Busy summer for ADAPT!

ADAPT Fellow Kate Pangbourne has been very busy this summer. In late May/early June she travelled to Leipzig with other colleagues from the Institute for Transport Studies to attend a World Conference on Transport Research Society side event of the International Transport Forum. Kate’s presentation raised critical questions for transport governance and social justice posed by ‘Mobility as a Service’, currently being promoted as a smart mobility solution for congested cities. This is relevant to the ADAPT project focus because the MaaS products that are currently entering the market place focus on serving customer preferences through different packages of existing transport services, rather than seeking to influence people to make more sustainable choices, and thus could lead to further reliance on unsustainable modes. One potential outcome of the ADAPT work is to be able to develop short persuasive messages that could be used in MaaS type products to encourage people to walk and cycle more. The International Transport Forum itself was an interesting performance of high level diplomacy and lobbying.

Only a couple of weeks later Kate travelled to Fribourg in Switzerland to present a poster (co-authored with Al Baker (ADAPT Research Assistant) and Simon Wells (Edinburgh Napier)) to the 2nd European Conference on Argumentation, in what proved to be a heatwave. The poster “The Role of Inferences in Constructing, Communicating, and Sustaining Behaviour Change Arguments” used the Think! Hang Back campaign video as a case study to show how campaign designers need to consider the heterogeneity of their social media audience and how that can derail a road safety campaign, as the afterlife of campaigns on the internet tends to spread misunderstanding more rapidly and much further than the correct inference. The poster was very well received, with steady engagement from conference attendees for the full hour. Simon has uploaded the poster to Figshare, and his write up of our poster session is on arg.napier.ac.uk.

The campaign video that caused quite a controversy on Twitter can be viewed on YouTube. What do you think about it?