Hear how understanding someone’s culture can improve lives
I was so excited to have the opportunity to speak with Britt Titus on our podcast. As you will learn, Britt found her calling when she discovered how behavioral sciences and humanitarian concerns could transform the world, one step at a time. The two of us are crazy about behavioral sciences, so it was such a joy to share our fascination with the difficulties people have understanding others who differ from them. Whether addressing Ebola in Liberia and West Africa or helping mothers in Mali avoid undernourishment in their children, Britt is constantly humbled by the challenges of helping people do things that seem so logical to those of us from the Global North. As she says, nothing is as simple as it might appear. And humility can often be the best way to bring about changes that can have a huge impact on health. Don’t miss this one!
Watch and listen to our conversation here
It isn’t that people cannot understand what you are saying
They just have different stories in their own minds about what those words mean and how or why to change their behaviors. Solving problems with others requires us to understand what matters to them, what they believe to be truth. Remember, as I like to say, the only truth is there is no truth. Listen in to Britt Titus and enjoy our journey as part of your own.
Britt’s background lies at the intersection of behavioral insights and humanitarian action. She previously worked at Nudge Lebanon where she managed projects that applied behavioral insights to issues related to conflict and violence, ranging from gender-based violence to social cohesion and refugee integration. Beforehand, she spent most of her career working for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in humanitarian response and preparedness across Africa, Asia and the Middle East, including emergency deployments to Liberia for the Ebola outbreak and the Middle East for the regional Syria response.
Britt has a Master of Public Policy (MPP) from the University of Oxford where she focused on applied behavioral science and completed research at the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) in London. You can connect with Britt on LinkedIn or her page on the Airbel Impact Lab website.
For more stories about living with a purpose, we recommend these:
- Podcast: Lisa McLeod—If You Want To Succeed, You Must Find Your Noble Purpose
- Podcast: Pat Shea—Use Your Passions To Become Who You Want To Be
- Podcast: Theresa Carrington—Transforming Impoverished Artisans Into Entrepreneurs
Additional resources for you
- My two award-winning books: Rethink: Smashing The Myths of Women in Business
and On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights
- Our website: Simon Associates Management Consultants
Read the transcript of our podcast here
Andi Simon: Welcome to On the Brink With Andi Simon. Hi, I’m Andi Simon. I’m your host and your guide. As you know, I’m the founder and CEO of Simon Associates Management Consultants. We specialize in applying anthropological tools to help people change. And you know, as I’ve told you, so many times people hate to change, so we help you see things through a fresh lens and get off the brink and soar.
Today, I’m absolutely honored to have with us Britt Titus. Now this is a very interesting woman whom you are going to love to meet to learn more about and understand how behavioral sciences can be applied in humanitarian ways that you may be unfamiliar with. Let me read you her background and then I’ll introduce her. Her background lies at the intersection of behavioral insights and humanitarian actions.
She previously worked at Nudge Lebanon where she managed projects that applied behavioral insights to issues related to conflict and violence, ranging from gender-based violence to social cohesion and refugee integration. She’s going to tell you more about that. Beforehand, she spent most of her career working for the United Nations World Food Program in humanity, humanitarian response and preparedness across Africa, Asia and the Middle East, including emergency deployments to Liberia for the Ebola outbreak in the Middle East for regional Syria response. Britt has a Master of Public Policy from the University of Oxford, where she focused on Applied Behavioral Science and completed research at the Behavioural Insights Team in London.
It’s really an honor and a privilege to have you here. I’m so glad you could join me. Tell our listeners, it’s so much fun. Let’s add one behavioral scientist to another who are working in different areas, but in similar ways, sort of tell us about Britt. What’s your journey like? Let’s make you come alive so people can appreciate how you’ve applied behavioral sciences to all kinds of different problems. Please, who’s Britt?
Britt Titus: Thanks, Andi. Happy to share. So I started my journey really working for the United Nations when I was in my early 20s, which seems like a long time ago now. And, you know, the team that I was working with within the United Nations was really like a fire response department. So we were responsible for responding to emergencies all over the world, across many different continents, which included a lot of kind of rapid deployments for sudden onset emergencies. And so I really started my career by being thrown in the deep end.
