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Measuring community engagement with sustainability: 'Living for our Future'

Donlen, Julian, Condon, Linda, & Tourney, Anne (2005) Measuring community engagement with sustainability: 'Living for our Future'. In Social Change in the 21st Century Conference, 28 October 2005, QUT Carseldine, Brisbane.

Abstract

Research in social marketing shows that information alone will not lead to behavioural change in individuals, particularly in relation to sustainable practices which are broad ranging and require new ways of thinking and acting. Change is more likely to occur through social contact with individuals who have made the change and demonstrate positive outcomes. This project sought to engage and inspire long-term behavioural change with members of the Boroondara community to: • reduce use of natural resources • reduce production of waste • decrease use of car transport • increase use of products made from recycled or non toxic materials, and • improve community engagement. The program recruited participants through established community groups into two workshops: a control group and an action-learning group. The methodology of engagement was based on social marketing techniques and focussed on providing information that participants could choose to act upon. Decisions to act and behaviour changes were measured using surveys, ecological footprint measurement and workshop activities. The research findings have been analysed to gain a deeper understanding of the most effective engagement processes to use with communities to promote action for environmental sustainability. The key outcomes of the research findings include: analyses of differences between the two groups; participation rate; behaviour change towards sustainability; feedback on the barriers to action tested; uptake of incentives and environmental initiatives; social impacts and program evaluation. Results of the research will be used to develop on-going engagement on environmental sustainability with communities throughout Victoria.

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ID Code: 3540
Item Type: Conference Paper
Keywords: sustainability, community, social marketing, measuring, behaviour change, barriers, environmental, research
ISBN: 1741071089
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Applied Sociology Program Evaluation and Social Impact Assessment (160801)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Social Change Research
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > QUT Carseldine - Humanities & Human Services
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 (The authors)
Deposited On: 17 Feb 2006
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 22:30

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