Calling DIBS Podcast

Calling DIBS Podcast

Calling DIBS icon
Learn more about the world of Behavioural Insights in this series of interviews with BI enthusiasts and experts from BC and beyond, hosted by Kirstin Appelt, Research Director of UBC Decision Insights for Business & Society (UBC-DIBS). Join us as we explore uses of BI across sectors, how BI tackles societal and planetary challenges, how to conduct BI projects, how BI intersects with other fields, BI critiques, BI careers, and more. New episodes are posted regularly September-May.

Liner notes: Calling DIBS is recorded and edited on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Calling DIBS is edited by Rishad Habib, Siobhan Cook, Isabella Jaramillo, Parnian Ashrafi, Kashish Khatri, and Kirstin Appelt. Intro and outro music are excerpts from “resonance” by airtone (2020; http://ccmixter.org/files/airtone/61321), licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0).



Calling DIBS is available on major podcast platforms as well as via the episode links below.
Episodes missing below are available to current students only, at the request of the episode guest.

Episode 65: “Hitting Snooze, Taking Out the Trash, & Other Everyday BI Opportunities”

Kirstin Appelt, Research Director of UBC Decision Insights for Business & Society (UBC-DIBS)
(46 minutes; posted Sept. 27, 2023)

Guest host Lindsay Miles-Pickup puts Kirstin Appelt in the hot seat to answer which BI-based superpower she would like to acquire, where she succeeds and fails in using BI in daily life, and which everyday inconvenience she would love to tackle with BI. We also tackle more traditional topics like how people can integrate BI into their work, exciting applications of BI, and why “surprising” behaviour isn’t always so unexpected when you dig deeper.

Episode 64: “Understanding & Combatting Data Fraud”

Dave Hardisty, Associate Professor of Marketing and Behavioural Science at UBC Sauder School of Business
(37 minutes; posted Sept. 6, 2023)

Fraud has been a big story in the behavioural and decision sciences this summer. Dave Hardisty returns to the podcast to help us understand the incredible story of fraud in research about, well, fraud. We unpack what an accusation of data fraud means and how fraud is different from other bad practices, like p-hacking. We also explore the impacts of fraud and what we can all do about it, whether we’re conducting our own research or reading/listening to others’ research.

Episode 63: “Searching for Positive Spillover”

Jiaying Zhao, Associate Professor of Psychology and the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at UBC
(29 minutes; posted May 31, 2023)

Jiaying Zhao (JZ) returns to the podcast to discuss the recent i-frame vs. s-frame debate, which suggests that we need to choose individual (i) or systems (s) change. JZ counters the debate with evidence that the i-frame and s-frame can be complementary: Examples of positive spillover show that one behaviour change can beget another similar behaviour or attitude change. JZ shares why the field should try to create and measure spillover within and between people.

Episode 62: “Be the Voice of the User”

Brittany Burrows, Behavioural & Product Designer
(47 minutes; posted May 17, 2023)

In her career in behavioural and product design, Brittany Burrows draws on an understanding of human behaviour to design products and experiences that meet user needs. Brittany shares important lessons that apply to both design and BI projects: understand the problem before you create a solution, work across teams to ensure solutions are feasible, actively solicit feedback, and always know, love, and represent the user a.k.a. the population of interest.

Episode 61: “Are You an Influencer? The Answer May Surprise You”

Vanessa Bohns, Professor of Organizational Behaviour at Cornell University
(32 minutes; posted May 3, 2023)

Vanessa Bohns is a social psychologist whose research shows that we often have more influence on others than we think we do. Vanessa explains how this can be good (giving a compliment really does brighten someone’s day) and bad (asking for a favour can make it hard for someone to say no). To do better, Vanessa suggests that both influencers and influencees should be mindful–mindful of how we ask and how we answer requests.

Episode 60: “Frameworks Make It Easy”

Whitney Queisser, Lifecycle Marketer
(25 minutes; posted Apr. 19, 2023)

For Whitney Queisser, UBC’s Advanced Professional Certificate in Behavioural Insights introduced her to frameworks that have changed how she tackles A/B testing as a lifecycle marketer. Whitney discusses how she uses the RIDE process model to structure her projects, the EAST and MINDSPACE frameworks to brainstorm behaviour change solutions, and ethics frameworks to guide her decision-making and ensure she’s nudging for good.

Episode 59: “Leave Room for Learning”

Shannon McDonaugh, Program Manager in Behavioural Insights at the Nova Scotia Outpost for Public Sector Innovation
(32 minutes; posted Apr. 5, 2023)

Shannon McDonaugh completed UBC’s Advanced Professional Certificate in Behavioural Insights to have a methodology for how she uses BI to help improve the lives of Nova Scotians. Shannon shares some of these projects as well as advice for how individuals and organizations can start using BI ethically and thoughtfully. A key recommendation is to make space for learning during all phases of BI projects and all steps of our BI journeys.