My first year with the UN, I was deployed to work on the Syria emergency across Jordan and Lebanon, trying to support the humanitarian community to get aid and relief supplies into the country across borders. And shortly after that, I was also deployed to the Ebola outbreak in 2014, if you can remember that, at that time. So being deployed to Monrovia, that capital, and working within the UN system to try to better respond to the growing number of Ebola cases at that time. And so this was a really formative period in my life. It was extremely rewarding.
But something that was always the most interesting to me was the human element. Why are people responding the way they do? Why, when we, the humanitarian community, are bringing relief supplies to communities in Liberia and West Africa, why is there so much fear, and, you know, the incredible, impossible task of trying to encourage people who are experiencing the Ebola outbreak, to kind of turn over their sick family members to these faceless, masked PPE-donned health workers?
In the midst of this crisis were all actions that needed to happen and we were struggling. We were building these large Ebola treatment units across the country, these large hospitals, and the beds were empty. And so we had to try and understand very rapidly, why are people not bringing their loved ones, their family members to these hospitals. What we understood was, it was the human element. It was the fear, it was the misinformation, it was the rumors. And the very, very difficult task of taking someone who’s very ill and handing them over to these places that were very unknown and unfamiliar and foreign.
And so these were the questions that I always grappled with and was so fascinated by. And so, partway into my career within the UN, I really knew that I wanted to go back and spend some time studying a little bit more and understanding how we can shift the way we do humanitarian response. A lot of organizations, you know, the way that we’ve been doing humanitarian response now is the way we’ve been doing it for 50 years, and so there’s a lot of growing interest in more innovative ways of responding so we can improve outcomes for people whose lives are affected by crisis and conflict.
And so one of those ways that I found, maybe my first week doing my master’s of public policy, someone mentioned behavioral science, and I said, what’s that? As soon as they told me what it was like, that’s what I’ve always been interested in. I just didn’t know the name of it. I didn’t know that it had a whole evidence based theory behind it. And so I signed up for every course that I could at the University of Oxford, and really delved deep into it.
The struggle was, of course, that I found that it was being applied in government, and it was being applied in private sector companies around the world. But, it was not being applied in a systematic way in the humanitarian sector to deal with the issues that I cared about, like pandemics, and health, and prevention of violence, and education for people affected by crisis. And so I was searching high and low for people who would be interested in this behavioral science thing. And it was difficult at that time, that was 2016.
I had a lot of really interesting conversations with people who thought it was a great idea. But, it was definitely difficult to get some traction. And so eventually, I found Nudge Lebanon which is a small NGO working out of Beirut, in Lebanon, applying behavioral science to issues like social cohesion between the host population and refugees, health, nutrition, all of these topics that I care so deeply about, and really was able to start start running experiments to understand human behavior, and all for the purpose of trying to improve humanitarian outcomes for people, Syrian refugees, and Lebanese, in Lebanon.
And so that was really the beginning of my career in this intersection of these two areas that I care about so deeply, and eventually found that IRC, the International Rescue Committee, the organization I currently work for, has an innovation team called the Airbelt Impact Lab. And within that, one of their core areas, or kind of tools in their toolkit, is behavioral science and so I joined that team, and now I lead the behavioral science team there. So that’s my journey,
Andi Simon: The most exciting part is that you have gone through your own self discovery. At the same time, you’re now trying to bring a new perspective and way of seeing things to people who think they’re doing just fine, thank you very much. The most interesting part, you know, there are many things that are interesting about what you’re doing, but the hardest part is that it isn’t working but that’s the way we do it. And if that’s the way we’ve always done it, that must be the right way to do it. But it’s not working. Well, maybe it could work better. But that’s the way we’ve always done it.
And I can tell you, it’s not that different from going into an organization, a business that is fractured, a toxic culture. And they say, well, this isn’t good, but it’s the way we’ve always done it. Humans are wonderfully resistant to leaving that shiny object and going to a new way of seeing things that might do better. And the big question is, how will we know? You know, the unknown becomes a crux for not doing it.
