About

System 2 was created in 2022 by the Behavioural Insights Team and Nesta. Together, we aim to transform the lives of millions of people by designing, testing and scaling solutions to society’s biggest challenges.

We aim to solve complex social problems by bringing together behavioural science, systems thinking and insights from deep collaboration with those with lived experience, to co-design, test and scale practical solutions.

Our relationship with BIT and our sister charity Nesta, give System 2 access to a deep pool of international expertise and the latest evidence on what does and does not work. We combine this global reach and track record, with a strong focus on local partnerships and amplifying the perspectives of under-represented groups.

We seek to contribute to evidence based public policy discussion and reform, whilst committing to publicising our research to inform and encourage public debate.

Our launch mission is to enable young people experiencing disadvantage to thrive.

Our Centre for Behavioural and System Change undertakes research aligned to our mission, guided by an experienced Research Committee

We work in close partnership with organisations including foundations, corporates, charities and social enterprises.

We seek to amplify the perspectives of under-represented groups, initially focusing on those under 25 years old.

We support charities to enhance their impact by applying behavioural insights, data analysis and evaluation.

Our Team

As System 2 grows, we aim to bring together talented and passionate people who share our vision. We embrace flexible work arrangements. The team work with the Research Committee and subcontractors including the Behavioural Insights Team to deliver a range of projects. To find out more about working for System 2, please get in touch.

John Craven
Executive Officer

John has CEO/Director level experience across the charity, education, government and banking sectors. Before joining System 2, he was Director of the Social Mobility Commission, an independent statutory body sponsored by the U.K. Cabinet Office, where he led a team of 20 responsible for carrying out research and promoting social mobility. From 2016-2022, John was CEO of upReach, an award-winning social mobility charity that supports students from disadvantaged backgrounds to secure professional jobs. Previously, after graduating with an MA in Economics from the University of Cambridge, John worked in investment banking for 11 years and as a teacher.

Prathesa Selvaraj
Program Officer

Prathesa is a dedicated professional with a proven track record in steering and assessing the impact within the youth sector across Australia. Formerly serving as the Digital Insights and Monitoring & Evaluation Lead at BYSA, she played a pivotal role in aiding young individuals facing multifaceted challenges.

With a Master’s degree in Public Health, Prathesa is driven by a genuine commitment to advocacy, social justice, and the art of compelling storytelling. Her focus gravitates toward amplifying the voices of the community, advocating for their active involvement in the design and implementation of essential services.

Our Board

The Board of System 2 are responsible for governance, setting our strategic direction and overseeing risk.

Sheridan Hartley
Chair

Sheridan has over 20 years’ experience in strategy, marketing and behaviour change having worked for organisations including the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) , Qantas, FOXTEL and L’Oreal. Most recently Sheridan was Head of Strategy at BIT leading the development and implementation of the Asia Pacific strategy. Prior to this, Sheridan was a Program Director at BIT leading CODE, a four year research and development project in partnership with the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation and The Alannah Madeline Foundation to change the ethical behaviour of teenagers online. Sheridan has a First Class Honours degree in Psychology and a Bachelor of Business (Marketing).

Rory Gallagher
Director

Rory is the founder of System 2 and former Managing Director of Behavioural Insights Team, APAC. Rory was a founding member of BIT in 2010 and has run BI trials and policy interventions across APAC in various policy areas.

Rory helped establish the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet’s BI Unit — the first Australian agency dedicated to applying BI to public policy. He has also worked in the UK Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit and Education Department.

Rory holds a PhD in health and behaviour change from Cambridge University.
He co-authored ‘Think Small: The surprisingly simple ways to reach big goals’.

Karen Cronan
Director

Karen has over 30 years’ experience managing small businesses and business units, as well as 10 years’ experience running her own business. She has worked with a range of businesses including multinational, not for profit, small and medium enterprises. She has vast experience in company management, finance, HR and legal aspects of a business. Karen has a Bachelor of Business Administration majoring in HR and Leadership.

Xian Zhi Soon
Director

Zhi has had a distinguished career in public policy in Australia and internationally, with a particular focus on education. He was previously a board member on the NSW Board of Studies, the General Manager (Evidence and Impact) at the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership and headed up the youth, education and skills portfolio at BIT. Zhi was previously named Young Australian of the Year (ACT) for his contributions to youth and education policy. Outside of education policy, Zhi has worked in the Prime Minister’s Office, the NSW Government and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Erin Howard
Company Secretary

Erin has over 10 years’ experience as a project manager, playing a pivotal role in the development and implementation of Digital Compass whilst employed at BIT. She is currently working as a senior project manager at Macquarie Bank. Erin also has direct experience supporting young people through her personal involvement with the Pyjama Angels over the past 5 years. She is an excellent and organised administrator with a passion for social justice.

Amy Yung
Public Officer

Amy is a qualified accountant (CPA) and has been managing and overseeing the finances of BIT APAC offices for over 6.5 years with excellent working relationships with both internal and external stakeholders. She is an UNSW alumna and holds both a Master of Financial Analysis and Bachelor of Commerce (majoring in Accounting and Finance).