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BX Arabia Agenda

At BX Arabia 2017 in Doha, the first behavioural exchange in the Middle East, the world’s leading behavioural science experts will come together to discuss the applications of this emerging discipline – and what it means for the region.

Or see the full agenda for this groundbreaking two-day conference below.

Day one – 23 April 2017

7:30 AM – 8:30 AM
Breakfast and registration

8:30 AM – 9:00 AM
Opening remarks: Welcome and Purpose of the Event

Speaker
H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi – Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy and Chief Executive Officer of the Qatar 2022 Local Organising Committee.  

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Plenary session: Key Trends in the Application of Behavioural Sciences to Public Policy

New trends in nudging and the application of behavioural insights to public policy challenges have been emerging over the past few years. This rise in prominence has been driven by the rise of nudge units and behavioural insights initiatives, as well as the growing number of randomised controlled trials and other experiments in various policy areas. These industry-specific trials and trends have been seen in the areas of public finance, health, energy and environment to name only a few. In this session, leading academics and practitioners from around the world will bring their own perspectives on these key trends and the kind of response that should be prepared.

Speakers
Abhijit Banerjee
David Halpern
Brigitte Madrian

10:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Break

10:30 AM – 11:45 AM
Parallel session: The Rise of Nudge Units around the World – Global and Regional Perspectives

Since the formation of the UK’s Behavioural Insights Team as the first “nudge unit” in the world, many governments have established their own units and teams, with many more planned over the coming years. These units typically consist of policy experts, economists, behavioural scientists and psychologists. Their place within government varies, with some attached to the offices of presidents and prime ministers, while others sit within supreme councils and ministries. For this session, we are joined by representatives from some of these units to discuss various models from around the world, and to share lessons learned.

Speakers
David Halpern
Michael Hiscox
Fadi Makki

10:30 AM – 11:45 AM
Parallel session: Using Behavioural Insights to Promote Financial and Social Inclusion

So far, behavioural science has been used to affect change in several public policy areas, including the promotion of social and economic development. At the heart of these developmental issues is inclusion, and specifically social and financial inclusion. This session will place these challenges in international and regional contexts. We will also investigate the links between the concepts of motivation, empowerment and productivity, on one hand, and achieving social inclusion, on the other.

Speakers
Drusilla Brown  
Brigitte Madrian
Eldar Shafir

11:45 AM – 1:00 PM
Parallel session: Behaviourally Informed Regulation: Applications of Behavioural Insights in Public Finance Management and Economic Development 

Some of behavioural economics’ most celebrated success stories have been the use of social norms to increase tax collection rates and automatic opt-in to increase retirement savings. This session will focus on international and regional experiences in applying insights from behavioural economics to support more efficient and cost-effective public finance management. We will also look at how it can assist consumers in making optimal finance decisions and improve national economic activity.

Speakers
Leonard Chen
Faisal Naru
John O’Brien
Ahmed Alzahrani 

11:45 AM – 1:00 PM
Parallel session: Applications of Behavioural Insights to Save Energy and the Environment 

Governments traditionally use enforcement or incentive-based measures to tackle policy challenges and drive behavioural change. In the areas of energy and environment, the use of behavioural insights has been increasingly treated as a complementary tool in reducing energy consumption and encouraging more environmentally friendly lifestyles. This session will share lessons learned from experiments in international and regional contexts.

Speakers
Georgios Dimitropoulos
Thomas Dirkmaat
Arunabha Ghosh
Joana Sousa Lourenço
Dan White

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Lunch 

2:30 PM – 3.45 PM
Plenary session: Measuring Happiness and Subjective Wellbeing: Using Behavioural Insights to Inform Policy Design 

The application of behavioural approaches can help improve wellbeing and happiness at many levels. This session will introduce the main concepts and tools of the growing field of behavioural economics and the science of happiness to design, inform and monitor policies. Examples will be drawn from the application of subjective wellbeing to measure the intangible impact of the London 2012 Olympics on citizens of the host city, and lessons will be highlighted for use at the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™.

Speaker
Paul Dolan

3:45 PM – 4:15 PM
Break

4:15 PM – 5:45 PM
Roundtable discussion: Common Policy Challenges in the Region through a Behavioural Lens

Many parties across the region – governmental, non-governmental and academic – are constantly working on resolving policy challenges that have behavioural roots, and lend themselves to experimentation using a variety of applied tools, such as randomised controlled trials. This roundtable discussion will bring together key policymakers and senior officials from Arab countries with behavioural science academics and practitioners from around the world to discuss how to address common policy challenges in the region through a behavioural lens.