And so I’m anxious to hear about some of your extraordinary experiences, helping them honestly do just what we said today: see, feel and think in new ways, so they can really overcome the resistance and do better. Help us understand some of the ways that this has been working for you. How have you been able to start the transformation of people’s minds? And you know, breaking down the resistance to change?
Britt Titus: Well, yes. So yeah, normally with our work, applying behavioral science in humanitarian settings, we are aiming to shift behavior in the population that we’re serving. So for example, we’re aiming to shift behavior of teachers in a refugee camp or parents in a conflict setting. But you’re absolutely right, Andi, that the change needs to start at home. And it is really difficult. And a lot of the behavioral biases and the resistance to change that we see in all of us also happens in our own organizations and our own teams.
And so, yes, we are a small team, doing behavioral science work, a team of around four people at the moment, sitting within a wide integration of 15,000 people almost in 40 different countries around the world. So it is no small feat to embed this new approach into the work we’re doing. So yeah, I think, you know, a lot of what we try and do with the population, we also try to do at home.
I think one of the good things, one of the opportunities, is that a lot of what teams have been doing for a long time, their aim is ultimately what we’re trying to do is try to shift behavior, or help people kind of align their actions with their intention. So supporting populations to achieve the outcomes that they want for themselves, whether that’s improved education for their family, improved health, whatever it is, and so often, that’s really an entry point for us. Because ultimately, we want the same thing. We want to shift behavior in some way, or help people kind of leverage these drivers of behavior, which can help achieve outcomes.
So that’s our first entry point. And so I think, what is important is to first kind of help these other teams see that we’re trying to achieve the same thing, which is always important for behavioral science work, is kind of identifying where the kind of similar values are, or where your shared values, your shared objective is, and then coming in and offering behavioral science, and that is something that’s going to replace the ways of doing things from before, and it’s definitely not a silver bullet.
But what we try to do is help teams see that we can all use it as an added boost. All of these projects, especially for these humanitarian contexts, are working in where the challenges are extremely complex, and extremely just have a lot of complexity in them. Using these tools that can help us understand human behavior, not just at the individual or household level, but also at the system level within a country can be extremely, extremely helpful.
And what’s also beneficial is that behavioral science interventions tend to be quite cost effective, whether it’s shifting the way that people see an intervention, or using different types of messaging, or helping people plan for the future. These are not tools that are incredibly expensive. And so they actually work very well in these contexts, especially where we’re resource constrained, which we often are in a humanitarian context. So there’s a lot that we can do there to kind of help people see that this is something that can be added on to their existing way of doing things and be embedded within program development and design and doesn’t have to replace it.
I think what’s also really important is bringing teams along in the entire journey. So we know that if people are involved in things early on, they tend to have a sense of ownership, which is really good for building momentum and having buy-in. But at the same time, we know that these programs and these projects are only really going to be effective if we have the input of the people who are closest to the problem.
And so it’s really twofold. It is important to build ownership. But it’s even more important to have their input, because behavioral science interventions are only as good as we understand the context of the problem. And typically, it’s our project teams and and our teams on the ground who know those things the best.
Andi Simon: How my head is going through at least a dozen questions. Let me take you through the first question. I’ll be an apologist. How do you access real insight into what they think the problem is, or how do you begin to, because to your point, people have a story in their mind and that’s the one they’re trying to live. Like, we don’t want to. You’re trying to show them a different way that might be more effective, whether it’s teaching or it’s abuse in the home, or it’s whatever the issue is. So somehow, we have to change their story.
The Ebola one is a perfect one. You know, the big place wasn’t the right place for my sick mom. But you didn’t know how I felt or my story about it so I’m not going to do what you say. Even if it may be the right solution, but doesn’t fit the way we do things. So story, changing your messaging point is extremely important. And it has to resonate with both the people you’re collaborating with on your side and the people who you’re trying to engage. Because if they don’t engage in the solution, it’ll just sit on the surface and never get below it. Am I right?
Britt Titus: Absolutely. Yes. What do you do? Great. It’s a great question. So I think, traditionally, behavioral science has tended to be a little bit top down. So behavioral scientists get together in a team, they come up with an intervention. You know, they try and understand a bit about the context in which they test that intervention, usually in a rigorous way or with some type of evaluation, but what we’ve found especially, definitely around the world, but definitely in these contexts, is, we have to spend a lot more time doing this in a more bottom up approach.
