Human-Centered Sustainability

3 Monday Evenings
January 27, February 3 & 10
7:00p – 9:00p
Studio 1
0 Credits

Conserve water. Recycle. Reduce energy. Protect the wildlife. Use less paper. Don’t litter.

These are behaviors we want to see in a more sustainable society. When people are asked to adopt these behaviors, they’re often left asking, “How? How do I conserve water, reduce energy, and protect wildlife?”

What’s more, calls to action are often framed as a moral imperative to “do less bad” for the collective good– which is often in tension with individual needs and aspirations.

There’s a huge opportunity to align these tensions and design for sustainability in ways that meet individual needs and create real collective benefits. In this pop-up class, we’ll explore how to make sustainability human-centered.

What are the overlaps between what people need in their everyday lives and what’s good for the world? Understanding these overlaps, how can we prompt sustainable behaviors in a way that everyone (not just environmentalists) can feel great about?

The class will consist of three 2-hour sessions, with design activities in between. In session 1, we’ll focus on understanding people’s needs and aspirations related to chosen sustainability topics. In session 2, we’ll design and run behavior change prototypes that address these needs. In session 3, we’ll share what we learned and discuss the larger implications for sustainability.

Teaching Team
Sally Madsen, IDEO
Steve Bishop, IDEO

Enrollment limited to 18 students. Applications close January 7. Apply here: