The Behavioural Insights Team and BI Ventures

The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) is a social purpose company. We are jointly owned by the UK Government; Nesta (the innovation charity); and our employees.

BIT started life inside 10 Downing Street as the world’s first government institution dedicated to the application of behavioural sciences. Our objectives remain the same as they have always been:

  • making public services more cost-effective and easier for citizens to use;

  • improving outcomes by introducing a more realistic model of human behaviour to policy; and wherever possible,

  • enabling people to make ‘better choices for themselves’.

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

We have around 150 employees, who have either a strong academic grounding in economics, psychology and research methods or a background in government policymaking. Our headquarters are in London. We also have offices in Manchester, New York, Singapore and Sydney.

BI Ventures was established by BIT to use behavioural science to build scalable products with a social impact. TEST+Build™ is one of these products, which we hope will enable hundreds more organisations to run their own randomised evaluations in the future. Other products include:

  • Applied, which helps organisations to remove implicit bias from their hiring decisions;

  • Predictiv, which allows organisations to run online experiments (rather than the real world experiments run through the TEST+Build™ platform); and

  • Promptable, which supports young people to stick at their education and training programmes.