Plenary Speakers


Tara Ness – Managing Director – Decision Design

As the Managing Director of Decision Design – Tara leads a team of commercial behaviour change experts who are laser-focused on creating consumer, commercial and social impact. Tara (and her team) work at the intersection of behavioural science, data science and practical execution. Their ambition— to change the behaviours that change the world.

In her 15 years of consulting, Tara has played a leading role in some of Australia’s most well-known GROWTH and TURNAROUND case studies, including Financial Services, Health, Aviation and Retail. She is engaged by some of Australia’s top c-suite who know that science led decision making is essential to corporate success.


Assoc. Prof. Marit Kragt – University of Western Australia, Agricultural and Resource Economics & Pro Vice Chancellor Diversity and Inclusion

Marit is an Agricultural and Resource Economist. Her research looks at people’s preferences for environmental outcomes with the aim to improve environmental management decisions. She studied Environmental Science with a major in Environmental Management at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. After briefly working at the Dutch Department of Foreign Affairs in The Hague and Beijing, she moved to Australia for a Masters of Economics and a PhD at the Australian National University in Canberra. She started at the UWA School of Agricultural and Resource Economics (now UWA School of Agriculture and Environment) in July 2010. Her expertise lies in interdisciplinary research, agricultural economics, mine rehabilitation, and non-market environmental valuation.


Dr Gerald Roche – La Trobe University – Department of Politics, Media, and Philosophy

Gerald Roche is an anthropologist, Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Politics, Media, and Philosophy at La Trobe University, a La Trobe Asia fellow, and a Co-Chair of the Global Coalition of Language Rights. His research contributions have been recognised in several awards, including a La Trobe University Mid-Career Research Award, an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Research Award, and the 2021 Boyer Prize for best article in the Australian Journal of International Affairs. His work focuses on issues of power, the state, colonialism, and race in Asia, particularly the transnational Himalayan region. Much of his research explores how these issues manifest in the language politics of this linguistically diverse area, through state-sponsored language oppression and the social movements and community practices which seek to resist it. He has edited four academic books, including the Routledge Handbook of Language Revitalization and his academic articles have appeared in leading journals in anthropology (American Anthropologist; Annual Review of Anthropology), area studies (China Quarterly; Modern China), and politics (Territory, Politics, Governance; Patterns of Prejudice; Australian Journal of International Affairs). He also writes for broader public audiences in venues such as The Nation, ROAR Magazine, and Jacobin, provides commentary to a variety of international media outlets, and can be found on Twitter at @GJosephRoche.


Prof. Uwe Dulleck – Queensland University of Technology (BEST Centre) – School of Economics and Finance

Uwe obtained his PhD at Humboldt University Berlin in 1999. Before Uwe joined QUT he was a Professor of Economics at the University of Linz, Austria and an Assistant Professor at the University of Vienna. His publications can be found in the ‘American Economic Review’, ‘Journal of Economic Literature’, the ‘Economic Journal’, the ‘Journal of Public Economics’, the ‘International Journal of Industrial Organization’, the ‘Scandinavian Journal of Economics’, among others. His research has been discussed in the Economic Focus of ‘The Economist’, the Sydney Morning Herald and the ‘Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung’ (the Sunday edition of Germany’s leading quality newspaper), among others. Uwe was awarded several ARC Linkage Grants and one ARC Discovery Grant. He is a co-investigator of two Austrian Research grants. In total his research funding exceeds AUD 2,500,000). In 2015 Uwe was the Chairman of the Program Committee for Australia’s Conference of Economists, the leading and largest conference for research and applied economists in Australia. He is an active public speaker on Behavioural Economics and its applications to Public Policy, Business Decision Making and Regulation.


Assoc. Prof. Michael Kasumovic – University of New South Wales – Evolutionary Biology

Michael is an Associate Professor in Evolutionary Biology at UNSW Sydney and the Founder of Arludo. Through Arludo, his mission is to increase interest in STEM topics and improve scientific thinking for students of all genders, ages, and socioeconomic levels. For his research, Michael explores how the social environment affects how individuals develop, behave, and interact. Currently, Michael’s research into human behaviour resulted in the development of video games for research purposes, which further lead to an interest in teaching using video games. Over the past two years, Michael has developed over 20 different learning and teaching games through his company Arludo, which focuses on using mobile devices to encourage social interactions between students (in both traditional and digital classrooms) and engage students in scientific thinking.


Dr Kate Letheren – Queensland University of Technology (BEST Centre) – Consumer Psychology

Dr Kate Letheren is deputy co-director of the Centre for Behavioural Economics, Society and Technology at QUT. She is an active researcher in the areas of consumer psychology and service interactions, with a specific focus on how consumers engage with humanised technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics. Her work has been published in journals such as the European Journal of Marketing and Tourism Management. Dr Letheren also holds a research interest in marketing education, and sits on the editorial board for the Journal for the Advancement of Marketing Education and the Marketing Education Review. Dr Letheren is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

BEST Conference 2023

BEST Conference 2022

BEST Conference 2021

BEST Conference 2020

Caleb Lo HDR Student Award