For over a decade, Kelly led the helm as the CEO of BEworks, the world’s first commercial behavioral economics advisory firm, which she cofounded in 2010 with the renowned scholars Dan Ariely and Nina Mazar. She guided the sale of the firm to the international creative services agency kyu in January 2017.
She pioneered the BEworks Method to build a bridge between cutting-edge science and real-world application. The Method has been applied to strategy, marketing, and operations challenges at Fortune 500 companies including Unilever, Georgia Pacific, CitiBank, and Manulife. She has provided oversight for over 300 projects in the financial services, health care, retail, and sustainability domains.
Kelly studied philosophy before starting her career with dotcom startups in the early 1990s where her startup experience included leading the product development team of iMoney, a fintech startup later acquired by Rogers Media. She spent over a decade driving strategy & innovation teams in the banking sector for BMO Bank of Montreal and then Royal Bank of Canada where, in 2009, she launched the first in-house BE practice.
She has served as a faculty lecturer at the Rotman School of Business, Cornell, Columbia, and Harvard. She is a frequent international keynote speaker. Her work has been published in prestigious peer-reviewed academic journals and has also appeared in numerous media outlets such as New York Times, Globe and Mail, CBC, and Business Insider. She was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2022 by the prestigious Consulting Magazine for her ability to innovate, deliver the highest levels of client service and affect positive change for her peers, her teams, and the industry. Previous awards include recognition for being an Innovation leader in the dotcom sector by MecklerMedia in 1999 and Volunteer of the Year by Flare Magazine for her work as Executive Director of WebGrrls Toronto, then Canada, 1995-1999.
In 2022, she founded Trial Run, a product innovation company dedicated to bringing together the power of behavioral science with block chain technologies in order to help aspirational leaders drive their sustainability goals.
Her current research interests are dedicated to three main areas:
1. exploring how ESG goals can be powered by blockchain and behavioral science
2. helping senior leaders deliver on their values through stakeholder capitalism
3. transforming the way organizations operationalize innovation.
"I see a world where companies take ownership in their ESG initiatives to the point that they treat them like assets that appreciate."
Barr, N., & Peters, K. (March 2022). Behavioral Science in a Future, Far, Far Away. Behavioral Scientist, #2. Retrieved from https://behavioralscientist.org/print-edition-2-brain-meets-world/
Barr, N., Hilscher, M. C., Lê, A., Thomson, D. R., & Peters, K. (2022). To Effectively Apply and Scale Behavioral Insights, Practitioners Must Be Scientific. Mazar, N., & Soman, D. (Eds.), In Behavioral Science in the Wild. Rotman-UTP Publishing.
O'Malley, S., & Peters, K. (2021). Gut Check: Why Organizations That Need to Be Behaviorally Informed Resist It. In Soman, D., & Yeung, C. (Eds.), The Behaviorally Informed Organization (pp. 51-70). Rotman-UTP Publishing. https://www.biorgpartnership.com/biorg-book-series
Peters, K., Thomson, D. R., & Barr, N. (2021). Improving the Effectiveness of Time-Of-Use Pricing to Make Household Electricity Consumption More Sustainable. Behavioral Science and Policy Association, 7(2). 1-15. ISBN 2379-4615
Lewis, David & Hilscher, Michelle & Peters, Kelly & Carpentier, Sarah & Malé, Pierre-Jean & Cooper, Angela. (2021). The Value of Behaviorally-Informed Financial Advice Study. 10.13140/RG.2.2.16633.80487.
Lewis, David & Hilscher, Michelle & Barr, Nathaniel & Peters, Kelly. (2021). BEworks Research Institute Credit in the New Normal. 10.13140/RG.2.2.30212.86400.
Barr, N., Stanley, M., Peters, K., Seli, P. (2021). Analytic-thinking predicts hoax beliefs and helping behaviors in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.Thinking \& Reasoning, 27(3), 464--477. DOI: 10.1080/13546783.2020.1813806
Ariely, D., Barr, N., Hobson, N., & Peters, K. (March 30, 2020). 'No More water cooler conversations': 5 ways managers can adapt to the work-from-home force now, because it'll be here for a while. Business Insider. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/how-managers-have-to-adapt-to-work-from-home-force-2020-3
Hobson, N., Barr, N., & Peters, K. (February 17, 2020). 'Want to make your brand psychologically capturing? Try using the power of ritual. Business Insider. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/make-brand-psychologically-capturing-use-power-of-ritual
Kelly Peters (2020). Imagining the Next Decade of Behavioral Science. Behavioral Scientist. [opinion published with other commentaries from leading behavioural scientists]
Peters, K., Hobson, N., & Barr, N. (2020). 'Want happier, healthier employees? Select and promote them fairly. THRIVE. Retrieved from https://thriveglobal.com/stories/want-happier-healthier-employees-select-and-promote-them-fairly/
Peters, K. (2019, September 23). The Lemonade Ultimatum: Game Theory in a Gift Economy. Behavioral Scientist. https://behavioralscientist.org/the-lemonade-ultimatum-game-theory-in-a-gift-economy/
Barr, N., & Peters, K. (2018). Resistance Is Futile: Embracing the Era of the Augmented Worker. Behavioral Scientist. Retrieved from https://behavioralscientist.org/resistance-futile-embracing-era-augmented-worker/
Peters, K. (2017, February 2). The Science of Ritual. Medium. https://beworks.medium.com/sometimes-science-works-in-mysterious-ways-6df82c175a31
Talk Money with Me, with Kelley Keehn LIVE, Augusy 20, 2021: Will Payment Deferrals Hurt Canadians in the Long Run?
