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Reward teams for the achievements of individuals

To foster social pressure, small groups/teams could receive incentives (e.g. a reduction in waste tax, or special rebates on goods like Coca Cola), depending on how much the team members recycle. Not individual incentives: group incentives. Incentives are given only if every team member achieves a minimum recycling goal.

Photo of Antonio Caruso
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Explain your idea in one sentence

Each team members gets incentivized, if each team member recycles
Changing behaviour in the long term is challenging: peers pressure can help for it.
Only if all team members achieve a minimum of recycling, all team members get an incentive, so the more motivated ones will push the least motivated ones to achieve at least the minimum target.
I came to this idea reading about the Grameen´s Bank Microcredit delivery sistem:
"Groups of five prospective borrowers are formed; in the first stage, only two of them are eligible for, and receive, a loan. The group is observed for a month to see if the members are conforming to the rules of the bank. Only if the first two borrowers begin to repay the principal plus interest over a period of six weeks, do the other members of the group become eligible themselves for a loan. Because of these restrictions, there is substantial group pressure to keep individual records clear. In this sense, the collective responsibility of the group serves as the collateral on the loan" (

Describe how your idea would help form new habits and improve recycling at home

if groups of homes are formed - in the real world or through an app or a social media - these could increase their recycling habits, through incentives

How might you design an early, lightweight experiment to further develop your idea?

compare the recycling habits of 5 households without incentives vs 5 households with individual incentives vs 5 households with group incentives

What aspects of your idea could benefit from the input of our OpenIDEO community?

- which collaborations should be set up to develop the incentives? - which social media or app should be used or developed for it? - how to set the "recycling goals" and incentives? - how to document the recycled quantity? - how to form the mini-groups? - how to keep them motivated?


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Photo of Fei Xin

Great idea. I agree with your point "Reward teams for the achievements of individuals", so it it a good way to encourage people have a good recycling habits. I am looking forward to hear more informations about that.

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