One, because a lot of the behavioral science evidence including anthropology and psychology and social sciences is really based in the Global North and stable Western context. And so we don’t actually know, as a field, as a community, a lot about the unique psychologies of people who are experiencing conflict displacement, or people who are living in the Global South.
What is challenging about that is that means we have to do a lot better. But there’s really an opportunity there as well, because I think it really forces us to be more humble about what we don’t know, and really go in and speak to our clients, we call them clients, the communities that we’re serving, as the experts. They are the experts in what is going to work best for them. They are the experts in what has been tried before and has failed.
If we create something for them without them being included, then it’s never going to be a sustainable solution. Even if we encourage people to take something up once, it doesn’t mean they’re going to change their behavior in the long run.
And so I have an example of a project where this was very evident in northeast Nigeria. So in northeast Nigeria, and globally, the community has been trying to roll out a different way of teaching children, which is called social and emotional learning, which really tries to improve the social and emotional capabilities and skills of children, especially vulnerable children in places like the ones we work in northeast Nigeria, and Yemen, and Lebanon. And so the reason we’re doing this is because there’s a lot of evidence in the Global North about how these types of activities that can improve emotional regulation, or conflict resolution in children, have been extremely effective.
And so humanitarian organizations have tried to roll those out in these contexts as well, except they found very little impact or even no impact when they roll them out. This obviously leads to a lot of confusion. Why are these interventions, these very effective evidence based interventions, working in the Global North and not in places like northeast Nigeria?
And so when we went into the project to try and look at this, we had two hypotheses. One was, maybe these activities have not been contextualized enough for the northeast Nigerian context. And the second one was, teachers may not be using them enough for them to have the skill building effects on children so we’re not seeing any impact.
And so what we did is, we started from the very kind of most local way we could start. So we started by speaking to teachers, parents, headmasters, to the local government in the area, and trying to understand how they see social emotional learning happening in children. What does it mean to grow up to be a successful, socially adapted, emotionally regulated adult in Nigeria, not in the US? What does it mean to do that in Nigeria, and we learned a lot from that exercise.
What we learned is, the skills that they thought were most important did not sound very much like the ones that we had been trying to promote. From the US context, the skills that teachers told us in northeast Nigeria that were the most important for children to learn were things like self discipline, obedience and tolerance, which is very different from terms like emotional regulation and conflict resolution. And at first, this was quite alarming to some of our colleagues in the US because words like obedience and discipline don’t go down so well in the US context. And so, we had some people who didn’t want to use those terms.
Andi Simon: Forgive me for laughing, I’m holding back my laugh, because those aren’t the right terms? How would they know? Well, they are who they are, and what they know. But I’m sitting here going, we can deny right?
Britt Titus: So yeah, we had this little bit of a moment of tension where the local terms and the locally valued skills sounded very different from what had been promoted and studied in the Global North. And so what we did is, we actually did a mapping exercise where we try to understand: what did these words mean to you? We asked the teachers: What does it mean for a child to be obedient and have self discipline, what does that look like? And they told us things like: being able to focus on a task for a long period of time, being able to work well with other students in the classroom and not getting in fights.
And it was all the same thing that we were trying to promote in the Global North, they just had completely different ways of talking about it. And that was a real breakthrough, because we realized that teachers were going to be far more interested in using an activity that promotes self discipline and obedience than one that promotes emotional regulation, a term that meant nothing to them. And it meant the same thing, it was promoting the same outcome.
And we found as we tested, as we used more of this local framing, and more of this local content, the way we talked about the activities, how we talked about the benefits to the children of engaging with these, we saw more uptake. Teachers were more and more interested in using these activities. And it was almost like, finally, you’ve created something that’s actually for our classrooms.
And so we did this kind of iterative approach of working with, I think it was about 12 core teachers over a year, continually improving, adding more local content to the program, infusing these local framings, to the point where every single word we used throughout this program, from the training to the activity cards to the illustrations, were completely localized.
