Tobias Näsgårde

Acting Sales & Solution Design Manager, Logevo AB

Master of Behavioral and Decision Sciences, University of Pennsylvania ‘18
Bachelor of Science in Business Economics, Lindenwood University ‘17

“I’ve always wanted to have a positive impact on people’s lives,” reflects Tobias Näsgårde (Master of Behavioral and Decision Sciences ‘18). As an international student on a hockey scholarship in college, Tobias initially envisioned a path to this goal in competitive sports. But as he completed his undergraduate degree in quantitative economics, he became interested in continuing his education—and specifically in exploring applications of economic theory, which drew him to the Master of Behavioral and Decision Sciences (MBDS) program at Penn. “The MBDS program is groundbreaking, and it’s really exciting to be part of something on the cutting edge,” says Tobias. “Penn showed me that there are way more ways to make an impact and live a fulfilling life.”

While taking courses in behavioral methods, Tobias began thinking about ways to take what he learned in the core curriculum and apply it swiftly for an immediate impact. With Garrett Meccariello, an MBDS classmate who shared his interest in direct applications, Tobias brainstormed positive interventions in the realm of personal finance. “We started looking at online spending, and at what point in that process we could nudge people to not spend—because behavioral science is often used the other way, to get people to buy more,” Tobias explains. “Spending is not always bad; we wouldn’t have an economy without spending. But the important thing is to spend on the things that matter.” The students developed a web-based application with support and feedback from colleagues at Penn; for example, Tobias pitched the idea in his elective course on impact investing, receiving a positive response from classmates and venture capitalists alike. “Penn is a whole ecosystem, and it gives you a bunch of opportunities,” Tobias advises. “Apply to all the venture startup competitions with your business idea. Go see all the speakers you can see. You can learn all the time.”

The intervention became Quinn, a free browser plugin that automatically detects online spending behavior and utilizes behavioral nudges to help consumers save for a long-term goal. While Tobias finds himself considering behavioral science insights in his current role at Logevo AB, a logistics and supply chain company owned by the Inter IKEA Group, he is inspired by evidence of Quinn’s direct positive impact on individual consumers and would like to see the product evolve into a thriving organization. “Consumer services can be driven by a true purpose and actually impact or help people’s lives,” says Tobias. “If we can grow Quinn to a bigger scale, then maybe we can start hiring people, have a great company culture, and make people feel good about getting up and going to work every morning.”

Read more about Tobias’s work with Quinn in Penn Today“A gentle nudge at the right moment can curb unnecessary spending online”