The forces that motivate us

  1. What is the problem/question you are trying to solve/explore? Frame it as a design question!

How to not push someone to a place or activity but make it come to them?

What actually pulls you towards something, towards doing something?

  1. State the ultimate impact you would like to have. What would make you feel like you did something meaningful with your time?

We would like to understand what motivates people to do stuff that they enjoy doing.

  1. What are some possible solutions to your problems or ways to answer your question? Think broadly. It’s fine to start a project/learning process with a hunch or two, but make sure you allow for surprises.

What does personal motivation in general mean? What makes people like (care for) something? What sparks interest and motivation in people? What creates flow?

How can we break the logical answer mechanism in people? What interview techniques spark an elaborate answer beyond „because I like it!“

  1. Write down some of the context and constraints that you are facing. They could be geographic, technological, time-based, or have to do with the population you’re trying to reach.

Since we haven’t decided on a population that we would like to support, we might face these constraints later. Though we don’t have a precise question that could lead to a fuzzy challenge. We still need to find a point to start a design intervention from.

  1. Does your original question need a tweak? Try it again.

What are the mechanics behind the moment/process of people being driven towards doing something they care about. It is about the point between an intrinsic intention and an action.

A recommended reading

Hi @Neolie, tough question! A case from Nepal where we did some work last year might help: change makers in that space were all motivated by the need to re-build their communities and help each other just after the earthquake, but from our team on the ground we learned that it in fact doesn’t last long enough to make people keep on working to care for the greater picture. Intrinsic motivation seems to fail there, especially when the work is hard, unthankful, unpaid and mostly it doesn’t solve people’s personal needs - especially if those people are at Maslow’s rock bottom.

There are more insights from working in Nepal which might be of help to you. Here it is: Earthquakes create movements - but can we?

Thanks! @Noemi

Thanks Noemi! I will look into it!!!