Over the past week or two, The Social Deck team have been heads down, bums up, planning for the next year and developing a pretty exciting new product.

Here’s some of the the things we’ve been reading and watching.

Behaviour Change

Using research, plus a smidgen of common sense to subtly alter the ways we act, look after ourselves and obey the law: Meet the UK’s Behavioural Insights Team colloquially know as the ‘Nudge Unit’. Also check out their blog.

Not getting your children vaccinated is dangerous. So, as a rational person, you might think it would be of the utmost importance to try to talk some sense into people that don’t get their children vaccinated. Unfortunately, a recent study that tested the effectiveness of four separate pro-vaccine messages found that not a single one of the messages was successful when it came to increasing parents’ professed intent to vaccinate their children.

One of the most perplexing risks to public health is human nature. No matter how diligently public health campaigns lay out the facts, we continue to make seemingly illogical decisions.

It’s not all bad news though when it comes to positive behaviour change. In California, people who use less water than their neighbours earn “smiley faces” — apparently all the motivation they need to conserve water.

But then there’s ignorance custom-designed to manipulate the public. As Robert Proctor, professor of ‘agnotology’ (the study of the cultural production of ignorance – yes it’s a thing) explains, “The myth of the ‘information society’ is that we’re drowning in knowledge, but it’s easier to propagate ignorance.”

Social Impact

Why giving is good for business. When you incorporate giving into your business in an authentic way, you turn your customers into your most avid and loyal marketers.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the philanthropic organization with a $36 billion endowment, is like a giant startup whose target market is human civilization. Bill Gates interview in Rolling Stone Magazine.

The Conversation is running a series, Class in Australia, to identify, illuminate and debate its many manifestations. This thought provoking article examines how class operates on a global scale, and whether or not it is a cross-border phenomenon.


From her earliest school days Anna Bligh had a burning desire to make a difference. Now, after a distinguished political career, the former Queensland Premier writes about her recent transition from politics into the Not for Profit sector.

What business can learn from government about social.


In recent years, no company has been more associated with evil than Monsanto. Why?

Why do things go ‘viral’?

Psychologists have discovered a “top-10 effect,” where people lump things into round-number groups and view everything else as inferior. The lesson? Never, ever be 11th. Why We Love Top 10 Lists.

Consider that one of the best ways to create an emotionally compelling piece of viral content that also works well with your brand, is to tie your brand to a message for the public good. Brainstorm how your brand might be able to create content that does a public good or that creates awareness, but at the same time activates strong emotional drivers.

At its core, viral marketing is simply the “spread of an idea” that helps market your business or cause. It’s putting material out there that by its very nature attracts attention and discussion.


5 ways to work smarter not harder

Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Crucial Difference Between Success and Mastery


The 2013 Boyer Lecture series was presented by The Honourable Quentin Bryce. The title of the series, Back to Grassroots, reflects the Governor-General’s involvement in community, the law, and human rights activism, reform and practice throughout her personal and professional life.


7 must watch talks from the Lean Startup Conference

And finally, via Brainpickings, a beautiful, thoughtful 10min movie on the making of mountains. Why? Because: geology!