DR. ANNIEK BOEIJINGA
Welcome! My name is Anniek Boeijinga (PhD) and I am a writer, consultant and behavioral scientist - fascinated by human behavior and driven to make a change. I believe that true change starts with contact: What is the story behind the behavior? We humans like to think that we are rational beings, but we are not. Most of our behaviors come about unconsciously and automatically. That is what makes it hard to change behavior and why many efforts are not effective. Through my experience in business and academia, I developed an innovative approach in which I combine insights from communication research, social psychology and neurolinguistic linguistic programming (NLP) with the power of story. In the words of Jane Goodall: the only way to change somebody’s mind, is to tell stories and get into the heart.
Narratives as bridge builders
How to get from the current situation/behavior to the desired one? Narratives are natural bridge builders, both by their content and form. As part of my PhD research, I developed the Storybridging method: a practical four-step approach for building powerful stories for change. This approach integrates the audience's stage of change in the construction process (different stages ask for different solutions and, thus, different narrative content), thereby increasing the stories' influence and impact.
Narrative health communication
Recently narratives have been emerging as promising tools for health promotion. Within my PhD project I explored the potential of health narratives for truck drivers: a high-risk occupational group. The research involved both qualitative and quantitative studies and was conducted in close cooperation with the Dutch transport sector. The findings confirmed the promise of narrative and resulted in practical guidelines for developing more effective health interventions.
Children's book: Jutter's wonder world
Roughly one third of the food produced for human consumption gets lost or wasted. Time for a nudge to reduce food waste! Together with a great team, I have developed a children's book co-starring Jutter, a beachcomber that sees in everything something new and turns waste into treasures. The story is based on the latest theories of storytelling and behavior change and, most important, fun to read for children - who are important agents of change.
Nudge Leadership Challenge
"Best Young Leader in Sustainability"
Together with 75 other young professionals, I participated in the Nudge Leadership Challenge: a three-day development program around leadership and sustainability. During the Challenge we were inspired by guest speakers and assessed on environmental sensitivity, management of organization & change, interpersonal skills and personal leadership. It is a true honor to be named one of the "Best Young Leaders in Sustainability 2015".
Sexual health education book
Rewa means "hope" in the Tibetan language, hope for a better future. Based on the personal narratives and experiences of Tibetan students, I wrote stories of change around puberty, body changes, personal boundaries and sexual harassment. The stories were bundled into the Rewa-storybook, which was released by the Department of Health (CTA) and distributed among schools to educate and empower Tibetan youth on sexual health.