I believe that speaking is an incredibly important part of how knowledge is shared in the world. It has survived millennia and countless educational revolutions because there is nothing quite like hearing someone both knowledgeable and passionate about a topic. Having given hundreds of talks, I still find it energizing.
I do not accept speaker fees. While I do not begrudge others who make their living as speakers, I choose to make my living as a behavioral scientist and I have no intention of changing that. You can pay for travel and buy me a Diet Coke (with a lime!) and some nachos or a gift for my son Bear. If speaker fees are an essential part of your event, I’d ask that you simply donate to a domestic violence shelter in your area.
In general, most of my talks revolve around the application of behavioral science to creating products and programs that change behavior and how we do that, at scale, in organizations. Outside of that, special topics include gender equity and inclusion (because of my work on GetRaised, SalaryOrEquity, etc.), entrepreneurism, and the powerful and important place that work plays in our lives and in our mental health.
If you want me to speak at your event, please send a brief email to firstname.lastname@example.org detailing the topic you’re interested in, the dates, times, and location. I select based on schedule, how recently I’ve given a talk in that region, and the diversity of other speakers.
Speaker diversity is incredibly important. If you claim to be selecting speakers on merit and still end up with an overrepresentation of white males, you are implicitly saying you believe that white men are simply better than others. I don’t believe that and suspect you don’t either. So if you are looking for alternates on topics I tend to speak about, please consider Neela Saldenha or Aline Holzwarth on applied behavior change generally, Stephanie Habif or Gina Merchant on behavioral change specifically in health, and Aubrey Blanche or Haile Owasu on the role of men in increasing gender equity.
For over fifteen years, Matt Wallaert has been applying behavioral science to practical problems, from startup exits to the Fortune 500 to an array of pro-social side projects. As one of the first behavioral scientists to leave academia and work in industry, he’s given hundreds of talks on the science of behavior change at the UN, SXSW, and beyond. He is currently the healthcare industry’s first Chief Behavioral Officer at Clover Health, a Medicare Advantage plan changing the model of insurance by changing behavior, where he directs one of the world’s largest behavioral science teams, combining qualitative researchers, quantitative researchers, and project managers. His side projects consistently focus on the unrepresented, like GetRaised.com, which has helped underpaid women ask for and earn over $3.1B in salary increases.
In his new book, Start at the End: How to Build Products that Create Change, Wallaert details a science-based process to create behavior change that can be implemented in organizations of any size and industry. Filled with colorful examples from his own work and plenty of cursing, the book is an approachable guide to putting behavior back at the center of everything we build.