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Videos

  • Attention and decision-making under scarcity
    Attention and decision-making under scarcity
  • Jiaying Zhao: How to feng shui your fridge — and other happy climate hacks
    Jiaying Zhao: How to feng shui your fridge — and other happy climate hacks
  • Bill S-233 Speaker Highlights: Jiaying Zhao
    Bill S-233 Speaker Highlights: Jiaying Zhao
  • Jiaying Zhao: Research Feature
    Jiaying Zhao: Research Feature
  • THESys Public Lecture with Dr. Jiaying Zhao
    THESys Public Lecture with Dr. Jiaying Zhao

Learn More About Jiaying Zhao

Jiaying “JZ” Zhao, Ph.D., is a leading behavioral scientist tackling critical social and environmental challenges with behavioral solutions to promote sustainability. As an early immigrant from Hangzhou, China, Zhao ventured to Dublin, Ireland, to pursue her BA and MA in cognitive science and completed her Ph.D. in cognitive psychology at Princeton University. She is currently an Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair at the University of British Columbia, in the Department of Psychology and the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability. Zhao is also a faculty affiliate with the Center for Effective Global Action at University of California, Berkeley, and an invited researcher at J-PAL at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

She has pioneered innovative behavioral interventions to encourage climate action, recycling, composting, waste reduction, and biodiversity conservation. Zhao works closely with NASA, NOAA, and the US and Canadian Forest Services to develop pathways to net zero and zero waste. Beyond environmental sustainability, she has studied the cognitive taxes of scarcity and designed ground-breaking cash transfer interventions to reduce homelessness and cognitive burdens of poverty.

Zhao has advised dozens of governments, NGOs, and businesses, including the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, The US Social and Behavioral Sciences Team, The UK Commonwealth Secretariat, and the Privy Council Office of Canada. She has testified as an expert witness on national policies in the Canadian Parliament. On a weekly basis, she meets with senators and policymakers at the municipal, provincial/state, and federal levels to inform and improve public policy on climate change and poverty reduction based on insights from her work.

Her research has been published in top journals, including Science, Nature Climate Change, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. She is a 2020 recipient of the Killam Research Prize, which recognizes Canada’s most inspiring scholars and thought leaders.

Jiaying Zhao is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Jiaying Zhao was last modified: April 16th, 2024 by Justin Louis

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Jiaying Zhao, Ph.D., offers keynote presentations, interactive virtual experiences, workshops and panel discussions on a number of topics, including but not limited to the following:

Climate Action

  • Resource Conservation
  • Zero Waste
  • Sustainable Behavior Change

Behavioral Insights

  • Consumer Choice
  • Scarcity
  • Nudge

Poverty Reduction

  • Cash Transfers

Contact us to learn more about these topics or other topics Dr. Zhao can customize to your organization’s needs.