Nudging Our Way towards Energy Efficiency: Psychology, Behavior and the Environment | Wilson Center
6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

Nudging Our Way towards Energy Efficiency: Psychology, Behavior and the Environment

Even as society seeks to improve overall energy efficiency, we make individual decisions every day that have a wasteful effect on our energy use, from driving rather than walking short distances to leaving our computers on when not in use. How do such habitual choices sabotage our better intentions? What does it take to change these habits?

Please join us at 12:30 p.m. on April 23, 2015, for a candid discussion about how psychology and behavioral economics can help us begin to address our most pressing energy and environmental challenges – and how this can potentially improve policy choices in government and beyond. 

The panel, moderated by Ruth Greenspan Bell, a Public Policy Scholar at the Wilson Center, will examine which sorts of strategies encourage energy efficiency, how they can best be implemented and how one branch of the military is looking at incorporating these strategies to improve operational reach. Event panelists include:

  • Per Espen Stoknes, a psychologist and economist at the BI Norwegian Business School, will discuss how strategies rooted in human psychology might help address climate change  
  • Elke Weber of the Columbia University School of Business will discuss how these strategies can be applied across institutions and within policymaking     
  • Capt. James Goudreau, director of policy and partnerships in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, will discuss how these insights can help the Navy forge a culture of energy and water efficiency

Presentations and discussion by the panelists will be followed by an opportunity for audience questions. This event is jointly sponsored by the Science and Technology Innovation Program and the Environmental Change and Security Program at the Wilson Center. Please feel free to bring a brown bag lunch. There is a cafeteria on the 6th Floor of the Wilson Center.


  • Elke Weber

    Jerome A. Chazen Professor of International Business and Co-Director of the Center for the Decision Sciences, Columbia University
  • Ruth Greenspan Bell

    Public Policy Fellow
    Visiting Scholar, Environmental Law Institute; Research Associate, Columbia University Business School’s Center for Decision Sciences