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The European Commission will be holding a conference at the end of the month on the theme applying behavioural insights to policy-making.

Here in the Social Brain Centre at the RSA, we too are interested in the application of behavioural insights to various behaviour change challenges across many different policy areas.  For example, we will soon be publishing a report exploring the application of behavioural insight to the socio-economic educational attainment gap (the difference in performance between pupils from relatively affluent and relatively poor backgrounds), and in the pipeline is another important piece of work examining the barriers to behaviour change in the context of mitigating climate change.

So the European Commission conference is particularly relevant for our team.  According to the conference website, “the conference presentations and discussions will tackle several key questions, among which:

  • How can behavioural insights be collected and applied?
  • What role can behavioural insights play in informing policy interventions?
  • Which are the most relevant examples where the behavioural approach improved the effectiveness of policy measures?
  • What are the main challenges and achievements of the trials run at a national level?”
  • I am really looking forward to attending the conference, not only for the chance to binge on Belgian chocolates, but also for the opportunity to explore these questions in greater depth and exchange ideas with fellow conference participants.  If you, as a reader of this blog, are planning on attending, please do find me and introduce yourself.

    For more information about the conference please visit the dedicated website.


    Nathalie Spencer is a Senior Researcher in the Social Brain Centre


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