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Major Festival of Behaviour Change announced

Behaviour change is widely recognised as an essential tool for public services and organisations responding to the considerable contemporary social and demographic changes we are experiencing in Wales, and beyond.

A major Festival of Behaviour Change (#BehFest16) running for two weeks between 9-20 May at Bangor University, will showcase the latest thinking in applied behaviour change science, to individuals and organizations interested in learning about, designing, and implementing some of these behaviour change techniques for the benefit of their organisations or of the public at large.

The Festival themes span education, mindfulness, addiction, dementia, health and wellbeing, and the use of technology and gamification in behaviour change.

Delegates will be able to attend all or just a few of the free two weeks of the showcase events. Each day’s events will include lectures, workshops, seminars, short films, and social/ networking opportunities.

Dr Carl Hughes, Director of the Wales Centre for Behaviour Change at Bangor University said, ‘The Behaviour Change Festival is perhaps unique in the fact it is bringing so many areas of our lives together in one event to think about how behaviour change science can help improve our lives”.

The Wales Centre for Behaviour Change has helped various companies and organisations to use behaviour change, introducing small changes to affect people’s behaviour.  Simple things such as placing footprints on the floor leading to a hand sanitizer dispenser has increased the use of a hand sanitizer before entering a hospital ward, which is highly important to prevent infections. Similar unobtrusive signs have also increase the number of people using stairs instead of using a building’s lift. A final example is in using gamification - applying game design techniques in non-game contexts – to motivate students in developing maths skills through the use of competitive leaderboards and flashcards.

Delegates can also experience behaviour change science techniques such as loyalty cards, random acts of kindness, positive event diaries, choice architecture (how the physical environment may change our behaviour), and positive rewards as the festival organisers apply their knowledge during the Festival itself, nudging delegates to be the healthiest version of themselves!

Anyone wanting to learn more about the theory and the techniques, can come along and be given the science and tools that underlie personalized behaviour change.

The Festival of Behaviour Change is a collaboration between the Wales Centre for Behaviour Change, Bangor University’s School of Psychology and the Wales Audit Office, along with the Bevan Commission and a number of other partners interested in exploring the use of behaviour change science across all areas of our lives.

Many of the School of Psychology’s internationally renowned academics and researchers will be presenting at the Festival.

Head of School, Professor John Parkinson commented “We have such an exciting set of talks and events across the two weeks that there is something for everyone. We are bringing the leading experts in their field to the festival so people can hear the ‘state of the art’ and get the opportunity to exchange ideas with researchers and practitioners alike.”

Welsh Government appointed Wellbeing and Future Generation Commissioner, Sophie Howe will be attending and discussing the role of Behaviour Change Science in realising the ambitions for the Wales of our future.

Anyone wanting to attend all or part of the free two week event can visit http://www.goodpractice.wales/bangor for the full programme which provides you a link to EventBrite to book a place.  To secure a place to avoid disappointment don’t hesitate book on now. Want to know more please email WCBC@bangor.ac.uk.

Publication date: 27 April 2016