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The power of behavioural design: looking beyond nudging

Design-thinking, Psychology, Sustainability, energy, methods, principles

Over the past two years, a growing number of conferences, papers and articles have looked beyond the technique of nudging people to change their behaviour. The question is: what comes next now that nudging is not seen as the silver bullet? Judging on both questions and answers from the leading voices in the field, the journey beyond nudging offers promising solutions to the challenge of getting people to behave more sustainably.

First, consensus on the importance of return on investment seems to be evolving. This deserves strong applause. Quite simply, this indicates a steady movement away from buzzword bingo towards strategic decision-making creating real-world value for as many people as possible. Beyond nudging lies the world of applied behavioural science or, alternatively, the domain of behavioural design.

The Behavioural Design Lab in London is one of the most promising institutions working on this front. A bold multidisciplinary collaboration between Warwick Business School and London Design Council, the Lab combines insights from behavioural science with design thinking to help different organisations fulfil their goals, with a particular focus on social development and urban development. For instance, take this innovative project aimed at retrofitting draughty and energy inefficient homes in Crawley, West Sussex, with the aid of behavioural insights such as framing and default settings.

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© 2015 Warwick Business School and the Design Council
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