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121. Meet GAABS! Interview with founding members of the Global Association of Applied Behavioral Scientists

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APPSTORE
In today’s episode, I’m so honored to introduce you to four of the founding members of the newly formed GAABS, the Global Association of Applied Behavioral Scientists, which officially launched in September of 2020. I’m joined by Torben Emmerling of Affective Advisory, Nuala Walsh of Mindequity, Madeline Quinlan of Salient Behavioural Consultants, and Dario Krpan of the London School of Economics.
As a rapidly growing and currently unregulated field, GAABS comes in as the world’s first independent organization representing the interests of applied behavioral scientists, primarily those working in the private sector, and has an impressive list of founders, starting members, and advisory board members, including Robert Cialdini and Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman. It is going to be an increasingly valuable and important organization as the years’ pass, and I’m so excited to be here to introduce you to the group in its infancy.

Show Notes:

  • [00:47] Today on the show I am joined by the four founding members of the Global Association of Applied Behavioral Scientists (GAABS), which officially launched September of 2020.
  • [03:31] Torben Emmerling is the Founder and Managing Partner of Affective Advisory, a fully specialized behavioral science firm based in Switzerland. 
  • [04:21] Nuala Walsh is the founder of Mindequity. She focuses on financial services, oil and gas, and sports. 
  • [05:48] Madeline Quinlan is a director and co-founder of Salient Behavioural Consultants. They use academic rigor and insight to practice from a behavioral point of view. 
  • [06:42] Dario Krpan is an assistant professor of behavioral science at the London School of Economics. He researches how to use behavioral science to solve real-world problems. 
  • [08:08] GAABS as a concept started as a conversation and precommitment at a conference in the summer of 2019. 
  • [10:06] GAABS stands for the Global Association of Applied Behavioral Scientists.
  • [10:31] This is an unregulated industry for applied practitioners and what they are hoping to do is guard against the proliferation of people that are not bona fide practitioners in the field. 
  • [12:19] GAABS is a nonprofit, member-based entity and it is there for all qualified behavioral science practitioners out there to be a platform to bridge academia and practice.  
  • [13:11] This is truly there to connect the field and make sure the ethical and technical standards of behavioral science are kept, raised and advocated around the world. 
  • [15:57] We want to be a very welcoming member body where we see many different approaches. We do have to make sure certain standards are kept. 
  • [16:38] One of the benefits of membership we see going forward is using this as a forum with the extra benefit of an academic advisory board. 
  • [19:21] Being able to say that you met the criteria to join there is some higher entity that shows we have worth and social proof. 
  • [20:54] There is a lot of interest from people just entering the field and from people that are already established in the field. 
  • [21:57] GAABS is not providing certification or training, because there are many other groups doing a good job with that already. 
  • [23:26] There are two types of membership, individual and organizational. For the individual memberships, they look for people with qualifying criteria. People who are able to show that they have completed a post-grad qualification in a relevant subject in the behavioral sciences, relevant publications, teaching in the field, or relevant contributions to the field. 
  • [25:15] On the organizational side we look for proof that it is a proper behavioral science unit or consultancy. 
  • [27:21] They are all dedicated to this idea that is going to be built by the members for the members. 
  • [28:44] GAABS is member focused like companies are client-focused and they want to hear ideas from members for improvement. All ideas are welcome!
  • [30:51] The group is a wonderful resource to share research findings before they are professionally published and learn from others.
  • [33:43] It is a great way to share what is interesting in this space, how others are going about this, and transparency around how behavioral science tools are used.
  • [34:39] The academics have access to tremendous resources.
  • [36:31] We live in a global world right now and companies and public organizations are commissioning projects around the world. This will be a platform to gather knowledge.
  • [39:05] This is a way for like-minded and interested people to convene and we need to replicate that working for any of our clients.
  • [39:58] There is so much willingness to share and be open within the group. It is a very inviting field. 
  • [41:06] There is so much room for everyone at the table of behavioral science and practice because there is so much demand and need for it.
  • [44:01] It is an amazing benefit that we are able to connect with people in the field all over the world. GAABS is a great resource to help behavioral scientists to connect globally and it can propel these connections to happen faster. 
  • [46:21] Behavioral science is a field on the rise, and having a professional body to showcase and support the “bona fide practitioners” is so important. GAABS will help safeguard and maintain the quality and standards within the field, promote important insights and applications, be a prestigious community to build alliances with peers on a global level, with access to exclusive events, conferences, and educational programs and so much more. If you’re a qualified practitioner of behavioral science, use the links below to apply to join this wonderful group!

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