Top 7 Sunday reads – #5

Here’s a few of my favourite bits and pieces from the past week, mostly around the theme of behaviour change and health promotion. I hope they’re helpful. Also, don’t forget to join in the growing community at #behaviourchange and #behaviorchange for a constant source of inspiration and fresh thinking.

1. A great interview on BBC – Radio 4 this past week on Nudging and behavioural economics (including a discussion with Nudge author Richard Thaler). It’s a nice intro to the overall theory as well as an update on various initiatives being launched by the Cabinet Office Behavioural Insight Team. Hat Tip @DivaCreative

2. A handy chart on 8 potential ways of applying Behavioural Economics theory for behaviour change. Rather than a silver bullet, it does start to shift us more toward a direction that goes with the grain of how people think.  And that’s a big step up from older models. Hat tip @mhallsworth and thoughts from Mark Earls here

3. This article via the LA Times focuses on the positive behaviour change impacts that can come from harnessing pride. For anyone (like me) who believes in shrinking the change by focusing where possible on the positive impact of change, rather than the negative, it’s a great reminder. For others, it may provoke some discussion or alternate views – via @aaronsklar

4. Lovely thoughts as always from Russell Davies in Wired. Here he talks about secondary thinking, and how designers are creating tools for stuff that gets half our attention. Also check out his inspired post on the Internet of Things.

5. For pure inspiration and beauty, this is incredible. Sophie Windsor Clive and Liberty Smith were canoeing along the River Shannon in Ireland, when they were treated to a mind-blowing show by a flock of starlings (or murmuration). Talk about right place, right time. Just stunning!

6. It seems appropriate after the above video to post this article in Psychology Today, focused on debunking the myth of human exceptionalism.

Of course we are exceptional in various arenas as are other animals. Perhaps we should replace the notion of human exceptionalism with species exceptionalism, a move that will force us to appreciate other animals for who they are, not who or what we want them to be.

Animals are not only a source of inspiration, but I think their interactions provide us with much to learn when it comes to helping us better understand our own behaviour.


7. And finally, a little something from Lady Gaga. Last year I did a talk at the agency on what she can teach us about branding. And this week, she’s again demonstrated what can come from having a singular point of view and passion, and backing it up. She’s always embraced her fans and helped them celebrate their uniqueness – her “Little Monsters” as she calls them. Her Born This Way Foundation is a further demonstration of this focus – as it works to empower youth and drive change around issues such as bullying and abandonment.  You can read more here.