Imagine eliminating anemia in a Cambodian community through a simple fish made of iron, used in cooking pots. See the story in this gorgeous YouTube video.
The fish story was one of the insights I gained from the Social Marketing SPARKS conference, sponsored by the Puget Sound members of the International Social Marketing Association.
“Words aren’t enough,” said Nancy Lee, who followed up the video with a list of other products that have been used to help change people’s behavior, things like:
- A “walking school bus” to pick up kids for school
- Graphic images in urinals to help men improve their aim to reduce splashing
- Merry-go-rounds that kids play on to pump water in Africa
- Thumb socks to prevent texting while driving
- A breathalyzer on a key chain to help you determine if it’s safe for you to drive
- An application to help locate bikes that are part of the New York City bike share program
My two favorite quotes of the day were:
- “A ‘like’ requires less commitment, energy and action than taking a fuzz ball off your sweater,” by Bill Toliver. Toliver said if you hope you create real change, you need a strategy (not tactics), grounded in reasons for people to support you and for you to stick with it.
- “The funny thing about sustainability–you have to sustain it,” by Ron Finley in a video about guerrilla gardening in the South Central Los Angeles food desert.
We also heard about building trust with customers, using data to help elect a strong slate of anti-coal city council members, working toward a strategy of zero traffic deaths in Washington, what’s different with the millennial generation and much more.