Episode 58: “Include Indigenous Worldviews”

Emily Salmon, PhD student, University of Victoria, & Member of Cowichan Tribes
(37 minutes; posted Mar. 22, 2023)

As an Indigenous student, Emily Salmon noticed that course materials rarely reflected her worldview. Together with Jordyn Hrenyk, Emily researched the worldviews implicit in course materials as well as the resulting themes, consequences, and strategies to do better. On the podcast, we discuss these in the context of course materials, BI solutions, and everyday life. Emily also helps us disentangle key terms like Reconciliation, Indigenization, and Decolonization.

Episode 57: “Designing Meaningful, Novel, & Impactful Research”

Emily Cardon, Principal Advisor & Head of Research for BIT Americas, & Stephanie Wilcoxen, Senior Research Advisor, BIT
(44 minutes; posted Mar. 8, 2023)

As researchers at BIT, Emily Cardon & Stephanie Wilcoxen know their way around the collaborative puzzle that is research design. Together we talk through the who, what, why, and how of research design, with a focus on the particular challenges and opportunities of field or “real world” research. Among the many insights they share, Stephanie and Emily highlight the importance of the research questions leading the design, rather than vice versa.

Episode 56: “Comparing Lab, Survey, & Field Research Designs”

Vince Hopkins, Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan
(39 minutes; posted Feb. 22, 2023)

Vince Hopkins returns to the podcast to chat about the continuum of research design from lab studies to field studies. We discuss the opportunities and challenges of different research designs as well as how to deal with different constraints prospectively in design or retrospectively in analysis. We also discuss how field studies provide a wealth of learning for all involved, no matter what the results are or whether a trial was even run.

Episode 55: “On Being a BI Pioneer Within an Organization”

Sharilynn Wardrop, Protected Areas Ecologist with BC Parks
(24 minutes; posted Feb. 8, 2023)

Sharilynn Wardrop returns to the podcast to share how she is using Behavioural Insights in a role and organization where BI is not the primary toolkit people reach for. We discuss challenges, successes, and strategies for weaving BI into projects in this context. We also reflect on the need to turn a BI lens onto BI itself to make it easy, attractive, social, and timely to use.

Episode 54: “Using Standardization & Customization to Navigate Partnerships & Scaling” (Part 2)

Cecilia Sluga, Behaviour Change Senior Lead at Delterra
(38 minutes; posted Jan. 25, 2023)

At Delterra, Cecilia Sluga works with a wide array of partners to create “Real Change, At Scale”. In part two of this two-episode series, Cecilia shares strategies for partnering with individuals and organizations. She also shares her advice for scaling, which involves finding the right mix of standardization and customization. Lastly, Cecilia shares the challenges and opportunities of applying BI in the non-profit sector.

Episode 53: “Changing Behaviour & Systems for Maximum Impact on the Climate Crisis” (Part 1)

Cecilia Sluga, Behaviour Change Senior Lead at Delterra
(41 minutes; posted Jan. 11, 2023)

At environmental non-governmental organization Delterra, Cecilia Sluga brings her wide-ranging expertise to bear in encouraging behaviour change for the good of people and the planet. In part one of this two-episode series, Cecilia shares her journey to working on behaviour change in the non-profit sector. She also talks about how important it is to use many different levers in order to change behaviour and systems in an impactful way.

Episode 52: “A BI Lens on BI Careers”

Rhiannon Mosher, Human-Centred Design Researcher with the Behavioural Science Office within the Public Health Agency of Canada
(39 minutes; posted Dec. 14, 2022)

As an anthropologist by training, Rhiannon Mosher brings a unique perspective to her work in Behavioural Insights. She shares the challenges and opportunities of coming to BI from another field. Rhiannon also shares advice for how to turn a BI lens onto your career to identify and communicate your transferrable skills to make them attractive and easy to understand by managers and potential employers. For more, read Rhiannon’s blog post about The Disentanglement Project; for folks changing careers, she recommends the Transition Q&A series.

Episode 51: “Using BI to Encourage a Return to Reusable Lifestyles”

Marika Smith, Sustainability Specialist with the City of Victoria
(42 minutes; posted Nov. 30, 2022)

Marika Smith completed UBC’s Advanced Professional Certificate in Behavioural Insights to learn how she could be intentional in how she shapes behaviour toward sustainability. Marika weaves behavioural insights into her discussion of the barriers and opportunities around a reusable lifestyle. She also shares how local governments are uniquely poised to use BI given their many connections with their populations.

