It’s difficult to decipher why people do what they do – and in my opinion, also not something to strive for. It’s too complex. Instead, do something and see how people (or you) respond to it. Hivos, a Dutch non-profit, took this advice very seriously. They are experimenting. Yes. They learn through trial and error, instead of scientifically scrutinizing people’s motivations, needs and drivers. These experiments are part of their newest campaign – coined the Seduction Project – to engage people in less energy intensive behaviors. But not through paternalizing current behaviors, but instead through seducing (‘nudging‘) people into energy behaviors Hivos considers desirable.
To walk their talk, Hivos organized a Small Climate Summit, bringing together entrepreneurs, researchers and artists who all put forward one idea based on the principles of seduction. Mirte Becker, a game design student, suggested a Light Gun to switch off lights in a playful manner. My friends from Strawberry Earth explained their ‘green deal’ website, that proves that buying ‘green’ is not enough, if you can also buy ‘awesome’. And artist Matthijs Lievaart initiated the Club of 90, encouraging people to drive 90 kms/hour, because “real gangsters are never in a hurry.”
All 10 seductive ideas are summarized in this presentation:
I look forward to more sustainability initiatives like this, because who doesn’t like to be seduced?