Carrot Stick

Portland, Oregon

What the heck is this?

Carrot/Stick is a conference for the behavioral economics enthusiast — the person who uses behavioral economics in their everyday life. We're the kind of people who hear about New Year's Resolutions and think "I could do that — but how can I take it one step further?" Where some people rely on willpower, we use creative motivation devices. Carrot/Stick is a place to talk about the strategies — from the ridiculous to sublime — that you use in your own life to reach your goals. You'll hear about trackers and apps, yes, but you'll also hear about Akrasia and playing Pomodoro Poker.

We love this stuff, and there was nowhere in meatspace to talk about it. Some conferences are too academic for the hobbyist, others are focused on tracking your life's data, but not using that data to then change your life. We envision a place where you won't be met with uncertain looks when you talk about paying $5000 to the presidential candidate you hate if you don't finish your thesis on time. This is a safe space for those that want to take behavioral economics research into their own lives. You don't have to explain the reasoning why, you just get to start having the conversation with other people as excited about this stuff as you are.

Who should come?

Self-hackers, Behavioral Economics Enthusiasts, Quantified Self Geeks, Anyone who read Nudge and promptly thought "I'm going to implement this in my own life", Fans of The Motivation Hacker.

What will it cost?

It will be a horribly clever function of how early you sign up. We have a team of economists working around the clock. If there exists a non-zero price at which you'd want to go then add your email to the list and we'll keep you posted! (We might even make price partially a function of when you add your email.)

When will it be?

We do not yet have a date set for the conference. Add your email address above to be notified as soon as we do!


Lillian Karabaic
Lillian has a degree in economics that she utilizes to justify charging herself money when she doesn't get to inbox zero, clean her house, or go to the gym. She is often the victim of self-created reverse incentives.
Aaron Parecki
Aaron Parecki is least-known for making Hedgy, a cute robot that keeps track of his beers and annoys him when he drinks too much without eating. He's also the cofounder of IndieWebCamp and a professional technologist.
Bethany Soule
Bethany is the CTO and cofounder of Beeminder, an app that gives users reminders with a financial sting. She speaks publicly about why giving away her company's money to users makes her better at her job.


Portland State University, Portland, Oregon


  • 7:00pm Pre-Party


  • 8:00 Breakfast / Coffee
  • 9:00 Speakers
  • 12:00 Lunch
  • 13:00 Speakers
  • 18:00 Break for Dinner
  • 20:00 Ignite Talks


  • 8:00 Breakfast / Coffee
  • 9:00 Introduction / Scheduling
  • 10:00 Unconference Session
  • 11:00 Unconference Session
  • 12:00 Lunch
  • 13:00 Unconference Session
  • 14:00 Wrap-up

Why Portland?


If you're going to make good on your commitments to run or bike, Portland is your urban playground with over 400 miles of beautiful bike trails and paths. Or follow through on your resolution to spend more time in nature in the world's largest urban rainforest (there's your sticks!).

Enjoy Some Food

Portland's food carts, microbrews, pretentiously delicious donuts, and local coffee can keep you fueled while you contemplate the best incentive methods for achieving your goals. You can even get a ginger carrot donut as your carrot.

Benson Bubblers

Behavior incentives run through Portland's blood — or at least our water. The ubiquitous "Benson Bubbler" public drinking fountains were originally installed in 1912 by Simon Benson, who believed fresh available drinking water would deter loggers from drinking beer during lunch.


Summer in Portland might be one of the West Coast's best kept secrets. Days are long and dry with temperatures hovering around a comfortable 65-75 degrees. The sun doesn't set until 9PM most days. Use that extra daylight for some hikes at nearby Mt. Hood or Multnomah Falls.


How to Sponsor

By sponsoring Carrot/Stick, you get your brand in front of the people who are committed to finding and supporting the best new instruments of self-tracking that make behavior change possible in their own lives.

Review our Sponsorship Prospectus, and get in touch with us!

Download Sponsorship Prospectus (PDF)