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How We Harnessed the Power of Selfishness to Change Behavior

October 23, 2018
Omar Rahim

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How We Harnessed the Power of Selfishness to Change Behavior

The images can be shocking. Ravaged polar bears on the verge of starvation. Devastated cities reeling in the after-effects of hurricanes. Bleached coral reefs, abandoned by once-vibrant sea life; transformed into veritable ghost towns.

Yet, we continue on with our busy lives, consuming more, wasting more, polluting more.

The images might be disturbing, but we manage to tuck them away, casting them aside in our thoughts and blithely continuing on with the same routines that contribute to this very problem.

What we need here is something beyond images and statistics that make us feel guilty – we need a reward that appeals, frankly, to our more selfish side.

It’s a central principle of free-market economics; that society as a whole benefits from the selfish motives of individuals who, through healthy competition and innovation, create a vibrant economy, motivated by the potential profit that can be enjoyed when successful. Ideally, it is a self-sustaining cycle whereby the opportunity for profit drives the positive behavior of those willing to take an entrepreneurial risk, thus providing goods and services for everyone in society. Thus, selfish motivation creates a beneficial system that encourages creativity and competition, causing a continuous cycle of improvement and wealth generation.

The mysterious creator of Bitcoin, known as Satoshi Nakamoto, understood the self-centered nature of human behavior and free market economics very well and harnessed these concepts to solve a big problem with trust. He understood the fact that, by nature, we humans are pretty selfish – and this selfishness could be an effective motivator, given the right mechanisms.

It is this truth that enables blockchain technology to thrive and do not require trusting any individual or group of individuals. By rewarding those who keep the system true and accurate while simultaneously making it more costly to cheat the system than to just be honest, Bitcoin’s network essentially polices itself through the profit motive, without the need to trust anybody.

How Energi Mine Incentivizes Positive Behavior

Energi Mine’s EnergiToken (ETK) platform extends this same principle to the energy industry. The sad reality is, all the alarming facts, statistics, images and videos of climate change devastation just don’t have enough of an impact to make us want to change our behavior on a large scale. But using a token to reward energy-saving behavior – a token that can be used for monetary profit by anyone who chooses to participate – can affect broad change.

The ETK platform takes the same profit-motive principles of blockchain technology to positively steer energy consumption choices.

energy mine infographic

For example, a consumer may choose to purchase an electric vehicle simply because it’s better for the environment. That’s great. Many choose to do so. But to really get a large number of consumers motivated to purchase an electric vehicle instead of a traditional fossil-fuel vehicle, there has to be a little extra financial push in the right direction. Consider the same choice, but now with the possibility of being rewarded with ETK, which can then be used as a currency for the purchase of electricity, fuelling the newly acquired Electric Vehicle.

How many more consumers might then finally be motivated to commit to the more environmentally beneficial option?

The same can be said for mass transportation. Most would already agree that buses, trains, and subways are a far more efficient way to move citizens to and fro throughout an urban center. But how can these commuters be encouraged to make a change to their daily traveling behavior?

To push consumers to finally be convinced that it’s just better to leave the car at home and hop on the local train, there has to be a financial reward. By creating a system of financial incentives, positive energy decisions can subtly shift to become an unconscious reflexive behavior, beneficial to the health and well-being of individuals and the environment.

The utilization of a system of financial incentives will encourage commuters to make more positive energy decisions in urban communities that facilitate this change. An urban agency or city council, for example, could award its commuters with ETK for making such choices, reducing urban congestion and cutting down on accidents as well as wear and tear on roads winding throughout the city, resulting in net savings for the city budget and a healthier urban environment.

It’s pretty clear that solar and other forms of clean, renewable energy are the way to go forward if we want any kind of healthy environment to enjoy in the future. Yet again, it just seems so much easier in many parts of the world to maintain the status quo. But a rewards program with strategic partners can change this.

Building Strategic Partners for Green Initiatives

What’s the usual way to coerce consumers to change? — Throw extra fees and penalties on the carbon-releasing choices consumers make. What if, instead, consumers could be rewarded by Energi Mine partners with ETK for purchasing renewable energy equipment such as solar panels and batteries?

It takes a different mindset – a shift in worldview – for large-scale change of this nature to take place. Energi Mine, in cooperation with a growing number of energy industry partners, aims to facilitate this shift through the simple tool of profit motivation, enabled via the ETK rewards platform.

A strategic partner can provide you with strong added value, or let you leverage both brands and give you more exposure. Energi Token is all about helping tackle climate change via energy efficient behavior rewards, low carbon transport becomes vital to achieve this scope.

People travel a lot, both for business and leisure purposes. When they do so they may take a bus or the train, but many still prefer a good old car to get from point A to point B.  One of the key elements for tackling this is the adoption of electric vehicles, as these are completely zero emission and don’t harm the environment. Energi Mine thought it would be very beneficial for our ‘green-minded’ community and Energi Token holders to have a valid green choice when in need of transport – so why not provide them with the best electric vehicle on the market – Tesla. The partnership with UK based award winning Tesla only rental company 3F EV was such a natural fit. Instead of opting for a regular petrol car, EnergiToken users can rent a zero emission Tesla from 3F EV and get rewarded for their green choice. On the other side, they also can pay for the rental using their ETK balance.

This new approach to solving energy problems has broad and dramatic implications, causing a positive change in decisions about a wide variety of energy-consuming behaviors like buying efficient appliances, building more efficient homes, commuting via mass transportation, and driving electric vehicles.

Harness Selfish Motives for Good

Sometimes it takes a little more than sad images or scary statistics to cause genuine change in human behavior.

The ETK platform takes advantage of selfish motives and, ironically, harnesses this motivation for everyone’s benefit. Even if these decisions happen because of selfish motivation, each small change that individuals choose to make in their day-to-day lives to reduce carbon emissions and to consume clean and renewable energy sources, results in a collective positive difference, adding up to massive benefits on a grand scale.

For more information about Energi Mine and its energy-saving ETK reward scheme, or to become a partner, please visit www.energitoken.com, follow on twitter at @EnergiMine or join the Energi Mine telegram group telegram group

Omar Rahim

CEO Omar Rahim has traded energy for some of the largest trading houses in Europe, having managed over $3billion in energy assets worldwide over the last 12 years. He also has a track record in growing businesses from inception. Energi Mine his most recent business was born to revolutionise the energy space after finding the energy markets were riddled with inefficiencies. Energi Mine successfully raised $15 during its ICO in just 81 minutes. Omar is a regular commentator in the media on topics surrounding the energy markets.