Earth already has a majority urban population. According to urban planner Peter Calthorpe, by 2050 our planet’s urban population will double. That means providing social goods and services to billions more city dwellers. How we accommodate that urban growth will say a lot about who we are and want to be. We can choose to design cities that fight climate change, instead of encouraging it.
Our social nature is the basis for marketing public and social goods. How effective we are in social interactions directly influences the success of our marketing and ultimately whether we succeed in our social mission. Here’s the research-proven way to win more cooperation:
From more than 60 years of experience and research concerning car-dependent suburbs, we now know that these environments create people and lifestyles with less social interaction: less civic volunteering, less participation in recreational team sports, even less voting. We’re uniquely social animals, wired to cooperate and interact with large numbers of our fellows in novel and unpredictable ways.
With urbanization, more of us are living in city environments, but this isn’t an automatic answer to the suburban blues. Living in a downtown residential tower can be just as isolating as the suburbs. How do we build denser places while also designing a happy, social city?
To continue bringing you topics of interest in the new year, I took a look back at what you read the most this year. Here are the top five posts published in 2016, as measured by your views:
In the public and social spheres, creating and publishing white papers is an avenue to attract new partners and funders, document a problem you want to highlight or solve, influence policy, summarize your work, and make scientific findings more accessible to non-research community. Download this template to add to your toolkit of promotion.
According to the United Nations, a majority of the world’s population now resides in urban areas. The trend towards urbanization shows no signs of slowing, either. By 2050, two-thirds of the planet’s population will be urban. Urban areas are organically connecting into megaregions that don’t always respect existing political or natural boundaries. Marketing in urban areas and megaregions demands that social and public sector marketers think in new ways about their markets.
During flu season it’s good to remember that we’re social animals. Our social standing directly impacts our health; social inequity leads to increased public health threats.
The relationship between status and health showed up clearly in the Whitehall studies in the U.K. The first study tracked the health of men in the British civil service over a ten-year period. It found a strong, inverse relationship between rank in the hierarchy and death rates from coronary disease. Executives atop of the civil service enjoyed much better health than the menial workers at the bottom.
“The roots of altruism and compassion are just as much as part of human nature as cruelty and violence, maybe even more so.”
When she was 19, Abigail Marsh was rescued by a stranger after a freeway car accident. She had swerved her car to avoid hitting a dog. Her car hit the dog anyway, fishtailed, spun until she was facing ongoing traffic in the inside lane, then died. A stranger ran across four lanes of traffic in the dark to help her. He got her car started and turned facing the right direction. Once Abigail was safe and able to be on her way, the stranger left. He never mentioned his name.
In a previous post I wrote about basic income, the idea that everyone in a society receives money for simple expenses such as food and housing, regardless of whether they work or not. Trends in demographics and technology are driving the idea of and need for basic income.
To many in the United States, this notion probably seems at least farfetched, if not lunacy. Where is basic income starting to appear?
This blog is premised on our social nature and our innate sense of fairness. Those impulses lead to the design, distribution, pricing and promotion of social goods, or marketing the social good. Trends in demographics and technology are pointing to a major change in our society where there are more people than jobs. As social beings concerned with fairness, should we institute a universal basic income for everyone, regardless of whether they work?
Marketers often benchmark their goods and services against the competition. For countries, the main benchmark for nearly a century has been Gross Domestic Product, or GDP. The United States rules in GDP. While increasing GDP does correlate with some improvement in social conditions, it is purely an economic measure. As the measure of a country, a society, it’s narrow and incomplete.