Rachel Abbott, Director
A curiosity for human behaviour has underpinned my studies and career, from first studying Anthropology at UCL to my current behavioural change specialism at The Behavioural Architects.
Prior to joining The Behavioural Architects, I was Associate Director at 2CV Research where I focused on generating qualitative insights to inform a range of social marketing challenges. Key clients included the Department of Health and Transport for London. I also coordinated the Cello Group’s pioneering inter-agency Corporate Social Responsibility initiative - identifying opportunities to improve support for young people who self-harm - presenting the findings at the Houses of Parliament in 2012.
Since joining The Behavioural Architects at the start of 2013, I have applied behavioural science insights to a wide range of consumer insight, behavioural change and strategic challenges, to develop actionable insights and inspire behavioural interventions. These include our award winning study on interventions to increase drug adherence and healthier lifestyle behaviours among type 2 diabetes patients.
I am motivated by the opportunities behavioural science provides to generate deeper and more actionable insights for clients, and its potential for greater consumer empowerment.
Liz Barker, Global Head of BE Intelligence and Networks
My background is in Economics in a variety of contexts, from international development to global business and finance and I have a BA and MSc in Economics from Cambridge and Oxford. Previously I worked at Oxford Analytica, where I was Deputy Director of Advisory. There, I helped to manage our advisory team and expert network and focused particularly on our work with the financial sector, international organisations and governments and have worked with clients such as Zurich, Ernst & Young and major governments. I’ve also worked in and on South Asia on international development issues.
Even in my undergraduate days, I was a little frustrated with the idea that we are ‘rational’, making choices based purely on price or gathering all available information to make a decision. Concepts such as social norms, altruism and reciprocity carried much more meaning. In the last few years I’ve become fascinated in behavioural economics, especially its many applications, from government policy to behavioural finance and from international development to brand management and have conducted research on its implications for a number of areas such as climate change policy and savings behaviour.
Ollie Cary, Strategic Consultant
I was thrilled to join the Behavioural Architects in October 2015, a company where real behavioural insight is utilised to truly answer the diverse questions clients have.
My appetite to better understand human behaviour was born out of sailing a quarter way round the world from Australia to Thailand in 2011, spending 8 months at sea. The journey gave me the opportunity to explore Papua New Guinea, the Indonesian Archipelago and Malaysia, being astounded by the rich cultures and intrepid people I encountered along the way (the scenery wasn’t bad either…).
Fuelled by this expedition, I undertook a BSc in Anthropology where I was able to develop both a deeper understanding of the human socio-cultural motivations, and a good knowledge of the design and execution of qualitative research. Deeply fascinated by the imagery used in animal conservation, as part of my BSc I visited the Kruger National Park (KNP) in South Africa. Here I studied the issues that surround the impact of the KNP on the welfare of local people, developing ideas and models to help understand people’s contrasting views to similar animals, with the hope of helping conservation agencies develop better ways to connect with their audiences.
Sarah Davies, Founder
I have always had a fascination with understanding behaviour and started my career as a qualitative researcher in 1994. In 2000, I joined HeadlightVision to set up the qualitative side of the business. In 2005, HeadlightVision merged with The Henley Centre and I became MD of the new business. In 2008 the business was rebranded as The Futures Company and I became Global MD, heading up the Qualitative & Innovation team. I also set up the Indian office.
I have worked on a number of key global clients, including Diageo, Nestle, Cadbury, Unilever & Aviva and am particularly interested in understanding emerging markets and emerging consumers. I have worked extensively in India, China & Indonesia. My focus is on using innovative research techniques to drive brand and consumer strategy, as well as exploring how new behavioural thinking can be applied to client challenges.
I am currently joint Vice-Chair of the AQR committee and have been actively involved in developing industry thinking around Behavioural Economics. BE provides fantastic opportunities to better understand consumer behaviour...exciting times!
Sian Davies, Founder
I started my career in management consultancy where I gained experience in business and marketing strategy and was trained in a diverse range of research methods and marketing science techniques.
I joined The Henley Centre in 1996 as co-editor of Media Futures and went on to lead the Communications consulting team, becoming Global CEO in 2005. I oversaw two mergers, first with HeadlightVision and subsequently with Yankelovich, leading to the creation of The Futures Company.
Alongside my management responsibilities I worked with key global clients, including BT, RSA, the BBC, PepsiCo and Nestle. I focus on blending creativity and rigour to create foundational insights to drive brand and consumer strategy. I also enjoy the challenge of embracing new thinking and exploring new ways of understanding consumers. B E is exciting because it helps to explain so much about what drives and influences us. It also takes me back to my days as an undergraduate wondering how economic models could capture the complexity of human behaviour. Now at last I have the answer!
