June 2018

Lead Behavioural Change in Higher Education

This two-day workshop will be held from Wednesday 6th to Thursday 7th June 2018 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The workshop will consist of presentations and practical exercises. Participants will be encouraged to collaborate with each other and to share their experiences.


How do you make change happen? This is currently a key question in many higher education institutions, since they are challenged to redefine their institutional responsibilities, purpose, and way of working. This task is passed on to key staff internally, leaving many stakeholders in higher education with the challenge to finding the right approach towards realizing behavioural change. We designed a two-day workshop to provide higher education staff with the theories and practical tools necessary to facilitate change at their institution.

This workshop introduces you to behavioral science type approaches (or casually called ‘Nudge’) that are increasingly being used for effective policy making in a number of countries, including the United States, Canada, Singapore, Australia, and many countries in Europe. Recently, this trend has got expanded to the level of global organizations such as the OECD, UN, and The World Bank and has received recognition through the Nobel Prize for Economics having been awarded to Richard Thaler, author of the book ‘Nudge’. Drawing on research from behavioural sciences (psychology and behavioural economics), you will acquire basic knowledge on human behaviour (e.g. irrationality and cognitive biases) and create nudges for behavioural insights based interventions. Through interactive exercises with the Nudge Development Toolkit, we will help you understand and positively stimulate the behaviour of your most important stakeholders (academic staff, students, management).

This workshop is designed to support university managers, leaders, administrators, professionals, students, practitioners who are seeking improvements in their programs and organizations in several domains such as, new ways of working, facilitation of research & innovation, employability of students, entrepreneurship, and UB cooperation.

As a workshop participant you will receive a workshop certificate, issued by the University Industry Innovation Network and signed by the workshop facilitators.


Sanae Okamoto
Dr. Sanae Okamoto is Director for Asian Affairs at UIIN and Researcher at the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience at Maastricht University. She has taught behavioural economics, decision science, and psychology as an assistant professor at the School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University. As an experimental psychologist with an original passion in primatology, her interests now mainly lie in applying behavioural sciences to understand human behaviour and improve it in a sustainable manner. She has several years of business experience in Japan and the Netherlands and almost 20 years of experience at universities and research institutes in Japan, Germany, USA and The Netherlands. A study about cooperation and leadership was recently published in Scientific Reports.

Jochen Barth
Dr. Jochen Barth is Director for Employability at UIIN, Managing Partner at CER10DIPITY, and Associate Partner at the Service Science Factory at Maastricht University. As managing director of the Service Science Factory, which established itself as a best practice for entrepreneurial universities, he gained extensive experience in triple-helix led knowledge transfer initiatives. Jochen is also an experienced management consultant and has advised over 100 organizations, SME’s as well as multinationals, spanning all sectors, in a variety of topics including business model innovation, talent development, and change management.



Many higher education institutions are struggling to change beyond their traditional 'two missions' approach of education and research. To stay competitive, they are required to introduce new ways of working, focus more on delivering student employability, UB cooperation, and societal impact. Often, this engagement relies on the convictions and efforts of a few individuals. However, to realize true change, university-industry interaction needs an institution-wide commitment and a change in behaviour amongst the leadership but also university staff in general. During this workshop we will help you to understand and optimize the interaction between individual behaviour and the organizational context. We will provide insights in the complexity of human behaviour (e.g. irrationality, cognitive biases) and introduce you to the revolutionary ‘nudge’ approach including practical tools you can apply at your institution.

Example timetable

Wednesday, 24th January 2018

12.00 - 13.00: Registration/Lunch

13.00 - 13.30: Welcome and Introductions. Workshop aims and goals

13.30 - 14.30: Introduction to the nudge approach and toolkit. Identification of challenges and goals.

14.30 - 15.30: Mapping of context and identification of desired actions

15.30 - 16.00: Coffee

16.00 - 17.00: Introduction of cognitive biases and behavioural heuristics. Identification of bottlenecks

17.00 - 17.30: Wrap-up of the first day.

19.00: Discussions over dinner in Amsterdam

Thursday, 25th January 2018

08.30 - 9.30: Coffee & Reflections on Day One

09.30 - 10.30: Diagnoses of underlying causes of the identified bottlenecks

10.30 - 11.00: Coffee

11.00 - 12.00: Introduction of nudges and other interventions – examples of practice

12.00 - 13.00: Design nudge solutions

13.00 - 14.00: Lunch

14.00 - 15.00: Share own designs and reflect on nudge solutions

15.00 - 15.30: Conclusions, coffee, and depart

Transport will be provided to take participants to Schipol airport.


Interested in joining the workshop and an international network of professionals passionate of driving university-business cooperation?

Register now

Travel information


From the workshop moderators

"Human behaviour is the core of the challenge: whatever change initiative is introduced, it needs to be adopted by the end-user. Predicting and coping with that challenge is the key to an optimal sustainable solution."
Sanae Okamoto

"In my +10 years of change management practice, I have seen over and over again, that in the end any organisational change boils down to behavioural change. Behavioural insights and particularly the Nudge approach should become standard practice in any organisation."
Jochen Barth