Kelly Peters

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Behavioral Economics Expert and Leader in Applying Human Insights to Business Strategy, Marketing and Operations; Faculty Lecturer, Rotman Business School of Management; Co-founder and CEO, BEworks

Biography

Awareness and understanding of human behavior are important for growing a business, but not enough, says Kelly Peters. We need to know how to change behavior – how to increase acquisition, retention and sales, nudge healthy choices, reduce water waste, encourage retirement savings and even boost organ donation.

Peters, a respected educator and faculty lecturer of applied behavioral science at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, teaches Fortune 500 companies and government leaders alike how to make and influence smarter, more impactful decisions by applying behavioral insights and scientific thinking to strategy. Through engaging keynotes and interactive workshops, Peters helps us not only understand human behavior, but also understand how to influence it, empowering transformation on personal, professional, and institutional levels.

“Our intuition is beautiful and can give us tremendous insights, but we also need to recognize that it’s often misguided,” explains Peters. Without understanding why people make certain choices, and properly applying those scientific- and evidence-based insights, even the best business strategies can fail. Peters, who is CEO and co-founder of BEworks, the first management consulting firm dedicated to the practice of applying behavioral economics to solving business and policy challenges, is changing those odds. Alongside her firm’s co-founder, legendary behavioral economist Dan Ariely, she provides proprietary, action-oriented frameworks that fuse behavioral insights with scientific methods and business pragmatism to solve problems as diverse as strengthening financial decisions, improving employee wellness as well as customer satisfaction and trust, minimizing risk, overcoming management bias, and retooling the pricing and marketing of products and services among others.

Peters’ BEworks Method has been fully and successfully implemented across a multitude of industries, including health care, financial services, media and publishing, utilities, and government. In her presentations, Peters underscores the transformational value of behavioral insights, powered by scientific thinking: a fundamentally new understanding of our stakeholders and the purpose organizations serve in their lives.

Applauded for her ability to make behavioral science accessible and relatable, Peters shares personal and business stories that help audiences walk away with the desire and ability to make wiser choices in their work and lives. A sought-after keynote speaker due to her infectious energy and focus on teaching versus telling, Peters has presented at several TEDx events and is a featured speaker at World Business Forum (WOBI) conferences, globally. Recently, she delivered a customized keynote to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation board and senior staff to help them better understand the changing nature of trust, leadership, and transformation in our digital age.

Peters prides herself on pushing the boundaries and closing the gaps between academic research and real-world application. Her research explores the nexus between behavioral science and technology: improving science through better data-gathering techniques and measuring, and improving technology through a scientific understanding of adoption and usage barriers. Throughout her career, Peters has overseen the launch of hundreds of field experiments and created pioneering research on the factors influencing decision-making; she’s also led complex innovation projects and commercialized new ideas and concepts to disrupt traditional models.

A knowledge-seeker and teacher at heart, Peters regularly lectures at Cornell, Harvard, and other notable universities, in addition to her post at Rotman.

Kelly Peters is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

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Peters, Kelly

Biography

Awareness and understanding of human behavior are important for growing a business, but not enough, says Kelly Peters. We need to know how to change behavior – how to increase acquisition, retention and sales, nudge healthy choices, reduce water waste, encourage retirement savings and even boost organ donation.

Peters, a respected educator and faculty lecturer of applied behavioral science at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, teaches Fortune 500 companies and government leaders alike how to make and influence smarter, more impactful decisions by applying behavioral insights and scientific thinking to strategy. Through engaging keynotes and interactive workshops, Peters helps us not only understand human behavior, but also understand how to influence it, empowering transformation on personal, professional, and institutional levels.

“Our intuition is beautiful and can give us tremendous insights, but we also need to recognize that it’s often misguided,” explains Peters. Without understanding why people make certain choices, and properly applying those scientific- and evidence-based insights, even the best business strategies can fail. Peters, who is CEO and co-founder of BEworks, the first management consulting firm dedicated to the practice of applying behavioral economics to solving business and policy challenges, is changing those odds. Alongside her firm’s co-founder, legendary behavioral economist Dan Ariely, she provides proprietary, action-oriented frameworks that fuse behavioral insights with scientific methods and business pragmatism to solve problems as diverse as strengthening financial decisions, improving employee wellness as well as customer satisfaction and trust, minimizing risk, overcoming management bias, and retooling the pricing and marketing of products and services among others.

Peters’ BEworks Method has been fully and successfully implemented across a multitude of industries, including health care, financial services, media and publishing, utilities, and government. In her presentations, Peters underscores the transformational value of behavioral insights, powered by scientific thinking: a fundamentally new understanding of our stakeholders and the purpose organizations serve in their lives.

