Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Another twist on social networking....

I read a blog by Maguerite Manteau-Rao, who provides some thought provoking questions around whether 'social networking in green is dead' in a recent Cleantech blog post.

(At the personal or individual level this is probably true, but not necessarily at a business / corporate level). In particular, she also asks: "what type of behavioral strategies are needed in sustainability"?

I think that there is far too much pressure on individuals to be sustainable; there are certainly specific opportunities out there (saving energy, minimizing GHG impacts), and there are those people who will serve as thought leaders and take it upon themselves to drive change. But for the mass of people (i.e. to 'cross the chasm'), daily life and getting by are the key drivers of day to day behavior. There are regulatory, brand mgt, revenue generation, and production cost drivers that need to evolve, until individual behaviors evolve.

So, from this standpoint, 'behavioral strategies' should be reviewed and modified (if necessary) by those groups (industry, government, education) who want to modify manage behavior (i.e. buying products, getting involved in social initiatives etc) on the part of individuals.

From a 'professional' standpoint (that is: those individuals who will make their living in the sustainability field), there are ample opportunities to change behavior; if for no other reason than to live a lifestyle of choice (and to satisfy intellectual and moral needs). I just wrote a column on TriplePundit on this opportunity.

1 comment:

lamarguerite said...

Thanks Scott. I love your 'reasonable' approach to this. Not everyone is cut out to be an eco-hero. I speak from experience! I agree with you that the emphasis should be on setting up the right economic, political, practical context for new behaviors to take hold.