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BEAR x BIOrg Webinar Series

Our webinar series features academics and practitioners from all over the globe, conducting innovative research and work in the field of behavioural science.


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Catch up our 2022-2023 webinar sessions below featuring New South Wales Behavioural Insights Unit, Michael Hallsworth (BIT Americas), Lin Fei & Dan Bartels (Chicago Booth), and IGM Financial. 


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Previous BEAR x BIOrg Webinar Sessions 2022-2023

BEAR x BI-Org Webinar Series: Lin Fei and Daniel Bartels, U. Chicago Booth School of Business



Consumers’ Mental Representation of Expenditures: Implications for Spending and Saving Decisions


Webinar Description:


  • Consumers often maintain budgets. Past research often assumed that consumers budget by thinking about categories of expenditures that are independent from each other such as “food” and “entertainment”. The present research proposes that consumers represent expenditures in hierarchical, nested categories. For example, consumers think about “cereal” as a member of the category “breakfast foods” before they think about them as a member of the more general “food” category. Fei and Bartels find, in both online experiments and observed grocery purchase behaviours, that people’s adjustment in their spending behaviour can be predicted by their represented hierarchy of expenditures. This adjustment appears to be spontaneous—these categories do not need to be primed directly by experimenters. Thus, the present research makes contributions by providing a methodology to study consumers’ representations, advancing our understanding on how consumers budget, and providing implications for marketers who design categorical labels for consumers.




  • Lin Fei is a PhD candidate at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Her research focuses on understanding the representation of consumer behaviors such as budgeting and adoption of technology.


    Dan Bartels is a Professor in Marketing at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. His research investigates the mental representations and processes underlying consumer financial decision making, moral psychology, and intertemporal choice.


  • April 19, 2023 (12pm - 1pm ET)

BEAR x BI-Org Webinar Series: New South Wales Behavioural Insights Unit (NSW BIU) on Busting Sludge


Busting sludge: Unlocking the power of behavioural science to reduce effort and improve the experience of government service

This webinar with the New South Wales Government’s Behavioural Insights Unit in Australia showcases how sludge audits, built from the principles and evidence of behavioural science, are cutting effort and giving time back to government customers.


The webinar will introduce the sludge audit method developed by the NSW BIU and the approach taken to systematically identify, quantify and eliminate sludge. The team will share key features of the practical tools used by them to translate the promise of sludge audits into an operational reality. The team will also reflect on the challenges and lessons learnt in supporting services to eliminate sludge and apply behavioural science.


Participants in the webinar will be given the opportunity to discuss promising features of a wider behavioural science research agenda on sludge reduction and also consider ways to stimulate greater collaboration between CX practitioners and behavioural science in a government and non-government context.


Link to sludge toolkit developed by NSW BIU:


  • Speakers:  New South Wales Behavioural Insights Unit

    Dave Trudinger is the Director of the NSW Behavioural Insights Unit. Prior to joining the Behavioural Insights Unit Dave led the Citizen Delivery Branch at the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet. Dave’s diverse career has seen him work in consultancy, frontline community services, academia and government across several Australian jurisdictions and the U.K. He brings a focus on demonstrating impact, supporting frontline delivery and empowering public service partners. Dave holds a PhD from the University of Sydney. His PhD included an exploration of how and why psychology was applied in a range of professions and public policy in twentieth century Australia.


    Eva Koromilas is a Manager in the NSW Behavioural Insights Unit. She is qualified in behavioural economics and has extensive experience in applying behavioural insights to improve customer outcomes across multiple jurisdictions. Eva has led field experiments and program redesign in service and policy areas including Covid-safe behaviours, domestic violence, cyberbullying, drought resilience and regulatory compliance. Eva is passionate about eliminating sludge to improve customer experience. She leads the BIU’s sludge program and sludge audit method which has been applied across NSW government to make services easier and more inclusive.


