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Making Shift Happen - Environmental Behavior Change Fundamentals Series

Making Shift Happen - Environmental Behavior Change Fundamentals Series

Tue Jan 17, 2023

Making Shift Happen - Environmental Behavior Change Fundamentals Series

Time Tue Jan 17 2023 at 10:30 am to 12:00 pm

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USD 695

Making Shift Happen - Environmental Behavior Change Fundamentals Series, 17 January | Online Event | Making Shift Happen - Environmental Behavior Change Fundamentals Series
Behavior is the root of environmental problems & solutions. Learn behavior change methods to take your environmental work to the next level.

About this Event

Making Shift Happen: Designing for Successful Behavior Change for Environmental & Social Impact Professionals

Human Behavior is at the root of environmental problems…and their solutions

[? ? ? NOTE: This event is the 15-week series of 90-minute trainings starting in January
? To sign up for the 3-day intensive October 19-21, click here
? To sign up for the 3-day intensive January 11-13, click here ]

✔ Want to quickly add behavior change best practices to all your communications and initiatives?

✔ Want to apply solutions that are good for the environment and save stakeholders money?

Have a behavior you want the public / policymakers / institutions to adopt?

✔ Want to learn in an interactive setting using slides, videos, quizzes, activities, games, white-boarding with other participants, and workshopping your particular issues with peer groups throughout?


At Root Solutions, we partner with change-makers to bridge the gap between awareness & action. Our training, based on , introduces you to evidence-based tools and resources from behavioral economics, cognitive science, human centered design, systems thinking, and more – and teaches you how to employ these tools to promote pro-environmental behaviors within your target audiences.

This 22+ hour live training, taken as fifteen 90-minute modules over five weeks, is a must have for practitioners in nonprofits, government agencies, corporations, environmental foundations, or for anyone looking to design successful campaigns and initiatives that shift behaviors and mindsets towards positive environmental outcomes and a better future for all.

We recommend signing up here for our entire Environmental Behavior Change Fundamentals Series. You can also sign up for either sub-series:

  • Setting Yourself up for Success → The Making Shift Happen Process
  • Solutions, Solutions → The Making Shift Happen Behavioral Building Blocks™.

And, if you can only attend one or two of the 15 individual modules we are positive you will learn material that will help you shift behaviors and mindsets toward positive environmental outcomes and a better future for all.

If you choose to complete the entire Environmental Behavior Change Fundamentals Series you will walk away with a certification and with a comprehensive suite of applied techniques needed to design and execute effective behavior change campaigns, policies, and strategies based directly on how people think, make decisions, and act. You will be able to diagnose behaviors keeping your current programs from reaching their full potential, employ an evidence-based approach to understanding what really drives your audience, develop and design appropriate solutions, and, finally, implement and test the efficacy of your strategies.

Whether you complete the entire series or a single module, expect clear instructions, hands on practice, and myriad examples that illustrate each techniques’ real-world potential. The descriptions below break down exactly what you can expect to learn from this training and for more information you can also visit our training and events page.


If any of these sound like you, we invite you to join us in our practical training series that will show you how to use a human-centered design approach to move your audience from awareness to action to impact.

✔ You are a non-profit leader who wants to make your initiatives more effective.

✔ You are the manager of a grant who has promised to deliver a change in a target audience’s behavior.

You are a communications manager seeking to craft messages that move your audience to take action.

✔ You are a program manager whose program includes an aspect of behavior change (e.g. reduce single-use plastics, curb paper usage, or encourage energy efficiency upgrades).

✔ You are an academic or solo practitioner interested in incorporating behavior change techniques into your work.

✔ You are a curious individual motivated to learn more about how to promote pro-environmental behaviors in your own home or in your community.

Different learning styles accommodated

In each module, you’ll learn through a mix of lecture, videos, worksheets, practicing, working with other participants, and getting real-time feedback from speakers and facilitators.


Each module has exercises applying course material to your real-world situations in peer-group breakout rooms.

Live facilitation

During each module, facilitators respond to questions via chat and participate in each breakout room.

Examples and case studies galore

Throughout the training, we incorporate real-world examples of behavior design in action, from the environmental field and beyond. We share case studies for each behavioral intervention strategy that we introduce, so that you get a vivid understanding of its real-world potential.

