The Best Content Creators of 2020

Samuel Salzer
12 min readNov 1, 2020


And the Habit Weekly Awards goes to…


Crowning the best Behavioral Design content 🏆👑

To celebrate the Habit Weekly newsletter’s second birthday, we decided to introduce the inaugural Habit Weekly Awards as a way to, in turn, celebrate all of the wonderful content creators who make our field better.

The world of applied behavioral science is still small, and its continuing growth relies on selfless souls around the world who are willing to help spread valuable insights — through writing, videos, podcasts, and everything in between. Without them, the newsletter would not be possible, and our field would undoubtedly be a sad sight to see.

Thanks to everyone who voted! It’s been amazing to see that in less than a week, we’ve collected thousands of votes from readers and behavioral enthusiasts around the world. While the list below highlights one winner per category, we want to emphasize that the margins in many categories were razor thin and everyone nominated deserve praise and congratulations.

Most importantly, let's not forget that we (the content consumers) are the real winners for having these creators, making us wiser and more informed. To that end, this post is also filled with a selection of fantastic content from the people and organizations nominated.

Congrats to all the winners, and thanks again to everyone who voted! 🏆

Samuel Salzer (founder of Habit Weekly)

1. Best Podcast 🎧
2. Best Publication 📰
3. Best YouTube Channel 📺
4. Best Book 📚
5. Best Organization 🏢
6. Best Content Person 🥇
Bonus: Collection of The Best Content of The Year 🚀

Category #1: Best Podcast 🎧

Which has been the best Podcast during the past year?

Winner: Behavioral Grooves Podcast 🏆

While this was the closest and most competitive category, it should be no surprise that the Behavioral Grooves podcast was in contention and eventually won. Hosted by the kind and thoughtful duo of Tim Houlihan and Kurt Nelson, Behavioral Grooves has become must-listen podcasting.

Since its first episode airing on Oct 23, 2017, the podcast has already amassed a global following and an incredible 180+ episodes with guests including the who’s who of the behavioral science field.

If you’re looking for a dose of thought-provoking discussions infused by infectious laughter, groovy beats, and a continuous stream of behavior change wisdom — Behavioral Grooves is the podcast for you.

Applying Behavioral Sciences to work and life. Behavioral Grooves is a podcast where Kurt Nelson, Ph.D. and Tim Houlihan, along with their guests, explore the “why we do what we do” question

Three episodes to start with:

Close runner-ups:

  • #2. It’s All Just a Bunch of BS hosted by Nick Hobson
    “The podcast for people whose work involves humans” This wonderful podcast hosted by the insightful Nick Hobson connects the listener with leading voices in the applied behavioral science field mixed in with interview of be-sci inspired start-ups and more. Whatever your line of work, somewhere along the way, there’s a human behaving (probably in a weird way). Learn how to better understand them (and yourself) by listening to this podcast.
  • #3. Choiceology hosted by Katy Milkman
    Can we learn to make smarter choices? Yes! At least if one chooses to listen in as host, Katy Milkman shares stories of irrational decision making — from historical blunders to the kinds of everyday errors that could affect your future. Choiceology, an original podcast from Charles Schwab, explores the lessons of behavioral economics, exposing the psychological traps that lead to expensive mistakes.

Nominated: Behavioral Grooves, Choiceology, It’s All Just a Bunch of BS, The Brainy Business, and Action Design Radio

Category #2: Best Publication 📰

Which has been the best Publication during the past year?

Winner: Behavioral Scientist 🏆

Well, if you didn’t know about the Behavioral Scientist, now you know. It’s been voted the best publication of the field for a good reason. We’d be willing to go as far as to say that even beyond the behavior-verse, you’d find it difficult to find an online magazine that delivers quality articles and insights on the consistent basis of Behavioral Scientist.

Lead by Editor-in-Chief Evan Nesterak, the Behavioral Scientist's editorial team does a fantastic job of providing original, thought-provoking reports from the front lines of behavioral science.

Please do yourself a favor and check out the website and sign-up for their newsletter. Forget about trying to stay informed about behavior change, if you forget to follow the Behavioral Scientist(!).

Born out of the labs and offices of leading researchers, practitioners, and journalists, our mission is to help our readers make sense of today’s world through a deeper understanding of human behavior.

