As educators, parents and concerned citizens passionate about nurturing positive change for a better world, it's important to understand what motivates people, what inspires or prohibits certain behaviors, what strategies and tools can help bring about transformative change for individuals, communities, and systems, and so on. There have been several books published recently focused on behavioral economics and social psychology, and one of those books (which I'm in the midst of reading now) is Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath (Zoe blogged about the book recently.)
It's fascinating reading and has all kinds of important insights and implications for people passionate about creating a just, compassionate, healthy world. But what can be challenging about books like this is not just recognizing its value, but actually effectively and concretely applying its wisdom to our own situations, especially when, as is the case with Switch, many of the examples are business-focused. That's why I was so happy to come across an essay by my friends at Vegan Outreach, who have broken down its key points and given specific examples and situations for applying those points (in their case) to strategies for reducing the suffering of animals by promoting a plant-based diet.
In the context of Vegan Outreach, they're focused on using their incredibly powerful leaflets to spark positive change in the food choices of others, and their examples reflect that lens. But their essay is relevant to anyone seeking positive social change.
Read the complete essay.
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