Bodil Isaksen

Programme Director at Unlocked Graduates
Speaking at


Oh, behave: what makes people do the right thing?

On being told about the Behavioural Insights Team, or ‘nudge unit’, Theresa May is said to have replied, “get back to me when there’s a ‘shove unit'”.

Don’t hold your breath for one of those emerging from the cabinet office. But the implication is an interesting one. Do ‘shoves’ work better than ‘nudges’? When is more control better? Do carrots and sticks work? Are bigger carrots and bigger sticks better? Does simply having rules, even without consequences for breaking them, make a difference? What about playing on people’s emotions? How does rule breaking relate to one’s identity? Is there anything more powerful than the force of social shame?

In short, what works to get people to behave how we want them to?

This session will look at psychology, natural experiments, history, lab-based social experiments and insights from policymakers. It will leave you with practical applications for changing the behaviour of children, young people, staff and parents.


Bodil is Programme Director at Unlocked Graduates, where she is redesigning prison officer training to create a practice-based, reflective, and research-informed curriculum that prepares graduates to hit the ground running in a highly challenging environment. Prior to her current role, she was a founding teacher and Head of Department at Michaela Community School, a free school that does not shy away from controversy. Bodil has contributed to a number of books on CPD and the design of a university PGCE.


Twitter: @BodilUK


Knowing, believing and doing: the “what” affects the “how”

This session explores how working out the underpinning knowledge, beliefs and practices affects how we plan and deliver vocational training.

Preparing people for a vocation must draw on all the research into teaching academic subjects… and more. The session will look at how we can break down our understanding of a job role into its constituent knowledge, beliefs and practices. This changes the way we look at the planning and delivery of vocational training. Drawing on research into memory, automaticity, feedback and more can help us to create vocational courses that set up learners to be successful in their profession from day 1.