TORONTO, Aug. 17, 2018 – One month from today, the world's most influential behavioural scientists will convene in Toronto in September to advance scientific thinking and bridge the gap between academia and the business world at the inaugural Summit for Science in Financial Services. An elite group of scientists, including Dan Ariely, George Loewenstein, Kelly Peters, Hal Hershfield and Nina Mažar, will gather to collaborate with business leaders to apply scientific thinking to key business challenges to drive innovation and progress.

“We are all far less rational in our decision-making than standard economic theory assumes,” said Dan Ariely, Ph.D, Chief Behavioural Scientist and co-founder of BEworks; James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioural Economics at Duke University; and New York Times best-selling author of Predictably Irrational and Dollars and Sense. “Our irrational behaviours are neither random nor senseless: they are systematic and predictable. As we look at the mounting challenges in the financial services sector — such as rising consumer debt, ongoing barriers that make it difficult for consumers to save, and increasingly complex information being disclosed to retail investors about their investments — the financial services sector needs to dramatically shift its approach to create real impact and change.”

Drawing on research from thousands of academic studies and experiments, the summit will examine barriers to innovation in the financial services and insurance sectors and understand the cognitive biases and heuristics involved in financial decision-making, including time discounting, the status quo bias, and the implementation gap. More importantly, the sessions will equip attendees with research and actionable insights to advance scientific thinking in their organizations.

“If business leaders truly want to accelerate change, take risks and advance innovation, they must embed the rigor and discipline of scientific thinking into their organizations,” said Kelly Peters, CEO and co-founder of BEworks. “Status quo is simply not an option anymore when there is so much to learn from science. By bringing leading academic experts and business leaders together in this unique forum, we aspire to help business leaders understand the role of science to drive change, encourage new approaches to innovation and ultimately help organizations understand how consumers think about money.”  

New academic research will be shared from some of the world's leading behavioural scientists shaping the application of behavioral economics in the world of finance, including:

  • Dan Ariely, Ph.D., Chief Behavioural Scientist and co-founder of BEworks; James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioural Economics at Duke University; and Chief Behavioural Officer at Lemonade. Named as one of the Top 50 Most Influential Thinkers by Bloomberg, Dr. Ariely's ground-breaking experimental research, TED Talks and prolific writing, including his New York Times best-seller Predictably Irrational, has made him one of the most prominent leaders in the field of behavioural economics. His most recent book, Dollars and Sense, explores a wide range of everyday topics—from credit card debt and household budgeting to holiday sales—to demonstrate how our ideas about dollars and cents are often wrong and cost us more than we know.
  • George Loewenstein, Ph.D., the Herbert A. Simon University Professor of Economics and Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Loewenstein helped found the field of behavioural economics, the field of neuroeconomics, and was one of the early proponents of a new approach to public policy called libertarian paternalism. He is one of the leading thinkers in the world examining the interface between economics and psychology.
  • Kelly Peters, MBA, CEO and Co-Founder of BEworks. Kelly co-founded BEworks, the first consulting firm dedicated to the practice of applying behavioural economics. She is a Faculty Lecturer of Applied Behavioural Science at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, and regularly lectures at universities including Cornell and Harvard.
  • Hal Hershfield. Ph.D., Associate Professor at Anderson School of Management at UCLA. Dr. Hershfield studies how thinking about time transforms the emotions and alters the judgments and decisions people make. He will be presenting research from one of his most well-known discoveries, that when people are confronted with their 'future selves' they experience an emotional sense of connection that can influence long-term financial and ethical decision-making.
  • Nina Mažar, Ph.D., Co-founder of BEworks, and Professor of Marketing at the Questrom School of Business at Boston University. Dr. Mažar's focus includes the investigation of how expectations, emotions, peers, and random cues in the environment affect how we think about products, money, investments, and morality, and their implications for welfare, development, and policy.

Behavioural Economics is the study of psychology related to the economic decision-making of individuals and institutions. Evidence-based insights from the fields of cognitive and social psychology, neuroscience, and marketing science allow behavioural economists to understand how people make decisions and why they behave the way they do, offering powerful new ways to create and measure change.

Hosted by BEworks, the inaugural Summit for Science in Financial Services takes place in Toronto on Monday, September 17. Students currently enrolled in behavioural science programs are invited to submit abstracts outlining their work related to financial decision-making.  Special pricing is available for non-profit associations, academia, with early bird event pricing until August 24 and specialized sponsorship packages are available. Given our desire to facilitate rich dialogue in an informal setting, seats are extremely limited. The full agenda and speaker line-up can be found at:  


Monday, September 17, 2018 | 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.


The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)

317 Dundas St. West, Toronto ON, Canada

About BEworks

Founded in 2010, BEworks is an unconventional management consulting firm that believes science has the potential to transform the economy and society. Our team of experts in cognitive and social psychology, neuroscience, and marketing work answer our client's most complex business questions, execute disruptive growth strategies and accelerate innovation. Part of the kyu collective of companies since January 2017, the firm's client list includes Fortune 1000 companies and government agencies. BEworks was co-founded by Dan Ariely, renowned behavioural scientist, Kelly Peters, the firm's CEO and BE pioneer, and top marketing scholar Nina Mažar. For more information, please visit, @BEworksInc, #SummitForBE, or

SOURCE BEworks Inc.

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