Do you know what a “Nudgeathon” is? This innovative crowdsourcing concept, developed at one of the UK’s top business schools, is coming to Madrid soon, with IE University hosting the first-ever event. We spoke to the students behind its organization to find out more.

Nudgeathon 2024 is set to welcome several international teams to IE University for a unique, three-day event. In this edition of the first Nudgeathon to be held in Madrid, bachelor’s and master’s degree students from universities all over the world will come together to participate in a real-world challenge aimed at applying behavioral science to societal issues. 

Under the mentorship of professionals from well-known companies, these students will devise and present practical solutions to specific behavioral policy challenges. It’s also a perfect chance to network with potential clients as a panel of experts selects the winning team.

Nudgeathon 2024 will be held at IE Tower on February 14th, 15th, and 16th. In preparation, an organizing team comprising four Bachelor in Behavior and Social Sciences students has been hard at work setting things up and exploring marketing strategies to shine a spotlight on the event. They’ve also used this planning period to broaden their horizons beyond the classroom, exploring how behavioral science can be used for social impact. 

We asked Adema Skakova, Camila Bustos, Sophia Hurtado and Sara Santrich to tell us about their experience so far.

What inspired you to participate in organizing Nudgeathon 2024, and what do you hope to achieve?

Sophia recalls that her friend had taken part in a previous event and described it as an “amazing experience.” So when she received an email from Alistair Fildes, the vice dean of the Bachelor in Behavior and Social Sciences, asking her to be part of the organizing committee, she felt as if “everything was coming full circle, having not only the opportunity to be part of the Nudgeathon but also helping to create it for the first time at IE University.”

Adema notes that, as organizers, their primary objective is to “address a significant social challenge through innovative solutions grounded in behavioral science.” She adds, “We aim to bring attention to the importance of nudges in tackling contemporary issues and foster a community that values behavioral insights,” describing the event as “a golden opportunity to put theoretical knowledge into real-world action.”

How does Nudgeathon 2024 align with your academic and career goals?

Adema says this event perfectly complements her academic pursuits. The organizational experience alone, she explains, “Contributes to my skill set, preparing me for a career where understanding human behavior is crucial.”

Camila sees it much the same way, calling Nudegathon 2024 “a bridge” between academic and professional life. Sara takes it one step further, saying, “This event offers an abundance of growth opportunities. I get to meet and interact with students from all walks of life, as well as with professionals from my industry and others.”

For Sophia, the event has clear advantages. “I get to think from a behavioral science, project management and marketing perspective to engage our target audience and boost the reputation of the Bachelor in Behavior and Social Sciences,” she explains.

What skills or insights do you hope to gain from professionals at BBVA Bank, Santander and BeWay?

As president of the IE Behavioral Economics Club, Sara looks forward to seeing how companies integrate behavioral science into their day-to-day activities. She also hopes to explore the many career paths open to students of this discipline. “With behavioral science being such a newly coined term, it’s sometimes difficult to grasp how much—and what—it can really be used for,” she notes, adding, “By learning from these professionals, we’ll have a clearer understanding of what behavior and social sciences look like in the real world.” 

How has the organizing process been so far?

“Needless to say, there have been many challenging moments in the process, particularly at the initial stages,” Camila admits, “but our determination to create a meaningful event for the community has kept the momentum going.” Sophia, although nervous initially, is reassured by being in “an amazing team with three other amazing individuals.” The support from IE University has also helped her grow in confidence as things move forward.

What will this event mean for the Bachelor in Behavior and Social Sciences community?

Sophia feels the event will give Bachelor in Behavior and Social Sciences students an opportunity to connect with peers from other programs and different universities. “It’s a way to bring diverse backgrounds together in one event, using behavioral science to find a common solution,” she says.

For Adema, “The Nudgeathon symbolizes a commitment to applying behavioral science for positive change. Beyond the competition, it creates a lasting impact by fostering a community that actively engages with behavioral insights, encouraging a culture of continuous learning and innovation.”

Camilla, noting the event’s career-boosting potential, explains, “It will be an enriching networking opportunity that powers every area of a student’s life.” Sara agrees: “This event broadens the horizon for potential career paths for students and answers questions that sometimes can only be answered outside the classroom.” She sums up Nudgeathon 2024 as “the golden ticket for the Bachelor in Behavior and Social Sciences community from every angle that you can perceive.”