And we saw really big improvements. And we just did a pilot study that ran for about six months, and found that on average, teachers have been using these activities for about 18 minutes a day, up from pretty much zero. So we’re really excited about this progress. And, yeah, it seems to be the evidence so far showing that teachers are really excited and motivated to use these activities for the first time since we’ve been testing them, so just an example.
Andi Simon: That’s a big example. And for our listeners or viewers, think about what Britt is talking about. First, they are co-creating it with the end user. And the second thing is that words create the worlds we live in. And they are words that may sound like your words, but they don’t have the same meaning. And the third part is that if you don’t understand the story and what they’re looking for in the behavior, as opposed to the words, you won’t know what it is you’re trying to actually achieve.
And it becomes an interesting, I’ll call it my aha moment, when you realize that we’re trying to both do the same thing really well, but if we don’t think of it from your perspective, you know, not mine, and it isn’t what I do, it’s what you need, how do I help you? It reframes the whole conversation and now we become a support team. And maybe that’s not how you see it but our job is to be an enabler, a facilitator, a support team, and then watch what’s actually happening and redirect it along, and we become collaborators and partners in transformation. That is a very exciting place to be, isn’t it?
Britt Titus: Yes, absolutely. I think you summarized it perfectly.
Andi Simon: But your word humble is very important as well.
Britt Titus: Yes, it’s a mindset. But I think putting it into practice looks exactly like what you said. It is working extremely closely with the people that you’re designing for. It’s treating them as experts. It’s co-creating with them at every step of the way. It’s making sure that you are checking every assumption you have and everything down to the words and what they mean, and how they know what they mean, to people that might be different from the way you think about them. You know, I think all of those things are the practical applications of a humility mindset. And I think every project could benefit from that type of approach.
Andi Simon: Well, what you’re really doing is something very powerful because if you have 4000 folks out there who all think that they know better, and the folks are trying to help, don’t, you can’t go very far. I don’t know if you know Judith Glaser’s work on conversational intelligence and the power of neuroscience. She was an organizational anthropologist. The brain assuming they’re all very much the same brains.
When you say I the amygdala immediately fears, it flees, it hijacks it, it fights, it runs away from it, it just protects you. You’re challenging me. But if we say we, all of a sudden: procreation, the trust, the oxytocin flows through your brain. We bond and if that’s the way our minds work, regardless if you’re in West Nigeria, or Lebanon, and we say the right words, however that said, and that doesn’t necessarily mean we, but it is a different response for reasons that are good, but the mind isn’t fighting you or fleeing you. It wants to know how, and that creates a behavioral sciences. An enormous power of transformation. As you’re thinking, is there another illustrative case of things actually working?
Britt Titus: Yeah, Absolutely, yeah. So I think another really exciting project we have been working on using a similar approach is in Mali. And one of the big problems that we’re trying to address in Mali and other countries is severe acute childhood malnutrition. And so one of the big problems with trying to address childhood malnutrition is being able to detect it and diagnose it. And a lot of children don’t get the treatment that they need because they never get diagnosed, and it’s too late by the time that they are diagnosed, it’s too late in their journey. And, it’s too difficult to either bring them back or there’s a lot of health morbidities that come with that.
So, in rural areas, like in Mali, where we work, typically the place to get diagnosed is quite far away. Mothers and fathers tend to have to travel very, very far distances, hours a day, if they want to go visit a clinic. And so one of the kinds of solutions within the humanitarian space is to put the opportunity and responsibility of screening children in the hands of parents themselves. And so there’s a tape that is given out to mothers which goes around a child’s arm, upper arm, and can measure whether or not they’re malnourished or not, with a red, yellow, green kind of traffic light type measurement.
The problem is, if you are going to screen your own child for malnutrition, you have to do that every single month at least, sometimes every single week, in order to detect these small changes that can happen that you might not notice just by looking at your child if you see them every day. And so this is a behavior that is quite difficult. It’s something that you have to do every single month, which is a very difficult timing to remember. I think, if you and I were told to do something every month for the next year, at some point in the month without a phone reminder, or an email calendar, notification, there’s pretty much no way I remember to do that.
