The small SCOFFS Unit was set up in early 2017, in response to our design of the then Community Choices programme for experts in behavioural change. From 2018 onwards, this work has morphed into  having a more strategic focus as, for example, in the development and delivery of The Game.

The acronym was made up by the ever creative Keith Richards, and it stands for Scoping Community Options for Food and Food Security.

Its original role is to advise us on the design and any trialling of possible triggers, nudges and other means to generate behavioural change within a community to answer these and other questions:

  1. At what economic and socio-geographic levels can effective interventions be made to rapidly change dietary consumption? What thresholds indicate change is desirable in a community?
  2. At what scale would urban dietary change impact non-state organisations?
  3. What would be the knock-on impacts of dietary change in UK urban populations on global food security, regional food resilience, the local economy and public health? And how can this information be fed back to the actors making the change?

It comprises the following people (in alphabetical order):

Peymane Abdab is Professor of Chronic Disease Epidemiology and Public Health at the Institute of Applied Health Research at the University of Birmingham.




Nick Booth is the founder and owner of Podnosh, an organisation that helps people use digital media and technologies for social good.





Edward Gardiner is Behavioural Design Lead at the Warwick Business School. A behavioural psychologist by background, his current research interests are in how scientific methods and creative thinking can be combined to reframe complex problems and support the development of practical solutions to social issues. He is also a former advertising executive.




Keith Richards has spent most of his working life in the research and teaching of applied linguistics.

He’s also advised on business projects, including with Rolls Royce & Associates, Jaguar Cars and Zeneca Ag Chems (now Syngenta)




Graeme Rose is an actor, theatre maker, director and musician with long experience of community-led arts programmes.

He is a co-founder of several theatre companies including Stan’s Cafe, and is a core member of the Narrativium team.