Episode 50: “Behavioural Insights in the Federal Government & International Organizations”

Heather Devine, Senior Lead of the Behavioural Science Office at the Public Health Agency of Canada
(33 minutes; posted Nov. 16, 2022)

After founding the BC Behavioural Insights Group, Heather Devine has crossed Canada to help co-found the Behavioural Science Office at the Public Health Agency of Canada. Heather shares a look at how she is seeing BI spread across the “federal government family” of ministries, branches, and partners as well as into international organizations like the UN, OECD, WHO, World Bank, and Save the Children.

Episode 49: “Managing People & Plans to Maximize BI Project Success & Satisfaction”

Dana Hubackova, Project Manager with the BC Ministry of Children & Family Development
(35 minutes; posted Nov. 2, 2022)

Dana Hubackova completed UBC’s Advanced Professional Certificate in Behavioural Insights to continue building her innovation toolkit, which already included tools like project management, change management, and lean. Dana shares insights about the art and science of project management and her advice for successfully managing BI projects. One of her best tips? Spend time upfront building relationships and plans!

Episode 48: “Behavioural Insights as a Role and a Tool”

Anna Burrowes, Methods Specialist with the BC Behavioural Insights Group (BC BIG)
(30 minutes; posted Oct. 19, 2022)

Since graduating from UBC’s Advanced Professional Certificate in Behavioural Insights, Anna Burrowes has transitioned into a role that enables her to both use BI and indulge her passion for continual learning. Anna shares details about the Methods Specialist role as well as ways to use BI in a variety of roles and applications. She also draws on her policy background to offer opportunities and barriers for applying BI to policy.

Episode 47: “How BI Unlocks Extra Tools in the Marketing, Strategy, & Design Toolkits”

Melinda Deines, Director of Marketing & Communications at SLD
(36 minutes; posted Oct. 5, 2022)

By completing UBC’s Advanced Professional Certificate in Behavioural Insights, Melinda Deines has been able to apply BI to her work in brand strategy, marketing, and design. She shares how the intention-action gap was an aha moment in her BI journey and how she uses BI to tackle everything from reducing sludge to smoothing organizational transformation to helping companies achieve their sustainability goals.

Episode 46: “How Behavioural Insights & User Experience Intersect”

Stephanie Kuhn, Senior Business Analyst with the BC Ministry of Advanced Education & Skills Training
(40 minutes; posted Sept. 21, 2022)

With her extensive User Experience background and her BI training from UBC’s Advanced Professional Certificate in Behavioural Insights, Stephanie Kuhn is the right person for a discussion of the similarities, differences, and opportunities between BI and UX. We also talk about how integrating BI ideas and frameworks into typical work processes can create valuable space for asking questions and sharing insights.

Episode 45: “Build Your BI Community

Amalia Colussi, UX Writer and Researcher at AlayaCare
(40 minutes; posted Sept. 7, 2022)

Amalia Colussi is a graduate of UBC’s Advanced Professional Certificate in Behavioural Insights and our first guest from the Class of 2022! Amalia discusses how she combines communications, user experience, and behavioural insights in her work. She also shares her program highlights, challenges, and advice. The biggest takeaway? Create community before, during, and after the program to learn from and lean on each other!

Episode 44: “A Personal History of Behavioural Insights”

Dale Griffin, Professor of Marketing and Behavioural Science at UBC Sauder School of Business
(48 minutes; posted May 18, 2022)

Dale Griffin, a co-founder of UBC Decision Insights for Business & Society (UBC-DIBS), joins us for the final episode of season 2 to talk about the theoretical foundations of Behavioural Insights and to share stories about working with both Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. Dale also discusses his research on planning fallacy and how to overcome it. Lastly, we close with a discussion of the current state of the field, including recent highlights and cautions for the future.

Episode 43: “Using BI to Find the Simplicity Buried in the Complexity”

Kerri Buschel, Director of Experience, Marketing and Insights at WorkSafeBC
(33 minutes; posted May 4, 2022)

Kerri Buschel returns to the podcast to talk about the value of BI for employees, employers, organizations, and other choice architects. We talk about how the Advanced Professional Certificate in Behavioural Insights enables folks to hone their BI knowledge and skills and apply them directly to their capstone projects. We also discuss the special magic of working across disciplines, sectors, jurisdictions, and tools to tackle crunchy problems.

