7 March 2013

What form of behaviour change does climate change call for?

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Jonathan Rowson @Jonathan_Rowson, who leads the RSA Social Brain Centre, recently gave a 15 minute presentation on the Social Brain Centre’s emerging ideas relating to behaviour change in the context of Climate Change. The title was: “What kind of behaviour change do we need?” The details will soon be unpacked in a report, grounded in evidence from a national survey, but the idea in outline is as follows:

  • Begin with those people who fully accept the reality of climate challenge, want to do more to deal with it in their own lives, but somehow don’t manage to (‘climate ignorers
  • Focus on practices that have strategic value (changing behaviour in a way that promotes attitudes or values that reinforce rather than undermine related behaviours)
  • Help people change certain social practices(often called “habits”) that are formative of their relationship to climate change.
  • Design this change in a a way that promotes social diffusion to shift social norms and shape political will at a local level.
  • Through a shift in civil society, local government and businesses, change political will at national and international levels.

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