Rosie Denlegh-Maxwell, Senior Strategic Consultant
I was delighted to join The Behavioural Architects in 2014. Prior to this I worked in International Development, most recently working for Comic Relief in operations, including managing text donations for Red Nose Day 2013. I also conducted fieldwork in Uganda and Zimbabwe, initiating and managing community projects, and leading the research and design of sexual health and careers workshops.
My community research work in Africa was a pivotal moment for me, as I realised that the participants in sessions were so unaware of their thoughts and true behaviour that there had to be more going on beneath the conscious surface, and it was this which inspired me to invest time in understanding behavioural science more deeply. With a BSc in Business and Psychology I also wanted to be able to apply psychology in my career. Here at The Behavioural Architects I am enjoying being able to combine my project management and international research background with my passion for analysing human behaviour, in both the private and public sector. Bridging the gap to apply behavioural economics in the real world is a really exciting area to work in and develop.
Ella Dorrell, Office Manager and Executive Assistant
I joined The Behavioural Architects in 2013. I have over 10 years’ experience in the media industry having worked at Emap (now Bauer Media), Engine and RadioCentre. During my previous roles I provided support at an executive level, including CEOs and board members. I also was responsible for some varied, interesting projects such as leading the corporate hospitality event for the ad launch of Grazia magazine and helping organize the company end of year meeting for over 600 staff members at Engine.
I am excited to be working within the research industry at The Behavioural Architects and putting my skills to good use!
Jane Dwyer, Field and Project Manager
I joined The Behavioural Architects in 2015. Prior to that I’ve gained over 10 years’ market research experience in both research and field agencies such as ICM, BDRC and Viewpoint. I have been able to develop invaluable experience in providing a creative yet practical input to the logistical and operational elements of research briefs.
I have worked on a multitude of projects during that time and across most industries and sectors – ranging from leading the recruitment of the first General Election Live TV debates in 2010 to recruiting government and charity stakeholders from sample.
I have a BA in Marketing and most recently completed a Diploma in Psychology, which reignited my interest in understanding human behaviour. Working at The Behavioural Architects is allowing me to explore and nurture my interest further and providing me with the opportunity to bring a behavioural science lens to field and recruitment.
Jake Greaves, Strategic Consultant
I joined The Behavioural Architects in 2016 with a background rooted in behavioural research; in a body language research lab at Sussex and in behavioural neuroscience at UCL.
While studying for my BA Economics at Sussex University I was drawn into the exciting and experimental world of behavioural science research and haven’t looked back. After completing my degree, I stayed on to work as a research assistant to micro-behaviour body language specialist Dr Harry Witchel at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School.
In 2016 I graduated from the MSc Cognitive and Decision Sciences at UCL, after working closely with Dr Hugo Spiers on how distortions in the space around us can influence our decision-making strategies. My research has been good training in the importance of context, detail and research design.
Prior to my degree, I spent two years working in Shanghai as a football coach. Competing in the international youth leagues in China, the greatest and most unlikely outcome was a win away at Stoke City Shanghai.
Before joining TBA I worked as a Behaviour Planner at Dare, primarily working with Greenpeace to develop strategies for changing perceptions and information dissemination around oil extraction.
Jamie Halliday, Director
I joined The Behavioural Architects in 2013. Prior to this move, I spent five years at FreshMinds research. I'm an experienced qualitative researcher - both in the off- and online worlds, and I really enjoy getting involved in projects that involve strategic thinking - whether it’s innovation, creative development, product and concept evaluation, branding or shopper research. I have worked across a range of client sectors including FMCG (particularly food), finance and banking, retail, technology, healthcare, and public services.
Having studied Psychology at Newcastle University as an undergraduate, I had always wanted to be able to incorporate and apply the insights and findings of behavioural economics and social psychology into my work as a market researcher so working here is very fulfilling.
I'm continually interested in how we can apply behavioural science insights to better understand consumer behaviour, with a particular focus on our behaviour online. I like the way at The Behavioural Architects we are constantly challenging ourselves to develop this understanding.
Max Hardie, Senior Strategic Consultant
I joined The Behavioural Architects in October 2013 after graduating from Bristol University with first-class honours in Politics and Social Policy. This background in social sciences provided me with a solid grounding in qualitative research, which has now been strengthened by applied experience in research design and execution across a diverse range of projects since joining the company, from global FMCG to the charity sector.
I am excited by the potential of the behavioural sciences to enrich our understanding of the world by providing insights into why humans behave as they do, giving us an analytical framework that helps to explain the processes behind consumer decision-making.
Working at The Behavioural Architects means I get to apply thinking from these areas on a daily basis – analysing the world through a behavioural science ‘lens’ to help develop innovative research methodologies, respond to client challenges and generate actionable consumer insight.
