Carl-Maria-von-Weber Schule Eutin (2018)

The SHIELD Seal  — a Nudge to Improve Help in Critical Situations

Imagine you are entering a bank.
All you want to do is to book off some money for the day, and everything is just like always. But suddenly your chest feels constrict, you have a shortage of breath, and burning pain is beaming through your body. You are panicking, you start to sweat and fall because your legs are too weak to hold you. Just before passing out, you see the shadows of other customers that rise above your body and disappear again, leaving you helpless.

This is what a person must have felt before dying in a bank in Essen because no person around was willing to help and just ignored him1). Each day, people die in accidents, of which at least 5 – 10% could have survived if people had offered help, according to the ADAC2). The unwillingness to help is a known problem in academic and aid agency circles. The so-called bystander effect, which includes the forbearance of providing basic medical assistance, is well-studied. People feel either too busy to engage in the situation, are also hesitant to help in fear of doing something wrong, are unaware of the importance of the situation or are afraid of being the first to act (acting outside of the group behaviour)3).

The increasing disregard for people in need of first aid is extremely alarming, putting the lives of many potentially on the line, but there still is a simple way of raising awareness and know-how of the general public that is beneficial to everyone‘s survival in emergency situations: bringing first aid training into the school curriculum.

This concept, while not being new, has had a practically fatal flaw: It was completely voluntary and optional resulting in a general lack of perception by teaching institutions. So while emergency services like the DRK, Malteser, die Johanniter and the Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund did provide mostly free courses for schools to book, said institutions hardly made use of the existing offers. In countries where there is legal obligation to perform said courses, however – namely the Scandinavian regions – this approach had an astonishingly positive impact on first aid survival statistics and the people’s general awareness of critical situations and their knowledge of how to respond4).

As forcing German schools to offer these courses by law is simply less beneficial due to a possible backlash and most importantly not being the focus of our YES! task, we came up with another way to provide schools with an incentive to take the aid agencies‘ offers: the SHIELD seal (Schüler helfen in ernsten Lagen direkt) is a seal for high schools that book these courses on a regular basis, with a minimum of 2 programs in secondary school. Our solution gives an institution that offers these courses, the right to promote themselves with our badge, just like they do with other initiatives like Europa schools, sports schools or the Berufswahlpass initiative, to maintain a high number of students.

That way, schools have the incentive and the platform to effortlessly organise courses and society benefits from the public awareness when needed. This solution, by being completely optional for the schools, is non-intrusive in terms of the school‘s rights and really easy to implement due to the small number of legal steps required.

We think that by permuting this voluntary system in which everyone can benefit from the positive outcome will highly increase the participation rates of said programs and in turn raise the awareness and willingness to help in emergency situations, so that none gets left lying on the floor ever again.

1) Polizei Essen, 2017
2) ADACsignale Ausgabe 26 (2005)
3) Johanniter Unfall-Hilfe e.V. (2015)
4) Reisch, L. A. & Sunstein, C.R. (2016). Do Europeans like nudges? Judgment and decision making, Vol.11, No. 4. (CC-BY-3.0)

Photo: (c) Team Carl-Maria-von Weber Gymnasium Eutin

The team selected this topic

Why don’t they care? Nudges to improve willingness to help (2018)

The media continually reports about the failure to provide help. For example, the failure to provide help in the case of a deceased pensioner in an Essen bank. The phenomenon can be seen in almost every country and happens in very different situations, for example mobbing, racism, accidents and attacks, where many people do not intervene and help even though they could. In addition to the personal suffering of the victim, failure to assist has social consequences for society as it reduces macroeconomic welfare. ‘Nudges’ could be a way of increasing the willingness to help. A nudge is a method that influences the behaviour of people without having to resort to bans or laws or having to change social incentives. Nudges are becoming a more popular way of influencing people’s behaviour as new laws or regulations do not have to be issued as policy. Nudges could help to overcome individual blocks such as fear or uncertainty concerning responsibility, thus increasing the level of social welfare.

The Team

You cannot teach a human, the only thing you can do is helping him/her to discover it in themselves
Galileo Galilei

We are the YES ! team from the Carl-Maria-von Weber Gymnasium in Eutin and we will spend a lot of time, passion and work during the next months for our topic:

Why don’t they care? Nudges to improve willingness to help!

We want to reach increased awareness for other people as well as more helpfulness because it is our generation who has to live in a society that is drifting into egoism and cold-heartedness.