The Behavioral Design Podcast, with Samuel Salzer and ALine Holzwarth; June 16, 2021: Real-World Behavioral Economics with Kelly Peters
Tony Chapman's CHATTER THAT MATTERS, APRIL 16, 2021: BEHAVIOUR MATTERS to Dan Ariely and Kelly Peters
BEAR - Behavioral Economics in Action at Rotman; February 2, 2021: Kelly Peters on The Behaviorally Informed Organization
BlockHack Global 2020, October 9, 2020: Designing better technologies with B.E.: How behavioural economic insights can help you understand and overcome the most common pitfalls facing adoption today
Leading into The Unknown, with Tom Andrews, 2020: Kelly Peters, Think like a scientist to make better business decisions
JUST Capital, August 2020: Behavioral Science Experts Dan Ariely and Kelly Peters Explain How Business Leaders Can Support Employees’ Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic
#Future of Learning, with Murtaza Tawawala, October 7, 2019: Kelly Peters - Tackling Complex Problems in Education with Behavioural Science
Select Key Notes
European House, Ambrosetti (members only event), Behavioral Economics: Applying the science of human behaviour to drive organizational performance, March 14, 2022
Manulife Canada IWD Women Investors Day (private event) March 09, 2022
BEworks Summit 2021 (Toronto): Science of Behavioral Change to Unlock Stakeholder Value
InsurTech (Bogota): BE Applied to Insurance Value Chain (audience size 200 insurance executives and insurtech entrepreneurs) Website
World Business Forums: Kelly has delivered keynotes at five World Business Forums: Sydney, Madrid, Mexico City, Bogota and Milan (audience size per event 3,000-5,000) Website
Canadian Employee Benefits Conference (Las Vegas): Using Behavioral Economics to Nudge Plan Members to a Better Retirement (audience size 2,500) Website
Risk Management Symposium (Mexico City): Behavioral Science and Risk Management (audience size 600 senior business leaders)
BankersCom Management Conference (Zurich): Trust in the
Digital Age (audience size 200 senior bankers and regulators)
C2 (Montreal): Fireside Chat Featuring Dan Ariely and Kelly Peters
Select Global talks
TEDxBlackRockCity: Looking at Transformation Through an Empirical Lens - Video
Nudgestock: Corporate Sedition: Challenging the Status Quo - Video
BEHAVE: The Application of Behavioral Economics to Solve the Toughest Marketing Challenges - Website
Think like a Scientist to make Better Business Decisions
Kelly Peters featured in SYPartners’ "Leading into the Unknown" podcast, November 2018
Research Featured in the Media
CBC, The Current with Matt Galloway, June 16, 2021: Providing incentives to get vaccinated
Maclean's, Stephen Maher, May 21, 2021: The vaccine resistance problem in Canada, and how to confront it
Wisconsin Public Radio, March 18, 2021: How The False Idea That Natural Is Better Contributes To Vaccine Hesitancy
Wealth Professional, March 18, 2021: Equipping advisors to be better financial coaches
El Financiero TV: "¿Cómo funciona la economía conductual?," June 24, 2019
10 questions on the new economic language of BE featured on "the Agenda with Steve Paikin," January 13, 2019 Video
The Psychology of Waiting in Line Kelly Peters featured on the BBC, August 22, 2019 Video
B.E.GOOD! Podcast, August 17, 2020: Kelly Peters: The Power of Data, Evidence & Scientific Thinking
Questioning Behaviour with Merle van den Akker, July 7, 2020: Closing the Gap with Kelly Peters
Money on the Mind, Merle van den Akker; March 30, 2020: Interview with Kelly Peters
Dalhousie University Alumni Spotlight, December 3, 2013: Merging science and business: Kelly Peters
:InDecision, with Elina Halonen; November 11, 2013: In the Wild: Kelly Peters
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