Episode 42: “Wrangling the Project Scoping Phase and Hot Topics in BI”

Mikayla Ford, Head of the BC Behavioural Insights Group (BC BIG)
(50 minutes; posted Apr. 20, 2022)

As the new Head of BC BIG, Mikayla Ford is perfectly positioned to look backwards and forwards at BC BIG’s ongoing evolution. We discuss how BIG’s project intake and scoping process have matured, including how BIG decides which projects to pursue with which methods. Mikayla also shares recent BIG work, current topics on BI units’ radars, key BI skills, and excellent advice for navigating the sometimes bumpy BI project road.

Episode 41: “Behavioural Insights and Reconciliation”

Stephanie Papik, the Moose Hide Campaign Society’s Director for the Public Service
(39 minutes; posted Apr. 6, 2022)

Stephanie Papik is currently working on a temporary assignment with the Moose Hide Campaign Development Society as Director for the BC Public Service. Stephanie and I discuss how BI can help us understand some of the barriers to Reconciliation, like blindspots and difficult emotions. We also discuss how BI can contribute to Reconciliation via strategies such as disrupting habits and providing calls to action, like the Indigenous Relations Behavioural Competencies. We close by thinking about how Indigenous Knowledge and Behavioural Insights can be mutually supporting.

Episode 40: “Can Planetary Healthcare Save Lives and the Planet?”

Dr. Andrea MacNeill, Surgical Oncologist at Vancouver General Hospital and the BC Cancer Agency
(27 minutes; posted Mar. 23, 2022)

Dr. Andrea MacNeill, the Founder of UBC’s Planetary Healthcare Lab, introduces us to the concept of planetary healthcare, which is a re-envisioning of the intersection between healthcare and the environment. We discuss how behaviour can contribute to problems and solutions when it comes to planetary healthcare topics like food, stewardship, and single-use equipment. Andrea ends with some actions we can all take to lessen our impact on planetary healthcare, including Choosing Wisely.

Episode 39: “Pathways to Behavioural Insights”

Maria Giammarco, Senior Lead of Research and Development with the Business + Higher Education Roundtable
(46 minutes; posted Mar. 9, 2022)

Through the lens of her interdisciplinary, cross-sectoral BI journey, Maria Giammarco and I talk about the inadvertent ways that many of us stumble into our love for Behavioural Insights. We also discuss how to build an intentional and inclusive pathway to Behavioural Insights for the next generations of BI Practitioners.

Episode 38: “How Can Being More Equitable, Diverse, and Inclusive Improve the Field of Behavioural Insights?” (Part 2)

Sylvia Apostolidis, President of the Jasmar Group
(25 minutes; posted Feb. 23, 2022)

Sylvia Apostolidis returns for Part 2 of our exploration of the intersection of Behavioural Insights and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. In Part 2, we turn to how EDI can improve BI. We discuss ways in which the field has not been diverse, inclusive, and equitable, changes it can make to be more diverse, inclusive, and equitable, and how those changes will improve the science and practice of BI. Sylvia leaves us with some action items to help us all be more inclusive in our day-to-day lives.

Episode 37: “How Can Behavioural Insights Help Organizations Be More Diverse, Inclusive, and Equitable?” (Part 1)

Sylvia Apostolidis, President of the Jasmar Group
(36 minutes; posted Feb. 9, 2022)

Sylvia Apostolidis joins us for our first ever double-header set of episodes! In these two episodes, we return to the intersection of Behavioural Insights and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. In Part 1, we start with basic definitions, talk about how BI can help us move from awareness to action, and discuss examples of how organizations can and have used BI to become more equitable, diverse, and inclusive in areas such as hiring, promotion, and retention.

Episode 36: “Using Behavioural Insights to Tackle Public Health Challenges”

Takuro Ishikawa, Senior Behavioural Scientist with the BC Behavioural Insights Group (BC BIG)
(42 minutes; posted Jan. 26, 2022)

Takuro Ishikawa has made a career of applying BI to different challenges. We zero in on public health and discuss how behaviour is at the root of many health challenges, whether in prevention or treatment. Tak shares case studies, highlights, challenges, and ethical considerations for applying BI to public health, all with the larger goal of working to reduce health inequalities.

Episode 35: “Calling DIBS on DIBS”

Kirstin Appelt, Research Director of UBC Decision Insights for Business & Society (UBC-DIBS)
(28 minutes; posted Jan. 12, 2022)

In this episode with guest host Dave Hardisty, we mix things up and Kirstin Appelt is the interviewee rather than the interviewer. Kirstin talks about her BI journey, the DIBS origin story, how BIG Difference BC got its start, and how the Advanced Professional Certificate in Behavioural Insights developed. She also reflects on the growing BI community in BC and what she’s excited about for BI in BC going forward.

