• 03.30.09

Ideo’s Roshi Givechi Offers Six Ways to Make Energy Conservation Electrifiying

When Roshi Givechi first came to Ideo from Microsoft she thought she had made a mistake. The famously human-centered firm wasn’t giving her many opportunities to design for real people. "I thought, is this for me?" she admitted, while giving a presentation Friday at AIGA’s Y Conference.


In her role at the helm of the storytelling discipline at Ideo, she has explored the social aspects of gaming, the KickStart human-powered irrigation pump, and the Keep the Change program for Bank of America to help their debit card holders add to their savings. They even got Pepsi into Whole Foods (no, not Natural Pepsi, but the energy drink Fuelosophy).


1. Whisper: You may have seen Ecofont, a free, funny, potentially-gimmicky font that uses 20% less ink due to its Swiss cheese-like holes. But it was just a clever way to draw attention to the fact that Ecofont really is doing something behind the scenes, providing some good resources for designers to print more responsibly.


3. Pledge: Rallying people around a cause and also holding them accountable for their behavior in a public forum can really help to motivate people to make changes. Chevron’s Will You Join Us campaign uses the company’s own pledges as a model to get consumers talking about action.

4. Envy: Some utility companies are actually sending bills that show your energy consumption as compared to your neighbors, and your neighborhood. Keeping up with the Joneses is an effective tool.


6. Full disclosure: If you give people just enough information about their consumption and put it in front of them in a way that makes them aware, they’ll likely change their patterns. Ideo created the Yello Sparzähler meters for a German utilities company, a sleek watt-counting device that silently registers how many watts, kilowatt hours, even euros you’re using.

Related: Read more about Ideo on Fast Company

About the author

Alissa is a design writer for publications like Fast Company, GOOD and Dwell who can most often be found in Los Angeles. She likes to walk, ride the bus, and eat gelato.