"Behaviour Change" 3rd September 2019

‘Behaviour Change’ event co-hosted by The Future Economy Network and Triodos Bank.

Tuesday 3rd September 2019 saw an exciting business breakfast on Behaviour Change. It was held in the wonderful events space at the Bristol branch of our subscriber’s, Triodos Bank. The morning was attended by 40 people from the business community, civil servants and the general public. 


 Katherine Piper, Director of The Future Economy Network welcomed attendees, highlighting the benefits of subscribing to the Network and also sharing exciting updates about The Future Economy Group’s Festival of Sustainable Business on 17th September, where keynote speakers will include Bristol City Council’s Mayor; Marvin Rees, Founder of City to Sea; Natalie Fee and Rt Hon Sir Edward Davey MP amongst others!


First up, we welcomed Ruth Clarke, deputy MD from leading creative consultancy, Six Agency. Six Agency have been experts in shifting brand perceptions for over 25 years. Ruth spoke about the importance of ethical considerations to the consumer, the importance of strategy, leadership and culture, the 21/90 rule and how purpose and being authentic can be really impactful. She cited four top tips; 1) Know your intent 2) Build empathy 3) Create clever, creative, innovative messages and 4) Ensure leadership and inclusion.


Next, we welcomed Mat Jones, Associate Professor of Public Health at University West of England's Centre for Public Health and Wellbeing, who used food to illustrate various behaviour change techniques. He highlighted that often declarations of intent do not translate into practice and cited research related to diminishing returns, adoption effects, self-licensing and the rebound effect. He suggested that behaviour change challenges are particularly amplified when referring to sustainability, since the ‘change’ can be viewed as unappealing. Mat went on to discuss smaller “nudge” manipulations that can have impact such as choice architecture and ended by citing examples of more rapid changes, such as the uptake of veganism and the rapid reduction in single use plastics.


We then welcomed Bob Pinkett, Director at Peter Brett Associates, now a part of Stantec. Bob spoke about how PBA has implemented behaviour change techniques when addressing sustainable transport options. PBA has a ‘4 I’s’ Mantra; Infrastructure, Information, Incentive, Influence. He discussed the risk of preaching to the converted, the barriers to public transport uptake, the lessons that can be learnt from the health sector, nudge techniques, issues with humans being predictively irrational and the importance of influencers.


Finally, we welcomed Simon Crichton, Food Farming & Trade Team Manager at Triodos Bank. Simon discussed Triodos’ mission to make money work for positive change, focusing on three topics; environment, social, and culture. With reference to Rockstrom’s 9 Planetary Boundaries, Simon acknowledged the successful reduction in ozone layer depletion but also suggested that climate change mitigation is a lot more complex and therefore more challenging. With reference to the removal of the Feed In Tariffs, he cautioned that despite the desire to act ethically, we do not always act as ethically as we could and government has an important role to play in setting the long term vision.


The seminars finished off with some fantastic questions from the audience and answers from the speakers, followed by a lively 60 second pitch session from attendees. The event concluded with some valuable networking and a delicious sustainable selection of pastries, fruit and refreshments.


The Future Economy Network would like to offer sincere thanks to the speakers, and to Triodos Bank for their support. Also, a huge thank you to all attendees – we hope you found it an interesting and insightful event. 

The Future Economy Network look forward to seeing you at another event soon! Details of upcoming events can be found here