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Change for Good using Behavioural Economics

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Will behavioural economics really deliver social good?


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Thanks to everyone who attended this unique seminar. If you’re interested in hearing about future BE events, or attending a webinar on the topic, get in touch.

This high level one-day seminar is designed to provide you with insights and inspiration on the latest thinking from the fields of behavioural economics (BE), decision science and neuroscience – whether you work in charity fundraising, health promotion, campaigning, or social justice.

With inputs from some of the Europe’s leading experts in decision science the day will cover issues such as:

  • using behavioural economics to improve supporter engagement
  • the key techniques that are making a difference
  • how business is applying decision science to consumers
  • the ethical side of nudges – what’s acceptable and what’s not?
  • is BE/neuroscience overhyped? Will it deliver radical change?
  • which charities are leading the way in using decision science?
  • how to use the power of emotion to drive results

Over the last 10 years, the work of key thinkers including Nobel Prize Laureates Kahneman and Thaler, plus others such as Ariely and the UK’s Sutherland, have transformed the way businesses think about and interact with customers. This work has, to some extent, made inroads into the public sector with initiatives like the UK’s BIT team working on tax, transplants, health, etc. But attempts to apply much of the powerful learning to the charity and third sector have so far been seen as less successful. If you’re keen to find out how that’s now changing, and how you might apply the powerful techniques available this unique seminar is for you.

The day will consist of a number of elements:

  • engaging and challenging presentations
  • workshop style sessions with a chance to interact
  • panel discussions
  • case studies from the charity and commercial sector

View or download session specifics & further info
Behavioural Economics Seminar Info Sheet

Who is the seminar for?

The seminar is designed for individuals with an interest in how behavioural economics, decision architecture and neuroscience can be applied in charity, public and third sector settings. You may have a background in fundraising, marketing, campaigning, advocacy or programme work. We’d love you to contribute to the discussion as well as learn.

Find out more

=mc offers insight and training on behavioural economics, supporter journeys, and mass engagement. Contact us about bringing training to you in-house.

  • If you look at economics textbooks you will learn that the economic man can think like Albert Einstein, store as much memory as IBM’s Big Blue, and exercise the willpower of Mahatma Gandhi.

    Richard Thaler, author, with Cass Sunstein, of Nudge, 2008

  • I always thought the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. And then one day it occurred to me… ‘Wait a minute, who’s telling me that?’

    Emo Philips

  • Humans are to thinking as cats are to swimming – we can do it when we have to, but we’d much prefer not to.

    Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech 2002.

  • “If you want to nudge people into socially desirable behaviour, do not, by any means, let them know that their current actions are better than the social norm.”

    Richard Thaler, Nobel Prize for Economics 2017

Outcomes for you and your organisation

Over this intensive day you’ll

  • understand where BE and related disciplines can add value to your work
  • hear from leading UK experts on the latest developments
  • be able to network with others in your field
  • improve the impact of your programmes
  • build an action plan to take back to your organisation

Learning approaches

This highly participative programme covers a wide range of topics with high-level input. It combines:

  • practice and theory input plus small group and  individual reflection
  • opportunities to focus on real work challenges
  • opportunities to ask questions from leading experts
  • the chance to share your own ideas and experiences

Leading experts and engaging presenters

The day will feature a number of leading European experts on decision science. Each will share specific insights on their current work, and contribute to panels or question sessions. They come from a mix of charity and commercial settings, but all will address the issue of how behavioural economics can help promote social good.

Current speakers are:

Mike Colling

Mike is Founder & Chief Executive MC&C. He has been a media man for 30 years. During that time his interest has expanded from media interactions that merely generate awareness to those that stimulate consumers to take commercially valuable action.

He is a serial entrepreneur, having set up and helped run successful traditional advertising agencies, direct marketing agencies, media agencies and digital agencies.

He currently leads MC&C: a media neutral performance agency. They use data and media to create profitable, sustainable growth for clients. Data to understand which consumers   clients should recruit. And media to shape their journeys to become long term, loyal customers.

Mike was one of the pioneers of direct response media in the UK, and regularly speaks on this subject and on future media developments. He is chair of the JIC for Mail Steering Group and a fellow of the IDM. In 2015 Mike added CEO of MC&C International to his responsibilities.

Mike lives in the Chiltern Hills with his wife and an ever-growing menagerie of animals.

Omar Mahmoud

Omar is the Chief of Market Knowledge at UNICEF Private Fundraising & Partnership (PFP) division. He has 30 years of research experience in the private sector and international organisations, in country, regional, and global positions. He was involved in new product launches and brand equity building for some of the world’s top brands; Ariel, Oil of Olay, Pampers, Pringles, Ovomaltine, Isostar, and UNICEF. Omar writes for research journals and is a frequent speaker at conferences and business schools on behavioural economics, neuroscience, decision making, marketing, branding, and innovation.