    Alex Galassi is a Senior Behavioural Advisor in the NSW Behavioural Insights Unit. She has driven projects to improve the customer outcomes through behavioural science, partnering with teams from across government to quantify, identify and reduce unnecessary frictions in the customer experience. She holds qualifications in Rehabilitation Counselling and Psychology.


BEAR x BI-Org Webinar Series: Michael Hallsworth, BIT Americas

 BEAR x BI-Org Webinar Series: Michael Hallsworth, BIT Americas




  • Speaker:  Dr. Michael Hallsworth, Managing Director, BIT Americas
  • Speaker Bio:  Michael Hallsworth, PhD, is the Managing Director (Americas) of The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT). BIT was set up by the UK government in 2010 as the original "nudge unit". Michael has been a leading figure in developing the field of applying behavioural science to government. His work has been published in, among others, The Lancet, the Journal of Public Economics, and Nature Human Behaviour. He is the co-author of the MINDSPACE and EAST reports, and the book Behavioral Insights (MIT Press, 2020).
  • Date:  Nov. 16, 2022 from 12pm - 1pm ET
  • Topic:  How can we apply behavioural science better? And why do we need to?
  • Description:  The behavioural insights movement has flourished over the last decade. There is now a vibrant ecosystem of practitioners, teams, and academics building on each other’s work across the globe. Their focus on robust evaluation means we know that this work has had an impact on important issues. However, many people have also realized that behavioural science needs to evolve further over its next decade. In this talk Michael will outline the criticisms and challenges facing the field, including overconfidence, limited impact, and mechanistic thinking. He will highlight some of the solutions set out in an upcoming “manifesto” for the future of behavioural science. If everyone can seize these opportunities, behavioural science will be better equipped to help build policies, products, and services on stronger empirical foundations - and thereby address the world’s crucial challenges.


BEAR x BI-Org Webinar Series: Kerry-Ann Spencer-Williams, IGM Financial

BEAR x BI-Org Webinar: Kerry-Ann Spencer-Williams

  • Speaker: Kerry-Ann Spencer-Williams, Director, Business Analytics and Evaluation, IGM Financial 
  • Kerry-Ann is best known for advancing an analytics culture and optimizing data driven decision-making across IGM Financial over the past 15 years. Through IG Wealth Management’s partnership with BEAR, she has explored ways to embed a behavioural science approach into the DNA of the organization. Kerry-Ann collaborates closely with internal stakeholders to improve consumer welfare by uncovering and addressing the interplay of cognitive biases and sludge barriers in established processes. Kerry-Ann holds a M.A. in Economics (University of Manitoba); a Graduate Certificate in Evaluation (University of Victoria); and first-class honours undergraduate degrees in Economics, and Statistics (University of the West Indies).
  • Date: October 19, 2022 from 12pm - 1pm ET
  • Topic: Uncovering the X-factor in advancing Financial Wellbeing for Canadians
  • Description: IG is committed to improving the financial well-being of Canadians through building life-long advisor-client relationships and delivering proactive comprehensive financial planning that helps families achieve their goals at every stage of life. As a member of Power Corporation of Canada and IGM Financial group of companies, IG has been a forerunner in partnering with academia to understand and optimize the value of financial advice (“gamma”), beyond the usual alpha and beta benchmarks the industry addresses. Kerry-Ann will share early learnings and applications of behavioural science during IG’s first year of partnership with BEAR researchers - specifically around maximizing gamma by nudging behaviourally informed training; change management; and incentive structures for advisors; and improving choice architecture and language framing along the client’s digital journey. After having the right tools and talent to accomplish IG’s mission, the x-factor has been found in centralizing processes around real human behaviours.

Featured Guests in Q&A: 

  • Gaetan Ruest, VP, Data Science, Advanced Analytics and Market Insights, IGM Financial
  • Michelle Fox, VP, Sales Experience and Analytics, Mackenzie Investments

Links shared in the Chat: