Friday, July 8, 2011

Green and Gaming: Citizen Sustainability Goes Viral

I've been following @erodely (Ed Rodely of the Museum of Science, Boston) on Twitter and his excellent blogposts on Gaming the Museum and so I'm exploring how museums can engage the public through gaming (NOT gamification (ack)), but also through any type of true engagement that stimulates action by the visitor...action that means they make a difference for the environment after they leave the museum and because they experienced the museum and its messages about sustainability.

Ed's exploration is definitely worth a read - four posts. The end one reminds me of Dan Pink's great book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us and how creating "autonomy", enabling "mastery", and fostering "flow" is what will truly engage our visitors and call them to action when they leave the museum.

I'm interested in developing tours, activities, online and in-person programs, promotional materials - ANYTHING - that will get visitors to make individual choices about the differences they can make for the environment, and then actually making that difference. 

But wait, there's more: a wise woman once reminded me of the visceral importance of feedback ...and that's what I'm really, really after.

Where are the museum programs that don't stop at asking the public to change their behavior at home, but ask them to tell the museum, and everyone else, about that change.  It's Citizen Science turned into Citizen Sustainability.

Can you imagine how valuable it would be if we knew how many visitors made how much difference just by experiencing our museums? 

Can you say "leverage"?

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