Episode 34: BI Certificate Challenges, Rewards, and Tips”

Cassandra Bernard, Senior Specialist, Innovation with the Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation
(41 minutes; posted Dec. 8, 2021)

Cassandra Bernard is a Senior Specialist in Innovation with the Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation as well as a graduate of UBC’s Advanced Professional Certificate in Behavioural Insights. In recounting her journey from her first exposure to BI to using her BI knowledge and skills in her work today, Cassandra shares helpful tips for program students, considers how BI fits into the innovation toolkit, and tells us about an exciting new project combining the topics of BI, inclusion, and housing.

Episode 33: “Sharing BIG Stories”

Sharilynn Wardrop, Knowledge Translation Strategist with the BC Behavioural Insights Group (BC BIG)
(34 minutes; posted Nov. 24, 2021)

Sharilynn Wardrop is on a temporary assignment as Knowledge Translation Strategist with BC BIG. Sharilynn shares her BI journey and how she plans to use BI towards conservation when she returns to her regular role with BC Parks. Sharilynn and I also talk about how BC BIG and UBC-DIBS work separately and together to communicate BI ideas and build a diverse, thriving BI community. We talk about recent developments, from the BI Principles to the BIG Difference Advisory Board, and what we’re excited about for the future.

Episode 32: “Graduate School Beyond the Certificate Program”

Ekin Ok, PhD student in UBC Sauder’s Marketing and Behavioural Science Division
(32 minutes; posted Nov. 10, 2021)

Ekin Ok is a current PhD student in UBC Sauder’s Marketing and Behavioural Science division and a graduate of two different Master’s programs. Ekin and I compare and contrast Master’s and PhD programs in fields related to BI. We cover their different purposes, application processes, structures, and student experiences. Ekin also tells us about her own research and how she stays organized and on task.

Episode 31: “Applying BI to EDI and EDI to BI”

Greg Lockwood, Partnership Strategist with UBC’s Equity & Inclusion Office
(34 minutes; posted Oct. 27, 2021)

Greg Lockwood is a Partnership Strategist with UBC’s Equity & Inclusion Office, in addition to being a graduate of UBC’s Advanced Professional Certificate in Behavioural Insights. Greg shares what he’s learned in his journey from electrical engineering to economics to Behavioural Insights. We also discuss how Behavioural Insights solutions and experiments can help advance equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI), and, simultaneously, how EDI can improve BI solutions.

Episode 30: “The Value of Adding BI to Your Toolkit”

Lindsay Miles-Pickup, Methods Specialist with the BC Behavioural Insights Group (BC BIG)
(42 minutes; posted Oct. 13, 2021)

After graduating from UBC’s Advanced Professional Certificate in Behavioural Insights, Lindsay Miles-Pickup has seamlessly transitioned into the Methods Specialist role with BC BIG. Lindsay discusses how Behavioural Insights complements and strengthens the other tools in her toolkit for behaviour change. She also shares key lessons from her first few Behavioural Insights projects, including the value of both scoping and exploratory research.

Episode 29: “Learn from Every RIDE”

Alexis Gordon, Behavioural Insights Specialist with the BC Residential Tenancy Branch
(37 minutes; posted Sept. 22, 2021)

As the inaugural BI Specialist in the BC Public Service, Alexis Gordon is rightly excited about the future of BI in BC and beyond. Alexis shares insightful highlights from her experience in UBC’s Advanced Professional Certificate in Behavioural Insights, including the crucial importance of thoroughly investigating the problem space during scoping and consulting with project partners early and often. Alexis also talks about how much you learn with every RIDE, whether your results are expected or unexpected.

Episode 28: “Using Behavioural Insights as Prevention and Cure”

Carl Jensen, Acting Head of the BC Behavioural Insights Group (BC BIG)
(43 minutes; posted Sept. 8, 2021)

Carl Jensen is another wonderful graduate of UBC’s Advanced Professional Certificate in Behavioural Insights. After serving as BC BIG’s project director, he is now acting head of the unit. In a bit of a meta twist, Carl shares how he thought the certificate program itself used Behavioural Insights and evidence to create a positive experience for students, even for trickier topics like statistics. Carl also shares how he hopes to use BI not only in the re-design of programs and products, but in the initial design of them as well.

Episode 27: “Everywhere You Look…Is Behavioural Insights”

Rachel Yang, Market Research Analyst and Behavioural Scientist with Technical Safety BC
(24 minutes; posted Aug. 25, 2021)

A graduate of UBC’s Advanced Professional Certificate in Behavioural Insights, Rachel Yang recently started a new role as a Market Research Analyst and Behavioural Scientist with Technical Safety BC. Rachel shares her journey from Marketing to Market Research to Behavioural Insights. In chatting about how Rachel is applying her growing BI knowledge and skills to her new role as well as to everyday life, we talk about how, the more you know about BI, the more you see it, even in unexpected places.

