In 2012, Forbes wrote “Chris York is a psychologist with a special job […] to find ways to keep users engaged, and ultimately modify their behavior.” The scope of behavioral challenges he’s undertaken are broad—including voter turnout, eliminating hypertension, and maximizing contributions to savings account.
Chris founded Cognitive, an award-winning strategy and design consulting firm that has worked with some of the world’s top startups, leading multinationals, and most renowned universities and medical institutions. The firm helps organizations execute at unprecedented levels in changing human behavior and driving complex outcomes. Its team has worked on products with (or used by) NBC, Illumina, Salesforce, Target, Pfizer, Novartis, Citi, VMWare, GE, Merrill Lynch, Healthline, UCSF, Harvard, the Mayo Clinic, multiple US Presidential candidates, and Y-Combinator startups. This work and its results have been chronicled by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, and Bloomberg.
In the world of startups, Chris provided key product and design leadership with startups like WellnessFX, Rise, 100plus, Breakthrough, and Keas prior to their acquisitions. He is also an active investor and advisor, including Spotify, Palantir, and Lark.
A noted devotee of academic research, Chris’ work (writing, products, or otherwise) has appeared in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Psychological Science, JAMA, and the Annals of Internal Medicine, among others.
Chris has spoken on topics ranging from habit formation and cognitive science to product strategy and design methodologies at places like Stanford, Cornell, and Adaptive Path.
A more recent and quantified history of Chris’ work can be found here.