadership and diversity, focusing on (1) how unconscious bias affects the evaluation of leaders and (2) strategies that leaders can use to mitigate bias. Stefanie has published 40 journal articles and book chapters in outlets such as Harvard Business Review, Journal of Applied Psychology and The Academy of Management Journal. She has presented her work at over 50 meetings around the world including at the White House for a 2016 summit on diversity in corporate America on National Equal Pay Day and the 2016 Harvard Negotiation and Leadership Conference. She has extensive consulting experience and has created and delivered leadership development training with an emphasis on evidence-based practice. She has received multiple million dollars in federal and other grant funding to study leadership and create leadership development programs aimed at increasing safety. Media outlets featuring Stefanie’s work include: The Economist, Newsweek, Time, CNN, ABC, NBC, CNBC and The Wall Street Journal.

Jennie Roper

Head of insight at Kinetic.

Jennie Roper has 15 years of media experience. She started her career at Kantar Research which included 2 years working in their Swedish office.

Moving to the BBC she ran the insight department for the global news division where she won and MRS award for Best International Research Project in 2012. At Kinetic she has pioneered behavioural economics in OOH planning. Her team was shortlisted for an MRG Award for Best Research Initiative in 2016. She is an evangelist for media research and brings an un-dying love of insight to everything she does.

Maths Mathisen

CEO and Co-Founder of Hold

The idea behind Hold originated at Copenhagen Business School. Together with his class mates – Florian Winder and Vinoth Vinaya – Maths discovered the recurring issue of checking his phone while studying. The solution to their problem was Hold, an app to incentivise students to put the phone down. Hold quickly gained traction amongst students and brands in Norway. More than 50% of the student population are today Hold users, and they were just awarded mobile marketing product of the year, with brands such as Coca-Cola, Just Eat and 7-Eleven supporting their mission.

Their UK journey have just started, but they’ve already on-boarded more than 250,000 students and brands such as Disney, Coca-Cola and VUE. However, students are not their final stop, the team have received 70,000 requests from families to get access to the app, proving that digital addiction has become a big problem in society and the negative effects are only starting to show through mental health issues. Hold is set to be a guide through the masses of distraction and will create solutions by making use of the best of the digital era to combat the worst

Robert H. Frank

Professor of Economics

Robert H. Frank is the HJ Louis Professor of Management and Professor of Economics at Cornell's Johnson School of Management. His “Economic View” column has appeared in The New York Times for more than a decade. He received his B.S. in mathematics from Georgia Tech, then taught math and science for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Nepal. He holds an M.A. in statistics and a Ph.D. in economics, both from the University of California at Berkeley.

His books, which include Choosing the Right Pond, Passions Within Reason, Microeconomics and Behavior, Principles of Economics (with Ben Bernanke), Luxury Fever, What Price the Moral High Ground?, Falling Behind, The Economic Naturalist, The Darwin Economy, and Success and Luck, have been translated into 24 languages. The Winner-Take-All Society, co-authored with Philip Cook, received a Critic's Choice Award, was named a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times, and was included in Business Week's list of the ten best books of 1995. He received the 2004 Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought, the Johnson School’s Stephen Russell Distinguished teaching award in 2004, 2010, 2012, and 2017, and its Apple Distinguished Teaching Award in 2005.

Richard Wise

Brand Anthropologist, Geometry

Richard Wise studied cultural anthropology and semiotics at the Sorbonne. He wasn’t originally planning to work in the marketing field but was fascinated by the precursor to today’s Internet, the French Minitel System, the first networked information delivery system in the world delivered over public telephony. He was recruited to help promote it and became a “digital anthropologist” with an expert view on how people make plans, explore, shop, socialize and entertain themselves on their home terminals. That brought him to consult in America’s telephony hub and center of the direct marketing business, Omaha Nebraska.

One thing led to the next and Richard expanded his knowledge through consulting for brands seeking to uncover startling new insights about why people buy the things they do and how that is connected to the cultural codes that bind them together. Richard became a brand anthropologist and has given marketing counsel to brands as diverse as Apple, Harley-Davidson, Perrier, Johnnie Walker, Pepsi and Dunhill.

He believes that every marketer, whether for a corporate brand or one’s own brand, has to learn how to transcend the psychopathic narcissism that always plays some part in their drive to promote themselves and their brands. This gives them a good chance of creating something that is not perceived as merely self-serving or downright stupid. He tells the story of this in his book, "Save Your Soul: Work in Advertising!"

Richard’s talk on the true meaning of luxury

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