SXSW Interactive 2013

Acting "as if" They Care: Gamifying Social Change

Stop trying to get people to care; get them to ACT “as if” they cared.

Caring alone is an insufficient motivator for some of the most important actions we need to take (eg. losing weight, campaigning for a cause, saving energy, or even downloading a new app). But, most common approaches appeal to underlying values, not to actual behavioral drivers.

This session will dive deep into some of the key tenants of behavioral science and gamification and how they may be applied to driving people to action.

Specific case studies will illustrate these concepts and give the audience actionable tips to incorporating behavioral science in their work.

From health, to education, to sustainability, to political action, we’ll cover real examples of massive results achieved by leveraging extrinsic or unrelated motivations.

Behavioral science research has demonstrated that while it is important to inspire people to care, it is often more important to get them to act as if they cared.

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  1. Why is it so hard to get people to take action on things in which they fundamentally believe? Why is a fundamentally held believe or value such a poor motivator?
  2. What are some inspiring examples of success in driving users to action? What can we learn from each of these examples? How does the driver of the action leverage behavioral science to make this change?
  3. How can we leverage the lessons of behavioral economics and gamification to drive action? How can these lessons also help us get people to spread the message socially?
  4. But, I really believe in my cause/app/movement; wouldn’t it just be easier if everyone else believed in my cause?
  5. What can I do tomorrow to start getting people to act as if they cared (about whatever I care about)?



Yoav Lurie, Founder & CEO, Simple Energy

Meta Information:

  • Tags: sustainability
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Solo
  • Track: Community and Activism
  • Track 2
  • Level: Advanced
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