Episode 26: “Be the Hummingbird and Other Indigenous Strategies for Behaviour Change”

Stephanie Papik, Director of Strategic Integration of Indigenous Knowledge, Cultural Safety and Humility in Strategic Partnerships at Emergency Management BC
(38 minutes; posted May 26, 2021)

In her work and life, Stephanie Papik bridges Indigenous and settler approaches to behaviour change. Stephanie describes some of the similarities between Indigenous ways of knowing and Behavioural Insights. She also describes some of the behavioural practices she uses in her role at Emergency Management BC. Lastly, Stephanie shares ways that we can all use Behavioural Insights to contribute to Reconciliation, which, like many of our most pressing societal challenges, has many behavioural components.

Episode 25: “A Well-Rounded Approach to Behaviour Change”

Adam King, Founder and Chief Behavioural Strategist of BeThink Solutions
(42 minutes; posted May 12, 2021)

Adam King’s education and career have crossed disciplines and sectors in the pursuit of understanding human behaviour. Adam recounts his journey, including what led him to found BeThink and to recently start an Interdisciplinary Sciences PhD. Along the way, he shares insights about differences and commonalities between disciplines and sectors, as well as opportunities for us all to dive further into the well of behavioural science.

Episode 24: “Behavioural Insights Careers and Community”

Maja Niksic, Program Manager at Harvard’s Behavioral Insights Group, and Jaclyn Lefkowitz, Co-President of Harvard’s Behavioral Insights Student Group
(45 minutes; posted Apr. 28)

Maja Niksic and Jaclyn Lefkowitz are our first duo interview! Maja’s perspective as program director of Harvard’s Behavioral Insights Group and Jackie’s perspective as co-president of Harvard’s Behavioral Insights Student Group combine perfectly for our discussion about careers and community. Maja and Jackie discuss different BI career pathways as well as resources and advice for the journey. They also share how valuable it has been to develop and participate in a BI community to learn with and from, especially when we’re all learning and working virtually.

Episode 23: “Research Comes First in Behavioural Science Graduate Programs”

Rishad Habib, PhD student in UBC Sauder’s Marketing and Behavioural Science Division.
(31 minutes; posted Apr. 14, 2021)

Rishad Habib is an all-star Marketing and Behavioural Science PhD student in her 5th year at UBC Sauder School of Business. In sharing her experiences as a former MSc student and current PhD student, Rishad emphasizes the importance of research in both types of programs. We also discuss the challenges and rewards of conducting research as a graduate student, including both lab studies and field studies with partner organizations.

Episode 22: “Collaborating with BI Project Clients”

Michael Buttazzoni, Scrum Master with the Information Management Branch serving the BC government’s natural resource ministries
(31 minutes; posted Mar. 31, 2021)

As one of the founding members of the BC Behavioural Insights Group (BC BIG), Michael Buttazzoni has a number of BI projects under his belt. Michael shares some of the ups and downs of client management, with a particular focus on challenges and strategies for collaborating on BI projects across ministries or divisions. Since Michael has recently moved onto a new role in a different ministry, we also discuss ways to integrate BI knowledge and the BI skillset into roles that are not primarily “BI jobs”.

Episode 21: “So What? How Storytelling Can Help with Reporting and Scaling”

Heather Devine, Head of the BC Behavioural Insights Group (BC BIG)
(41 minutes; posted Mar. 17, 2021)

Heather Devine returns to the podcast to talk about how BC BIG approaches scaling and reporting. Recognizing that scaling is a nuanced decision for clients, Heather offers tips for what factors to consider and how to encourage scaling from project start to project end. Heather also talks about the importance of good, well-tailored communication. In particular, we discuss how storytelling can help share results, build a culture of experimentation, and even encourage scaling.

Episode 20: “Using BI to Scale and Report on Projects Effectively”

Sasha Tregebov, Director of BIT Canada
(37 minutes; posted Mar. 3, 2021)

Sasha Tregebov comes back on the podcast to talk about what happens once the results of a BI project are in. Sasha shares recommendations for how to increase the likelihood that learnings from a BI project are implemented, whether that means scaling up a given solution to a wider population, replicating the solution in a similar context, or helping the client use their experiences to inform the next project they tackle. We also discuss strategies and tips for communicating project results effectively to different audiences.

