Why it Works
TellEmotion motivates people to work together to keep the bear happy. In the process they reduce carbon emissions, save money, build community and create a culture where energy efficiency is the norm. The use of interactive animations and a game engine create an emotional connection between the data and the viewer. Inspired by Donella Meadows' work on feedback in complex systems, TellEmotion helps people understand the relationship between their energy use behavior and the impact on the environment.
Thousands of people have "fallen in love" with the bear, named her, and use social networking tools to remind each other to conserve resources. Electricity use in dorms with the TellEmotion system is reduced across all our campuses by an average of 10% over sustained periods of time.
Over 80% of students using our system look at the website or display on a regular basis.
We don't rely on two week competitions, we use best in class research in behavioral science, systems dynamics and social norms to understand why people change behavior and how they maintain motivation.
As an added benefit, people who start paying attention to their energy use behavior and caring about the environment change the way the use resources beyond those being measured by our system.