Three articles to start with:


  • #2. is home to the largest online behavioral science network (Behavioral Economics Group), the popular Behavioral Economics Guide, and a behavioral science blog that publishes the latest insights from academia, business, and public policy.
  • #3. PeopleScience is dedicated to finding, sharing, and creating behavioral insights for the modern marketplace. With content created for researchers, industry professionals, and science fans (aka fellow nerds!) alike, the platform offers bountiful opportunities to explore behavioral science applications in the real world.

Nominated: Behavioral Scientist, Money on the Mind, Decision Lab Blog, PeopleScience,

Category #3: Best YouTube Channel 📺

Which has been the best YouTube Channel during the past year?

Winner: The Brainy Business 🏆

The Brainy Business channel is all about understanding the psychology of why people buy. Hosted by the always insightful Melina Palmer (who likely has the best voice in behavioral science), the channel is an extension of the popular podcast with the same name.

On the channel, Melina takes the complex concepts of behavioral economics and beyond and provides simple, actionable tips you can apply right away in your business. Whether you’re a small business or thriving corporation, Melina’s tips aim to help you build a sustainable business infused by smart behavioral science strategies.

For theory breakdowns, case studies, and interviews with industry leaders–make sure to check out the Brainy Business YouTube channel and podcast.

Understand the small changes that can make a big difference in shaping product programs, pricing, and marketing messages that are“brain friendly”

Where to start:


  • #2. Data-Driven
    Data-Driven is your behavioral data science update focusing on discussions about the intersection of human behavior, data science, and AI. The channel covers topics ranging from how to create diversity and inclusion in the workplace to the behavioral science of game shows (now doesn’t that sound intriguing?). Hosted by Ganna Pogrebna, a leading figure in the world of Behavioral Data Science, it’s a channel that’s quickly grown to 6,000+ subscribers for a good reason.
  • #3. Petes BITs
    This is the up-and-comer in the category. Launched earlier this year, this fun channel hosted by Peter Judodihardjo is one to watch (literally!). It’s filled with insightful videos breaking down the most important behavioral science concepts and features entertaining interviews with industry leaders.

Nominated: Petes BITs, DataDriven, Behavioral Grooves, The Brainy Business, Mad*Pow

Category #4: Best Book 📚

Which has been the best Book during the past year?

Winner: Good Habits, Bad Habits by Wendy Wood 🏆

Wendy Wood is one of the leading researchers on habit formation and behavior change. This is a landmark book on how we form habits and what we can do with this knowledge to create positive change in our lives.

Instead of covering a laundry list of “hacks,” the book manages to transcend the key principles behind habit formation wonderfully. While it’s dense in behavioral insights, it’s a surprisingly fun and light read with memorable storytelling throughout.

If you’re ready to learn about the science behind habits, then consider this deeply practical book that aims to change the way you think about almost every aspect of your life. Your next good habit starts here.

Wendy Wood draws on three decades of original research to explain the fascinating science of how we form habits, and offers the key to unlocking our habitual mind in order to make the changes we seek.

Close runner-ups:

  • #2. Designing for Behavior Change (2nd Ed) by Stephen Wendel
    This book is a must-read for anyone looking to build products or services infused with behavioral science. Experienced practitioner Stephen Wendel (Head of Behavioral Science at Morningstar) shares a reliable process for designing for behavior change plus useful tools, insights, and tips for anyone looking to put behavioral science to practice.
  • #3. Behavioral Insights by Michael Hallsworth & Elspeth Kirkman
    This book aims to be an accessible introduction to the behavioral insights approach, which applies evidence about human behavior to practical problems. It’s written by two leading practitioners, Michael Hallsworth and Elspeth Kirkman, who are both senior directors at Behavioral Insights Team (BIT). Check it out if you are looking to learn what it means to change behavior in the real world.

Nominated: Engaged by Amy Bucher, Blindsight by M. Johnson & P. Ghuman, Behavioral Insights by M. Hallsworth & E. Kirkman, Good Habits, Bad Habits by Wendy Wood, Designing for Behavior Change 2nd Ed by Stephen Wendel.

Category #5: Organization of the Year 🏢

Which organization has been the best at sharing insights and making positive contributions to the field in the past year?

