A random collection of things that inspire, interest and trouble me
from the world of design, politics, art and culture.

Selling the sizzle

Posted: December 9th, 2009 | Author: ktcita | Filed under: behaviour, environment, future | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments »

sizzle

Have just read Futerra’s report Selling the Sizzle. It is a basic outline of how, through positive framing, climate change activists can radically change people’s behaviour toward climate change. It’s all about making the actions desirable so that people actually take them. For, “without public support the Cynics win by default. All they need is inaction”

The basic problem, Futerra says, is that “most climate friendly behaviours, especially the big hard ones (travel, diet, etc) are not aspirational or desirable. One factor that tars them is their association with a problem. You’re asked to make a sacrifice for the greater good, which has rarely in human history been a high status pastime.”

But Futerra believes that if we frame these actions positively then they could become desirable. They list the process that communicators should use as:

VISION —-> CHOICE —-> PLAN —-> ACTION

This step-by-step process feels a bit like a quit smoking programme. First, envision the glorious future without cigarettes. Then once the patient can see the positive future, give them a choice between this, and the hell of a lifetime of smoking. Then you and the patient start planning on how you will tackle quitting smoking. And finally the patient takes action and quits smoking, and you keep reinforcing the positive future they have chosen.

The question is, will it work? Can we make desirable the behaviour and lifestyle changes that are necessary to mitigate the worst effects of climate change? If you are in the business of communicating climate change, I suggest you read the report.


Behaviour change through "fun theory"

Posted: October 16th, 2009 | Author: ktcita | Filed under: behaviour | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

A competition from Volkswagen is asking people to think of ways to induce behaviour change through fun, they call it Fun Theory. You may have already seen the video of how music made taking the stairs more fun than riding the escalator:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivg56TX9kWI&feature=related]

Or perhaps you have seen this one, the world’s deepest bin which encouraged people to place their rubbish in the bin:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbEKAwCoCKw]

The results of the competition will of course be used by Volkswagen in some kind of marketing, but if the competition encourages “behaviour change for the better” then perhaps it’s worth signing away your creative rights. The competition ends on November 15. Anyone can enter it seems, although the site is based in Sweden.

I read some behaviour change theory for my dissertation. Many researchers believe that first you must change attitude and then behaviour change is more likely to follow. I hope that these fun projects go a little of the way to altering some people’s attitudes to waste and to energy use.


Keep Britain Tidy

Posted: October 6th, 2009 | Author: ktcita | Filed under: Uncategorized, behaviour, environment | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

I was recently taking a walk to town via the Thames Valley University when I saw a teenage girl drop a half-finished pack of chips on the ground in front of a bin. More disturbing than the fact that she was eating deep-fried chips at 10am was that she seemed to be littering to impress her friend. Now I know that littering is probably fairly low on the list of priorities for the modern-day school, what with the current ASBO culture here in Britain, but if we can’t rely on teenagers to respect their immediate environment, what hope do we have of teaching them to respect the global environment?

I called the University and had a pleasant conversation with the officer in charge of security and student behaviour. He said that it was difficult to control the behaviour of a student body which comes from “all walks of life” and that there were insufficient security staff to police the problem. Why their students, no matter what their background, cannot be taught to be tidy is beyond me. To add to this, it is regrettable that they need to use security to deal with this behavioural problem.

It might instead be more prudent to use more collaborative exercise to affect behaviour change. For example, the Big Tidy Up is a campaign organised by the Keep Britain Tidy folks. Similar to the Clean Up Australia Day programme, the Big Tidy Up encourages people to respect their environment and take a more active part in making their community a better place to live. Perhaps I will suggest to the school that they conduct something similar with their students.


Greengaged

Posted: September 14th, 2009 | Author: ktcita | Filed under: behaviour, environment, events | Tags: , , | No Comments »

If you are in London or surrounds and interested in issues of sustainability, check out these two events staged as part of the 2009 London Design Festival. You need to register to attend these events put on by Greengaged.

greengaged

Design for life: barriers to behaviour change (curated by Ed Gillespie)
September 21, 2009. 8.30am to 10pm (includes a Swishing clothes swapping event after 7pm)
Why is change happening so slowly? What are the barriers to change, both behaviourally and in the context of design? Where can great design interventions really make a difference? This will be a day of challenges, questions and opportunities around the role of design in what we wear, what we eat, where we live and how we get around

Co-oportunity: a day for world builders (curated by John Grant)
September 22. 9am-6pm

Co-opportunity is about how co-operative, community systems have the potential to build a more sustainable, resilient, prosperous society at all levels – working for the common good. In John’s engaging approach to workshops you will learn about co-operative systems by actually creating solution – starting with the world’s financial banking system – as an example of the power of systems redesign.