Applauded for her ability to make behavioral science accessible and relatable, Peters shares personal and business stories that help audiences walk away with the desire and ability to make wiser choices in their work and lives. A sought-after keynote speaker due to her infectious energy and focus on teaching versus telling, Peters has presented at several TEDx events and is a featured speaker at World Business Forum (WOBI) conferences, globally. Recently, she delivered a customized keynote to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation board and senior staff to help them better understand the changing nature of trust, leadership, and transformation in our digital age.

Peters prides herself on pushing the boundaries and closing the gaps between academic research and real-world application. Her research explores the nexus between behavioral science and technology: improving science through better data-gathering techniques and measuring, and improving technology through a scientific understanding of adoption and usage barriers. Throughout her career, Peters has overseen the launch of hundreds of field experiments and created pioneering research on the factors influencing decision-making; she’s also led complex innovation projects and commercialized new ideas and concepts to disrupt traditional models.

A knowledge-seeker and teacher at heart, Peters regularly lectures at Cornell, Harvard, and other notable universities, in addition to her post at Rotman.

Kelly Peters is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Speech Topics

The Financial Impacts of COVID-19: How Human Behaviour Can Provide Guidance to Weather this Storm

Business leaders all over the world are facing an increasingly stressful period of time. Not only are they concerned about their own health, and that of their families, but they stand by watching their investments plummet, striking them to action and potentially irrational investment behaviours driven by a host of psychological investment biases. In this presentation, Kelly Peters outlines the 4-key biases influencing investment decisions and how to overcome them.

The Science of Working from Home during COVID-19: What Organizations Need to Know about the Psychological Impacts on Productivity, Creativity, and Collaboration

Moving the workplace on such a large scale, and with so little time to prepare, for many organizations has been a paramount task. Now with all the technical and remote working tools out of the way, organizations have to shift their attention to the psychological and behavioural aspects of these changes. Kelly Peters turns to scientific evidence to help organizations and individuals become more productive, feel more connected, and reduce the mental health burden of life without the water cooler.

Leading Transformation in the Digital Age Without Losing Humanity

We are currently experiencing one of the most far-reaching technological revolutions in the history of humanity. Digital technologies aren’t just reshaping entire business models and sectors of the economy; they’re also radically changing human behavior. Through the lens of behavioral science, Kelly Peters talks through these changes, and the various implications for leaders, employees, and customers. She provides a framework for managing in this new era of technology-powered work and society, helping us make better decisions while reducing risk to ourselves and our institutions. Peters also offers theories on why some of the most sophisticated AI engines and other technologies haven’t lived up to their promises for change.

Strategies and Skill Sets for Building Trust in the Digital Age

Trust is a highly valuable currency in today’s world. Trust in advisors, CEOs, and employees. Trust in markets. Trust in the law and in government. Indeed, trust is so important that it lessens the need for written contracts, encourages innovation, helps preserve property rights, and facilitates exchanges. Yet, trust is so intertwined in our everyday lives that it is often unacknowledged. It’s only when trust erodes that we can appreciate its significance. But what is trust exactly? And how can we measure it? In this presentation, Kelly Peters unpacks those questions and explores the answers. Using real-world examples, she delves into the roles of risk, bias, and behavior in establishing – and sustaining – trust with various stakeholders, as well as how to spot trust-building opportunities.

As the nature of trust continues to evolve – especially as our trust shifts to digital platforms, interfaces, and the data and technology powering them – companies need to be uber aware that who, what, and how customers and employees trust is fundamentally changing. This means we need new strategies and skill sets to build trust effectively in the digital age. Kelly Peters can help with both.

Marketing Science: Using Behavioral Insights to Influence Customer Decisions

Many organizations make decisions based on outdated assumptions about customers’ needs. They believe that if they present more product information, consumers will value them; if they offer cash incentives, consumers will respond; or if they add more choice, consumers will buy. But consumers are human, and we don’t always follow through with what we say we will do; we’re motivated by more than just money, and too much choice can actually hinder decision making. Kelly Peters discusses why we deviate from assumptions, but perhaps more importantly, how to change that behavior. For marketers, branding officers and customer insights teams, getting into the consumer mindset is not an impossible challenge, she says – if we combine behavioral insights with scientific thinking, and apply it to marketing strategy. In this presentation, Peters uses real-world experiences and marketing scenarios to teach leaders how to identify and overcome consumer biases and barriers to their happiness and satisfaction. She also walks through her methodology for understanding the customer decision process, and in turn make better decisions of our own in terms of how to develop, position and price the products customers want to buy.

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Workshops

Business is all about people – and understanding how and why people make the choices they do is increasingly challenging and ever-more critical to growth. From elevating employee engagement and improving management decision making to nudging customers to act, the ability to effectively, efficiently, and ethically influence people’s behavior is essential. Kelly Peters partners with companies and their leaders to help them apply behavioral science tools and techniques to uncover the insights that will nudge change and spur innovation. Her workshops are immersive and customized, helping you dig deep into areas of opportunity, conquer weakness and empower transformation whether individually, as a team and as a business.

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