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Posted 18 August 2020


Listen to our Academy of Change Podcast: Behaviour Models as Guides for Positive Change

Gaining accurate information about people’s behaviours and their decision making practices is becoming significantly more important in achieving sustainability goals across various fields. As a result, important questions arise: What motivates specific behaviours but discourages others? How are behaviours constructed and shaped but also changed and transformed? The second episode of our Academy of Change (AoC) podcast series focuses on behaviour models as pre-defined approaches in analysing and changing behaviours. Listen to our guest speaker, Andrew Darnton, as he guides you through efficient ways of choosing and implementing models that support your sustainability projects.

An added value of behaviour models is their capacity to distil academic theory into practical guidance. They can be used to map current behaviours and understand barriers and enablers for positive change. There is a growing body of academic evidence on the topic, but it can be hard to grasp and apply to newcomers in the field. Moreover, there are many competing and complementary models, making choosing even more difficult.

In the behavioural models episode you can listen to an inspiring conversation with Andrew Darnton, an independent researcher specialised in behavioural theory and system change, as he explains how to pick the most appropriate models for specific organisations and needs. In addition, Darnton, who is the author of the ISM (Individual, Social, Material) model, spoke in detail about the role of models in designing impactful interventions for targeted behaviours.

In his own words: “Models are devices for using our heads: they’re thinking tools! The value that they have is in the potential of helping us figure out a problem. Models are always going to be wrong, it’s about how wrong they are. The best model is the most usable, the one that gets one the closest to a workable solution. They help us work out which bits of the data we have are most relevant.”

Other topics covered in the models’ podcast include suggestions on right and wrong ways of applying theory, the most popular models and how to use them, and practical lessons on applying models to specific projects and challenges. Listen and/or download the podcast here!

The first AoC podcast on the topic of Insights with guest speaker Lizzie Kenyon is available here, if you would like to start at the beginning of our Behaviour Change series.

The podcast series is part of the Academy of Change (AoC) training programme and it offers complementary views on selected behavioural change topics. Through insightful conversations with field experts, the topics are explored from a practical perspective in order to serve listeners from different fields and areas of interest.

The Academy of Change (AoC) is a non-profit initiative of the Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP), Behaviour Change (BC) and the International Civil Society Centre (ICSC). The AoC is funded by the KR Foundation.

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