Our story

“When someone writes the history of the BIT, the cool ‘nudge’ bit will not be the most significant thing. It will be that the BIT helped introduce an empirical- and evidence-based approach to policy in government.”

– Dr David Halpern, CEO, Behavioural Insights Team

The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) is an incredibly exciting place to work. A dynamic, progressive consulting firm, BIT started life in July 2010 inside 10 Downing Street as the world’s first government institution dedicated to the application of behavioural sciences to public policy in the UK.

We do this by redesigning public services and drawing on ideas from the behavioural science literature. We are highly empirical; we test and trial these ideas before they are scaled up, which enables us to understand what does – and (importantly) what does not – work.

Nobel laureate Professor Richard Thaler has been a member of our advisory board since our inception. His insights into the psychology of decision-making – and what lies in the gap between economics and psychology – underpinned his most famous work Nudge (2008), in which the concepts of behavioural economics are used to explore many of society’s major problems. This connection is the reason BIT quickly became known as the ‘Nudge Unit’.

In February 2014 we became a standalone social purpose company, owned by employees, the Cabinet Office and Nesta (an innovation charity). Since this time we have grown steadily and now have offices in five countries with projects running in many more,