MakeSense is a global community of people passionate about social enterprise. I’ve been part of the community since 2013 when I set up the “HotSpot” in Oxford. I’ve helped run 20+ “HoldUps” (design thinking workshops) bringing in members of the public to help social entrepreneurs come up with new solutions to a particular challenge they are facing. From creating sustainable luxury accommodation out of buses to a musical to introduce people to social enterprise, it’s been a whirlwind of interesting people and projects!

I’m currently working on a new style of HoldUp which uses insights from the behavioural sciences to design better products and services. It’s specifically for social enterprises whose “social” is through trying to change people’s behaviour.  This is because so many of our social problems are created by our habits (think everyday exercise routines, the “occasional” extra chocolate bar, switching on the heating for a bit of extra comfort, buying expensive food for the convenience).  This isn’t to lay all of the blame at the individuals’ feet – there are certainly systemic changes that need to be made too. But we need to work at every level.  I’ve trialed the workshop so far in the Netherlands for a health and fitness shop, in Belgium for a bicycle cooperative and in London for a circular economy org. It’s been very much inspired by the work of the Behavioural Insights Team and by BJ Fogg‘s work at Stanford so lots of credit to them.

Here is the current version of the workshop – it’s not currently beautifully designed – still working on that! If you’d like to run it yourself for a project or have any suggestions, get in touch – I’m always tweaking it. And of course get in touch if you’d like your social enterprise to feature (it’s free like everything else MakeSense does for social enterprises).


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