What I Do

My area of expertise is behavior design where I apply systematic ways to shift human behavior for beneficial outcomes.

I work with businesses, governments, NGOs and anyone interested in how to improve people’s social behaviors — specifically their ability to cooperate, collaborate and innovate with each other across a difference boundary — be it gender, class, religion, age or even something as ordinary as a profession or department (accounting vs product development anyone?).

I have worked with corporations on

  • fostering innovation culture behaviors
  • the creation of internal innovation labs
  • behavior design programs for employee retention/satisfaction and customer engagement,
  • extraordinary customer experiences
  • new products and services that fulfill ESG and UN SDG goals

I divide my time between academia and corporate engagements.  I co-direct the Peace Innovation Laboratory at Stanford University and am part of the research team at BJ Fogg’s Behavior Design Lab (formerly known as the Persuasive Technology Lab).  I translate basic academic research around behavior change, game design, persuasive technology and neuroscience into practical methods where practitioners can attain their real-world goals whether they be product adoption, public health, cultural transformation, humanitarian relief, civic engagement or citizen diplomacy or customer experience.

Behavior Design

What is Behavior Design?

As defined by BJ Fogg, Behavior Design is an approach to changing human behaviors that has three major areas of focus.

  1. Picking a target behavior (or sequence of behaviors)
  2. Solving for the behavior (or behaviors), and
  3. Testing and Iterating solutions

BJ has created a systematic approach to solving for human behavior that includes models about behavior, as well as effective methods for design. Taken together BJ refers to these models and methods as “Behavior Design.”

BJ Fogg pioneered the field of Behavior Design starting with his seminal paper “A Behavior Model for Persuasive Design” in 2009.  The following is a curated set of papers and videos to help you get familiar with this new and exciting field.

Three Ways to Change Behavior

Continue reading “Behavior Design”


Vida360 Podcast

I had lots of fun talking with Maria Hernandez, PhD for her podcast.  I talk about how I landed in BJ Fogg’s Lab at Stanford, persuasive technology, behavior design, peace innovation, PeaceDot, Ronny Edry’s Israel Loves Iran citizen diplomacy campaign and the new Peace Innovation Institute in The Hague.  Plus stories about growing up, resilience and …

In the News

Margarita has been interviewed by a variety of print, web and news publications including NPR, Huffington Post, Forbes, US News & World Report and CNN.

Continue reading “In the News”


Margarita has worked with a variety of corporations, non profits and governments on topics ranging from Psychological Operations and persuasion through social media to culture change, behavior change in the enterprise, to resilience building in vulnerable communities.

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