Hands-on application

Our breakout rooms, where you are paired with people working on the same issues, provide you with ample opportunities to participate in hands-on activities to “test-drive” behavior design principles. Through individual and group work, you will have the opportunity to practice applying the concepts to challenges that your own organization may be facing.

WHAT WILL I LEARN?Setting Yourself up for Success → The Making Shift Happen Process

We provide a roadmap for getting from the environmental challenge that you want to address to implementing and scaling a behavior change initiative in the real world. In each module we also explore some of the processes of the human brain that influence our behavior, such as cognitive biases and emotions, and discuss important considerations like ethics, scarcity, and equity that practitioners should always keep in mind when designing behavior change initiatives, policies, and strategies.

? Module 1 →

The INITIATE phase is designed to set practitioners up for success by helping you strategically identify, evaluate, and select the environmental challenges, audiences, and specific behaviors on which to focus the initiative for maximum impact. We also discuss where in the system you will have the greatest leverage in our introduction to systems thinking. The guidance provided in this module will help you complete these steps from scratch, or it can augment your organization’s existing strategic planning processes and systems. Not only will the work done in this phase help you select the most impactful, achievable, and scalable audience and behavior to work with, the research you do will inform everything you do in later phases.

? Module 2 →

UNCOVER the factors that are truly driving your audience’s behavior. What’s stopping them from taking action, and how can you help them overcome this? The Uncover phase is separated into two modules. In this module, you'll learn about the major drivers - barriers and motivators or fuel and friction - of behavior, which are mapped into three categories: Means (can I do it?), Motivation (do I want to do it?), and Memory (can I remember to do it?). While it can be tempting to skip straight to solutions, taking the time to listen to and deeply understand your audience is at the heart of the Making Shift Happen process—ignoring or making assumptions about why people are or are not adopting a behavior can waste resources or even backfire. This module is a must!

? Module 3 →

UNCOVER the factors that are truly driving your audience’s behavior. What’s stopping them from taking action, and how can you help them overcome this? The Uncover phase is separated into two modules. You will walk from this module with the knowledge and tools you need to conduct a Behavior Determinants Analysis to reveal your audience’s barriers, beliefs, values, motivations and more, and how to leverage these to bring about the behaviors and actions you want. ANY organization (no matter how small) can complete a low-cost, low-tech, high-impact analysis to obtain evidence based results and we show you how. (Note: we recommend you take Module 2 before taking this module).

? Module 4 →

In this module you will learn to use what you know about your issue area, audience, and behavior to DESIGN a complete suite of behavioral shifters - evidence-based behavior change solutions - that address barriers the audience faces so you can achieve your goals. You’ll use science-backed shifters from the Making Shift Happen Behavioral Building Blocks™ to accomplish this. You will also learn audience segmentation approaches so your solutions have the best chance of success. No matter how perfect the solution, unless it works for the audience and is rolled out effectively it may not be taken up by key stakeholders; in this module we take a deep dive into prototyping - which allows you to identify problems and make necessary adjustments to your behavior change messages and initiatives quickly and affordably - before you use substantial resources to roll them out.

? Module 5 →

In this module you will also get an overview of planning a full-fledged initiative including considerations for scaling your initiative to even broader audiences. You will get an introduction to experimental design as well as how to use pilots as experiments to test the effectiveness of your initiative. Finally, will discuss evaluation, including baseline data and metrics, making refinements, and fully implementing your initiative in the real-world.

Solutions, Solutions → The Making Shift Happen Behavioral Building Blocks™

​​​​Once you’ve selected the behaviors you want to change, it’s time to start the process of planning which behavioral strategies you are going to use to achieve the change you seek. There are hundreds of techniques (also called interventions) for shifting our audiences' behaviors. We have identified the best, most powerful time-tested solutions and divided them into 10 easy to understand Behavioral Building Blocks™, each covered in one module. Our Behavioral Building Blocks™ framework is based on thousands of research articles, real-world case studies, and years of our own experience. For a summary on each Building Block, please read on.

? Module 1 →

Why do you save energy? Is it to protect the environment? Benefit society? Save money? Because others are doing it? If you’re like most people, you don’t believe that knowing what your peers are doing has much, if any, effect on your behavior. However, although people tend to underestimate the degree to which others influence their own behavior, social norms are among the most powerful motivators of behavior change. In this module, you'll learn how to use social norms to ensure that environmental behaviors spread and are durable.

