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Whilst not always the case, it is not unusual for people’s behaviour to be driven by an attempt to meet their needs or overcome barriers that stand between them and ensuring their needs are met, or the needs of others with whom they have a strong allegiance – such as family, friends or colleagues.

Understanding the connection between people’s needs, their desire to satisfy those needs, and the constraints that are imposed – whether intentionally or unintentionally – by social and economic governance structures, is a critical part of striving to create a sustainable future. Given that it is human behaviour and decisions that largely design the context within which humans live their everyday lives – understanding why people do what they do is fundamentally important.


Discussion forum activity

  1. Watch this TED talk by the inspirational speaker Tony Robbins on ‘Why people do what they do’
  2. Reflect on the following questions:
    • How might the six human needs identified by Robbins align with the nine needs articulated by Max-Neef?
    • How might an understanding of human needs and the emotional strength of individuals improve the people’s ability to achieve more sustainable outcomes?
  3. Write your answers in the Discussion Forum. Look for the appropriate topic.

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