Chapter 1) How to change the world
When individuals act on their hopes and dreams, their lives improve. When large numbers of people act, history happens. Although new technologies, social reforms, wars and revolutions seem to be the great drivers of social change, the real "what happens" is that large numbers of people start doing things they've never done before.
Chapter 2) Popular folk theories
Why it's necessary to slay our assumptions.
Our assumptions about the motivations of other people are frequently wrong and sometimes disastrous. The culprits are our pervasive, often unconscious, worldviews and biases. Two biases which are especially toxic for change efforts are Man is Bad Bias and Heroic Agent Bias.
Method: Establish a brains trust.
Chapter 3) The social immune system
Why tell, sell, and threaten rarely work.
Humans come with a powerful social immune system, standard in all models, that protects us against unwanted attempts to influence our behaviour. This immune system produces two potent immune responses: denial and resistance. They explain the failure of most "tell, sell or threaten" attempts to change human behaviour.
Chapter 4) First, start a buzz
How nothing happens without conversation.
The historic campaign against slavery, a more recent case of mass public disobedience, and the interesting tale of Iowa corn seed point to the power of conversation to influence human behaviour. No buzz, no change. Are there rules for generating buzz? Yes. Emotionally touching stories are the essence of buzz. But not all buzz is the same. "Up buzz" leads to change, "down buzz" stifles it. Being able to encourage "up buzz" is vital for change, and hope is the key.
Method: How to start a buzz.
Chapter 5) Offer hope
How frustration motivates change
The story of student pranks leading up to the collapse of the Milosevic regime is a chance to reflect on how change arises from thwarted hopes. When peoples' hopes are blocked, frustration and guilt are the result. This is good news for change agents, because practically everyone is frustrated, guilty or dissatisfied about something in their lives. Hope is what every successful change effort has offered its participants. We understand hot hopes and how to work with them.
Method: Sketch a hopeful future.
Chapter 6) Create an enabling environment
It's the system, stupid.
Every behaviour is enabled or disabled by its environment. We look at six kinds of environmental tweeking - building a community, creating easiness, lowering the price, raising the price, thwarting and regulation.
Method: Making a theory of change.
Chapter 7) Design a sticky solution
How reinvention drives change.
If you want to win people's loyalty and energy you need to satisfy their hot hopes. Chances are, satisfying at least one of three uber-wants - control, time and self-esteem - will make all the difference. But beware of Heroic Agent Bias and make sure you reality-test your ideas. Ultimately, success is about designing behaviours or products that are a good fit for peoples' lives not how cleverly you market them. Harnessing the power of reinvention is your key to spreading successful products and behaviours.
Method: Testing for stickiness.
Chapter 8) Expand the comfy zone
How to help people lower their fears.
A refusal to dance the Salsa reminds us how even the simplest actions can scare the pants off people who've never done them before. There are many proven techniques for lowering peoples' fears of change, including familiarity, personal control, goals and feedback, enjoyment, discussion with peers, social proof, commitment, labelling, and incentives. These techniques are explained and illustrated with fascinating real life examples.
Method: Make a theory of action.
Chapter 9) Find the right inviter
Some people we just can't say "no" to.
Stories about Jamie Oliver, Al Gore and Richard Branson suggest how the person who issues an invitation may be more important than the invitation itself. Who are the best inviters? The evidence is that people who are passionate, similar, connected, respected and powerless are the best inviters. We look at how to find the right inviter and the elements of a persuasive invitation.
Method: Creating an invitation.
Chapter 10) Bringing it all together
The uses of theory.
This chapter brings these themes together into a general model of social change with six elements: hope, buzz, enabling environments, stickiness, can do, and invitation. We see how you can activate these elements the next time you try to change the world.