Interview with Dan White, Co-founder of The Behaviourist

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Founded in April 2014,The Behaviourist is a relatively new start-up. Described by the co-founder Dan White as “a scientifically founded company that changes individual behaviour”, the Sustainable Bridges based venture works with organisations to highlight the potential economic, social and environmental benefits that can be achieved when taking behavioural science into account.


Sustainable Bridges took the opportunity to talk to co-founder Dan White, to establish what’s in store for the future of The Behaviourist and what advice he would give future sustainability entrepreneurs.

Tell me about your time at The Behaviourist?
The other co-founder, Rob and I were doing a lot of experiments together as academics, and as a result we decided to create a company, with the aim to deliver behavioural science in a commercial environment. We had a number of links to academia and significant experience in communities, which we therefore used to our advantage.
 

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How has The Behaviourist developed since it was founded?
We’ve recognised that there is a much bigger market for behavioural science than we previously thought, however, in spite of this; we think we’re the only company that is bulletproof when it comes to our scientific methods; we’re envisaging a lot of action. We operate like a consultancy firm, therefore it’s taken a while to develop, especially considering that we don’t specifically deal products.

 

What sets The Behaviourist apart from its competitors?
Our science is the best. We are linked extensively with the University of Chicago, LSE and the University of Oxford. As such, we have access to the latest behavioural science, and a lot of our competitors actually refer to the work that we have done academically, in their pursuits.

 

What barriers have you had to overcome in the development of The Behaviourist?
We’ve been faced with plenty of barriers, for instance, accommodation has been an issue, however, the most pressing barrier has definitely been the market. Finding our niche in the market was quite difficult; there is a plethora of organisations that profess to operate in the behaviour change arena- whether they actually change behaviour remains to be seen, but they are still there. It is therefore perplexing to understand our place; we can attach ourselves to a variety of fields, be it transport, energy or finance, so really determining where Avalon fits in amongst it all has proven difficult.


What’s in store for the future of The Behaviourist?
Definitely a lot of developing; we’ve been successful in Innovate UK bids to develop apps designed to target commuter behaviour, and we are also building upon some research to help drivers reduce their fuel consumption. Additional to this, we are looking at expanding to work to expand with councils, which in itself covers a whole host of areas including energy efficiency and access to homes. We’re also looking to work in health, water and energy; the nature of ABV enables us to expand extensively and ultimately, there are a number of fields where we can go.

 

What advice would you give future sustainability entrepreneurs?
Don’t just talk the talk- walk the walk. If you’re going to be green, be green; don’t just say you’re green. I would say understand the environmental impact of what you do and keep close to the environmental activism.

 

Posted on July 22, 2015 in Avalon Behaviour Ventures, Franchesca Consin Mosheshe

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