This week we bring you a dizzying mix of the latest in politics, behaviour change, and the world of community engagement. Our Values Lab becomes a centre for political analysis (explore what values tell us about people’s view on taxes) whilst our Engagement Hub looks at the challenges facing our democracy, with a sobering report on how little the public trust politicians.
And of course there’s Charlie’s Attic, where it’s always Cyber Monday and never Black Friday. This week's loft includes the world’s first ever kebab vending machine. Yum!
Pensions, millennials and using nudge to help you save
Millennials were delivered the reassuring news this week that their pension prospects may not be as dire as commonly believed (although the same can’t be said, unfortunately, for men in their 40s). But how do we get people to save for their retirement in the first place? The Globe and Mail highlights a selection of handy apps in this article, and references nudge guru Richard Thaler’s work on the subject.
His study compared the savings of one group of employees advised to save a flat 5 per cent of their salary, and another group given the option of saving less to start with, but increasing that percentage incrementally with each pay rise. While the increasers continued to up their contributions over time, the 5-per cent’ers from the beginning tended to make an initial significant increase after their first raise, but stagnated after that, soon falling behind those in the other group.
The learning could of course be adapted for a range of other initiatives or campaigns – encouraging people to start small with contributions or commitments and increase this over time, and as they feel more able to do so, can be more effective than advocating a bigger initial input.
This week we draw your attention to a fascinating piece about the connection between space and effective community engagement. As the article outlines, architecture and built environment have a huge impact on how people feel: design a place that makes people feel at ease and able to draw on their creative impulses, and you’ll get the best out of them.
The implications for community and social engagement practitioners are clear: thinking carefully about how you design spaces is crucial if you’re going to do good public engagement.
Also this week:
Benjamin Franklin was quoted as saying, when framing the American Constitution, “nothing is certain except death and taxes.” TCC Weekly reader Ned Pennant-Rea recently flagged up this Economistleader in favour of an Inheritance Tax. In that light, we turned to the Values Lab to understand what people’s perspectives on taxation and redistribution are.
Extent of agreement with this statement: “I believe there is too much power in the hands of too few people. I think there should be a more even distribution of wealth. “
% who say
Very like me
There are some differences with the generally older and less well-off Settlers being more in favour of economic redistribution. It may surprise some to see the usually more politically left-wing Pioneers not leading with support for this issue. Instead, they tend to be consistently most radical on identity and socially liberal issues.
However, in the lab we believe it is worth digging deeper and we discover that the Pioneer “Transcender” sub-group identify by 25.9% and this is much closer to the two strongest Settler sub-groups “Roots” (23.2%) and “Brave New World” (28.7%). It’s these three sub-groups that would be the coalition most open to an economically redistributive policy.
And finally this week there’s Charlie’s Attic, which this week morphs into a Turkish market and comes jam-packed with kebab vending machines:
Check out vending machine selling kebabs and others providing free things for the homeless