Special Interest Group on Sustainable Behaviour


29 August 2023
16:00 - 17:00
Vening Meineszgebouw A - 1.15

Behaviour and sustainability transitions in the antipodes: an idiosyncratic view from an Australian pracademic

Stefan Kaufman applies the lens of behaviour change to help better understand and accelerate urgent sustainability transitions we must make to flourish into the future. He joined Australia’s first and largest behaviour change research enterprise, BehaviourWorks at the Monash Sustainability Development Institute, Monash University, in May 2019 after a secondment in 2018. Stefan’s work since joining BWA has involved developing three multi-agency behavioural public policy collaborations within collective impact and mission based research and policy innovation frameworks, in the areas of circular economy, climate adaptation and responsible consumption. Current projects include farmer behaviour change and natural capital markets, and network governance in remote and regional Australia towards a Circular Economy. He has been facilitating a discussion at the Monash Sustainable Development Institute and in the Sustainability Transitions Research Network on better incorporating behaviour change in transitions, and in behavioural science, better incorporating transitions level insights into behavourial public policy, via a literature review in EIST, and conference sessions and presentations in both communities. He will be presenting a synthesis review of papers submitted for a proposed special issue on behaviour in transitions at the Utrecht International Sustainability Transitions conference Aug 29-Sep 3 2023. Today’s talk will focus on providing an overview of his recent work and thinking, and will also facilitate some discussion of shared research interests with the sustainable behaviour group.

Prior to joining BWA, Stefan led the social science function at the Victorian Government’s Environment Protection Authority from 2007, delivering regulatory performance measurement, environmental and public health risk communication, monitoring and evaluation and voluntary behaviour change programs. This included working on the government side with BWA since its founding in 2011, and completing over 24 behaviour change projects aiming to protect the environment and human health from pollution and waste. His research and publications include behaviour change and transitions, research, policy and practice translation, public value measurement, adaptive management in environmental behaviour change programs, integrating voluntary and compliance drivers for behaviour change, climate change risk communication, and social learning in complex socio-environmental systems.