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Making Shift Happen:

Designing for Successful Environmental Behavior Change

Use behavioral science and design thinking to understand why people do what they do, and harness these tools to help the planet

For decades, corporations have used behavioral science tactics to promote a culture of overconsumption – successfully selling us stuff we don’t need. At the same time, organizations are creating huge positive social and environmental impacts through simple targeted changes using similar techniques. From hotels who have saved water and money using simple signage, to energy suppliers who have boosted renewable programs through customer enrollment form tweaks, to successes of the same-sex marriage movement – changing the behavior of millions for the better is possible.

Making Shift Happen teaches you how to use behavioral science and human-centered design to understand why people do what they do, and to harness this to help the planet. Drawing on decades of scientific research and practice, this practical guide shows you how to:

  • Research, design, test, and implement practical, data-driven, science-based initiatives to get people to engage in environmentally friendly behaviors
  • Use tools such as design thinking, prototyping, and a behavioral drivers analysis that can be implemented quickly to adapt to rapidly changing situations
  • Design and strengthen pro-environmental policies that are generally beyond the reach of legislation or regulation.

A must-have guide for practitioners in organizations, businesses, and government looking to design successful campaigns and initiatives that shift behavior toward positive environmental outcomes.



Developed with upper division and masters students in mind. Step by step guidance for your applied environmental classes.


We are practitioners and this is the step by step method we use in our behavior change projects.


Full of behavior change methodology and tools to help you and your grantees develop projects that shift behavior.


We could all use a little help adopting positive behaviors and sticking to them! Learn techniques you can apply in your own life today.


We are a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing conservationists and policy makers with tools and resources informed by the proven methods of behavioral science, allowing them to create more effective campaigns, policies, and strategies that reflect how people actually make decisions and the factors that motivate behavior that is good for the environment.


Nya Van Leuvan
Nya Van Leuvan
Lauren Highleyman
Lauren Highleyman
Rod Fujita
Rod Fujita
Ashleigh Kellerman
Ashleigh Kellerman

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