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Encouraging sustainability oriented change through social media: A case study of GreenhackGBG
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

How a sustainability-oriented campaign can use social media to encourage citizens to make change towards more sustainable lifestyles is the outline of this thesis. The studied case is GreenhackGBG, a sustainability project managed by the city of Gothenburg which strives to affect citizens to change practices in their everyday life. The focus of this thesis is to see how the communication project utilizes social media as a communication tool. Since the role of social media in society constantly increases, it is essential to understand how relations online affects the offline context. In the case of GreenhackGBG it is crucial to understand how to create informative content online so it encourages the receivers to make requested changes in the offline context, the everyday life. Therefore the thesis also focuses on how social media could be utilized and used as a facilitator in projects, discussions and debates. The thesis has an explorative qualitative approach, with semi-structured interviews with participants and project management as main data gathering method. Results shows differences in effects between social media platforms, which suggests the importance of adapted communication strategies. The challenges and importance of the tone in communication, especially for a city as a public authority is evident. GreenhackGBG exemplify the difficulty of measurability of participation practices online. This research contributes to the area of social media studies combined with sustainability and communication. Since social media as a communication tool increases in importance, this thesis also serves as a contribution to knowledge development considering social media strategies for public authorities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 64 p.
Examensarbete vid Institutionen för geovetenskaper, ISSN 1650-6553 ; 290
Keyword [en]
Sustainable Development, Communication, Social media, Participation, Citizens, Everyday life
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-295641OAI: diva2:934263
Subject / course
Sustainable development
Educational program
Master Programme in Sustainable Development
2016-06-01, Geocentrum, Villavägen 16, Uppsala, 09:00 (English)
Available from: 2016-06-08 Created: 2016-06-08 Last updated: 2016-06-08Bibliographically approved

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