Omar’s work has won international awards and is taught at universities. He is co-author with Bernard Ross of a new book on decision science in charities to be published in March 2018

Meredith Niles

Meredith is the Executive Director of Fundraising and Engagement at Marie Curie.  She previously worked as an Investment Director at venture philanthropy fund Impetus-Private Equity Foundation, where she helped set up a multi-million pound reducing reoffending initiative, and at Goldman Sachs, where she was latterly an Executive Director in the Investment Banking Division.

Meredith volunteers her time as a trustee of Plan International UK, BookTrust, and Trust for London.  She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of the Institute of Directors. Meredith holds a BA with Highest Distinction and Highest Honours from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MSc from the London School of Economics.

She lives in London with her husband and three young sons.

Richard Shotton

Richard is Deputy Head of Evidence at Manning Gottlieb OMD, the most awarded media agency in the history of the IPA Effectiveness awards. He is interested in how psychology can be applied to marketing.

He started his career as a media planner 17 years ago, working on accounts such as Coke, 118 118 and, before moving into research.  He writes about the behavioural experiments he runs for titles such as WARC, The Drum, Campaign, Admap and Mediatel. He tweets about the latest social psychology findings from the handle @rshotton. His first book, The Choice Factory, on how findings from behavioural science can be applied to advertising, will be published in February 2018

Outside of work Richard loves playing football, and can be found, most Sundays, on Brockwell Park, scoring own goals.

Paul Vanags

Paul is a practising Fundraiser and a thoughtful voice on sector issues, see collected articles and blogs at

He has a background of 15 years in brand marketing and innovation in the commercial sector with the likes of Mars and Diageo. Moving into the sector in 2008 he spent the past decade in Fundraising mainly with Oxfam, most recently leading their Public Fundraising. With a team of 60+ marketing and fundraising professionals bringing in over £85m p.a. he delivered 2 successive years of record income results as well as award winning innovation.

He is currently taking a sabbatical to broaden his sector experience, working as Co-Director of campaigning charity People and Planet. He is a Trustee of development education charity Think Global. He’s an IFC speaker, member of the IoF, on the Advisory Panel for Rogare, the Fundraising Thinktank and a board member of Oxfam Sweden

Maddie Croucher

Maddie Croucher

Maddie is an experienced researcher and practitioner in applied psychology and behavioural science.

Having previously worked as a researcher at the University of Oxford, Maddie moved to Ogilvy Change to apply behavioural psychology at scale in the real world.

She has been applying behavioural insights and creative thinking to develop and test behaviour change solutions for a range of clients in the private, public, and third sector, including WRAP, Christian Aid, and Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity.

Bernard Ross

Bernard is a Director of the Management Centre (=mc), a boutique management consultancy working worldwide for ethically driven organisations.

He has worked for over 25 years with not-for-profit organisations helping them transform their performance. His customers include many leading INGOs – ranging from Dian Fosse Gorilla Fund to US Olympics and from World Vision to Greenpeace International

Bernard co-authored Breakthrough Thinking for Non-Profit Organisations with Clare Segal- voted Best Non-Profit Book in the USA 2004. The Influential Fundraiser was nominated as one of the top 5 ‘must read’ non-profit books in the New York Times in 2009. Most recently Global Fundraising, edited with Penny Cagney, won the Skystone Prize for Research and will be published in China in 2017. Strategy was published by the Financial Times/Pearson in January 2016. He has a new book with Omar Mahmoud on Behavioural Economics out in March 2018

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Yvette Gyles, Director

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Thank you for visiting the =mc website today.

We are all experiencing dramatic changes due to Covid-19. =mc are very much here for you and your colleagues across the non-profit sector.

All of our training programmes are now available as online learning.

Visit our Learning and Development page to find out more about our safety measures for future face-to-face training.

If you’d like to speak to an experienced consultant about the challenges you’re facing, and how online learning could help you to navigate those, contact us here or call 020 7978 1516.

Take care and stay safe,

  The Management Centre Team

Thank you for visiting the =mc website today.

We are all experiencing dramatic changes due to Covid-19. =mc are very much here for you and your colleagues across the non-profit sector.

All of our training programmes are now available as online learning.

To understand the differences between online and face-to-face learning, visit our Learning & Development page here. There you'll also find details of how we can work with you to ensure face-to-face training is run safely, when it's appropriate to do so.

If you’d like to speak to an experienced consultant about the challenges you’re facing, and how online learning could help you to navigate those, contact us here or call 020 7978 1516.

Take care and stay safe.

The Management Centre Team