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Minimal Viable Behavior’ and its Impact on the Future of Social Innovation

George Aye

When tackling social issues such as access to clean drinking water in Haiti or improving education for youth along the autism spectrum, we often see what we call a Minimal Viable Behavior. It’s the kind of irrational but habitual behaviors that resource-constrained populations often perform in order to get by on a day-to-day basis.

At Greater Good studio, we design tools for positive behavior change. But before we design anything, we conduct research with vulnerable populations in context, to understand the conditions that are producing the behaviors of today. In order for us to be successful, we have to design our tools to be behaviorally competitive with current norms. But for many vulnerable populations, the Minimal Viable Behavior stands as the biggest competition of all.

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