Behavioral Cities Webinar with David Yokum, Policy Lab @ Brown

Thu, Oct 10, 2019, 12:00 pm

Please plan to join Princeton’s Kahneman-Treisman Center, ideas42, and our guest David Yokum

Thursday, October 10 at 12ET

In conversation about forging sustainable partnerships between governments and academic researchers

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In fall 2018, in association with behavioral design non-profit ideas42, the Kahneman-Treisman Center hosted the first Behavioral Cities Summit.  The convening included municipal leaders from six major North American cities—New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Seattle, Washington, DC, and Durham, Ontario—who have established track-records using behavioral science insights and interventions to address their residents’ needs.  They gathered with Princeton researchers and other applied behavioral scientists to explore building a community of practice and share both tactical and strategic ideas.  

City representatives shared day-to-day practicalities of how they have effectively (and less than effectively) used behavioral science methodologies to evaluate and affect change in municipal processes and services.  The group discussed issues ranging from managerial to political, and identified capacity-building as a major area of concern for all city behavioral shops, one to which academic partners may be able add value. In the final session, participants brainstormed about ways that researchers and civil servants can find routes to pursue their goals in concert while maximizing each other’s comparative advantages. 

This webinar is intended as a continuation of that conversation.  Practitioners and academics not involved in the 2018 are invited to join in the conversation this time around.


At the time of last year's convening, David Yokum was on the brink of starting up The Policy Lab at Brown “to  work in concert with government leaders and experts to develop evidence-based policy programs that improve lives and strengthen communities.”  On October 10 at noon eastern, David will share the year's progress and his hard-won insights on building sustainable partnerships between governments and academic researchers.  We will hear how he laid the groundwork for this new venture and the process of Brown’s transitioning from “a faculty-led policy lab into a permanent policy research center.”

David Yokum, JD, PhD is Director of The Policy Lab at Brown University and also an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Watson Institute and Senior Advisor to The Lab @ DC. He was previously the founding director of The Lab @ DC in the D.C. Mayor’s Office and, before that, a founding member of the White House’s Social & Behavioral Sciences Team and director of its scientific delivery unit housed at the U.S. General Services Administration. David’s work — from the world’s largest field experiment of a police body-worn camera program, to building algorithms that predict the location of rats, to a Form-a-Palooza initiative systematically re-designing all government forms—has been published in diverse outlets (e.g. Nature Human Behavior, PNAS, Health Affairs, Governing Magazine) and received widespread media coverage (New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, etc.). David was the founding host of The Podcast @ DC, and he is also starting a new podcast called 30,000 Leagues, which will be a forum for discussing work at the nexus of science, public policy, and life in general. His public speaking, teaching, and advocacy won the Excellence in Teaching Award from the University of Arizona.

David earned a JD/PhD (Psychology: Cognition & Neural Systems) from the University of Arizona, a Master’s degree in Bioethics & Medical Humanities from the University of South Florida, and a BS in Biology from Birmingham-Southern College. He lives in Providence, RI with his wife and two young boys.

Kahneman-Treisman Center and ideas42
Open to the Public

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