Episode 19: “Consultation to Maximize Impact and Minimize Unintended Consequences”

Jeremy Douglas, Executive Vice President of External Relations at Ocean Wise
(45 minutes; posted Feb. 17, 2021)

Jeremy Douglas weaves together his experiences in the non-profit and media sectors to highlight the need to scale BI findings for impact, the importance of approaching projects with humility, and the danger of unintended consequences. Together we discuss how consultation and measurement can help with each of these challenges and create a bright future for BI.

Episode 18: “Curiosity. Empathy. Data.”

Kaylyn Kretschmer, Market Leader at Technical Safety BC
(35 minutes; posted Feb. 3, 2021)

Over the last few years, Kaylyn Kretschmer has been a strong champion for BI at Technical Safety BC. Together we chat about how even technical systems rely on human decisions and human behaviours, an insight Technical Safety BC used to begin their BI journey. Kaylyn also shares her tips for socializing BI with folks from different backgrounds and the value of the local BI community for individuals and organizations new to BI.

Episode 17: “Using BI to Improve and Design Programs”

Monica Soliman, Senior Research and Innovation Advisor at Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)
(32 minutes; posted Jan. 20, 2021)

Monica Soliman has worked in a number of BI roles in government, including roles at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada. In chatting about the growing variety of BI roles in the public sector, Monica shares her experiences working on projects that use BI to improve existing programs as well as projects that incorporate BI into the design of new programs.

Episode 16: “Aha Moments and Scaling BI Projects Around the Globe”

Piyush Tantia, Chief Innovation Officer at ideas42
(28 minutes; posted Jan. 6, 2021)

Piyush Tantia is the Chief Innovation Officer at ideas42, one of the first and best applied behavioural science consulting organizations in the world with over 250 projects completed and 28 million lives improved. Piyush shares ideas42’s journey, a few of his favourite recent projects, and insights about how the field has grown over the last decade.

Episode 15: “Using BI to Tackle Financial and Environmental Sustainability”

Jiaying Zhao, Associate Professor of Psychology and the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at UBC
(34 minutes; posted Dec. 10, 2020)

For our final episode of the semester, I’m joined by Jiaying Zhao, who is a co-founding member of UBC Decision Insights for Business & Society (UBC-DIBS) and an amazingly productive researcher at the forefront of applying BI to pressing societal challenges. In sharing some of her favourite projects, Jiaying tells us about the importance of combining lab and field research, the challenges and rewards of working with partner organizations, and tips for encouraging organizations to scale successful results.

Episode 14: “Diverse and Impactful Applications of BI in the Private Sector”

Lisa Zaval, Behavioural Scientist Consultant
(34 minutes; posted Dec. 4, 2020)

As an applied behavioural science consultant, Lisa Zaval has worked with an impressive client portfolio across sectors and domains. She shares research stories from her time in academia and her time in the private sector, and illustrates the similarities and differences between them. Lisa also talks about the importance of working across divisions within an organization to make a BI project successful.

Episode 13: “Shifting the Needle Towards BI and Rigorous Evaluation”

Sarah Smythe, Service Design Specialist with the BC Ministry of Citizens’ Services
(33 minutes; posted Nov. 26, 2020)

Sarah Smythe is formerly a Knowledge Translation Strategist with the BC Behavioural Insights Group (BC BIG), currently a Service Design Specialist in the BC Ministry of Citizens’ Services, and always a really strong communicator. Sarah shares tips for how to communicate about BI with different audiences; she also talks about finding ways to use BI in a role and team that is less familiar with BI.

Episode 12: “Context Is Crucial When SHIFTing Behaviour for Good”

Kate White, Professor of Marketing and Behavioural Science at UBC Sauder School of Business
(23 minutes; posted Nov. 18, 2020)

Kate White is another amazing co-founding member of UBC Decision Insights for Business & Society (UBC-DIBS); her work is a great example of conducting Behavioural and Decision Science research that combines theoretical innovation with real-world applications and impact. Kate tells us how to use the “SHIFT” framework to encourage people to adopt sustainable and prosocial behaviours; she also highlights the importance of both context and testing to make sure BI is done well.

Episode 10: “Energy-Efficient Lightbulbs and Lightbulb Moments in Data Analysis”

Dave Hardisty, Associate Professor of Marketing and Behavioural Science at UBC Sauder School of Business
(28 minutes; posted Nov. 5, 2020)

As a co-founding member of UBC Decision Insights for Business & Society (UBC-DIBS), Dave Hardisty is a great example of the intersection that we call BI — he conducts Behavioural and Decision Science research using rigorous experimental methods and data analysis to tackle pressing problems, like the climate crisis. Dave and I chat about one of his recent projects encouraging energy-efficient purchases; Dave also discusses the challenges, rewards, and ethical considerations of working with data.