Winner: ideas42 🏆

ideas42 is one of the leading behavioral consulting firms worldwide and their work centers around using insights from the behavioral sciences to address complex social problems.

One does not need to look further than their extensive publications list to understand that this is an organization that is eager to share valuable insights and expertise from what they’ve learned in the field.

“Every day, working with partners around the world, we’re using behavioral science to address complex social problems.”

Articles and resources to explore:

Several close runner-ups in this category

#2. Center for Advanced Hindsight (CAH)
CAH is Dan Ariely’s research group at Duke University with the focus of making people happier, healthier, and wealthier with behavioral science, at home and abroad.

#3. BehaviourWorks Australia
BWA are a behavior change research enterprise within the Monash Sustainable Development Insititute. They aim to help organizations solve policy problems and effectively apply behavioral science in practice.

Nominated: Behavioural Insights Team, Impactually, Decision Lab, Ideas42, Irrational Labs, MoreThanNow, Center for Advanced Hindsight, Ogilvy Behaviour Change, Busara Center for Behavioral Economics, BehaviourWorks Australia, BEworks, BVA Nudge Unit

Category #6: Content Person of the Year 🥇

Which individual has been the best at sharing insights and making positive content contributions to the field during the past year?

You would be justified to wonder how the heck Katy Milkman manages to find the time to consistently make such wonderful contributions to this field.

She’s an award-winning professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where she, among other things, acts as director for the Behavior Change for Good Initiative. She’s also the host for the fantastic podcast Choiceology (see category #1 Best Podcast) and, for good measure, she happens to manage the best-named newsletter in the field, “Milkman Delivers” (it’s a great read too!).

You’d be wise to follow her on Twitter, via her newsletter, the Choiceology podcast, and wherever else you can stay-up-to-date with her wonderful work.

“How can we use insights from economics and psychology to change behavior for good?”

Learn more about Katy and her work:

Close runner-ups:

#2. Nick Hobson
Nick is the Chief Behavioral Scientist at The Behaviorist and, as this proves, a beloved podcast host of It’s All Just a Bunch of BS (see category #1 Best Podcast). He provides a thoughtful voice in the behavioral landscape and is always quick to share his time and expertise to grow the field. This includes being Director of Media and Outreach for GAABS — The Global Association of Applied Behavioral Scientists.

Amazingly, we managed to get a tie in this category for the #3 spot.

#3. Kristen Berman
Kristen is the co-founder of Irrational Labs (among many other great initiatives) and studies how people actually act in the marketplace, as opposed to how they should or would perform if they were completely rational. She’s a must-follow on Medium and Twitter, where she’s frequently willing to share her leading expertise on behavioral design applied to product management and beyond.

#3. Koen Smets
Koen is an organization development adviser using insights from (behavioral) economics in organization development. He’s perhaps the most prolific writer in the field (Koenfucius anyone?), sharing insights and discoveries from being an “accidental behavioral economist in search of wisdom.” He’s truly a joy to follow, so make sure you to do just that via his Twitter and Medium page (see below).

Nominated: Merle van den Akker, Kristen Berman, Melina Palmer, Katy Milkman, Jason Collins, Erik Johnson, Rohit Kaul, Aline Holzwarth, Nick Hobson, Evan Nesterak, Elina Halonen, Ruth Schmidt, David Perrott, Koen Smets

Bonus: The Best Behavioral Design Content of the Year 🚀

To celebrate the 2nd year anniversary of Habit Weekly here’s all of the best content from the past 12 months combined into one amazing behavioral design bundle. I hope you enjoy this special collection, packed with all of the best behavioral design articles, podcasts, videos, and resources!

Final Words

Thanks again to everyone who voted, and also HUGE thanks to everyone nominated for the wonderful contributions you’ve made to the field. We hope that this can help you feel as seen and appreciated as you deserve. THANK YOU 🙏

Spread the love by checking out these content creators' work and always remember to like, subscribe, comment, share, review, and everything else in your digital power that can be of help. One-click can go a long way.

*Nominations were based on the number of times cited in the Habit Weekly newsletter aiming to collect the best content from the behavior-verse every week. Listed in no particular order.



Samuel Salzer

Behavioral designer, author and keynote speaker. Helping organizations create habit forming products. Curator for the popular newsletter