AxBC: Reflections After Our First Cohort
On Tuesday, we completed the fourth and last teaching module of AxBC, our cohort-based course on behavior change for founders in the climate and sustainability spheres.
We are very grateful to our collaborators at Behaviour Change. And just as grateful to the group of founders who took a chance by joining this first cohort, for by definition it was an MVP. We learned a ton, and those learnings will go into making cohort #2 better.
If you’re a founder in climate and sustainability areas whose product could benefit from insights on driving behavior change, keep an eye on the AxBC web site or my Twitter feed for the application window for the next cohort (likely March or April).
Here I want to share a couple of reflections.
Why are we doing this?
We launched AxBC because we feel a tremendous sense of urgency around the climate crisis, and we believe behavior change at scale is really the only way to address it. We don’t want to sit here in ten years, as all the data continues to worsen, and get meaningless solace from told-you-sos. We want to spread the word now.
The development of the course only amplified this belief. As we worked with Behaviour Change to develop a curriculum based on behavioral science, we were constantly struck by the need for startups to incorporate the science and the tools into their products.
We all need to eat our own dog food.
At Amasia we learned repeatedly, through the course, that we have to hold the mirror up to ourselves when it comes to behavior change.
Simple example: we began the course on a new platform built to combine community, calendar and content. It is an amazing platform (and we will use it elsewhere), but for this demographic — founders — the reality is that virtually everyone is used to working in Slack workspaces. One basic lesson in behavior science is that you have to meet customers where they are for the greatest chances for success — not sit on your mountaintop and insist people behave a certain way.
This is of course also one of the biggest issues in the climate arena. Just telling people to do something won’t make them do it.
So: we moved the community over to the AxBC Slack workspace, which reduced the cognitive load around engaging. We did not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
The time and space to think through behavior change challenges with others is one of the most valuable propositions AxBC can offer.
One of the goals of this course was to kickstart a community of people invested in positive behavior change, and we couldn't have asked for a better set of initial participants. We had a wonderfully diverse group whose passion for behavior change for good and hunger for actionable tools was palpable in every session. We can't thank them enough for their participation, patience, and insightful feedback, which will make future iterations better.
Some of the best moments of the course came from their interactions as a group. This was one element of the course. It will be far more central in future cohorts.
What I am especially excited about is that this group is now the inaugural set of alumni, living in the AxBC Slack instance forever. That alumni group will grow as we run future cohorts, and I hope to see all kinds of positive collaborations and sharing emerge.
If you're reading this and thinking, "I want to be involved too!", then I’ll just repeat what I said in the beginning: keep an eye on the AxBC web site or Ramanan’s Twitter feed for the application window for the next cohort (likely March or April).