To “nudge“ roughly means to “push someone softly into the right direction”.

It stems from „Behavioural Economics“, an academic field where psychology and economics unite.

It first received attention in 2008, when Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein’s book „Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness“ was published. They consider a „nudge“ to be a „kick-off“, therewith stimulating behaviour in a certain way, without having to use prohibitions and restrictions or economic incentives.

Richard Thaler was awarded with the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2017 for his work in Behavioral Science.

There is widespread recognition that fundamental changes are needed in the way we live on our planet - to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and make it a good place for future generations. If we want to reach the Global Goals by 2030, the way we use, treat and consume resources will need to change.


Change is not easy.  We make decisions easier and more fun in a world of increasing complexity – supporting  sustainable consumption and behaviour for brands that care about people and planet.



Nudging is ethically justifiable only if it is made transparent – and this refers specifically to private organisations who may consider nudging helpful when looking into options for behavioural change of staff or consumers.

We commit ourselves to the three principles of „ethical nudges“:

Transparency:  Nudges must be transparent and not misleading.

Free decision: It should be as easy as possible to stand up against a nudge decision

Use for the common good: The behaviour encouraged by a nudge should serve the well-being of society (Source: Thaler 2015)

To call it a „nudge“ the incentive must be beneficial for the choice-maker. To call it a „nudge for sustainability“ it must additionally contribute to sustainable development.


By combining creativity and ethics we support sustainable decisions for positive impact. Stakeholder engagement is our top priority right from the start. We act openly and transparent on our intentions, including stakeholders in the development of nudges to ensure legitimacy. We co-create nudges to make sustainable choices easier.


Together with you

1. We define the challenge.

2. We identify the stakeholders to involve.

3. We clarify the impact you want to achieve and how to evaluate it.

4. We carefully co-create and design a nudge, ready for implementation and measurement.

What we don’t do: Simply influencing or manipulating how choices are presented to staff or consumers.




Co-creating a sustainable future

Poorly thought out nudges can backfire at a company’s reputation and credibility. Providing motivation and the knowledge to tackle the complexity of sustainable choices to your stakeholders is a challenging, yet more effective approach to reaching outcomes with impact.

Join our Roundtable for Responsible Brand Owners! Exchange knowledge and experience with international experts & brands, and contribute to change for the better.

Learn more!


We cooperate and collaborate with scholars & researchers, experts and international partner organisations, wherever it serves the cause and contributes to excellent outcomes with sustainable impact.

Lead experts:

Goran GolikKarin Huber-Heim



Our teams of interdisciplinary experts in Sustainability, Creative Design, Stakeholder Relationships, Communication, Ethics and Psychology are dedicated to contribute to a sustainable future for all. When building the choice architecture, we summarise, preselect and easily present the information given to stakeholders, allowing them to make better and more sustainable decisions.

Interested to collaborate?

Contact us

NUDGING4SUSTAINABILITY is PARTNER OF Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science, BCSSS.

While focusing on the foundations of Systems Science and Systems Design, BCSSS revisits the General Systems Theory (GST) as founded by Ludwig von Bertalanffy and others in order to reassess it in the light of today’s global challenges.

Bertalanffy’s theory of open systems can still contribute to a large variety of disciplines as well as to discussions crossing disciplinary lines, from climate change to psychology. His General System Theory may be one of the most ambitious 20th‐century attempts to construct scientific interdisciplinarity and potentially generates novel insights into the conceptual understanding of current debates such as sustainable development.

Up to his death in 1972 he was a fellow at Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioural Sciences at Stanford University. As Bertalanffy himself, BCSSS today is interested and immersed in other disciplines, from education, psychology and sociology to transdisciplinary sustainability sciences.

Circular ECONOMY & consumer behaviour


Others do great research too: Think!First at Center for Applied Game Research, Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences is exploring the opportunities and challenges of a climate- and resource-friendly delivery of goods from the point of view of online retailers. With a combination of a gamification framework, persuasive design principles and machine learning, customers of online shops are to be encouraged to order online in a more targeted and conscious manner – to create more sustainable freight transport.

Think!First Project