I’m a researcher, writer and thinker with a wide range of eclectic interests – and one underlying fascination: people.
In my work for clients, I use qualitative methods to explore how other people experience, make sense of and find value in the world. My clients work across the private, public and third sectors, and in different functions, but they all have one thing in common: a need to understand the perspective of others – citizens, customers, colleagues, service-users or stakeholders. My task is to help them make better decisions by showing them the world from another standpoint.
Sometimes it’s not more evidence my clients need: it’s a rethink of unspoken assumptions about their own place in the world, assumptions that no longer seem so obvious when seen from a different point of view. Through clear thinking and constructive challenge, I’ve developed a reputation for unblocking problems and moving debates forward – especially in relation to the vexed topic of ‘behaviour change’.
Unspoken cultural assumptions – about what it means to be a person, or to live a good life – are also at the heart of my creative work, alongside a fascination with the ways in which the shared expectations of language and genre can be deployed and disappointed to create meaning.
Although, in truth, I’m most happy if people just enjoy reading or listening. Because it doesn’t matter how clever your ideas are if no one is paying attention.
Simon Christmas is a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Public Policy Research at King’s College London; a Fellow of the Leeds Sustainability Institute; and an Associate Consultant at the Centre for Behaviour Change at University College London. He is a Chartered Psychologist and a Full Member of the Market Research Society. He holds degrees in Philosophy (Cambridge) and Psychology (Open University), a masters in Creative Writing (UEA), and a PhD in Philosophy (Cambridge).