Nudge is undoubtedly one of the most impactful theoretical discoveries of our time. The capacity to harness economic theory and psychological ingenuity has offered us an alternative to answering some of our most critical social and political questions. Starting with the publication of Nudge in 2008, the theoretical concept meant to influence and inform citizens’ daily decisions has experienced a meteoric rise, transcending public policy discussion, and entering into our daily lives. Nudge is seemingly everywhere, merging with innovative technology to affect the finest aspects of our daily experience. But has it succeeded in improving our social existences, as promised? Is Nudge currently serving to improve the greater good? These are two of the questions we will look to ask seminal Nudge scholar, Professor Cass Sunstein, as we sit down for an in-depth fireside chat with the Professor on the evolution of Nudge since the publication of his book nearly fifteen years ago.
Join the Behavioral Insights Group for this stimulating discussion as we attempt to better understand how Nudge was conceived, how it’s grown, and where Professor Sunstein sees it moving, as we embark on the next generation of technological advancement.
Cass R. Sunstein is currently the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard. He is the founder and director of the Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy at Harvard Law School. In 2018, he received the Holberg Prize from the government of Norway, sometimes described as the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for law and the humanities. In 2020, the World Health Organization appointed him as Chair of its technical advisory group on Behavioural Insights and Sciences for Health. From 2009 to 2012, he was Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, and after that, he served on the President’s Review Board on Intelligence and Communications Technologies and on the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Board. Mr. Sunstein has testified before congressional committees on many subjects, and he has advised officials at the United Nations, the European Commission, the World Bank, and many nations on issues of law and public policy. He serves as an adviser to the Behavioural Insights Team in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Sunstein is author of hundreds of articles and dozens of books, including Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness (with Richard H. Thaler, 2008), Simpler: The Future of Government (2013), The Ethics of Influence (2015), #Republic (2017), Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide (2017), The Cost-Benefit Revolution (2018), On Freedom (2019), Conformity (2019), How Change Happens (2019), and Too Much Information (2020). He is now working on a variety of projects involving the regulatory state, “sludge” (defined to include paperwork and similar burdens), fake news, and freedom of speech.