About US

Key information

Here are the three key pieces of information to retain about our operations:

  1. Assessment + Behavioural Intervention programs – we are now arguably the world’s largest developer of assessment + behavioural intervention programs that deliver outcomes for government policy objectives – particularly with adult, youth and disabled unemployed initiatives.

Currently our R&D team are also developing apprenticeship, anti-smoking, post-redundancy, business succession, hearing and other behavioural change projects.

  1. Higher fiscal returns than existing solutions – our focus is solely upon applying measurable outcomes that deliver. All Esher House solutions must be practical, evidenced, scalable and financially sustainable.
  2. Maximise outcomes amongst sometimes apathetic, suspicious and resistant groups – our unique approach directly addresses how to utilise, say, resilience and positive psychological programs with cohorts that might not “buy into” the concepts. Unlike school children, employees or the military who have to undertake certain exercises if they’re told to, we contextualise activities to those who can simply walk away if they wish.

Results have been labelled “Profound” by Chief Scientists and “Unprecedented” by the funding government departments.

Background

There has been a “cognitive revolution” – a profound increase in understanding why humans behave the way we do.

The fact is that humans do not act for “net gain”, as economics might have us believe. Rather, we:

  1. lack self-control;
  2. take the simplest route and;
  3. as a social animal – predominately act in order to impress (or avoid embarrassment).

These are the drivers of human behaviours. Holding these principles at the forefront of intervention development will deliver the greatest outcomes.

Whilst not always completely predictable, controlled testing can help to identify what works and inform ways to “nudge” – to borrow Thaler and Sunstein’s phrase – citizens towards better choices.

Esher House harnesses knowledge from proprietary research, behavioural science and controlled pilots, devises evidenced-based interventions and delivers world-leading outcomes for government initiatives.

In short, we substantially improve the return on investment for the public purse.

Interventions can seem closer to common sense that rocket science…whilst results are often surprising, debunking generations of conventional wisdom.

We can now suggest not only explanations, but actions concerning:

  • Does empathy mobilise or inhibit clients from taking action?
  • How do we eliminate such high burn-out and turnover in advisors and counsellors?
  • Does “internal” or “instrumental”, “hedonic” or “eudemonic” motivation drive the most sustainable outcomes?
  • Why does long term unemployment seem to be increasing in Western nations, even when overall unemployment rates decrease?
  • How can we improve outcomes by 10-98% for weight control, anti-smoking, mammography, domestic violence, bullying and re-employment programs?
  • How can we prevent people from quickly dropping out of interviews, college, apprenticeships or work?
  • Who ‘fakes’ action more: men or women?
  • Are older people more resilient than younger people?

We are committed to applying positive psychology, neuroscience and behavioural science to improve lives in a fiscally sustainable manner. Esher House functions as a bridge between academia, government and real people.

Core Staff Profiles

Darren Coppin

Chief Executive & Head of Research

DarrenDarren’s PhD thesis addresses behavioural change in the unemployed and the impact of resilience upon job outcomes. Following a full time MBA at the prestigious Cranfield School of Management, he grew a government-funded employment service company twelvefold. Upon selling the company to a division of the $300m turnover Anglia Ruskin University, Darren migrated to Australia to concentrate upon the research and implementation of behavioural science.

He keynotes at conferences concerning employment, youth, offending, welfare and behavioural science, and is grateful to count many of the world’s leading authorities, scientists and senior civil servants amongst his direct contacts and friends.

Adrian King

Director of Behavioural Services

FullSizeRenderAdrian is a behaviour specialist  – focusing upon Education – with over 20 years’ experience working in diverse and challenging communities in both the UK and Australia, including within the corporate sector, the Outback and with Indigenous communities.

His expertise in Positive Behaviour strategies (specifically in the Purposeful Use of Data to change behavioural outcomes) is enhanced by his experience in Functional Behaviour Assessments and applying them to “real life” scenarios. At Esher House Adrian’s focus is on Behavioural Services and how their implementation can positively drive better Government Policy outcomes.

Jess Barwood

Senior Strategist

Jess BioWith over 12 years’ working in the Vocational Education and Training sector, Jess was employed in Victoria for an Australian Apprenticeship Support Service and the Department of Education and Training’s Higher Education & Skills Group. This has equipped Jess with invaluable experience in contract operations and compliance, developing and implementing accredited training products, including national training packages and accredited courses.

With a strong passion for Education and Employment sectors, Jess is determined to use her skills and experience to support Esher House clients with the tools to; service their stakeholders in the best possible way, increase efficiency and successfully manage contractual requirements.

Ben Conolan

National Business Development Manager

Ben image (2)Ben has a long history in employment services, with more than twenty years experience working with providers across jobactive, disability and Indigenous employment services at a senior level. This experience has given Ben a deep understanding of the industry, system, compliance  and contractual requirements as well as the ability to understand technology from the provider’s point of view.

Ben has a passion for providing opportunities to disadvantaged people, and joined Esher House in 2017 in order to be part of the development and implementation of behavioural science-informed technologies that will give providers the tools to place and sustain more jobseekers in employment.

Jodie Clark

Research & Development Manager

JodieJodie applies a wealth of behavioural science knowledge to research and develop psychological assessment tools that measure the behaviour of target groups, such as youth, jobseekers and apprentices. Her passion for improving lives by working in the field of applied behavioural science is evident from her academic excellence in research methods and statistical data analysis.

Jodie possesses a superb scientific understanding of the psychological processes involved in motivation, emotion, memory, cognition, personality, learning and social relationships.

We boast an international team of academic consultants that provide key input for specific projects.

Acknowledgements

We very much recognise that we are standing on the shoulders of giants in our work and research. We greatly value and acknowledge the direct, kind and regular input from the following luminaries in their fields, many of whom we are privileged to call friends:

Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman Director of the Penn Positive Psychology Center and Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology in the Penn Department of Psychology.
Prof Felicia Huppert Director of Cambridge University’s Well-being Institute, Technical Advisory Group, UK Office for National Statistics ‘Measuring National Well-being’, Member of the UN Expert Group on Happiness and Well-being.
Dr Robert Biswas-Diener Author and instructor at Portland State University.
Prof Carol Dweck Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University.
Prof Barbara Fredrickson Principal Investigator of the Positive Emotions & Psychophysiology Lab (PEPLab) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Dr Andrew Shatté Resilience pioneer and co-author of “The Resilience Factor”.
Dr Geoff Garrett Queensland Chief Scientist and ex-head of CSIRO.
Dr Janice Prochaska President & CEO of Pro-Change Behavior Inc, One of the most published authors in the field of social work.
Dr Deborah Levesque Senior Vice President of Research and Product Development at Pro-Change Behavior Inc.
Dr Ryan Niemiec A licensed psychologist, certified coach, author, and international workshop leader. His specialty areas include: character strengths at the VIA Institute.
Prof Mary Katsikitis Foundation Professor of Psychology and Discipline Leader at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
Dr Patrick Tierney Leader in world-leading youth and anti-recidivism interventions.
Lord David Freud UK Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Welfare Reform) and the initial catalyst for our research and outcomes.
Michelle McQuaid Best-selling author, workplace well-being teacher, honorary fellow at Melbourne University’s Graduate School of Education and MAPP graduate.
Gabrielle Kelly Director at SAHMRI Wellbeing and Resilience Centre.
Alex Gyani/Sam Nguyen/Rory Gallagher Great innovators, members of the original Behavioural Insights Team and developers of the excellent “EAST” principles.