And also, these mothers are expected to do a lot. They are cooking for the family, they are cleaning, they are sometimes working. And so, in terms of mental scarcity, and in terms of all the things that they’re expected to remember and to do every day, it’s pretty much impossible that they remember to do this. And so we’ve seen in areas where the majority of women were trained on this approach, very little, maybe a fifth of those women, ever use that tape to screen their own children for malnutrition, which is a big problem.
So we wanted to understand why this is happening. What’s going on? What is the reason why we’re seeing so much kind of drop off after the training, and how can we encourage women to screen their children because ultimately, they want their children to be healthy and happy and to know if their children are experiencing malnutrition, so they can get help in time. So when we did this kind of exploratory phase, which we’d like to do, especially based on what we said earlier, we don’t know a lot about the psychologies of women in rural Mali. And there are no papers out there that say how to encourage mothers in rural Mali to screen their own children for malnutrition. There’s actually very little to go on.
And if you were going to try and develop a reminder, which is a common behavioral science tool used across the world, if you were going to try and set that up, for example, in the US or the UK, you might send text message reminders, once a month. The problem is these women do not have their own phones, maybe they share a phone in the household. Even if there is a phone, they might not have a signal. Very often it might be in and out. And they might not have the ability to have phone data on a regular basis. So that’s really not an option for us. And many of them are illiterate, meaning that even if we sent a text message, it would be very difficult for them to read it.
So we had to come up with a way of reminding women in rural areas without using any technology or any kind of, you know, device or data which we often rely on. And, this is especially difficult in areas where these women have a different way of considering time and timekeeping than we would. There’s no calendars in their home, there’s not necessarily kind of the same way we would think about timing and marking days. And so we really have to understand how these women think about time. How do they remember to do the things that they already do? What are their existing things that they have to remember to do once a month or once a week? And how can we really leverage what they’re already doing and the way they already consider time and piggyback onto that.
And so we did a lot of testing with these women over and over again, going back and back and forth to this region of Mali, and testing and prototyping and showing them examples, which was really fun and they really enjoyed being able to rank different ideas and give us feedback, and they were very honest with us. One of our ideas was, should we get a little device that goes off once a month, a little beeper? They very confidently said, Well, where are we going to get the batteries for that? That’s a silly idea. And so they were very, very helpful in that co-creation. process.
And I think we’ve found across projects that the more time you spend with the user group, the more you build trust, and the more honest answers you start getting. It’s not always the case at the beginning. So really investing in those relationships, and seeing the same women over and over again, was very, very helpful for the project, to really get the nitty gritty out of the context and their lived experience.
And so what we ended up finding out is that many of these women are in these informal women’s savings groups. So they meet about once a month, with other women, and they pool their savings. And we were like, Great, well, you’re already doing this thing once a month. And so we thought, Well, what happens if we piggybacked on that, and we encourage women to bring their children to these meetings once a month, and they can all screen together, which would be socially reinforcing. You’d be seeing other women doing it. It would be the reminder to you and have the ease of doing it there when everyone else is doing it, and you have support of other women if you’re not quite sure, if you’re getting the right reading especially if you are holding a wiggly child on your lap and trying to get their arm to hold still is, is an impossible feat on its own.
So we tested this out, and they really, really loved it. So we got really positive feedback. And we’re able to continue iterating on that idea, and kind of create the social network reminder that came out of months and months of spending time with a population understanding their lived reality that we would have never known had we tried to come up with a solution and implemented in the first few weeks, that took months of getting to know the population before we’re able to find that kind of sweet spot between what they’re already doing, and what also meets the needs of the program. So we’ve also just run a pilot study on that and found really promising results from that activity. And women are really excited about using those groups with other women to screen their children for malnutrition.
Andi Simon: We don’t have to talk now about what they do if they find out if they are malnourished. But that’s another piece of this, but I think that the power of the group is fascinating for Westerners who think about isolation. And families having new grandparents here. There’s a great bunch of articles that just came out on the power of the grandparent and that the nature of society and smallest scale societies is very much about each other, about a collaboration. Even if you live in isolation, you need the others to help you save, take care of your kids, and know-how and doing it together. It’s much more exciting and fun, and something purposeful, in your mind, as opposed to simply tactical and practical. Yes, it was tactical and practical. Take the measurement, and you’ll know.