? Module 2 →

How many of us have waited until the last minute to file our taxes? How many times have you stopped filling out a form when it took too long? In today’s busy and ever-changing world, we are asked to take many different actions every single day and even every hour. To optimize our limited time, attention, and energy, we often take the path of least resistance. Even minor inconveniences, or hassle factors, can cause us to move on to easier or more pressing matters. In this module, we discuss tips for making the desired behaviors as simple, seamless, and convenient as possible. We’ll also explore adding friction to make undesirable behaviors difficult to complete.

? Module 3 →

Have you ever driven halfway to work without even realizing it? While learning a new behavior, like driving a car, requires focused concentration, with frequent repetition the brain creates neurological pathways that reinforce a pattern to the point where the behavior becomes so automatic we don’t have to pay attention at all. Because our brains are constantly trying to save time and energy, the "path of least resistance" subconsciously guides much of our daily behavior. This module provides a variety of tools to support our target audiences in building durable positive habits by shaping the first actions toward change, introducing new contextual cues to trigger desired actions, and reinforcing these actions with practice, feedback, and incentives. This chapter also provides a variety of tools to support breaking habits by disrupting old cues and response links.

? Module 4 →

We all have things that we are attached to, such as the people, animals, or places that we love the most, certain activities, and our culture and customs. When we care deeply about something, we experience powerful emotions that motivate us to protect or preserve it, and we prioritize the things that are in line with the morals and ideals that guide our judgments. However, we sometimes lose sight of how integral our environment is to all the things we are attached to. In this module, you'll learn how to help your audience see the connection between the environmental issues you work on and the people, experiences, places, values, morals, and ideologies that they are attached to.

? Module 5 →

Why do we notice and remember some things, while others "go in one ear and out the other"? In our fast-paced and technology-driven society, we are bombarded by messages competing for our attention every day—from billboards, to pop-ups on our phones, to signs in the grocery store. The sheer volume of information—all of which claims to be important—results in information overload and, ultimately, attention fatigue. We simply can’t process and respond to all the messages presented to us—even those about things that are truly important to us. Given the critical importance of what information is most noticeable and memorable, environmental practitioners face a critical challenge and opportunity. To be successful, we must design initiatives that not only take attention fatigue into account, but also overcome it. This module is about how to overcome attention fatigue by making our messages as noticeable, engaging, and memorable as possible.

? Module 6 →

We each carry multiple identities, such as that of a student, sibling, professional, or parent. Each identity is shaped by our individual expectations for ourselves and by the expectations placed on us by others. If we fail to fulfill the expectations associated with our identity, we risk the inconsistency disappointing ourselves or others. Our drive to be consistent with our most strongly held values and societal roles shapes every aspect of our lives, including how we interact with others, how we respond to messages in our environment, and how we behave on a daily basis. This module provides tools to leverage your audience's drive to be consistent with their identities so as to encourage environmental behaviors.

? Module 7 →

Sea levels are rising. Wildfires are blazing out of control. Species teeter on the brink of extinction as ecosystems are threatened by human activity and a changing climate. When this is all we hear about the environment, it’s no wonder we find ourselves feeling overwhelmed or even paralyzed. The truth is, most of us do care about the health of the planet, but many environmental issues feel daunting, abstract, and outside of our individual control. These feelings are amplified when environmental practitioners highlight the catastrophic nature of a problem, guided by the mistaken assumption that this strategy will not only grab people’s attention but also make them more likely to act. In this module, you will learn to empower your audiences through active optimism: the kind of optimism that is rooted in action. Active optimism isn’t just about believing that the outcome will be positive, it’s also about feeling empowered and capable of taking action to make that outcome a reality. This kind of optimism is a crucial driver of transformational, enduring environmental change.

? Module 8 →

In an ideal world, everyone would be motivated to engage in environmental behaviors all of the time. Everyone would believe that the costs of the environmental behaviors (like the extra time it takes to sort our food into compost bins) are outweighed by the benefits (like the reduced emissions from food in landfills), even if those benefits will be realized far into the future. However, in reality, few of us are sufficiently motivated by distant, diffused, or intangible rewards. Sometimes your audience will require an extra incentive to make the benefits of environmental behavior outweigh the costs and to overcome the psychological and social barriers to behavior change. In this module you will learn the best practices for designing and delivering rewards and penalties to motivate positive environmental behavior.

