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Behaviour Change Challenge

The challenge rules
Previous winners

The Behavior Change Challenge is an annual competition for inducing
Behaviour change:

Competing to make the university more sustainable

What is the competition about?
We are inviting suggestions for projects in which you try out ideas on how to make people waste less paper, water, electricity, reduce consumption and waste etc.. You will receive support for your projects from technical staff, as well as guidance concerning specific design ideas from relevant researchers. Furthermore, Alsion provides the necessary material (within reasonable limits).

The competition takes place in the framework of the Green Alsion Initiative at the international campus in Sønderborg but addresses students from both Sønderborg and Kolding.

The deadline for the behavior change challenge is September 4th, but in case you need support on your project, please write to Kerstin Fischer ( as soon as you have an idea.
The winners will be announced and celebrated during the Climate Conference in September.

What’s at stake?
We planted an apple tree for our Behavior Change Challenge, and the winner's name will be presented next to it for all eternity! You will receive the same metal plate to take home. All participants will receive a certificate of participation.

What do you have to do?
Carry out some kind of behavior design project, in which you demonstrate that your idea has a measurable effect. Describe your project and its outcome in a short paper of up to two pages by June 15th.

Please let us know beforehand that you are planning to submit - this allows us to plan better and you to receive some additional guidance, resources and moral support!

You can listen to our podcast on the main ideas of the challenge HERE.

For information, please feel free to contact: Kerstin Fischer

​Winners of the Behaviour Change Challenge 2023

Image: Kerstin Fischer announces the winners on the Climate Neutrality Conference at Alsion

Congratulations to Alara Tezcan, Vivienne Pirker and Klara Sertl. This year's winners participated in a summer school of SDU here at Alsion: Behavior change for a sustainable future, led by Kerstin Fischer. They performed their winning example within these two weeks.

They addressed how to change people's behavior at Alsion to eat more plant-based food and conducted a field study in our Café Alsion. In arrangement with our kitchen chef, Max Wilhelmsen, they hung up posters to announce the veggie meal of the day, invented some catchy names for the dishes like “Late summer harvest Savoy cabbage with exotic bamboo” and pointed out their nutritional value, and experimented with the placement of the dishes.

With all this in place, they conducted a survey and noted their observations before and after the changes. They also caught the interest of our kitchen staff, which is positive as it will lead to more discussion about eating habits.

Within the short testing period, they saw a significant rise in the consumption of half-vegetarian plates, where half of the items were plant-based and a decrease in non-vegetable plates.

And obviously it was also fun for the three winners as Vivienne Pirker states:”I loved participating and working with my two colleagues!”



​Winners of the Behaviour Change Challenge 2022:

Ali Asadi and Beatrice Bernasconi examined whether visualized interventions can persuade people to save electricity. They placed signs in classrooms at the Alsion to encourage students and staff to turn off TVs and video projectors. Data were collected over two weeks before and after placing the interventions. The analysis shows that a significant number of electronic devices were turned off after implementing interventions. Thus, visualized interventions can be an effective way to induce more sustainable behaviour.

The award was presented during the BHJ Award Ceremony at SDU in Sønderborg in November 2022. Listen to our podcast for an interview with Ali and Beatrice here. 

Winner of the Behaviour Change Challenge 2021:

Selina Sara Eisenberger investigated the effects of a co-design workshop on behaviour, more specifically, to decrease electricity consumption in a lab. The design workshop was conducted together with the roll-to-roll (R2R) lab at SDU Sønderborg, and the energy consumption was read out manually two weeks before and two weeks after the workshop with the help of a meter installed in the lab to measure and compare the effect. The data collected supports a significant decrease in energy consumption after the co-design workshop. The example demonstrates that pro-environmental behaviour can be induced by engaging users in a co-design.



Thanks to Tony (left), Chris (right), and Knud for their efforts in getting the tree and planting it and for the plate.
We also thank the MCI for the financial support.