Parallel55 works with companies, governments and the 3rd sector to apply behavioural science to incite sustainable change in citizens, customers and employees. By:

  • Changing existing behaviours

  • Starting new positive behaviours

  • Stopping unwanted behaviours

  • Preventing the adoption of negative behaviours


We leverage:

  • Psychological insights

  • A clear understanding of people’s behaviour

  • Robust research evidence


To give our clients a richer understanding of how people make decisions and the factors that influence them.

This enables us to explain real world data and generate insights and solutions that create sustainable behaviour change.

behavioural economics

Behaviour change is a relatively new discipline; underpinned by behavioural economic theory.

It is based upon a more realistic understanding of what makes people tick. It assumes:

  • The decisions people make are rarely the result of rational calculation.

  • But this irrationality is quite predictable. We have a growing understanding of what governs behaviour.

  • This can help us design interventions that encourage people to change their behaviours.

  • It’s not about telling people what to do, but about helping them do it.

how we work

We investigate the values, information, habits, and/or structural challenges that drive an undesirable behaviour or prevent people from adopting a preferred behaviour.


Then we can determine the most effective solution. Whether this be:

  • Policy/strategy change

  • Knowledge change

  • Culture change


Behaviour change can be challenging and often not fully understood. In the commercial world most campaigns aim to change preference, not behaviour.


Behaviour change requires a very different set of tools and expertise.

We recommend the EAST framework to our clients. Developed by the UK Government’s Behavioural Insights Team.


This evidence-based framework embodies four simple principles:


Make it Easy: Harness defaults, reduce hassle and simplify messages.

Make it Attractive: Attract attention and incentivise.

Make it Social: Use the power of networks and encourage commitment.

Make it Timely: Prompt people with immediate benefits when they are most receptive.

a four stage methodology

Define the outcome:

Exactly what behaviour is to be influenced?

How can it be measured reliably and efficiently?

How large a change would make the project worthwhile, and over what time period?


Understand the context:

Research the situations and people involved in the behaviour.

Understand the context from their perspective.

Develop new insights and design appropriate interventions.


Build the intervention:

Use the EAST framework to generate behavioural insights.

This is likely to be an iterative process.


Test, learn, adapt:

Put the intervention into practice.

Research reliable measurement of the success.

Wherever possible, use randomised controlled trials.


Full behavioural design
To address a specific challenge or develop a new proposition.

Our approach involves developing a suite of research-led tools to bring about a change in people’s behaviour.

User-centric research
To better understand people in a specific environment, situation, or when exposed to a concept or product.

We conduct appropriate research to deliver action-orientated insights that can drive decision-making.

Literature analysis
To better understand a particular behaviour or area of interest through existing research and insights.

We conduct secondary research to give you a high-level analysis of the latest findings from the behavioural sciences in a practical, decision-orientated report.


Communications testing
To optimise communications to incite a particular change in behaviour.

We use research, developed in line with the learnings from the behavioural sciences, to help enhance campaign strategy and execution.


For clients requiring ongoing advisory services and external expertise.

We develop collaborative relationships within your organization to provide relevant behavioural insights and recommendations on an ongoing basis.

core principles

We use seven core principles of behaviour change defined by nef (new economics foundation):

1. Other people’s behaviour matters

2. Habits are important

3. People are motivated to ‘do the right thing’

4. Peoples' self-expectations influence how they behave

5. People are loss-averse

6. People are bad at computation when making decisions

7. We need to feel involved and effective to make change

A lot has been written about behavioural economics. Many governments and organisations around the world are constantly evolving their use of these principles to encourage people to make better decisions.

Whether this be through a better understanding of: choice architectures, cognitive bias, System 1 vs System 2 thinking, or the application of nudge theory, we ensure that our clients can benefit from the latest emerging thinking and proven applications.

We bring together the latest: behavioural science thinking, qualitative and quantitative research knowledge and considerable experience of working with public and private sector clients around the world. 


Our role is to recommend the most efficient and effective means of achieving behaviour change objectives.

Steve Colling

managing director

As founder and MD of Parallel55, Steve is a senior director with considerable research and behaviour change expertise.

He moved to Dubai in 2014. Prior to this he founded and ran two research agencies in the UK. He has extensive international multi-sector experience, gained from both agency and client-side environments.

With a degree in psychology, he is very much a hands-on researcher; bringing together qualitative and quantitative expertise with the pragmatic application of behavioural economics.

Paula Little

associate director

Paula has been a researcher for over 20 years and worked closely with Steve for the last 10.

With broad expertise across both qualitative and quantitative methods, she manages all aspects of our projects, from design through to analysis and report writing.

She brings insights from her diverse experience, including working with clients from: government, media, healthcare, retail, automotive and environmental protection.

Kay Colling

senior account manager

Ksenia joined Parallel55 to help broaden our research expertise and capacity.


She’s previously worked in both marketing and research roles; helping clients understand their customers better.


With a master’s degree in strategic marketing, she has considerable research experience. Ksenia has worked in many sectors including hospitality, retail, FMCG and luxury. Her specialism is in understanding the attitudes and behaviours of affluent consumers.


Ksenia helps our clients throughout every step of the research process, ensuring that they gain the insights and direction they need.

what others say about us

'I had the pleasure as well as the privilege to work with Steve as part of the same client-servicing team. Steve is a seasoned research and insights practitioner, who can truly look at business challenges from a client’s perspective without losing objectivity. He combines curiosity and intellectual rigour with pragmatism, ensuring that clients’ issues are explored from different angles to come up with pragmatic, commercially-viable solutions.'

Javier Calvar. Customer Strategist, Shanghai


'I met Steve when I was looking for a world class research partner to help provide us with detailed data about our customer's experience across the Middle East. Steve was able to not only provide relevant expertise, solutions and recommendations, but also to share valuable insight into the retail market and customer spending habits and patterns. Steve has a talent for being able to turn data and numbers into an interesting story, adapted to the audience he is faced with. This allowed colleagues from all levels of our business to understand the research in detail and create an aligned strategy for the future. I can recommend Steve 100% and look forward to working with him again in the future.'

Chris Rawsthorne, Pandora

Divisional Sales Manager – UAE & MENA

Parallel55. Levels 27 & 29 Marina Plaza. Dubai Marina. Dubai. UAE. PO Box 112229.

T: +971 4 559 5788. F: +971 4 455 8556. M: +971 55 189 1993