American behavioural researcher Nir Eyal delivers this year’s graduation speech at MOME

Date: 2024.06.21
Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design (MOME) continues its tradition of providing inspiration to its graduating students by inviting internationally renowned creative industry experts to address the new graduates each year. This year’s guest speaker, Israeli-born American author and behavioural researcher of Hungarian descent Nir Eyal will be speaking at both the Bachelor’s and Master's graduation ceremonies. Understanding and raising awareness of the importance of habits is crucial for the future, as they drive not only our lives but also the economy.

As a behavioural researcher, he seeks answers to questions such as how technology and products can be designed to create positive habits in users, how to maintain our focus to achieve our goals, and how increasingly advanced technology can help humanity grow. 

Dubbed the prophet of habit-forming technology, Eyal works in the intersection of psychology, technology, and business. As an author, consultant, teacher, and investor specialising in behavioural design, he develops and writes about innovative approaches and methodologies supporting user engagement and commitment, and the maintenance of focus. He interprets technology and material culture in terms of psychological incentives and behavioural economics, and his research also aligns with the science of design culture when reflecting about the future of product design. 

His bestselling book Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products (2014), which has also been published in Hungarian, provides a framework for developing products that create habits, while Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life (2019) establishes concentration skills as a tool for harnessing technology, emphasising that technology should serve us rather than the other way round. His career and diverse experience overlap with the fields of study of our graduates engaged in product design, theory, and management. As an investor, he has contributed to the creation of widely known habit-forming platforms such as Eventbrite and Canva. 

For over a decade, Nir Eyal has been researching the appeal of technology and ways to maintain concentration amidst the current overabundance of stimuli. He has taught behaviour design courses at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design. His books have won numerous awards, including the Outstanding Works of Literature (OWL) Award in the Big Idea category, the Marketing Book of the Year award for Hooked in 2019, and his most recent book has been included in Amazon’s top pick of the best 20 business and leadership books.  His writings have been published in journals such as Fast Company, the Harvard Business Review, and Psychology Today.   

Reinvented in 2022, the graduation ceremony is designed to provide graduating artists with takeaway and inspiration for the future in addition to a diploma. The Foundation for Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design therefore invites prominent and internationally acclaimed creative industry professionals and artists to speak who could serve as a role model for the students on account of their unique career journey. Previous graduation ceremonies featured speeches by world-renowned philosopher Byung-Chul Han and Chief Design Officer of Mercedes-Benz Gorden Wagener, as well as Senior Curator of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York Paola Antonelli and Academy Award winning film director of Hungarian descent Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, all of which are available on MOME Budapest’s YouTube channel. 

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