Episode 9: “Nudge vs. Sludge and the Growth of BI in Canada”

Dilip Soman, Professor of Marketing, Canada Research Chair in Behavioural Science and Economics, and Director of Behavioural Economics in Action at Rotman
(37 minutes; posted Oct. 29, 2020)

Dilip Soman has been instrumental in advancing the practice of BI in Canada. He shares his journey to behavioural science, how he’s encouraging people to distinguish good and bad uses of BI, how academics and practitioners can work together, and where he hopes BI in Canada focuses over the next few years.

Episode 8: “Perspectives from a BI Academic, Consultant, Client, and Practitioner”

Christine Kormos, Senior Behavioural Scientist with the BC Behavioural Insights Group (BC BIG)
(39 minutes; posted Oct. 22, 2020)

Christine Kormos may be the most well-rounded BI practitioner in BC! Christine started her career as an academic pursuing a PhD in psychology and is now a behavioural scientist with BC BIG. Along the way, she’s worked as a BI consultant and as a BI project client. Christine shares the inside scoop as she compares and contrasts the various roles and their approaches to BI.

Episode 7: “The Challenges and Rewards of Using BI in Local Government”

Tobin Postma, Director of Intergovernmental Relations and Strategic Partnerships at the City of Vancouver
(39 minutes; posted Oct. 15, 2020)

Thanks to Tobin Postma’s championing of BI, the City of Vancouver was one of the first, if not the first, city in Canada to test using Behavioural Insights. Tobin gives a firsthand account of the unique challenges of using BI in a local government setting. There are useful takeaways for everyone, but this episode will be particularly interesting to capstone project teams working with local governments!

Episode 6: “Lessons from the First Canadian Behavioural Insights Unit”

Julian House, Behavioural Scientist at the Ontario Behavioural Insights Unit
(40 minutes; posted Oct. 8, 2020)

The Ontario Behavioural Insights Unit (BIU) was the first provincial “nudge unit” in Canada and Julian House has been involved since his days as a PhD student at the University of Toronto. Julian and I talk about how the BIU started, how they use their MIST framework in problem scoping, and how they pair BI with other tools. Don’t “MIST” the opportunity to listen 😉

Episode 5: “Advice for Learning How to RIDE”

Isabelle Andresen, Behavioural Insights Consultant
(27 minutes; posted Sept. 30, 2020)

Having worked with organizations like the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) and the BC Behavioural Insights Group (BC BIG), Isabelle Andresen has a very impressive resume and well-honed BI skills. In our conversation we talk about project scoping, exploratory research, and obstacles and strategies for BI projects. It’s highly relevant to our Project Scoping and Exploratory Research courses so I strongly recommend giving it a listen!

Episode 4: “Going Meta with an Interview about Interviews”

Mikayla Ford, Methods Specialist with the BC Behavioural Insights Group (BC BIG)
(37 minutes; posted Sept. 24, 2020)

To continue exploring the value of user research, I reached out to Mikayla Ford, who is a qualitative methods whiz. Mikayla and I reminisce about a BC BIG project where we used interviews and exploratory surveys to gain insight into why snowmobilers sled in areas that are closed to protect endangered mountain caribou.

Episode 3: “Playing Cards That Can Save Lives and Other Qualitative Research Stories”

Kerri Buschel, Director of Experience, Marketing, and Insights at WorkSafeBC
(31 minutes; posted Sept. 17, 2020)

With a storyteller like Kerri Buschel leading the charge, it is no surprise that WorkSafeBC is a leader in innovation when it comes to qualitative research. From online discussion boards to interviews to focus groups, Kerri talks about how WorkSafeBC uses qualitative research to understand the problem, the population, and their barriers to action.

Episode 2: “The BC BIG Origin Story and BI in BC”

Heather Devine, Head of the BC Behavioural Insights Group (BC BIG)
(39 minutes; posted Sept. 8, 2020)

BC BIG has played a major role in the development of UBC’s Advanced Professional Certificate in Behavioural Insights as well as almost every other BI initiative in BC. There’s quite literally no one better to talk to about BI in BC than Heather Devine. Heather and I also chat about how BIG started and how BI works as part of a larger toolkit for changing behaviour.

Episode 1: “Scoping BI Challenges”

Sasha Tregebov, Director of BIT Canada
(28 minutes; posted Sept. 4, 2020)

The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) is the original “nudge unit” and Sasha Tregebov has overseen a number of BIT projects, from “What Works Cities” to the creation of BIT Canada. “Calling DIBS” couldn’t ask for a better first guest. To kick this series off, Sasha and I talk about about the value of BI and the challenges of problem discovery.

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