Centre for Behaviour Change


Nudgeathon Blog

2 June 2022

On a sunny weekend at the end of April, we brought students and early career practitioners from all over the world together to compete in a behavioural science hackathon - UCL Nudgeathon 2022.



On a sunny weekend at the end of April, we brought students and early career practitioners from all over the world together to compete in a behavioural science hackathon - UCL Nudgeathon 2022. The level of expertise, creativity and innovation all our participants brought to the table was extraordinary. 
We kicked off the Nudgeathon with a networking event at Impact Hub Kings Cross where participants, mentors and judges had the chance to hear from our friends at Cogo and mingle. The challenge and team allocations were announced at the end of the event. 

The challenge - developed with Cogo - was: “How can banks use carbon footprint and climate action data to encourage the average consumer to switch to lower carbon spending decisions?”.  A pressing, multi-faceted and complex topic that pushed teams to think creatively. 

While the event was hybrid, most teams chose to work together in person at UCL’s BaseKX co-working space in central London - usually home to busy founders of cutting-edge, research driven, start-ups. Teams had 60 hours to learn how to work together, generate ideas and develop a pitch while being supported by their allocated mentors (you might recognise some of them as CBC alumni!). 
●    Zsofia Belovai - MoreThanNow        ●    Katie McPhee - Sust Global
●    Azim Arsiwala - Cowry Consulting    ●    Sana Fasihi - Ogilvy 
●    Kezia Stewart - Cycling UK               ●    Ella Jenkins - Ogilvy
●    Ella Howes - Centre for Behaviour Change     ●    David Fanner - Ogilvy 
●    Rebecca Brown - Norfolk County Council        ●    Vy Do - Cogo
After all pitches were submitted, we had a jam-packed roster of events for participants to take part in. Starting with an engaging workshop with communications coach - Bethan James - to learn about best practice in science communication. Being able to communicate complex ideas to a wide audience is an essential skill, but can often be daunting to develop. The workshop helped participants build on the basics and gain confidence in their ability. 

From there, we ran our first ever Sunday Showcase. We invited a range of speakers with experience in evidence-based behaviour change to share a snapshot of their work. 


●    Sana Fasihi - Consulting Analyst at Ogilvy
●    Phoebe Fisher - Regional Project Manager at the Education Endowment Foundation 
●    Zoe Featherstone Smith - Behavioural Scientist at Zavfit 
●    Zsofia Belovai - Senior Behavioural Scientist at MoreThanNow 
●    Isobel Madle - Behavioural Scientist at DG Cities 
●    Christine van Vliet - Behavioural Scientist at Sentiance 
●    Vy Do - Behavioural Scientist at Cogo 

It was fascinating to hear about projects that are making a meaningful difference to people’s lives right now. Showcasing the potential of applied behavioural science was really special and I know participants left energised by all the possibilities. 

After the Sunday Showcase we headed back to Impact Hub Kings Cross where Dr. Umar Taj (CogCo) was ready to announce the winning team. Team 3 - made up of Ella Tuominen (UCL), Elahi Hossain (UCL), Tvara Shah (KCL), Adelaida Mora Bustamante (Kingston University) and Letizia Zamperetti (Kantar Public) took first place with the winning pitch. 

They proposed a dual-stage digital intervention that leverages salience and gamification principles to encourage young professionals to choose public transport over ride-hailing services. They'll have the well-earned opportunity to present their idea at Ogilvy’s Nudgestock next month.

   The Nudgeathon 2022 winning team with Dr. Umar Taj, Director - Cogco 


None of this would have been possible without the incredible support and generosity of our sponsors: CogCo, Ogilvy, Preply and Sentiance, as well as the UCL Innovation & Enterprise team. We are so grateful to them for believing in us.  

We were also lucky to welcome a fantastic panel of judges who took the time to put together individualised feedback for each team to help them to further develop and refine their ideas. Dr. Umar Taj (CogCo), Rory Sutherland (Ogilvy), Dr. Jo Hale (Centre for Behaviour Change), Brian Spurling (Cogo) and Alexander Elsen (VC) made up UCL Nudgeathon 2022’s panel of judges.
Our vision for this event was to not only bridge the gap between evidence and practice, but also bridge the gap between disciplines and foster collaboration. I’m so proud to say there was a range of disciplines represented – behavioural science, service design and neuroscience to name a few. There were highs and lows across the weekend, but ultimately ten teams came in as strangers and left as friends inspired to collaborate and innovate to tackle some of the world’s most urgent problems. 

I can’t finish off this blog without recognising the hard work of the UCL Behavioural Innovations Society Nudgeathon team to pull off this event. Here’s to 2023! 

Nudgeathon 2022 organisers, from left to right: Jacqueline Kilby (Nudgeathon Director), Jessica Taylor (Events Director), Anna Vassova (President), Hendrik Leenders (Applied Projects Director & Nudgeathon Associate Director), Ekaterina Stoilova (Comms Director), and James Newport (Treasurer), not present on the photo. 


Jacqueline Kilby, 
Nudgeathon Director