We want to know why some people are motivated to be sustainable and others are not. We’re curious about how different sustainable behaviours interact.
It's about finding ways to encourage all of us to make choices that benefit the planet. We’ll use advanced machine learning to find out how to influence people to adopt sustainable practices and to combat climate change. We’ve called our project Empowering a Sustainable Future.
We will use deep machine learning technology to develop a more personalised approach to encouraging sustainable behaviour. We’re going to combine laboratory studies and a large field experiments to understand how individuals respond to various interventions.
In our field experiment at Erasmus University, we will give students four behavioural interventions: prompts, feedback, rewards, and gamification in varying combinations and schedules. From that, we can quantify the change in their focal sustainable behaviours – for example eating more vegan food. We will use this data to train a machine learning model that can predict changes in sustainable behaviours according to the interventions and each student’s characteristics.
The model will allow us to optimise the mix of interventions and their timing, and compare the effectiveness of one-size-fits-all interventions with personalised interventions.
Our insights should enhance our understanding of how to effectively promote sustainable actions. Then we can all create better strategies to inspire behavioural change to combat the climate emergency.
You could say that our research has two main objectives:
- Achieve a long-term, habitual change in students’ sustainable behaviour by:
- Reducing unsustainable food consumption
- Reducing energy consumption
- Increasing the use of biking and using public transport
- Develop a way to personalise behavioural interventions to combat climate change that other large organisations can use.
- We will develop the app or platform used for testing the interventions.
- For more detailed information about our research, click here.
There’s a bonus too! We get to meet a new network of businesses and organisations that want to help us motivate people to act against climate change.
Collaborate with us
What we ask
Here’s how you can help make this project a success.
- We plan to incentivise students with a rewards programme. Sponsoring the rewards will enable us to encourage students to engage in sustainable behaviours and make a positive impact on the environment.
- You can be involved as much or as little as you want. We’re welcoming contributons valued between €500 and €10,000. Choose a sponsorship level that best fits your budget and marketing goals.
What you get in return
There are immediate benefits:
- Increase your brand awareness. Your logo appears on our website and shows you have helped us to incentivise 1500 students at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Your organisation will also be seen by an even larger international crowd of companies, organisations and individuals via the university’s communications of its research activities.
- Demonstrate your commitment to sustainability. You get the satisfaction and the kudos of associating with a project at a leading European university that promotes sustainable behaviours and positive social impact
- Engage with a new market. You can test your market on 1500 bright and smart young people in a way that’s low-cost and low risk.
And later in the project:
You can use our data insights for your sustainability strategies! Together, we can create a brighter, cleaner, and more sustainable future.
Do you want to support our research? Find out more about sponsoring the reward shop in the project Empowering a Sustainable Future.