News & Events


How to Think like a Behavioral Scientist and (potentially) Change the World


October 16 – 19, 2019
Darden Business School, UVA
Lunch and coffee will be provided

This special training event is a 3.5 day training program which aims to equip people with the attitudes, skills, and behaviors required to make sense of human phenomena and create impactful strategies for change. The training is designed to be of benefit to any UVA student or faculty member who wants to make themselves and the world around them a better place.

By attending the training, attendees are expected to gain:

  • A greater awareness of their own psychology and core skillsets
  • Knowledge of key psychological theories of change
  • An understanding of how to design and deliver behavior change projects
  • Insight into how to apply behavioral science to enhance outcomes across a range of domains

The training will be delivered by behavioral scientists from Evidn, an international behavioral science company that specializes in the design, delivery, and evaluation of behavior change programs. The program is based on Evidn’s internal training which is completed annually by Evidn behavioral scientists. As this event will be the first time the training has been conducted external to the company, attendees will be encouraged to provide feedback and comments across the rollout of the program.

Seating is limited for this event and full attendance across the training (3 full days and 1 half-day) is recommended as each day builds upon an understanding of previously covered content. We will have a waitlist and priority will be given to registrants interested in applying behavioral science in their current work.


  • Day 1: Why Behavioral Science? This workshop will give attendees an overview of behavioral science and its role in bringing about change in the attitudes and behaviors of people. The content will encompass fundamental theories and principles of change, and key considerations when designing and delivering behavioral change projects.
  • Day 2: Cognitive Skills. This workshop will dive into the personal qualities and cognitive skillsets required to make sense of ‘human phenomena’ to create strategies for change. The content will center around enhancing attendees’ ability to (1) observe and understand people and social systems and (2) make informed choices and strategic decisions in complex environments.
  • Day 3: Behavioral Skills. This workshop is designed to enhance attendees’ skillset to effectively engage and communicate with people to activate change. Attendees will learn how to set themselves up for success when interacting and building relationships with people across a range of situations (e.g., virtual, one-on-one, group settings).
  • Day 4 (half day): Behavioral Systems Analysis. This workshop will require attendees to bring together all the knowledge and skills they have acquired across the previous training days to learn how to conduct a Behavioral Systems Analysis (BSA). BSA is Evidn’s proprietary framework used to understand how behavior unfolds in a system, who the change agents are, and what can be done to achieve sustainable change.

About Evidn

Evidn is an international behavioral science company that specializes in the design, delivery, and evaluation of behavior change programs – most notably Project Cane Changer, a behavior change project recognized among the top 10 global examples of how behavioral science can be applied to improve sustainability outcomes.

Evidn was founded in Australia in 2016 and has since grown to have an American base, including a strong relationship with UVA’s Convergent Behavioral Science Initiative.

Find out more about Evidn

Meet the Facilitators

Dr. John Pickering, Chief Behavioral Scientist. – John Pickering is the Founding Chief Executive Officer of Evidn with over 10 years’ experience in the analysis, design, delivery and evaluation of behavior change programs for large scale complex problems. Dr Pickering is the Co-Chair of the Nature Sustainability Expert Panel on Behavioral Science, Design and Sustainability, a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) expert steering group on agri-environmental behavior economics, and was recently appointed to the Queensland Government’s Health and Wellbeing Advisory Board to oversee the development of behavioral change strategies for improving health outcomes across the state. Dr Pickering has various scholarly positions at universities across numerous countries including an appointment at Darden Business School, the University of Virginia and is an industry fellow at The University of Queensland, Australia. Dr Pickering has published extensively in the areas of behavior change, psychology, sustainability and innovation, and is a regular commentator in state and national media outlets.

Katri Haanterä, Senior Behavioral Scientist. – Katri Haanterä is a Senior Behavioral Scientist at Evidn who leads the training and capacity building unit of the company. With degrees in psychology and human resources, she specializes in analyzing workforces to bring about change through the creation of bespoke training products and services. Katri has coordinated and delivered several major behavioral science-based training programs to communities of stakeholders in the sustainability and agri-environmental space, focusing on understanding the behavior of people in complex systems and strategies to create change.

Please register below before October 7.

* Registration is now closed. Please email Allen at at5ef [at] if you have any questions or comments.