Moderator
Ngaire Woods

Day two – 24 April 2017

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM
Plenary session: The Future of Government and Public Service Delivery 

Behavioural insights have been transforming the way business is conducted in the public sector, the way in which policies are incubated and how services are delivered. Governments are recognising the importance of simplification, becoming increasingly cost-effective and more focused on improved outcomes. In this session, Cass Sunstein will cover, among other things, his government experience in applying simplification to policy design and implementation, as well as greater use of disclosure in the regulatory process.

Speaker                                                                                                                                                                   
Cass Sunstein

9:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Break

10:00 AM – 11:15 AM
Parallel session: Behaviourally Inspired Technical Assistance

Many international development and aid organisations are recognising behavioural insights as a valuable input for policymaking. For example, many institutions – such as the World Bank – are setting up units dedicated to applying behavioural insights. Others are integrating these insights into their technical assistance portfolio and humanitarian programmes. This session will explore recent trends in the application of behavioural insights in technical assistance contexts.

Speakers
Zeina Afif
Abhijit Banerjee
Josh Martin

10:00 AM – 11:15 AM
Parallel session: Applications of Behavioural Insights in Various Private Sector Settings

Arguably, the private sector has already been using behavioural insights in the world of advertising, marketing and consumer behaviour. Many organisations have long been aware that rapid and measurable improvements could be achieved by embedding behavioural insights into their market plans and products. This session will explore the best ways to apply behavioural insights in corporate settings, touching upon practical examples of improving organisational work environments and increasing the productivity of employees.

Speakers
Lori Foster 
Steve Martin
Ram Prasad 
Omar Al-Ubaydli   

11:15 AM – 11:45 AM
Break

11:45 AM – 1:00 PM
Plenary session: The Role of Academia and NGOs in Promoting a Greater Adoption of Behavioural Insights in Public Policy

The number of behavioural insights initiatives in academic institutions is growing rapidly. While it is common to host these initiatives within business, economics, public policy or psychology faculties, it is also becoming increasingly common for institutions to introduce such initiatives in an interdisciplinary fashion. This session will discuss recent trends in the role of universities and not-for-profit organisations in applying behavioural sciences to public policy, and shed light on various models of collaboration and partnerships with government.

Speakers
Eldar Shafir
Cass Sunstein
Ngaire Woods 

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Lunch 

2:30 PM – 3:45 PM
Parallel session: Applications of Behavioural Sciences in Various Education Settings from Pre-School through to College

Behavioural insights have been increasingly used to shape educational outcomes in a variety of ways, and such initiatives have had many successes around the world. For example, in student attainment, improving access to financial aid, increasing enrolment in education programmes, reducing drop-out rates and enhancing parental involvement. This session will review recent applications of behavioural economics in education at different levels and in different locations around the world.

Speakers
Ben Castleman
Yousri Marzouki 
Philip Oreopoulos
Olivier Oullier 
Zhi Soon

2:30 PM – 3:45 PM
Parallel session: Applications of Behavioural Sciences in Healthcare and Wellbeing

Policymakers are becoming increasingly aware that the majority of health problems cannot be effectively addressed without also tackling their behavioural components. Indeed, we are witnessing wider use of behavioural insights to inform existing and new health policies with the aim of promoting healthy lifestyles and improving wellbeing in a cost-effective manner. This session will bring together academics and practitioners to discuss recent trends and interventions in the area of health. 

Speakers
Abhijit Banerjee
Chris Bryan
Michael Hallsworth 
Simon Raadsma
Ivo Vlaev 

3:45 PM – 4:15 PM
Break

4:15 PM – 5:45 PM
Plenary session: Closing Panel on the Future of Behavioural Sciences: Areas for Exploration and Interventions

This flagship event for the region will bring together the world’s leading experts to offer their views on the future of behavioural insights, with a particular focus on the Middle East. This closing panel will create a shared vision of the future of behavioural science and its role in shaping public policy, and explore ways to achieve that vision.

Speakers
Paul Dolan
David Halpern
Eldar Shafir
Cass Sunstein
Ngaire Woods    

5:45 PM – 6:00 PM
Closing remarks