Behaviour Change at Scale

Here is an example from IDEO Patterns, which I talked about in my last post.

“Today’s global challenges (climate change, economic doldrums, food safety, et al) constitute a none-too trivial threat to modern life. Yet, we’ve faced equally daunting challenges in the past, and have always marshalled the ingenuity and dedication to overcome these tests. So what’s different today? Perhaps it’s the breadth and complexity of what we’re facing. For the first time, policymakers are forced to confront what might otherwise be considered “individual choices.” In the aggregate, these personal choices become a very public cluster of problems.”

In order to change behaviour on a large scale through a design thinking approach, we must understand patterns of people’s behaviour and use them rather than fighting against them.

For example:

  • Complex challenges make it unlikely for one group to effect change, so groups need to form partnerships.
  • The negative consequences of our behaviour need to be made visible so that we are more likely to change our behaviours – energy usage is invisible, so if we can make it visible we might use less.
  • Social pressure and our need to fit community norms can change behaviour
  • We need to connect at a local level to inspire people on a personal level

IDEO Patterns define patterns as “a collection of shared thoughts, insights, and observations gathered through our work and the world around us.” They encourage people to become pattern spotters, and share the patterns you see around you, especially if they haven’t been mentioned before.

You can download the pdf version of ‘Behavior Change at Scale’ too: Behavior Change at Scale


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