Decision Insights for Business & Society


Our mission

Decision Insights for Business and Society (UBC-DIBS) is a behavioural research and policy solutions initiative at the UBC Sauder School of Business. Our mission is to improve outcomes across major societal and planetary challenges by improving our understanding of decision-making and helping people make better choices—choices that are better for themselves and for the world.

Why decision insights

Every day we make hundreds of small decisions—what to eat, how much to save, and how to commute. With 7.7 billion people making these decisions 365 days a year, the impacts of these small, individual decisions can add up to big, societal problems. As a result, individual human decisions are a critical part of both the cause and the solution for our most urgent societal and planetary challenges (e.g., the climate crisis, income inequality, and colonization).

Decision science (e.g., psychology, consumer behaviour, economics, and related fields) uses the scientific method to explore why and how people make decisions. It combines economic incentives and psychological factors to build and rigorously test theories of decision-making. The applied field of Behavioural Insights (BI) draws on decision science to “nudge” people to make choices that are better for themselves and the world.

UBC-DIBS combines decision science research and behavioural insights practice to create decision insights for business and society—insights that harness the power of individual decisions to tackle important societal and planetary problems. DIBS collaborates across disciplines and sectors to help create an environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable future.

What we do

Decision Science Research

We conduct cutting-edge decision science research to understand how people make decisions and how to help them make better decisions. We then collaborate across sectors and disciplines to apply research insights to environmental, economic, and social sustainability challenges brought to us by our partners in government, industry, and beyond.

UBC-DIBS Core Team

Behavioural Insights Training

We offer programs to help working professionals develop the Behavioural Insights knowledge and skills to tackle sticky problems and create positive behavioural change. In partnership with UBC Sauder Continuing Business Studies, we offer an introductory course as well as an advanced certificate program.

Advanced Professional Certificate in Behavioural Insights

Behavioural Insights Events & Community

We work with partners to build and support an interdisciplinary, cross-sectoral Behavioural Insights community that connects researchers, government, industry, & BI enthusiasts in British Columbia and beyond. We co-host the annual BIG Difference BC conference, host seminars, share resources, and more.

UBC-DIBS event


UBC-DIBS is funded in part by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Partnership Development Grant, a UBC Grant for Catalyzing Research Clusters grant, and a UBC Sauder Dean's Innovation Fund grant.

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    Kirstin Appelt | Research Director