Britt Titus: Much better to have that kind of social accountability and to have that reminding point, and to know that other women are going through the same thing, which also can help a lot with stigma and norms as well. So we believe that can also be a kind of an intervention that picks up momentum, as people start to see that this is the new norm, and start to see others doing it more often.
Andi Simon: I think you’ll probably have a bunch of detours along the journey. I don’t think there’s a destination per se. But I think the other part you might find is that there’ll be self-appointed leaders who begin to take ownership of this and who now feel a responsibility to the group, casual, informal leaders, who now talk to each other in a way that they can see the benefits and then it becomes contagious.
It’s so interesting because it doesn’t matter whether it’s here in the States or anywhere else, humans are fascinating. And if you don’t pause for a moment and see through their eyes and how to do it, you can’t go anywhere, even if we know where we need to go, it won’t get there. And then they’re the problem, but they’re not the problem. You’re the problem. Actually, you’re not the problem, either. The problem is a problem. Then the question is, how can we get past it to find some solutions that are clever and creative and innovative?
There’s a book called, The Secret of our Success. It’s a wonderful book about how human evolution has happened. You and I both love to look back to go forward. But it’s because of our collective brains. And what you’re describing as a collective brain, not an isolated one. The isolates didn’t do very well, they didn’t survive very well. But together, we can do far better, in the shareables, and you will almost probably become part of the shareables. You are no longer the outsiders but part of the insider.
This is such fun. You and I could talk for a while. We’ve probably taken our listeners’ and viewers’ time up, but I so enjoy the opportunity to share your sharing with us. And I can’t thank you enough for doing that. The organization: would you like to share a little bit more about the work that you’re doing at the IRC? And how people might find out more about it? And why it should be important for them, please?
Britt Titus: Absolutely, yes. So the IRC is also speaking of looking back in time, quite an old organization. So it was actually set up in 1933, at the request of Albert Einstein to support the Germans who were suffering under Hitler’s regime, and also eventually refugees from Mussolini’s Italy, and Franco’s Spain. And so this organization has been around for a long time, and has also had many iterations. And so yeah, now we’re a large organization, as I mentioned, serving around 40 different countries around the world.
And within that organization, we have the Airbelt Impact Lab, which is our research and innovation, part of the organization. And so within that team, we’re really focused on trying to create breakthrough solutions in the areas of malnutrition, which I’ve mentioned, education, and emergencies, which I’ve also mentioned, women’s health, and climate resilience and adaptation for the future climate shocks and current climate shocks that are disproportionately affecting people in humanitarian contexts.
So those are the main areas that we are focusing on with our innovation, behavioral science, human-centered design, and all of these different approaches. And so I welcome everyone to have a look at our website, which is the Airbelt Impact Lab website, which I think you can probably share with people. It’s airbelt.rescue.org, to read about some of the projects we’ve been working on and see how you can support it if you’re interested in being involved.
Andi Simon: Don’t you love it! You have found your calling. It is so beautiful. Thank you, I don’t know where your journey is going to take you, but thank you for sharing it today. And for all of our listeners and viewers, thank you for sharing our podcasts with your network and wherever you can. As I mentioned, we are now in the top 5% of global podcasts. It’s truly an honor and a privilege to be able to find great people like Britt to share with you and then you take it from there.
If you’ve got folks you want us to interview, info@Andisimon.com is just how you can reach us. And SimonAssociates.net is our website. My books are available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. And they continue to be best sellers and award winners and having fun. My next book comes out next September 2023 and I will tell you all about it when it happens.
But for now, I want to wish you a safe and happy journey wherever life is taking you. And please enjoy yourself for every day is a gift. And we have to leave it like that. And Britt is doing some marvelous work. Go look at her website and take a look at how you might be able to help her or at least learn from what she’s doing. The messaging is very important. She is helping you see, feel, and think in new ways. And that’s what we’re here to help you do. So on that note, I’m going to sign off and say goodbye. Thanks for it.