Explore and Experiment: New Iterative Approaches to Encourage Healthy Choices

May 30, 2017

Vivo is a Calgary based charity that promotes healthy living, and is seeking new opportunities to create large scale impact in their community. Their leadership team participated in the Innoweave Explore and Experiment workshop series, developed by the MaRS Solutions Lab, to explore their issue and to experiment with new approaches that can be scaled. To guide their work they have framed their challenge as follows: when we know physical activity is so important, why aren’t healthy choices a more integral part of Canadians’ everyday lives?

As the team began exploring the issue it became clear that answering this question requires an in depth understanding of how people make choices about physical activity. Motivation, values and priorities are some of the factors influencing personal choices. These three factors vary greatly from one person to the next. The environment and the ability of the community to come together to offer a variety of opportunities for physical activity also influences the decisions that people make and can impact their health. For example, if biking to work is the preferred option for some citizens, but there is no bike lane in their area, they may choose to drive. Vivo is seeking to examine user insights on these issues to better understand the healthy choices challenge. Using these insights, they can identify leverage points where their input can help people make healthier choices.

Vivo has identified specific outcomes they would like to work on using experimental approaches. They include both individual impacts (e.g.  Kids being more active in their everyday life) and  systems impacts (e.g. changing environments to make healthy choices easier). It is an ambitious plan, to be sure!

Through the workshop series, Vivo has learned about several tools that they will use to further their research and experimentation.  They will continue to use the journey mapping approaches and the Persona tool to generate a deeper understanding of the levers that can support healthier choices over time. Working with their users and partners, Vivo will continue to use exploratory approaches and test new ideas as they work towards large scale impact in Calgary and beyond.

Learn more about Vivo at their website: http://www.vivo.ca/