Nudging - a friendly little push towards a behavioral change - an abstract from IMA Sweden’s Autumn Seminar 2018

Published: 2019-03-12

In November 2018 IMA Sweden arranged its traditional autumn seminar with the topic “Nudging – a friendly little push towards a behavioral change”. The seminar is arranged in three of our four regions – East, West and South. The program and the lecturer are the same in all three regions. The two main purposes are, firstly of course, to provide our members with a training session on a specific up-to-date subject, secondly to gain new members. We always invite as many potential members as possible. This year we had in total about 197 participants and 71 potential members!

The event was arranged in cooperation with our partners Nordic Choice Hotels in Gothenburg and Malmö and Sheraton Hotel in Stockholm.

For the first time in connection with the autumn seminar we arranged an exhibition with our business members. This was highly appreciated by all and a huge number of them took this opportunity. In Stockholm we had 14 exhibitors, in Gothenburg 9 and in Malmö 11. We also had a quiz in cooperation with them and are very grateful for all the very generous prizes they donated to the winners.

The evening started with some food and mingling and visits to the exhibition. Our fantastic network was introduced to our many guests and potential members by the regional conveners. IMA also had a stand in the exhibition to introduce the network even further.



Did you hear about nudging? The term became more widely known last year when Professor Richard Thaler was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for his research in the area. Professor Thaler is a central figure within behavioral economics and nudging. Read more here.

What is a nudge? A nudge is a friendly little push towards a behavioral change, without legislation, carrots and sticks. Nudges are indirect suggestion that aim to influence the motives and decision making of groups and individuals alike.

Our lecturer, Beata Undén, is membership manager at the network Nudging Sweden, which is run by A WinWinWorld, a global platform for a sustainable future.

Beate took us through a number of examples of nudging and how the human mind works. One very well-known example is the experiment that was done at Schiphol Airport, The Netherlands. They had problems in the men’s toilets with spill on the floor. So they put a little house fly sticker in the urinal. The result was 81% less spill!


Another experiment was done in an underground station in Stockholm. There is an escalator and ordinary stairs next to each other and one wanted to get more people to use the stairs. The stairs were painted as a piano and sound was added. 66% more people took the stairs after this. Check out The piano stairs.

Other examples can be to have smaller plates at the breakfast or buffet table to have less waste, to put messages on ash trays or garbage bins that attract people.

What is then not nudging? Nudging is not prohibitions, bonuses, financial benefits, carrots for example.

Nudging is used a lot in sustainable and environmental work, but can be used in all different areas. Recruitment, equality work, travel behavior etc, etc. The important is to frame the message in a new way.

Beate Undén’s lecture was highly appreciated by us all and we all had many new thoughts and ideas on how we can work with this and as many of the experiments shown were very funny, we also had many, many laughs during the evening.

Beate Undén can be contacted at:




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