Persuading ourselves: a series of projects on collective motivation and connection in times of social distance

Projects developed for Persuasion – Spring 2020.
Click here to learn more about this class.

While all of us were grappling with the challenge of adjusting routines, environments and relations to confinement and virtual modes of work and leisure, the Persuasion class and coursework became a promising platform. In it, students were able to interact and develop their work as a way to support their peers, looking at ways to positively influence and motivate themselves to cope with the different challenges arising during quarantined lives. 

A series of 14 group projects emerged from this collective and creative exploration. By engaging critically and actively with the challenge of adjusting our lives to the “new normal”, students were interested in using and exploring persuasive tactics for areas ranging from: work productivity, time management, healthy habits and patterns for sleeping and snacking, cooking and eating together, emotional health and social connectivity, fitness and eye health. Through a series of personal and group experiments, their interventions display a vast array of techniques discussed in class, coupled with the diversity of skills and knowledge that students bring to their groups based on their different study tracks. Students managed to ingeniously adapt to the constraints of materials and methods, adopting surprising and creative ways of researching and implementing their interventions -within and across households, and between virtual and physical communities.

An outstanding and inspiring set of outcomes resulted from these projects. Perhaps one of the main lessons relates to how these experimentations shed light on the challenges most commonly faced by students (and friends and families alike) in the current situation. More optimistically, not only did the projects allow students to connect with each other more meaningfully, but also to value and cherish what they have. By bringing an enhanced sense of mindfulness to how our lives have been highly impacted and transformed, we have also learnt how we can actively shape our world’s and other’s, for the better.  

Click on each project’s name to learn more:

  • Eye Health – by Stephanie Chen, Christine Chen, Jae Son

Persuasion, Spring 2020
Instructors: Dan Lockton & Silvana Juri