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The Science of the Nudge—Minimalist Intervention and the Nature of Change

Date: September 10, 2008 to September 10, 2008 
Time: 5:15 PM - 7:15 PM

Speaker(s): Dr James Wilk, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford and Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine

Sponsored by: NYAM

Location: NYAM

A Course in Nine Sessions, with lectures and seminar discussion (Sept 10, 2008 - May 31, 2009)

Change is at the center of the presidential campaign debate, and health care reform remains an urgent—and elusive—national priority. Meanwhile, a recent surge of books testifies to the need to understand key factors underlying change in society, nature, organizations and our own lives. Whether probing complexity or randomness, unraveling ecosystem dynamics, exposing self-defeating policies and actions, spotting tipping points or devising effective ‘nudges’, the search is on for ways of fathoming complex issues to achieve change effectively...

Dr James Wilk is a new Fellow of NYAM whose career has been dedicated to investigating the dynamics of change in nature and human affairs. His scientific work has yielded a rigorous approach for pinpointing tiny interventions that swiftly catalyze the precise transformation desired—with minimum resistance, effort and risk. He has wide experience applying these minimalist approaches successfully to major issues in the world of affairs, where he has long advised leading CEOs, and he has worked extensively with health sector leaders in the US and UK.

For those interested in change, whether within institutions or in the wider environment, this introductory course is a unique opportunity to explore an intriguing new scientific perspective and conceptual framework. Offered as nine lectures with seminar discussion, the course will present these ideas in depth and explore how they are applied in identifying the smallest actions sufficient to secure any given desired state-of-affairs.

September 2008 through May 2009

Convener: NYAM President, Jo Ivey Boufford, MD

Faculty: Dr James Wilk, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford and Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine

There is no fee to attend, but advance registration is required. Registering for the Sept 10 Introductory Session will register you for the entire course.

Open to Fellows and Professional Staff of NYAM. In addition, the course will be made available to academics, postgraduate students, and others, on application.

Part I (Fall Term)—Seminars 1 through 4:
1. (Extended introductory session) Wednesday, September 10, 2008: 5:15 PM - 7:15 PM
2. Wednesday, October 22, 2008: 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
3. Wednesday, November 5, 2008: 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
4. Wednesday, December 10, 2008: 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Part II (Spring Term)—Seminars 5 through 9:
1. Wednesday, January 14, 2008: 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
2. Wednesday, February 11, 2008: 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
3. Wednesday, March 18, 2008: 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
4. Wednesday, April 22, 2008: 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
5. Wednesday, May 20, 2008: 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

For course details, syllabus and faculty bio: Click here

For further details or questions please contact:


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