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Dr. Amy Bucher

VP, Behavior Change Design
Amy Bucher, Ph.D., is the Vice President of Behavior Change Design at Mad*Pow. Amy focuses on applying the science of motivation to craft engaging solutions that help people change behavior, especially related to health, wellness, learning, and financial well-being. Her research interests include motivational design, patient and user engagement, and how social relationships influence health and well-being. Amy’s experience includes designing digital coaching tools that sit at the intersection of technology and behavior change and help people make financial decisions that align with meaningful personal goals. Previously she worked with CVS Health as a Senior Strategist for their Digital Specialty Pharmacy, and with Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions Group as Associate Director of Behavior Science. Amy received her A.B. magna cum laude in psychology from Harvard University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Amy is the author of Engaged: Designing for Behavior Change, published by Rosenfeld Media.

Get to know Amy:

Q: What do you enjoy about the work you do?
A: I love the variety of problem spaces I’m able to work in over the course of a year. As a consultant, I get to immerse myself deeply in a new knowledge area, have fascinating conversations with new people, and learn a lot really quickly. I’m constantly encountering information or “pro tips” that help me improve my own life even while I’m contributing to projects that help other people improve theirs.

Q: What gets you most fired up in terms of a technology, tool, trend, or advancement?
A: Maybe not the type of “fired up” you mean but I’m obsessed with how we can make ethical, equitable decisions as we do our design and research work. One way that’s been specifically showing up for me recently is in considering the algorithms we build to power our tech-based interventions, and how we can design those to avoid harmful biases.

Q: What is the biggest obstacle you face in your line of work?
A: It’s been a consistent source of frustration trying to navigate the need for quick wins and building confidence in an approach against the time it often takes to produce lasting behavior change. We all know from being human the amount of effort and persistence it takes to sustain a new way of being—and then the rewards of that take even longer to show up—but in the business world, we need to show returns on investment quickly. It’s forced me to be disciplined about looking for ways to measure success early while still going beyond clicks and open rates.

Q: What would you tell your younger self?
A: I was pretty good as a student about taking extra classes and electives, but I really wish I’d pushed out of my comfort zone a little more when it was relatively easy to immerse myself in learning new things. I wish I’d taken some computer science courses, and maybe studied abroad for a semester. I didn’t realize that those opportunities would never come so easy again.

My Speakers Sessions

Thursday, October 22

2:15pm EDT

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