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The judges felt you had some great ideas - e.g., automatic tracking, and making sure not to ask for 25 different behaviors, but to create a tool that narrows it down to a couple to present to the user. The Pledge has the potential to inspire students to shift energy behaviors. The authors made some good additions of how to promote follow through on the pledge.
The judges had some concerns: Author states 'The goal for the first year is 1% reduction in US emissions. If 10 million people carried out each action on The Pledge to the extent listed above, this goal would be reached.' How are you going to reach 10 million and also, all those actions listed are too much for most people to do, especially as a large percentage of the pledge results come from installing solar. Awareness that community matters is great, but online communities that are not made up of our real world community are rarely motivating for participation or follow through. Great start.
This is a well laid out proposal overall. A lack of collective efficacy is indeed a key challenge when it comes to motivating support for climate action, and it is important to illustrate the combined effort of individual actions.
We like many of the features, such as "The app will have reminders for users, such as checking the tire pressure in their cars every few months," and some thoughts on using data coming from the app for policy. There are some areas for further development as well:
- What are the costs of implementation? We would like to see them spelled out to gauge whether the author(s) understand the feasibility.
- How will you get people to use this app?
- How will you address the gap people often have between intentions and follow-through? It would be helpful to see how you can incorporate follow-up to see if pledged items were done. We'd recommend looking at research on design elements that are considered essential for developing a good commitments campaign.
- There are some details that show a lack of understanding of human behavior change - for example, purchasing a NEST isn't sufficient, as there is ample data that most people purchase it and don't follow through on programming it for efficiency.
- So much of behavior change is focused on consumer behaviors. Is there a way to consider opportunities for people to engage as citizens to support policy change?
A student audience is a smart choice for this campaign and it could have the potential to create a competitive atmosphere between dorms or schools, especially if a gamification component is incorporated. An example of a successful pledge campaign to consider is from the Alliance for Climate Education: https://acespace.org/dot.
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