Around three fourths of Europe’s CO2 emissions are associated with households consumption. Meeting EU’s ambitious climate change targets of reductions in carbon emissions by 2050 will therefore require patterns of household consumption to change radically from the current baseline. Influencing behaviour is a key part of this.
However, ultimately behavioural change messages will not address “rebound” effect or encourage broader sustainability thinking. Indeed, often, people spend money saved on high carbon products or services, offsetting dramatically saved greenhouse gas emissions and sometimes having a huge counter-productive effect on efforts already made.
So, what’s the solution? Manipulate people?
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Is manipulation the only way to change behaviours?
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The Baden-Württemberg Foundation, which intends to pave the way for cutting-edge research, a variety of training activities and the responsible use of their citizens launched an expedition truck to raise awareness about Smart-Grids through a game. The truck, called “Expedition N”-truck, will be on a year-long tour.
Visitors in the truck can play a multi-player game. Their mission is to reenact the functionality of an intelligent power grid (“Smart Grid”) as a consistent group. They become a kind of “human smart grid” and learn how the energy turn can be achieved by means of intelligent networking of power producers and power consumers.
We used to talk a lot about gamification and ways to raise awareness. Here is an interesting example. SIEMENS would like to raise awareness and teach people about new forms of energy through a new, fun game called Power Matrix. It’s free, and it’s beautiful even though one thing is missing apparently: it’s all about power generation and nothing about Energy Efficiency.
Starting with a rural territory where your future city is about to develop, the goal is to provide it with a sustainable power supply through a mix of various energy technologies while keeping a budget. The game flows effortlessly through different energy sources and their effects on the community.
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How SIEMENS uses serious game to raise awareness
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