Gravity Ideas is a behavioural design consultancy, that uses learnings from the behavioural sciences to improve the design assumptions and decisions relating to company’s’ products, services, programs and communications.
The business has been around since 2014, and works with some of the biggest companies in the financial services industry in South Africa as well as with government departments and non-profit organisations.
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Founder & Director at Gravity
What makes your team unique?
It’s a combination of things. Our focus area of apply data science to business challenges is not something that has been around for a long time, especially in South Africa. We have an interesting combination of people. A big thing that we try to do is bridge the gap between academia and design. We get behavioural scientists and researchers to collaborate with practitioners – we aim to bridge these two spaces. There are obviously some massive challenges with this. Nevertheless we are getting to a point where it is starting to make a lot more sense. The language for instance is very different between these two groups, the technical terms of the scientists vs the more fluid creative approach of the designer. The challenge is getting these two two groups in sync. This for instance is one of our core unique aspects.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
There are a couple of things. I have always been super interested in what makes us tick, what drives our decisions, the way we form judgements, how we represent the world and overall how we perceive things. I think being able to turn that passion, interest and curiosity, into a business is something that really excites me and gets me up every morning. It is also exciting to be in a space where the field is still exploratory, and there have not been these structures and systems put into place. People in this space are still trying to figure everything out. It is still open and organic.
Describe your company culture.
We like to think of ourselves as very collaborative and relationship driven in terms of our relationships with our clients. We partner with our clients instead of structured and systematic product of the shelf thing. We aim to have deep immersive relationships with our clients. Internally we are also very collaborative and very ideas orientated. We encourage ourselves to think differently and expose ourselves to uncomfortable ideas, challenge our beliefs, and continually learn. We have also tried to be radically transparent internally. Everyone knows what is going on in the business. We want this to become a big part of our culture. Nevertheless, this radical transparency is still in its experimental phase.
What do you hope your interns will get out of this experience?
The one thing is to get a real startup experience. Energetic, exciting and a little bit chaotic. You have to put your own structures in place and add value off the bat. I would also like to challenge our interns on how they think. In terms of behaviour sciences, the thinking can be applied in ranges of life. In terms of their project, we want to expose them to the way a business roadmaps and delivers a project.
What’s your story?
I studied Marketing and Economics at Stellenbosch University, and them came to Cape Town and did my Postgrad in Marketing at Red & Yellow. I started the company while I was there. It was really out of the fact that we went into consultancies to consider jobs and what the future would look like, and we asked people about the field of Behavioural Economics and Behavioural Science. Everyone was thinking about it, but no one was systematically applying it. We were exposed to a bit of it during my undergrad and this really interested us. We saw this was an opportunity and business space that we could look into. While we were launching the company, I went to UCT and studied Views on Institutional and Behavioural Economics, which part of the the Developmental Economic Masters Program, we got more of an academic sense of the field.