Background The Big Issue is a socially responsible non-profit organisation (NPO) that enables currently unemployed and economically marginalized adults to take control of their own lives, and to (re-)gain invaluable skills, confidence, and a sense of dignity and self-worth through micro-entrepreneurial and self-development programmes. They sell these otherwise unemployed entrepreneurs The Big Issue magazines at just above cost price – locally at R10 – and encourage them to sell them across Cape Town for R20, enabling vendors to draw R10 profit for every magazine sold. While The Big Issue South Africa operates solely out of the greater Cape Town area,...
“Professor Max Planck, of Berlin, the famous originator of the Quantum Theory, once remarked to me that in early life he had thought of studying economics, but had found it too difficult!” – John Keynes. Human beings are extremely complicated. You don’t have to venture further than a moment of honest introspection to realize that. Yet, for so long, organisation managers have relied on simplistic economic models either directly, or through ideas rooted in these models’ assumptions. Over the last few years, however, we have been at the precipice of an exciting transition away from these basic assumptions. There are...
All too often today, when we think about ourselves and others, we define ourselves by difference. We focus on what makes us unique – what makes me, ‘me’ – and we tend to understand others in relation to that. In a world defined by difference – different points of view, different histories, different languages, and different lived experiences – it’s hard to think of there being anything that is truly universal… But, there is, and it’s beautiful. So, what is this dimension of human being’s social nature that transcends all politics, race, language, gender and ‘difference’ to connect us all...
We recently hosted our first Open Think Tank session, an initiative that brings behavioural science experts and social change leaders together to discuss practical psychologically-focused solutions to some of the challenges the social change leader is currently facing. For our first session, we invited Ruben Hazelzet, an behavioural science practitioner, with a particular interest in the application of social proof techniques. We also asked David Oliphant, an inspiring young social change maker, who is currently focusing on a program called Streetwise that helps homeless folk learn to manage their impulses, curb their drug usage, build basic financial skills and find...
With so much scientific evidence so readily available, it really is troubling that people still doubt the effects of climate change; still hold on so dearly to astrological signs; and still believe that vaccines cause autism. Why have our governments, social organizations and scientific leaders had so much difficultly changing people’s beliefs when the facts are so readily available? Recent research in cognitive and social psychology has the answers. It paints a clear, albeit deeply concerning, picture about the nature of belief. It demonstrates how perfectly reasonable people can come to believe completely different things even when exposed to the...