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Roy Sutherland

Rory Sutherland’s funny TED talk on Behavioral Economics

Supermodels, lentils and detail

It is often difficult to explain in a fun way what motivates the use of behavioral economics in public policy-making – i.e. nudging. However, Roy Sutherland’s TED talk does exactly this.

Should we have supermodels serving in the Eurostar train? What do lentils have to do with eradicating world poverty? And should we have actually consider having a “Ministry of detail”?

Besides this, Roy Sutherland’s talk considers why large organizations tend to be attracted to expensive solutions rather than cheap and effective nudges.


Behavior change or spotlight?

We would add, that organizations, whatever the size, often seems to be attracted to solutions that are… well, attractive, whether useful for creating behavior change or not. Flash-mobs, fun-theory and virality are examples that readily come to mind.

In fact, it sometimes seems as if some public policy-makers are too attracted to use our money to get their own fifteen minutes of fame? Or is it just smart consultants and marketing bureaus that sell solutions that basically have themselves featuring as the main-actors, succeeding as long as they create virality and feature the logo of the public agency?

Watch the TED video.

Want to read more on Nudge and Policy-making?

Then please read the Next Nudge:

 Nudge Theory vs the Fat Tax