Author Talk with Katy Milkman of How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

Presented on: Thursday, July 27th at 2:00 PM EDT

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Award-winning Wharton Professor and Choiceology podcast host Katy Milkman has devoted her career to the study of behavior change. In this ground-breaking book, Milkman reveals a proven path that can take you from where you are to where you want to be, with a foreword from psychologist Angela Duckworth, the best-selling author of Grit.

Change comes most readily when you understand what’s standing between you and success and tailor your solution to that roadblock. If you want to work out more but find exercise difficult and boring, downloading a goal-setting app probably won’t help. But what if, instead, you transformed your workouts so they became a source of pleasure instead of a chore? Turning an uphill battle into a downhill one is the key to success.

Drawing on Milkman’s original research and the work of her world-renowned scientific collaborators, How to Change shares strategic methods for identifying and overcoming common barriers to change, such as impulsivity, procrastination, and forgetfulness. Through case studies and engaging stories, you’ll learn:

  •   Why timing can be everything when it comes to making a change
  •   How to turn temptation and inertia into assets
  •   That giving advice, even if it’s about something you’re struggling with, can help you achieve more

Whether you’re a manager, coach, or teacher aiming to help others change for the better or are struggling to kick-start change yourself, How to Change offers an invaluable, science-based blueprint for achieving your goals, once and for all.

Katy Milkman is the James G. Dinan Professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and holds a secondary appointment at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. Her research explores ways that insights from economics and psychology can be harnessed to change consequential behaviors for good, such as savings, exercise, student achievement, vaccination and discrimination. To that end, she co-founded and co-directs the Behavior Change for Good Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania.

In 2021 Katy was named one of the world’s top 50 management thinkers and the world’s top strategy thinker by Thinkers50. The New York Times also named her bestselling book How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be one of the eight best books for healthy living in 2021.

Katy is the former president of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making, a TEDx speaker, an APS Fellow, and the host of Charles Schwab’s popular behavioral economics podcast, Choiceology. She has published dozens of research articles in leading academic journals such as Nature and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and her findings are regularly covered by major media outlets. She is an associate editor at Management Science, where she has handled manuscripts about behavioral economics since 2013.  She has worked with or advised numerous organizations on behavior change, including The White House, Google, Walmart, Humana, the U.S. Department of Defense, 24 Hour Fitness and the American Red Cross. 

Katy frequently writes op-eds about topics related to behavioral science, and her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist and Scientific American.  She is a repeated recipient of excellence in teaching awards from Wharton’s undergraduate and MBA divisions, and in one particularly proud moment was voted Wharton's “Iron Prof” by the school’s MBA students for a PechaKucha-style presentation of her research. 

Katy received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University (summa cum laude) in Operations Research and Financial Engineering and her Ph.D. from Harvard University's joint program in Computer Science and Business.

The views expressed by presenters are their own and their appearance in a program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by Miami University Alumni Association.