Crawford Hollingworth, Global Founder
I have a background in Applied Social Psychology and started my career as a strategic planner in BMP DDB and subsequently worked at leading agencies including AMV BBDO and Chiat Day. In 1996 I founded HeadlightVision in London and New York, a behavioural trends research consultancy which pioneered future facing research methodologies. HeadlightVision was acquired by WPP in 2003. Following mergers with The Henley Centre and then with Yankelovich in the US, I took on the role of Global Executive Chairman of the newly branded The Futures Company.
In the early 2000s we saw an explosion of understanding coming from behavioural economics. These frameworks and concepts allow us to make more sense of human behaviour than ever before. We launched The Behavioural Architects in 2011 to embrace this new learning, and it was the first UK agency with BE as its foundation. Our aim is to reinvigorate research methodologies as well as to develop new ones and to build bridges between the real world and academia. I have written and spoken widely on the subject for various institutions and publications, including the MRS, Marketing Society, Market Leader, Aura, AQR, London Business School and Impact magazine.
Ben Jones, Senior Strategic Consultant
I joined The Behavioural Architects London in 2017, having previously worked at The Behavioural Architects Sydney for two years. I’ve worked on behavioural research and behaviour change projects across markets including Europe, USA and China and industries ranging from government and the third sector to some of the world’s biggest consumer brands.
Prior to this I was at Tangible Branding in the UK.
I studied International History and Politics at the University of Leeds where I pursued my passion for research and analysis, leading me naturally to the world of research and insight.
I love how insights from the behavioural sciences can inform and strengthen both how we conduct research and how we analyse and understand what people do and why.
Kate Jones, Senior Strategic Consultant
I joined The Behavioural Architects in January 2016 having previously spent 3 years at Basis Research where I worked with a wide range of UK-based and international clients across the retail, telecoms, financial and healthcare sectors including Tesco, EE, TSB and Bupa Global.
Before entering consumer research, I studied Modern History at Oxford University, Architectural History at the Courtauld Institute of Art and worked as a curator for the V&A and RIBA Architecture Partnership.
I’m particularly interested in applying Behavioural Economics thinking as a framework to understand consumer behaviour and as an additional layer to enrich and refresh traditional qualitative research techniques.
Eimear MacGarty, Senior Strategic Consultant
I joined The Behavioural Architects in 2015 – just as they won the MRS Best Place to Work Award – a good omen! Prior to joining, I spent 1½ years at Sparkler where I led research projects for media sector clients including the BBC, Channel 4, and Discovery International. Before this, I worked in the insight team at the media agency MediaCom, where we drew on the behavioural sciences to inform media campaigns and communications strategies.
I studied Philosophy at the London School of Economics, specialising in the Philosophy of Science. This gave me a solid grounding in how to combine creativity with analytical rigour, which is what my job is all about!
What I love most about behavioural science is that it draws on many different academic disciplines to be greater than the sum of its parts. I can’t wait to see how the thinking in the field develops over the next 15 years!
Gill O'Hanlon, Director
I have 15 years of experience as a qualitative researcher and am an experienced moderator, with a first in business and marketing. Prior to joining The Behavioural Architects in 2013 I was Head of Qualitative Research at The Futures Company where I worked with key global clients across a range of sectors including the financial services and FMCG.
My areas of expertise are foundational research and strategy planning, creative development, communications and branding. I also have considerable experience working with hard-to-reach audiences and those lacking a voice and have worked with public sector clients to reach, engage and tailor services to these audiences.
I am fascinated in exploring how behavioural economics can be used to address key client questions at all stages in the research process, from research design through to methodology and analysis.
Ali Robson, Finance Manager
I started working freelance for The Behavioural Architects from its launch in 2011, and five years on I am very pleased to still be our Finance Manager alongside a wonderful and dynamic team.
Prior to joining the company, I ran the accounts department at Oil Factory for ten years, one of the industry’s premier International production companies producing award winning music videos and commercials. Before that I spent 7 years as a management accountant for Enic Plc, an investment company owned by Joe Lewis and Daniel Levy, focused on the sports and media sectors.
Originally, I earned a BA in History from Sussex University after which I reconnected to my love of numbers, and gained my CIMA qualification.
Kat Slater, Associate Director
I joined The Behavioural Architects in 2015. Prior to this, I began my career in research over 9 years ago at MRS Best New Agency winner Essential Research, focusing on media research and going on to become their Head of Youth Audiences. I then spent 4 years at Firefish where I developed global research expertise and began to become interested in behavioural economics. I am a Bristol University Philosophy graduate and hold a CIM Diploma in Marketing.
It was Dan Ariely’s bestselling book ‘Predictably Irrational’ that first got me excited about Behavioural Economics. It highlighted to me the way that a deeper understanding of human behaviour and the subtle influences of context could give us new ways of thinking about client challenges. I’m most excited by the proven effectiveness of behavioural science as a toolkit for behaviour change - and the way that sometimes seemingly small interventions can have a massive impact on people’s behaviour.