Canvas8 is official insight partner for Nudgestock 2017

Five big ideas we’re exploring at Nudgestock 2017

UPDATE: Dispatches from the Canvas8 HQ

For advertisers and marketers, established in the game of inspiring emotional reactions, an understanding of behavioural economics can reveal powerful insights. At Nudgestock 2017 — created by Ogilvy Change — some of the world’s biggest thinkers are gathering today to discuss how behavioural economics can lead marketers to new creative heights. As the event’s official insights partner, Canvas8 conducted a series of interviews with the speakers in anticipation of the main event. Here are five of the biggest ideas that these thinkers are exploring.

1. Is it possible to program ethical tech?

If your driverless car accidentally ran somebody over, who’s fault would it be? As tech takes on a growing body of human tasks, its moral compass is increasingly coming under scrutiny.

There has never been a better time to be a technology ethicist
Dr. Blay Whitby, philosopher and technology ethicist

2. How do we shape each other’s behaviours?

Surviving in the modern world means being best adapted to interacting with, working alongside, and getting what you want out of other people. Being optimally adapted means having finely attuned skills that enable you to shape the behaviour of others.

Think about how much time you spend thinking about the things your friends would like or dating people and thinking about what their favourite things are and picking out gifts for them. There’s a huge amount of cognitive effort that goes into remembering other people’s preferences and aversions
Diana Fleischman, lecturer in Psychology at The University of Portsmouth

3. How do you solve a problem with nudges?

How can lollipops, ‘wizards’ and dog shows help bring communities together and fight criminal or disruptive behaviour? Behavioural nudges can solve some of society’s most serious problems.

A little education for a potential crime victim — as well as changes to the location of potential crimes — all help kill the problem
Stevyn Colgan, author of ‘Why Did the Policeman Cross the Road?’

4. How do people make moral judgements?

People are hardwired to know the difference between right and wrong, and these moral values are powerful motivators. But how do we make these judgements?

Morality is all about cooperation. It’s a collection of different strategies for solving social problems
Dr. Oliver Scott Curry, senior researcher and director of the Oxford Morals Project at the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology

5. How can handwriting make marketing more human?

Although snail mail may seem outdated in a world full of emails, DMs and chatbots, research shows that in 2016 direct mail campaigns garnered a higher response rate than any digital channel.

Everyone comes up with these hugely complicated algorithms and search engine stuff, but something as simple as being personal with pen on paper can make a huge difference to how your customers respond to you. No one ever rips up a handwritten note before they read it
Charlotte Pearce, founder of Inkpact

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Lore Oxford is cultural editor at Canvas8, specialising in behavioural insights and consumer research. She previously ran her own science and technology publication and was a columnist for Dazed and Confused. When she’s not busy analysing human behaviour, she can be found defending anything from selfie culture to the Kardashians from contemporary culture snobs.