? Module 9 →

Framing information in a way that activates meaningful mental associations is essential for encouraging a shift in mindsets toward environmental engagement. You'll learn about frames that have already been tested, especially climate frames, how to avoid detrimental frames. You will also learn about the power of metaphors and how to test your own metaphors and frames.

? Module 10 →

What about the type of transformational change that can shift the mindset of an entire society? People need intrinsic motivation--motivation that arises from within--to continue to take action for the environment long after our initiatives are gone. In a society that values productivity and economic output above all else, it's hardly surprising that we find it difficult to slow down, to connect with nature, and even to know ourselves. In addition, we are continuously bombarded with bad news – and, as climate change accelerates, the news will get worse before it gets better. At worst, we may find ourselves isolated in a "bubble" that causes us to lose our empathy and compassion for others and nature. This loss of connection can lower our long-term motivation to care for others and protect our environment, making the barriers to behavior change even harder to overcome. This module discusses how to change mindsets by building intrinsic motivation to protect the environment. Activating intrinsic motivation is essential to creating permanent, transformational changes in how we live on this planet. This is by no means a quick fix, but it is an enduring one.


Training and break-out room facilitation are conducted by Root Solutions staff. They have delivered day-long to week-long trainings to governments, businesses, non-profits, and the public since 2013.

The primary trainer is Nya Van Leuvan. Nya is a leader in the design and implementation of programs and policies that change human behavior to produce positive environmental outcomes. She is the first author of Making Shift Happen: Designing for Environmental Behavior Change. Nya is the Executive director at Root Solutions, leading the development of their behavior design method and its successful application to reduce single-use-plastics consumption, save energy, change cigarette littering habits, reduce paper use at large institutions, among many more environmental victories. Before Root Solutions, Nya worked on ocean and fisheries conservation at the Environmental Defense Fund and co-authored two books on the use of incentives. Nya holds an MA from the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University and a BA from University of California, Berkeley.


If you would like to sign up for individual modules (instead of a series), please sign up by clicking on the title of each module you are interested in above.


⭐ You will receive the whole series at a discounted price of $695 (a savings of ~30%). Signing up for either sub-series is also possible; Setting Yourself up for Success → The Making Shift Happen Process, or Solutions, Solutions → The Making Shift Happen Behavioral Building Blocks™ are also discounted ~20% from the $65/module price.

⭐ You will receive the book Making Shift Happen: Designing for Successful Environmental Behavior Change ($49.99 value) with free shipping in the US.

⭐ You will also receive an Environmental Behavior Change Fundamentals Certification.

⭐ You will be placed in breakout rooms with others who have signed up for the whole series - so you can dive deeper into your issue area, network with others facing similar challenges, and have peers to trade advice with long after the training ends.


All proceeds from training goes toward fulfilling our non-profit mission; for every environmental practitioner to be able to implement effective behavior change campaigns in-house. Success for us would mean that all change-makers can do this work on their own, and would no longer need us to train or consult with them! That is also why every participant at our training will walk away with tangible, practical, easy-to-use tools (think worksheets, spreadsheets and more). If you would like to learn more information about us, and what we stand for, please see our website.

Environmental Behavior Change Fundamentals Series

➤ Organizational Staff → $695 per person

➤ NGO Volunteers or Students → $420 per person (contact us)

➤ Scholarships → Contact us

Setting Yourself up for Success → The Making Shift Happen Process

➤ Organizational Staff → $259 per person

➤ NGO Volunteers or Students → $159 per person (contact us)

➤ Scholarships → Contact us

Solutions, Solutions → The Making Shift Happen Behavioral Building Blocks™

➤ Organizational Staff → $519 per person

➤ NGO Volunteers or Students → $319 per person (contact us)

➤ Scholarships → Contact us

Individual Modules

➤ Organizational Staff → $65 per person per training

➤ NGO Volunteers or Students → $40 per person per training

➤ Scholarships → Contact us

? Tuesdays 10:30 am to 12 pm PT / 1:30 pm to 3 pm ET
? January 17 - April 25

Solutions, Solutions → The Making Shift Happen Behavioral Building Blocks™
  • Module 1 → January
  • Module 2 → January
  • Module 3 → February
  • Module 4 → February
  • Module 5 → February
  • Module 6 → March
  • Module 7 → March
  • Module 8 → April
  • Module 9 → April
  • Module 10 → April

These modules are designed to be taken in any order. For example, you can start on Module 9 and 10 then go to 1, 2 and 3 the next time the series is offered (summer) - or you could skip a week while you're on vacation and we can send you the recording and activities.

