Press Release

Six Leading Conservation Organizations Launch Global Search for Climate Solutions Centered on Behavior Change

Solution Search will surface, support and promote innovative approaches to change people’s behaviors and reduce greenhouse gas emissions

May 10, 2018

(Arlington, VA) Today, six leading conservation organizations announced the launch of a global crowdsourcing competition designed to identify, reward and spotlight innovative approaches to curbing climate change by changing consumers’ behaviors. The six organizations sponsoring Solution Search: Climate Change Needs Behavior Change, are RareConservation InternationalNational GeographicThe Nature ConservancyUnited Nations Development Programme, and World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

The competition is open to nonprofits, companies, governments and other organizations that have developed and implemented approaches to helping consumers adopt more climate-friendly behaviors. While traditional approaches often rely primarily or exclusively on economic or regulatory incentives, Solution Search: Climate Change Needs Behavior Change will focus on approaches that use insights from behavioral science including making emotional appeals, leveraging social incentives, and making preferred behaviors easier to adopt.

“Human behavior is the root cause of climate change. But it could also be part of the solution. We can use what we know about human behavior and decision making to help consumers make climate-friendly choices. Right now, there are solutions at work in communities around the world doing just that. We are excited to join forces to identify these solutions, shine the spotlight on them, and help spark the kind of widespread behavior change needed to meet the challenge of climate change,” said the heads of the sponsoring organizations in a joint statement.

The entry deadline is August 7, 2018. Finalists will be announced in November 2018, and the winners will be announced in March 2019. There are two grand prizes—one Judges’ Choice winner determined by a panel of judges, and one People’s Choice winner determined by public vote. Each will receive a $25,000 grand prize and a capacity-building workshop with some of the biggest names in conservation, development and behavioral science.

The panel of Solution Search judges includes Aileen Lee, Chief Program Officer of the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation’s Environmental Conservation Program; Anthony Leiserowitz, the Director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication; Brett Jenks, President and CEO of Rare; Carter Roberts, President and CEO of World Wildlife Fund; Charlotte Blank, Chief Behavioral Officer at Maritz; Chris Graves, President & Founder of the Ogilvy Center for Behavioral Science; David Halpern, Head of the United Kingdom’s Behavioural Insights Team; Elke Weber, Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs, Princeton University; Gary E. Knell, CEO of National Geographic Partners; Henry Paulson, former US Treasury Secretary; Katharine Wilkinson, Senior Writer of Drawdown; M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International; and Mark Tercek, President and CEO of The Nature Conservancy.

This is the fifth Solution Search contest. Rare, in conjunction with other partners, facilitated the previous contests, Turning the Tide for Coastal Fisheries, Adapting to a Changing Environment, Reducing our Risk and Farming for Biodiversity.