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Leading NGOs Come Together in Berlin to Complete the Academy of Change Programme

What are the 10 golden rules for designing behaviour change interventions? How do values support or hinder specific behaviours and why is it important to address people as citizens instead of as consumers? These were some of the main questions discussed in the final Academy of Change workshop in Berlin in February 2019 with more than 20 leading NGOs from all over the world.

The workshop was part of the Academy of Change (AoC), the CSCP’s programme for future leaders working on climate change and sustainability in the NGO sector. The onsite meeting in Berlin was the last of six modules, which have been delivered online and offline since summer 2018. Throughout the programme over 60 representatives from international NGOs learned about different consecutive steps to designing behaviour change interventions for more sustainable behaviour. This included steps like analysing the target group, using different behaviour change models to map the relevant behaviours and selecting a fitting tool for an intervention, like nudging or social norms, before discussing options for impact assessment. The NGOs also shared several cases of their own interventions and jointly discussed the best ways to move forward.

The workshop further aimed at broadening the scope and connecting the programme to other relevant discussions through a number of external experts. Andrew Simms from the Rapid Transition Alliance reinforced the issue of urgency of actions to combat climate change and the need for rapid change. Polly Keane from the New Citizenship Project highlighted the importance of differentiating between ‘consumer and citizen’ and suggested approaches on how to give citizens agency. Looking at behaviour change as part of a larger social and system change was vividly demonstrated by Anna Birney from the Forum for the Future on the example of introducing drinking water fountains in London. Finally, Tom Crompton from the Common Cause Foundation shared his insights on values and its importance for changing behaviours, based on different experiments he had conducted, addressing different value sets.

The workshop provided room for discussing how these different elements fit together and can be implemented by the NGOs in the future. The participant’s feedback on the workshop delighted the team as it was rated excellent (83%) and highly relevant for their work (72%). Natasha Yorke-Edgell from RSPB, the UK’s largest nature conservation charity, stated: “This has been an incredible experience, I have learnt so much to take away, digest, share and test. I know this course will have a powerful ripple effect into the wider world!“.

The Academy of Change is always looking for people interested in accelerating change in those sustainable behaviours and lifestyles that really matter. There are different ways to get involved. Are you an NGO? You can apply to our waiting list to join potential future editions of the programme. Are you interested in supporting or sponsoring the Academy beyond its current funding framework or in bringing it to your organisation? Are you looking for insightful and beyond state-of-the-art information related to sustainable behaviour and behaviour change? Contact us at contact@aochange.org.

Academy of Change is a non-profit initiative of the Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP) and Behaviour Change, funded by the KR Foundation.

For further information, please contact Rosa Strube.