Despite the increasing excitement around, and deployment of capital into, social impact investment over the last few years, there remains a relative scarcity of genuine seed investment, particularly where it’s most needed in early-stage mission driven consumer product ventures.
Over the last 10 years, we have set out to change behaviours in positive ways and have a measurable, sustainable impact on complex social problems, such as mental health, obesity and social isolation. We’ve learnt a lot, from what has worked and what hasn’t, and from what looked like it was working and actually wasn’t!
Chicken Cottage, Dixy Chicken, PFC, HFC, Papa’s, Sam’s, Morley’s and more. At We Are What We Do, we have been looking at the rise of the chicken shops and exploring practical solutions to poor diets amongst young people in low income areas.
In our last blog we looked at the relationship between video games and wellbeing. We found that the ubiquity of video games, their engaging design and the fact that some young people were already using them to regulate their emotions all made them a promising platform in which to embed techniques that could increase young people’s wellbeing.
1) Half of all cases of mental illness start before the age of 14
The chances are that if someone is going to develop a mental health disorder it will happen when they are a young person. Studies have found that half of all cases of mental health disorders start by the age of 14 and three quarters by the age of 24 (Kessler et al, 2005).
In April, when we set out on our first year of our research and development partnership with the Nominet Trust, we had in place a pretty robust six stage social innovation model, which we had been evolving and refining over several years of work in behaviour change and product design.
April 2013 marked the start of a very exciting three-year partnership between Nominet Trust and We Are What We Do, that will see us create a series of new behaviour change products capable of delivering measurable social impact at scale.