The biggest issues in society, from obesity to climate change, are due to behavioural and lifestyle factors people embrace on a daily basis.
Most attempts to change behaviour rely on the outdated assumption that people are governed by a rational self-interest. The result is a range of programmes with a firm rationale but minimal impact.
We believe the best way to solve these issues is to not only research how and why people actually make decisions, but use the design of products, services and places to help us all make better decisions.
Innovation requires two things. The ability to generate creative ideas and a way of testing them.
Our approach uses design-thinking and behavioural insights to reframe problems as an opportunity for enterprise, providing a platform for creative ideas.
We then use our network to bring teams together to tackle the briefs, supporting them through development. As ideas become real, they are tested and refined using experiments.
The Behavioural Science Group at WBS was formed in 2010 and is the leading centre of its kind in Europe. Headed by Professor Nick Chater, it contains an experienced faculty of experimental psychologists, economists and social scientists heavily involved in applications for charities, business and Government.
Design Challenges at the Design Council are open innovation competitions that develop practical solutions to societal problems – from minimising the spread of infections to helping older adults live independently. Directed by Mat Hunter, the team has worked with over 50 organisations in the last five years.