BX Arabia is a regional behavioral insights conference that started in 2018 to emphasize the application of behavioral science in the Global South. Kurt and Tim were fortunate to be invited to moderate at the latest event, affording them the opportunity to have conversations with some of the region's most amazing BeSci thinkers. This episode highlights some of the unique insights from these conversations, with input from the following experts:

  • Faisal Naru: Executive Director of the Policy Innovation Unit in the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and part of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.
  • Dr. Ahmed Al Zahrani: Minister Deputy and Chair of G20 as well as the Executive Director of the Riyadh Behavioral Insight Center in the Ministry of Human Resource and Social Development in Saudi Arabia.
  • Saud Al Rakhayes: Founder and Senior Behavioral Strategist at The Behavior Change.
  • Aditya Jagati: Leader of the Busara Center’s offices in India.
  • Wiam Hasanain: Behavioral scientist and social impact advisor based in Jetta, Saudi Arabia.
  • Nabil Saleh: Vice President Strategy at Nudge Lebanon.
  • Ivo Vlaev: Professor of Behavioral Science at Warwick Business School, UK.

Many of the examples of behavioral science discussed highlight that the Global South has some unique needs in the field. However, an overarching theme is that context matters! The root of successful behavioral science ideas come from encompassing the surrounding culture and environment. 

BX Arabia was founded by Fadi Makki, who is also the leader of B4 Development in Doha, Qatar. He left us with these inspirational words: “Unlearn all the old habits that are anchored in intuition, and then embrace, evidence-based policies and tools such as experimentation.”


(2:14) What makes BX Arabia unique? 

(5:58) The growth of behavioral science agencies around the world.

(8:13) How behavioral science is being integrated into public policy globally.

(11:46) Why good intentions aren’t enough to deal with wicked problems.

(23:36) The need for more behavioral scientists in the Global South.

(26:25) How behavioral science improved traffic flow in Beruit.

(31:15) The success of weight loss programs using behavioral insights.

(36:50) The large-scale nudges that are being studied at the FIFA World Cup in 2022.


BX Arabia: https://nudgelebanon.org/bx-arabia/ 

Diversifi: https://www.diversifiglobal.com/ 

Behavioral Change For Good Initiative: https://bcfg.wharton.upenn.edu/ 

Episode 272, Jeff Madoff:  How To Turn Your Creative Dreams Into Reality: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/creativity-jeff-madoff/

John Bargh, Episode 248: Do We Control Situations or Do Situations Control Us? https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/control-situations-with-john-bargh/

© 2022 Behavioral Grooves

If you have a creative vision, how do you focus your skills on making it happen? Can you turn your dream into a career? How can we encourage more creative entrepreneurs? And can we incorporate more creativity into an analytical job?

Jeff Madoff is an American director, producer, photographer, writer and professor living in New York City. He is the founder and CEO of Madoff Productions, winning awards for his commercials and videos AND he is a die hard music loving fan.

In his upcoming production of The Lloyd Price Musical, Jeff learnt a valuable lesson of asking himself the question “is it essential?” Even work that is funny and engaging, may not be an essential part of the bigger story. “Is it essential?” is a challenging question for all of us but can be incredibly useful at keeping us focused on reaching our goals. 

In our discussion with Jeff, he dispels the myth that you are either creative or analytical. And he brings home to us the importance of listening. Listening not just to form an appropriate response, but listening in order to fully understand the other person. 

Fans of Behavioral Grooves, please consider leaving us a review on your podcast player. If you listen on Apple, here is the podcast review page for Behavioral Grooves to get you started: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/behavioral-grooves-podcast/id1303870112

© 2022 Behavioral Grooves



(3:31) Welcome and speed round questions.

(10:11) How to encourage creative careers.

(16:58) Turning your passion into a career.

(22:36) How to weave creativity into any job.

(25:43) When the creative world and the business world meet.

(29:41) Learning to ask “Is it essential?”

(42:25) What is on Jeff’s playlist? 

(46:53) How entrepreneurs can be creative.

(53:48) The story behind The Lloyd Price Musical.

(1:04:06) Grooving Session discussing Jeff’s interview.



Creative Careers: Making a Living with Your Ideas by Jeff Madoff: https://amzn.to/3pXmogM

Gregory Peck: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregory_Peck 

Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool's Guide to Surviving with Grace by Gordon MacKenzie: https://amzn.to/3eYxbRE 

The Lloyd Price Musical: https://www.peopleslight.org/whats-on/20212022-season/personality-the-lloyd-price-musical/ 


Musical Links 

Frank Zappa “Montana”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmcYTShN4Fk 

Buddy Guy “Stay Around A Little Longer”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emyt-agLE_s 

Slim Harpo “I’m a King Bee”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWLvm11MAaM 

Lightnin’ Hopkins “Woke Up This Morning”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BATlJwKB8ts 

Muddy Waters “Mannish Boy”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSfqNEvykv0 

Chuck Berry “Sweet Little Sixteen”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLV4NGpoy_E 

Jimi Hendrix “Foxey Lady”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PVjcIO4MT4 

Link Ray “Rawhide”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fn5hl2IA7_s 

Howlin Wolf “How Many More Years”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpKB6OZ_B4c 

Stevie Ray Vaughan “Texas Flood”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KC5H9P4F5Uk 


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