By Julia H. Fiebig
Since the last Behavior Analysis for Sustainable Societies Special Interest Group (BASS SIG) meeting during the 2021 ABAI convention there have been a number of new developments for the SIG. The SIG has a new leadership team composed of Elizabeth Meshes, Jessica Ghai, Jordan Belisle, Lauren Hutchinson, and Julia Fiebig. The board meets monthly and also began facilitating monthly community meetings in early 2021. Monthly community meetings are open to all BASS SIG members via a zoom meeting. In the kick-off community meeting in February 2021, community members participated in a Prosocial Matrix Group process for the purpose of developing community values and identifying actions BASS members could take individually and that the group could take as a whole to support the values and mission of BASS. At the end of every community meeting, BASS members make a commitment to an action they intend to take in the month until the next community meeting. The SIG has been keeping a cumulative record on actions completed by members from February to June 2021 and these data can be found on the BASS website.
The BASS SIG also organized a shoreline cleanup through environmental organizations in Boston’s Harbor to create an informal opportunity for people to connect with other behavior analysts interested in sustainability work and as an effort to mitigate some of the carbon footprint generated through travelling to the conference. The SIG hopes to organize such events that connect us to the local community during future ABAI conventions.
Other accomplishments during the 2021-2022 inter-conference period included establishing new social media accounts for BASS, inclusive of a new Facebook page and Linkedin page being established in February 2021. Future goals for the SIG continue to include establishing a fund that allows the SIG to award financial support to practitioners and researchers working on community interventions related to sustainability. The SIG is exploring the establishment of membership dues and pursuing fundraising efforts for this purpose over the 2022-2023 period, as well as, creating CE opportunities for members.
At the 2021 ABAI Annual Convention, there were numerous presentations, panels, and workshops on a variety of topics related to climate change and behavioral science. Other ongoing happenings include the Sustainability Working Group (SWG) monthly meetings – a BFSR led effort which a BASS board member and liaison is a member of. SWG efforts over the last year have included building a network of sustainability liaison’s among ABAI’s Affiliate Chapters and look to holding quarterly networking meetings to offer support and share resources for sustainability efforts and presentations to emerge in regional and state affiliate chapter, as well.
Agenda items for the 2021 SIG meeting at ABAI included recruiting help from one or two members to facilitate a more active social media presence with the SIG’s Facebook and Linkedin pages. Plans for the upcoming year are to increase activity and engagement among members, continue monthly community meetings as a forum for collaboration, connection, and sharing of research and application, and provide opportunities for CEs for members by members. Membership in the SIG is open to all, and participation in the SIG offers professional connections to others interested in and working on behavior change related to sustainability and climate change issues. Establishing a new SIG board of highly motivated and dedicated ABAI members has infused a new energy into the SIG and been integral to the accomplishments of the last year and the plans for the upcoming year.