On 18th of April 2018, the UCL-Lille-Ghent University network, the Persuasive Communication division of NeFCA and the CEPEC research group at Ghent University (with support from Ugent Doctoral Schools) organized a research day on Sustainable Consumption at the Dept. of Communication Sciences in Ghent. 

The goal was to define a future research agenda to explore how people can be persuaded to adopt more sustainable behavior.

The research day, entitled “How to Stimulate People’s Sustainable Concerns and Behavior?”, brought researchers together to exchange knowledge and ideas and set up new research collaborations. The research day started off with four speakers who discussed the projects their research groups are currently undertaking in the domain of communicating sustainable change.

Nil Özçaglar-Toulouse Toulouse (Université de LILLE (IMMD) – SKEMA BS, MERCUR Research Center) provided insights in several advances in research on sustainability that their lab is making.

Karine Charry (Université Catholique de Louvain, Research group CERMA) discussed advances in research on nudging children’s pro-environmental behaviors in her lab.

Finally, Liselot Hudders & Dieneke Van de Sompel (Ghent University, Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, Department of Communication Studies, research group CEPEC) discussed research lines of their team regarding sustainable consumption and sustainable persuasive communication and also gave more insights in the way in which persuasive communication can be used to induce sustainable consumption.

Later on, doctoral students had the chance to present their work. They discussed, for example, the way in which persuasive communications can stimulate children’s sustainable energy use, historical insights in the normalization of the consumption of animal flesh, the effect of product reparability information on consumer attitudes etc.

A last part of the program consisted of a workshop in which PhD-candidates were given the opportunity to work in groups and think of an idea for an interesting research question emerging from their combined areas of expertise.

A wonderful lunch in the scenic city of Ghent provided all participants with the opportunity to get to know each other a little bit more and the sun set the ideal setting for lots of networking opportunities.