Are you a choice architect?

By Livvy Drake

Over the last couple of months, I have been delivering sustainability training to events, venues and businesses.

I weave behaviour change principles into these sessions to allow people to understand how they can be more impactful at delivering change within their organisation.

One of the things I start off with saying is “You are the choice architects” and as such you have the power to influence behaviours and social norms.

This is done by the infrastructure choices you make available to people. People will generally choose the easy option (the first thing available) or the default.

So you can steer people’s decision through:

What I then go on to say is, a phrase I took from Dan Ariely, “We need to design the path of least resistance“, and I have added in “for sustainable behaviours“.

This came up yesterday in a conversation about the success of returnable cup schemes. Where there is still single-use cups as the default, without any disincentive like a charge, the take-up is limited and not sustained.

What examples can you think of where you or organisations can change the choice architecture for pro-environmental behaviours?

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