Washington, DC – Starling, an applied behavioral sciences “RegTech” company, announced the appointment of Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD, to its Advisory Board.

Christakis holds appointments in the Departments of Sociology; Statistics and Data Science; Medicine; Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; and Biomedical Engineering at Yale University. He is Director of the Yale Human Nature Lab, and Co-Director of the Institute for Network Science. In 2009, Christakis was named by Time magazine to their annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. In 2009 and in 2010, he was listed by Foreign Policy magazine in their annual list of Top 100 Global Thinkers. His acclaimed 2010 TED talk on “The Hidden Influence of Social Networks” has had some 1.5 million views. (here)

“Nicholas is one of the foremost figures in his field, and we’re thrilled to have him on our team,” said Starling CEO and founder, Stephen Scott. “By brilliantly joining together insights from the behavioral and biological sciences to those derived through network theory, Nicholas has demonstrated that an array of health, career, and performance outcomes are intimately linked to where we sit in our social networks. Computational social science tools of the sort he has pioneered allow us to track – and to forecast – ‘epidemics of behavior,’ creating entirely new means for managing things like culture and conduct related risk, and to optimize firm performance outcomes.”

“People are connected, and so their behaviors are connected,” said Christakis. “This fundamental if frequently overlooked fact — which arises because of our embeddedness in social networks — means that our face-to-face and online networks play an important role in countless aspects of both our individual lives and organizational outcomes. Our work, involving many large-scale studies over the past 20 years, shows that network dynamics are highly relevant in commercial settings, as they affect the behaviors of both employees and customers, who often move in herds. This has tremendous relevance for diverse management challenges, as both good and bad behaviors spread contagion-like within and between organizations. I look forward to applying these insights to the important work that Starling is doing.”

Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD, MPH, is a social scientist and physician who conducts research in the areas of biosocial science, network science, and behavior genetics. He directs the Human Nature Lab at Yale University, and is the Co-Director of the Yale Institute for Network Science. He is the Sol Goldman Family Professor of Social and Natural Science, appointed in the Departments of Sociology; Statistics and Data Science; Medicine; Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; and Biomedical Engineering at Yale University.

Dr. Christakis received his BS from Yale University in 1984, his MD from Harvard Medical School and his MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health in 1989, and his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1995. He was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 2006, to the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2010, and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2017.

With his long-time collaborator, James H. Fowler, in 2009 Dr. Christakis authored, Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives. The book has been translated into nearly 20 foreign languages and is a classic in the field of network science. His next book, Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society, is appearing in 2019.

Starling is an applied behavioral sciences company using machine learning and network science to build what it calls “augmented management intelligence” tools. Its Predictive Behavioral Analytics technology reveals the performance impact of relational trust dynamics within organizations. Based on this data, Starling’s proprietary algorithms generate actionable insights, displayed through intuitive and customizable dashboards, enabling business leaders to drive improved performance and desired culture – and to identify and mitigate behavior-related risks before they are permitted to cascade into crises.