Big Society Behaviour Change

Steven Johnson recently delivered a presentation to the HSJ Behaviour Change and Social Marketing conference focused on what the behaviour change landscape will look like when (if) the big society vision begins to take shape. It focused on three key areas:

  • How social marketing will fall out of favour as a label and a practice as a result of the need to diversify behaviour change approaches.
  • The influence of emerging research in the behavioural sciences, most notably behavioural economics and the Coalition’s focus on choice architecture and ‘nudging’.
  • The need to place participation and partnership at the heart of behaviour change interventions, inline with our Collaborative Change approach.

The purpose of the presentation was to encourage our behaviour change community to look to the future as well as celebrate the past. The arrival of the Coalition and a new set of social change priorities will change the behaviour change landscape beyond recognition, not just in terms of shrinking budgets, but in terms of a philosophical shift in the foundations of our practice.

With this in mind, I thought it important that this conference didn’t become a self-congratulatory portfolio of case study presentations, but rather a forum for practitioners to discuss some urgent, burning questions. The presentation is available for download here.


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