About ideas42

Our mission is a simple one: to use the power of behavioral science to design scalable solutions to some of society’s most difficult problems.

People sometimes appear to behave in peculiar ways.

We tell ourselves we’ll definitely exercise before work tomorrow, but when the alarm goes off at 6am we’re suddenly not so sure.  We know that it’s a good idea to save more for retirement, and yet we never seem to get around to increasing our pension contributions. We’re more likely to do something if we think other people are doing it, regardless of the consequences. And we let small hassles, like filling out a form, get in the way of reaping large rewards.

The fact is that all of us fall prey to behavioral quirks. And yet most policy, program, and product design is based on the traditional economic model of human behavior. According to this theory, we weigh all available information, assess the costs and benefits of each option, and make a choice that’s in our own best interest. And then we act on it.

But, as we can see from our own lives, this often isn’t the case – and that can sometimes lead us to do things that actually aren’t what is best for us.

If we’re going to design effective policies, programs, and products that help people decide to act and follow through on their best intentions for themselves – and for society – we need to understand real humans. We need behavioral science.

At ideas42, we do just that. Our work spans more than 25 countries and encompasses social problems in economic mobility, health, education, consumer finance, criminal justice, energy efficiency, and international development.

As a global nonprofit organization, our partners include governments, major foundations, multi-national private corporations and more. Our work applying behavioral science to all levels of policy spans the White House Social and Behavioral Sciences Team, to the Office of the Mayor in major cities like New York, to the World Bank Global Insights Initiative.

Click here to learn more about our work and applying behavioral science. 


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