Come join us to learn more about the ways behavioral science has been used to optimize public services, programs and policies in New York City and beyond, through the application of ‘nudges’ and other tools. Melissa Cole, Senior Associate at ideas42 and project manager of the NYC Behavioral Design Team, will share a brief introduction to behavioral science, some of the team’s behaviorally-informed interventions, and learnings about the behavioral design process. She will be joined by Natalie Dabney, Vice President at ideas42 and a member of the NYC Behavioral Design Team, and Laura Wolff, Director of the NYC Behavioral Design Center, an ideas42 initiative that partners with NYC nonprofit organizations.
What is Behavioral Science? The success of many policies and programs ultimately rests on the behavior of individuals. For a program to have its intended impact, participants need to find out about an opportunity and then sign up, show up, and often follow up. Small differences in the design or context of processes can have an outsized influence on what people do or decide—or if they decide at all. This creates an opportunity to use behavioral insights to improve outcomes and lower costs across a variety of programs and policies.
Speaker Bio: Melissa Cole is a Senior Associate on the NYC Behavioral Design Team at ideas42, where she manages a portfolio that supports city government agencies to solve public problems through the application of behavioral science. Melissa has dedicated her career to economic mobility and equity, starting as an educator through Teach for America and a program manager at education nonprofits in NYC. Prior to joining ideas42, she served as Senior Program Officer of Financial Inclusion at the Office of Financial Empowerment in the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs. As a graduate student, Melissa worked with the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity to support the launch an early education program to address the achievement gap in NYC public schools, and competed in the NYU Berkley Entrepreneurship Challenge for a social venture to enhance gender equity in the workplace. Melissa holds an MPA from the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a BA from the College of Saint Benedict.