Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE)
Call for essays

Call for essays

We invite Ashoka University students to submit original essays on behaviour change for sustainable lifestyles and climate action led by individuals, households and/or communities.

APPLY HERE Applications close
8 October 2022 at 11:59 PM IST.

Students must submit an original, 500-word essay in English on topics related to any of the 7 sectors, i.e. water, transport, food, electricity, waste management, recycling, or reusing. The central theme for the essays should be behaviour change for sustainable lifestyles and climate action, led by individuals, households and/or communities.

Here is a suggested list of topics to get you thinking - feel free to explore above and beyond these while keeping the central theme in mind.

  1. What are some behaviour change strategies that can promote positive climate action by individual citizens and/or communities around the world?
  2. What are some pathways to motivate behaviours and choices by individuals and/or communities that support sustainable lifestyles?
  3. What are some key behaviour change principles that are relevant for the adoption of Lifestyle for Environment in the global North and the economic North, and how do they vary from those applicable in the global South and the economic South?
  4. What are some global flagship behaviour change interventions that have proven successful in the sectors mentioned above?
  5. What are some examples of the power of collective action, i.e. mass changes in individual behaviours that have led to successful systemic changes, specifically in the development context of countries worldwide?
  6. What is the value of individual and community behaviours in leading climate action?

The top 3 entries will be reviewed and sharpened by behavioural scientists at CSBC and then published. These entries will also fetch their authors INR 5,000 each.

Authorship will lie with the selected students.

  1. Only current students of Ashoka University may apply. The programme you are enrolled in does not matter.
  2. Entries must be 500 words long. 10% over or under the word limit is acceptable. Essays must have a title. Titles are not included in the word limit. Essays must be in standard English.
  3. There are no particular rules regarding formatting (font style, size, line space, etc.). However, essays must be submitted in MS Word (DOC/DOCX). No PDFs, please. All submissions must include in-text citations if any, and a bibliography at the end. Please use the APA citation style for the bibiography.
  4. You are free to write the essay individually or with up to 2 more people. Only one entry per person will be accepted. So if you co-author a piece, you may not submit an individual piece as well.
  5. You (and your co-authors, if there are any) will retain copyright over your essay. If your essay is published, you (and your co-authors, if any) will retain sole authorship or will have an additional listed author from CSBC. This will depend on the level and complexity of edits required to get the piece publication ready.
Application form and deadline

All entries must be submitted via this form. Please use your Ashoka ID to submit your entry.

Entries must be sent in by 11:59 PM IST on October 8, 2022.

Winning entries will be declared by October 18, 2022.

Assessment criteria

Entries will be judged on:

  1. Relevance: The central thesis should relate to one or more of the 7 themes mentioned above.
  2. Originality: Unique perspectives backed by a thorough understanding of the topic. Plagiarism will lead to disqualification.
  3. Robustness: Evidence in the form of quantitative and qualitative data that substantiates the arguments made in the essay. We are not looking for participants to conduct said research.
  4. Interdisciplinarity: Incorporation of multiple perspectives on the issue(s) being discussed. The use of behavioural science will be appreciated, though it is not necessary.
  5. Clarity: Use of language and syntax to communicate effectively and persuasively. Participants are encouraged to avoid jargon and cliches.

Additional information and disclaimer

This call for essays seeks to promote writing on the theme of sustainable lifestyles to make the case for individual and community-level behaviour change towards climate-friendly choices. The call for essays is an independent initiative under the LiFE Movement and is led solely by the Centre for Social and Behaviour Change, Ashoka University. No other project partners, the Government of India, or NITI Aayog bear any responsibility or have any association with this initiative. Submitting an essay is not a substitute for responding to the Global Call for Ideas and Papers under the LiFE Movement.