Creative Innovation 2019 (Ci2019)

MC 4: How behavioural science can help you change the world

John Pickering

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Behaviour Innovation
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1 April 2019, 9:00 - 11:30 AM


Many of the wicked problems society is facing ultimately boil down to the attitudes and behaviours of people (i.e., pollution or health). Understanding why people think and act the way they do is therefore paramount to solving such problems. The discipline of behavioural science hosts such information and holds promise to approach these issues in a new and innovative way. However, despite decades of theories and research, behavioural science remains a relatively untapped resource within governments, NGO’s, and the private sector as a means of bringing about change.

This workshop will delve into the intuitive and counter-intuitive science behind human behaviour. It will provide methods of helping you understand what motivates people to act a certain way within a system of influences, and how to design programs that seek to modify this behaviour. A case study format will be used that closely follows one of Australia’s largest behaviour change programs that seeks to protect the Great Barrier Reef.

Facilitated by Chief Behavioural Scientist and Co-Founder of one of Australia’s most innovative behavioural science companies, this workshop will provide participants with skills to see the world differently and create change.


  • How to generate a behavioural profile of a wicked problem
  • How to utilise existing theories and evidence to create behaviour change strategies
  • What is required to implement and achieve behaviour change at scale

John Pickering is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Behaviour Innovation. Dr Pickering is a behavioural scientist who specialises in analysing and modifying behaviour at the population level. His work focusses on understanding resistance to change and how people can work better together to bring about change in how we see the world. Currently, he is the director of multiple projects, including Project Cane Changer, one of Australia’s largest environmental behavioural change initiatives aimed at improving water quality entering the Great Barrier Reef. His work appears in leading international journals, national media, and he provides advice to governments on how psychology can be applied to help overcome complex, entrenched problems.

"Without a doubt the best conference in Australia with a delightful mix of creativity and big thinking bringing together an eclectic group of industry, community and education leaders. Once again, I’ve come away enthused by new ideas, more aware of future trends, and heartened by the kindness of humanity. We all have a role to play and it should be a collective one." Kerry Anderson, Founder of Operation Next Gen

"Conferences are boring. Creative Innovation is more like a rodeo for ideas, and you are guaranteed to leave wanting to make the world better for everyone." Andrew Despi, A.kin

"Kudos to Tania for organising the the 2019 CI Conference in Melbourne - it is the best I have attended so far. All the speakers and sessions were very well-planned. I have attended many conferences and this is the first I did not have the 'luxury' to skip any sessions. Your effort in this space has truly made Melbourne a global innovation and entrepreneurship hub." Danny Ong, Deakin University

"I wanted to pass along how incredible I thought Creative Innovation was and how much your passion for life and for humanity was inspiring to all of us. It was a privilege to be included and one that I am very grateful for." John Pickering, Chief Behavioural Scientist

"Creative Innovation is a transformational platform built by changemakers for changemakers. It is an educational adventure showcasing the forefront of ideas internationally." Melissa Warner, Ci2019 Scholarship Winner & Education Officer, Mind Medicine Australia

"Creative Innovation 2019 was one of the most well-organised events I’ve ever taken part in. From beginning to the end, every detail had been planned through and taken care of. Secondly, are the production values. As a result, it was possible to attend all the sessions without suffering conference burn-out, happy in the knowledge that the next piece of content was guaranteed to delight and challenge the senses." Richard Claydon (Singapore)

"Well done on another successful Ci conference. Your energy, passion and sheer determination to ensure the conference delegates get a fantastic experience is admirable." VP People & Global Capability | P&GC, Woodside Energy


There are a host of incredible opportunities to partner with us on this world class innovation event. If you are interested in becoming a partner or creative collaborator for the upcoming conference, please contact:

Tania de Jong AM // Founder and Executive Producer
Tel: +61 (0)3 8679 6000

Alrick Pagnon
Tel: +61 (0)3 8679 6000

“Remarkable, mind blowing, brilliantly choreographed – easily the best conference ever and I’ve been to plenty. Truly wonderful and amazing.”

Jim Grant, Partner, Dattner Grant

“Thank you for a challenging and rewarding couple of days. The quality of the team you had at the conference was extraordinary! These events will change people and thereby the world.”

Craig Carolan, Director Private Wealth, ANZ

“I came to learn – I came away inspired! Best conference ever.”

Paul Duldig, University of Melbourne