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Updated: 2 hours 6 min ago

Great Companies Needed

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 10:06

My good friend and colleague John List has very ambitious summer plans.

We’ve both believed for a long time that the combination of creative economic thinking and randomized experiments has the potential to revolutionize business and the non-profit sector. John and I have worked to foment that revolution through both  academic partnerships with firms as well as a project of John’s called the Science of Philanthropy Initiative (SPI), whose mission is “evidence-based research on charitable giving.”

This summer, John is committed to taking that mission to a whole new level with the first annual University of Chicago Summer Institute on Field Experiments.  The idea is to bring together for one week top economists, business leaders, and NGOs with the goal of developing powerful, creative solutions to the toughest problems faced by firms, whether for-profit or not-for-profit.

In addition to lots of brainstorming and work focused on firms’ problems, there will be presentations by John, me, and other leading scholars. Knowing John, I’m sure there will also be plenty of after-hours activities.

Here’s how the website describes the sort of people we are looking for:

The Summer Institute is looking for practitioner partners who are open to new and bold ideas that will revolutionize the way they develop policy, do business, or provide charitable programming. Practitioner partners should be willing to work closely with researchers to field-test solutions, and must be willing to allow research publications to come from the partnership. We expect the Institute to serve as a catalyst for field-experiment research and strong researcher-practitioner partnerships.

So if you or someone you know might be a good candidate, please apply!  You can find the details on the Institute website.

We can’t wait to meet you and get started!

The post Great Companies Needed appeared first on Freakonomics.

Lend Your Voice to Freakonomics Radio

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 07:13

We’re working on an episode about behavior change — essentially, how to get yourself to do the things you should be doing but often don’t. It revolves around the fascinating research of Katy Milkman at Penn. For example, she and her colleagues have noted a “Fresh Start Effect”:

The popularity of New Year’s resolutions suggests that people are more likely to tackle their goals immediately following salient temporal landmarks. … We propose that these landmarks demarcate the passage of time, creating many new mental accounting periods each year, which relegate past imperfections to a previous period, induce people to take a big-picture view of their lives, and thus motivate aspirational behaviors.

What we’re looking for are your examples of fresh starts — whether it’s a new timeframe, job, relationship, living situation, etc. — and how it may have motivated some aspirational behaviors of your own.

Use your iPhone, Android, or other recording device to make a short audio recording of your answer and e-mail the file to radio@freakonomics.com. Tell us your name, where you live,  what you do — and, most important, your Fresh Start story. We’ll pick through the best, weirdest examples and make them a part of our show. If you’re too shy to record your voice, give us a shout on Twitter, on our Facebook page, or in the comments below. But audio is what we’re really after.

Many thanks!

The post Lend Your Voice to Freakonomics Radio appeared first on Freakonomics.

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