Environmental Sustainability

Behavioral Science Can Help More Consumers Bank Sustainably

by Griffin Smith

The global financial system provides the fuel which feeds the fires of climate change, Bill McKibben recently argued in The New Yorker. McKibben highlights the key role of banks, asset managers, and insurance companies in funding the extractive ventures of fossil fuel giants. The scale is stunning: in the three years since the Paris Agreement […]

Social Norms for Social Good: 3 Insights to Apply

by Liana Johnson

Social norms are a powerful tool for improving lives—they have helped people get healthier, save more money, and take positive environmental actions. While social norms sound simple—“tell people what others are doing and they’ll change their behavior!”—there are plenty of nuances to leveraging them for social good. Apply these three insights to optimize your social […]

5 Impactful Behavioral Insights from 2018

by ideas42

A significant part of our work at ideas42 is learning, constantly, about people—how they make decisions and how their actions are impacted by the world around them. Through a deeper understanding about our often-quirky tendencies, we can more effectively design solutions that can positively impact the lives of millions of people. In this process, each […]

Bringing Behavioral Design to NYC Non-profits

by ideas42

We’ve spent more than a decade applying behavioral science to complex social problems, all in the service of improving the lives of millions of people. Part of our mission is to dramatically expand the use of behavioral science as a problem-solving tool, and that’s why we’ve recently broadened our efforts to bring this approach to […]

Before Banning Plastic Straws, Try a Nudge

by Erin Sherman & Liam Speranza

  “Plastic Straw Bans are Spreading.” “Here are the U.S. cities that have banned plastic straws so far.” “San Francisco board passes plastic straw ban.” You’ll find dozens of headlines like these in the news announcing the spread of plastic straw bans across the United States. Reducing unnecessary consumption has seemed increasingly urgent as a […]

‘Tis the Season for Americans to…Give to Charity?

by Sarah Welch

In 2014, 31% of annual charitable giving occurred in the month of December—and 12% in the last 3 days of the year. Why? There are many potential reasons. The traditional holiday season sparks generosity and a desire to help others. Some people make last-minute donations for tax purposes. And more recently, fundraisers’ giving campaigns are […]

Trick or Treat: Four Spooky (Because They’re Real) Behavioral Insights

by ideas42

If you’re getting yourself into the Halloween…spirit…by checking the back of closets and behind curtains for boogeymen, don’t forget to take a peek in the mirror. Sometimes we don’t find the eeriest things lurking in dark corners, but in the corners of our own minds. That’s right, studying behavior (and examining our own behavior) can […]

Skipping The Bag: A Look at Chicago’s Bag Tax

by Lee-Sien Kao

This summer, a wave of restrictions on plastic drinking straws swept through legislatures and councils in California, New York City, and Seattle; even private companies like Starbucks are taking a stand on plastic straws—the beverage giant is planning to phase them out of their stores entirely by 2020. While there’s been some controversy surrounding these […]

Want Generous, Intentional, and Informed Giving? Try Behavioral Science

by Omar Parbhoo

It’s often said that Americans are exceptionally generous, and fortunately, it’s a claim that’s well supported by the numbers. In 2016 alone, U.S. households donated over $282 billion to charities worldwide. And when compared globally, the U.S. consistently ranks as one of the most altruistic countries by the World Giving Index. But do these absolute […]

The Role of Combinatorial Innovation in Addressing Societal Challenges

by ideas42

  idea42’s Josh Wright recently caught up with Tom Kalil, Chief Innovation Officer of Schmidt Futures, and former Deputy Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy.  One of the ideas that Tom is exploring is that science and technology can and should be playing a larger role in addressing societal challenges, particularly those […]