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apps for development

Is There an App for That?

Maya Brahmam's picture

I’ve been working with my colleagues on the Apps for Climate competition. We’ve been puzzling over the intersection of climate and technology and what sorts of new ideas we’ll get from this exercise. What about “little green nudges?” Is there an App for that?

“Nudges” are subtle messages that have been used to change behavior. George Webster’s recent article on CNN’s website notes that, “whether we're conscious of them or not, nudges -- of a sort -- are all around us. From the rumble strip along motorways -- gently encouraging motorists to remain in the correct lane -- to rows of brightly colored candy wrappers, less subtly inviting us to pick them up and place them in our shopping cart…” And what’s more, they work and have the potential to be harnessed for the greater good.

Development Results at Your Fingertips

Antonio Lambino's picture

A little over a year ago, I wrote on this blog that communicative norms on the use of social media were shifting around, but would eventually settle down.  This would happen, I argued rather naïvely, as patterns and preferences of user communities determined the contours and content of fast changing information and communication ecologies.  I should also have said that vested interests –both good and bad--would attempt to exert influence on this process. 

We’ve all probably come across stories of the ways in which news and media organizations, businesses, schools, and international donors have been struggling to remain relevant within shifting information environments around the world.  So have governments, parliaments, and bureaucracies.  Much has been written about these struggles for relevance, and a dominant theme in much of this writing has been the need to provide users with tools to manage unrelenting information gluts.