Kelly Peters, Benoît Robidoux, Dilip Soman
The Institute's Scholars' Dinner has been made possible through a generous grant by Dr. Wendy Dobson, Professor at the Rotman School of Management and Co-Director of the Rotman Institute for International Business. In honour of the academic community, we welcome Institute scholars, top academics, and industry leaders to discuss emerging issues in academic research.
This year, the discussion was led by top Canadian behavioural economics professor, Dilip Soman; innovative industry expert, Kelly Peters; and top government official, Benoît Robidoux. The economic decisions of individuals and institutions can be influenced by a range of factors, and behavioural economics takes these into account. The impacts for the use of behavioural economics in business and government decisions are vast, and our experts delved into just how powerful this field of study can be, and the potential it holds for the future.
Kelly Peters is Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner at BEworks, a behavioral economics firm, she co-founded along with Dan Ariely and a team of academics and business leaders. She has over twenty years’ experience leading strategy, technology and innovation in major financial services, including RBC Royal Bank of Canada and BMO Bank of Montreal. Kelly earned an MBA from Dalhousie University with a concentration in financial services.
She has overseen the launch of several new business ventures that capitalized on insights into consumer behavior. Her interest in behavioral science stems back to the late 90s when working on behavioral scoring models in credit risk and online distribution models, evolved through behavioral finance, and finally culminated in 2008 when she embraced behavioral economics as the most foundational approach to executing strategy at the people level.
Benoît Robidoux was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister of the Economic and Fiscal Policy Branch at Finance Canada in September 2010. He is responsible for overseeing the analysis and forecast of the country’s economic and fiscal situation—including the co-ordination of the Budget Plan and the Economic and Fiscal Update.
He has published his research in the Department of Finance Working Paper series and in economic reviews such as the Journal of Monetary Economics and the International Productivity Monitor.
Born in St-Donat, Quebec, Mr. Robidoux received a bachelor degree in economics in 1984 and an MA in economics in 1985, both from the Université du Québec à Montréal.
Mr. Robidoux joined Finance in 1985 as a junior economist in the Economic Studies and Policy Analysis Division. In 1993, he moved to the Economic Analysis and Forecasting Division as Co-ordinator of Policy Analysis and Modelling. He was then appointed Chief of the Canadian Forecasting in 1996 and Senior Chief of Forecasting and Modelling in 1998. He moved back to the Economic Studies and Policy Analysis Division as Director in 2002.
Dilip Soman is a behavioural scientist and does research on interesting human behaviours and applications to choice architecture, consumer welfare, policy and financial literacy. He is a professor at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, the director of the university’s India Innovation Institute, and the coordinator of the Behavioural Economics in Action research cluster. In his past life, he has degrees in engineering and management, worked in sales and advertising, consulted for several organizations, and taught in Colorado, Hong Kong and now in Toronto. When not working, he spends time on photography, reading, taking weekends seriously and agonizing over successive Indian cricket teams.