Setting Yourself up for Success → The Making Shift Happen ProcessModule 1 → Picking the right audience and behavior & scarcity and ethics → JanuaryModule 2 → The major drivers of behavior | emotions & cognitive biases → FebruaryModule 3 → Evidence based approach for finding what drives your audience → MarchModule 4 → Designing and prototyping your behavior change initiative → MarchModule 5 → Implementing and Scaling your initiative & Experimental Design → April

These modules can be taken out of order, however we do recommend that you take Module 2 before Module 3. If you need to skip a week while you're on vacation and we can send you the recording and activities.

⭐ How can I avoid the Eventbrite ticket fees?

Attendees can pay via check, rather than through Eventbrite. Contact us at Y29ubmVjdCB8IHRoZXJvb3Rzb2x1dGlvbnMgISBvcmc= and let us know that you would like to purchase your ticket directly.

⭐ What if I am in one training but want to sign up for the whole series?

We will apply the amount you have already invested to the entire series price. Please contact us at Y29ubmVjdCB8IHRoZXJvb3Rzb2x1dGlvbnMgISBvcmc= to make the necessary changes.

⭐ What if I want to sign up partway through the cycle?

That’s ok! We can send you recordings of the trainings you missed AND you can also join the trainings you missed live the next cycle (early 2023). We will be conducting each module twice in order to better suit everyone’s schedules.

⭐ What if I don't have a specific behavior change campaign in mind?

That's ok! We will help you figure out what behavior change will have the most impact, as well as how to get there most effectively.

⭐ Is my registration fee or ticket transferrable?

Yes. Someone else from your organization may attend in your place if you can no longer make it. Please contact us at Y29ubmVjdCB8IHRoZXJvb3Rzb2x1dGlvbnMgISBvcmc= to make the necessary changes.

⭐ What's the refund policy?

We will refund full priced tickets up to 2 weeks before the training. We will offer a 50% refund up to 1 week before the training. Please note promotional or discounted tickets are not refundable - but they are transferable.

Please contact us at Y29ubmVjdCB8IHRoZXJvb3Rzb2x1dGlvbnMgISBvcmc= to make the necessary changes.

⭐ What can I do if I can't attend training at this time?

If you can’t attend this training, but are interested in future training or want to learn about the other services we offer, sign up for our newsletter on our website or send us an email at Y29ubmVjdCB8IHRoZXJvb3Rzb2x1dGlvbnMgISBvcmc=.

⭐ I signed up for the entire series. I live internationally. How do I get my copy of Making Shift Happen?

We will send you a code to obtain your book through our website. You will only be responsible for shipping costs.

⭐ If I’m a student or a volunteer at my NGO how do I get the discounted price?

Please contact us at Y29ubmVjdCB8IHRoZXJvb3Rzb2x1dGlvbnMgISBvcmc= with required proof from your organization.

⭐ Do you offer scholarships or work trade?

Yes. Root Solutions understands what it's like to work in an under-resourced nonprofit setting. If you are unable to afford the cost of training, please reach out to us. We have limited work trade spots available.

⭐ Do you offer group bookings?

Yes! If you register four or more people from the same organization, you each receive 15% off the series or module price. Please contact us at Y29ubmVjdCB8IHRoZXJvb3Rzb2x1dGlvbnMgISBvcmc= to book.

⭐ How can I contact you with any more questions?

Reach out to us at Y29ubmVjdCB8IHRoZXJvb3Rzb2x1dGlvbnMgISBvcmc=.

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Tickets for Making Shift Happen - Environmental Behavior Change Fundamentals Series can be booked here.

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Environmental Behavior Change Fundamentals Series USD 695
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Tue Jan 17 2023 at 10:30 am to 12:00 pm
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