Final Mile Journey

Final Mile was inspired by intellectual inquiry. Our founders were deeply curious about the potential of behavioral economics and behavioral sciences to explain human decision-making and behavior more reliably than traditional models of economics or psychology alone. This led to the formation of Final Mile in 2007, with the goal of building a practice based on the precepts of behavioral sciences and design.

Final Mile was always meant to be a knowledge-intensive organization, but with the clear intent of applying knowledge to solve real-world problems. This meant developing an integrated understanding of several related fields, including cognitive neuroscience, psychology, classical economics, and design.


We recruited a group of talented people with diverse skills who were curious to learn new concepts, experiment with innovative methods, and build new approaches.

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Conducting In-Context Research

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While we believe in the power of these methods, we have an equally strong belief in the importance of context in any decision-making situation. Rather than assuming that various behavioral science principles are universally true and always applicable, we put context front and center in our work. For our practice, this means always conducting in-context research into what truly drives behavior.


This brought us to our first big barrier – and an eventual breakthrough. Researching behavior effectively has always been challenging. Interviews, surveys, and focus groups rely on the subjects’ self-reports, which means these approaches have a limited ability to explain past behavior and predict future behavior. In response, we innovated, using games, context simulations and scenario-based research models. 

We eventually developed our proprietary 
research method, Ethnolab,which addresses several of the limitations of existing methods.

Our initial work was largely in the private sector, but our first major inflection point came in 2009, when we were tasked with tackling a problem on Mumbai’s suburban railway network, where around 10 people were dying daily after being hit by trains as they trespassed on the tracks. Final Mile’s approach resulted in a significant and sustained reduction in fatalities. This success gave us the confidence to translate our practice to several diverse fields: global health, financial inclusion, safety, and human trafficking. We have since executed complex multi-country projects in these areas on several continents.

Since 2020, Final Mile has focused exclusively on work in the development/social sector. We no longer seek work in the private sector.

For our clients, we bring a fresh and proven perspective to behavioral challenges. For our employees, we provide an environment for solving highly complex and meaningful problems, working with colleagues from diverse backgrounds. And to those who will use and benefit from our solutions, we offer a commitment that we will always treat you with empathy, respect, and fairness.

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