Photo: (c) Team Carl-Maria-von Weber Gymnasium Eutin

The Workaholic
I am Jakob „Jake“ from Eutin, 18 years old.

  1. Why do I care: We find ourselves in a time, where everybody is required to rethink his imagination of future. Especially those of our age are and will be concerned by the biggest global challenges in the world. And we will also be the ones who will rule how the future is going to be. So who else should care if not us?
  2. Which skills do I bring to the table: exploratory urge, technical knowledge, eloquence
  3. What do I fall for: Cheeeese

Photo: (c) Team Carl-Maria-von Weber Gymnasium Eutin

The Jock

My name is Ole Böttcher, I am from Malente, 18 years old.

  1. Why do I care: I was inspired by Xiuhtezcatl Martinez- who I met personally- to stand up for OUR generation´s rights and to become active in solving all the problems we have to face in the future. The youth economic summit is one of OUR chances to get involved, to join the conversation and to let our voice get heard.
  2. Which skills do I bring to the table: I like creating ideas and figuring out stuff with friends. The one thing I learned from professional sport is to stay focused on achieving the goals we set!
  3. What do I fall for: Sun, the sea, decent swell and good food

Photo: (c) Team Carl-Maria-von Weber Gymnasium Eutin

The Dedicated

Hello! I am Anneke and I am 17 years old. My hobbies are basketball, dance – theatre, playing the piano and I love reading, music, political/ social projects and outdoor activities.

  1. Why do I care? Policy and economy, the society and the whole human life consist of solidarity between people. It´s important for all of us because we can´t live a fair and friendly system without it.The world has to work together to solve problems and to care for its creatures and this begins with actions for others, also respect and attention for other things than just the own advantages.
  2. Which skills do I bring tot he table? I am a very creative person and good at acting and working in a team. I´m a very motivated and happy personality and full of energy for debates, creating and world-changing processes!
  3. What do I fall for? Basil – Tofu.

Photo: (c) Team Carl-Maria-von Weber Gymnasium Eutin

The Optimist

My name is Thachita and I am 17 years old. My passions are dancing, playing basketball and making music. Besides, I am really interested in exploring new things, places and meeting new people.

  1. Why do I care? Many things in our society today became so unimportant and do not get enough attention until it becomes a huge problem which concerns us and this is why we should start changing something and try to encourage everyone to solve the problems our world is dealing with.
  2. Which skills do I bring to the table?  I am imaginative, disciplined, motivated, communicative and always open to new ideas and discussions. Teamwork is my favourite work and I always try to cheer up the mood.
  3. What do I fall for? Sarcasm, good food and good music.

The Confident

Hey, I am Maxi I’m 18 years old and live in a small village near to Eutin.

  1. Why do I care: I need to do something to improve the world because even little actions and ambitions can lead to success. To me, it seems like everybody is talking about what they don´t want, whose fault something was and what they want to change but at the end, nobody does anything at all. I have to do something to make the world a little better because everybody says they want to do something but no one actually does anything.
  2. Which skills do I bring to the table: The team can benefit from my huge self-confidence and I am also a very talkative person. Furthermore, I am good at motivating people.
  3. What do I fall for: A cold beer after hard work.

Photo: (c) Team Carl-Maria-von Weber Gymnasium Eutin

The Dreamer

Hello! My name is Sarah, I am a 118-year-old student of the Carl-Maria-von Weber Schule, currently living in Neustadt. My hobbies include singing, acting, reading and attending political events such as the EYP on several occasions.

  1. Why do I care? I care because I believe that it is everybody’s responsibility to try and make this world a better place, to make life a bit more worth living not only for yourself but for everybody around and above all to be a role model for the following generations.
  2. Which skills do I bring to the table? I offer a special set of skills such as some creativity in the political debates. Being the dreamer gives me the possibility to think outside the box and not getting stuck in the debate on small intricacies.
  3. What do I fall for? Chocolate and a good Sci-fi movie. Very simple.

The Thinktank

My name is Janis, I am from Eutin and I am 18 years of age.

  1. Why do I care: It is the onus of us all to better our society and the world around us. We are entitled to bewonder all the things that are great and are obliged to point out the things that are going terribly wrong. One of these things is the bystander effect. So we have to give all that is in our might to change these things for the better, even if all that we can do is just providing a small nudge. I am just doing my part.
  2. Which skills do I bring to the table: I am a critical thinker and am able to review ideas from different angles.
  3. What do I call for: Icecreeeeeeeeaaaaaam
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