Speaking Tour: The J. W. McConnell Family Foundation’s Stephen Huddart in Australia

In partnership with Perpetual and Philanthropy Australia, we are delighted to welcome Stephen Huddart (President and CEO of The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, Montreal) to Australia on a national roadshow taking in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney in March 2018.

As a passionate advocate for philanthropy Stephen Huddart  will work through some key thematics including Philanthropy and Government, diversity, reconciliation between Indigenous and non-indigenous peoples and the role of Philanthropy in scaling systems. This series of forums that will also allow participants to hear from a curated panel of experts in the field from each state.

The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation are leading the way with building healthy communities and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-indigenous peoples with a  belief that the economy and social systems should advance the wellbeing of all people, and in which the natural environment is stewarded for future generations. A global leader in Philanthropy, The J. W. McConnell Family Foundation is a world-leader in designing and catalysing a social innovation ecosystem that is stimulating inclusive growth both in Canada and discussion worldwide.

Hear this outstanding philanthropic speaker discuss his success as well as lessons learned in philanthropy over time as he shares his experiences around addressing complex social, environmental and economic challenges by developing, testing and applying innovative approaches and solutions.
Join us at this thought leadership forum as we hear from Stephen with a panel discussion including social innovation leaders from Australia, along with an opportunity for you to contribute to the discussion.

Reserve your place now.


Adelaide Mon. 26 March 2018
9:30 am – 12:00 pm ACDT
Register here

Melbourne Tue. 27 March 2018
2:00 pm – 5:00 pm AEDT
Register here

Sydney Thu. 29 March 2018
9:30 am – 12:00 pm AEDT
Register here

Creating the best social impact investment market for Australia

With all the discussion about new ways to drive social change at the Investing for Good conference held in Sydney recently we thought it timely to re-share some of our thinking on impact investing.

In February this year the Centre responded to the Commonwealth Government’s discussion paper, setting out what we think will help to create the best social impact investing market for Australia.

Read the Executive SummaryDownload the full report

Service Design Network global conference Madrid

The annual Service Design Network global conference was held November 1-3 in Madrid this year.  Celebrating 10 years the conference hosted 700 international attendees who reflected on 10 years of Service Design and innovation practice while mapping a vision for the future.

Senior Social Innovator Ione Ardaiz Osacar attended and presented What does it take to scale Social Innovation, sharing our learnings and reflections in doing so at TACSI.

Included in the conference were a series of keynote speakers and workshops sessions covering all aspects of service design and focusing on scaling with speakers from a wide range of disciplines including George Aye, co-founder at Greater Good Studio who shared his reflections on understanding the role of power. Louise Downe, head of Design at Government Digital Service in the UK, speaking about the experience of working with government in redefining how departments operate to offer a more citizen centered experience and Pascal Soboll, Managing Director at Daylight Design Europe who presented the work they have been doing available through the report “A handbook of systems thinking” available at www.daylightdesign.com/a-handbook-of-systems-thinking/

Representing TACSI Ione shared her experience on scaling social innovation, sharing learnings in projects such as Family by Family, Weavers or the Regional Social Innovation academy that we are co-designing with communities in regional New South Wales.

Ione’s presentation “Scaling social innovation and social innovations” addressed key points including the definition of scale within social innovation and the importance of the focus on the value of the solution to communities when scaling. Sharing four examples Ione mapped each against a framework developed by The McConnell Family Foundation and Tamarack Institute. Within this framework three key areas were identified in which social innovation could be scaled: scaling out, impacting greater numbers; scaling deep, impacting cultural roots and scaling up, impacting laws and policy.

So, what does scaling mean? Scaling social innovations means scaling a solution that works in one place to other places. We do this by following a range of tools and frameworks, such as the Pattern Language methodology or drawing on various design disciplines such as Service Design or Business Design. The result of this is spreading an idea, program or service to other locations (scaling out) thereby impacting greater numbers.

And we believe that if we link all these social innovations examples together, they can become a means of scaling deep, thereby impacting cultural roots, and scaling up, which impacts laws and policy. Through all these experiences of taking a solution, that worked in one place to other places, we understand that scaling social innovation is not only about the outcome, it’s about the process. It is about the impact that the process, tools, methodologies and approaches have on the people involved and on the organisations, government departments and NGOs we work with. To scale effectively we must challenge existing behaviors and mindsets, influence culture, policy and systems and start building a pool of evidence that things can be done differently.

But is scaling enough? At TACSI we believe that it is not, and that is why we take the systemic lenses to identify and reflect on the leverage points in the systems we work with.

Presentation slides for all presentations are available here.

Improving Indigenous Employment outcomes

In October, TACSI team members presented our emerging ‘Improving Indigenous Employment Outcomes’ case study together with our client, the Department of Employment, and our evaluation partner, Clear Horizon.

Presenters included Hannah Mattner from the Department of Employment, Anna Powell from Clear Horizon, Aunty Vickey Charles, Dr Tobias Andreasson, and Michelle Miller from TACSI. The purpose of the project was to conduct discovery and early stage prototyping in order to identify opportunities for Employment, providers and employment to better support Indigenous job seekers who are using job-active services.

A series of videos from the seminars have now been released and are valuable for those hoping to better understand the sector. Videos include Michelle Miller presenting an overall explanation of the project, with Hannah Mattner providing insight into what it was like for the Employment team to experience a human-centred design project through to fieldwork with job seekers, providers and employers. TACSI’s Dr Tobias Andreasson discusses ethical questions posed by the project in the second of the series, and the ethics approach that was taken in response to these requirements. In the third Anna Powell describes the approach to evaluation, and an overview of learnings over the course of the process in regards to evaluation for human-centred design projects. And in the fourth, Aunty Vickey Charles from TACSI provides tips on engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and challenges some common notions as to what this may mean.

For more information or to book a consult contact TACSI

Part 1 — Michelle Miller (TACSI)
Part 2 — Dr Tobias Andreasson  (TACSI)
Part 3 – Anna Powell from Clear Horizon
Part 4 – Aunty Vickey Charles (TACSI)

Increase your team’s capabilities in social innovation

Training your team in a fast-paced environment is a constant challenge for every organisation. More so in the field of innovation, policy and strategy where an engaged and informed workforce is an asset.

The Australian Centre of Social Innovation has a detailed portfolio of workshops, coaching and seminars that you can access for your organisation.

Social innovation is a growing field, and increasing in relevance for many organisations involved in service design and policy. Our workshops and training sessions are highly practical and immediately applicable in the workplace.

Our services include –

  • Coaching
  • Introductory seminars
  • Foundation intensives
  • Specialist skill development
  • Co-design training

We also have a series of bespoke sessions that can be tailored to your organisation including Systems Innovation by Design, Funding Innovation for Social Impact, Building In-House Innovation Capability, Social Innovation for Leaders and Managers and Social Innovation for Design Practitioners.

Learning is different for every organisation and our tailored training covers approaches for designing service models, business models, policy commissioning and funding as well as systems innovation.

Download the catalogue

Leading the Family – Vita Maiorano

Principal and lead on the Family by Family program, Vita Maiorano has extensive experience working in community arts, international and local community development and business leadership.

Driven by opportunities to create positive social change, through co-designing and co-creating people focused solutions, she has worked in various contexts across Australia, the Pacific and South Asia.

She’s a strong advocate for working collaboratively with the people affected the most by the issues at hand and partnering with them to reveal the solutions. She has successfully co-designed and scaled community programs targeting marginalised young people across urban and rural locations and women and families impacted by domestic violence in the Pacific. Most recently she collaboratively designed a global market access and trade program to support marginalised women access sustainable economic opportunities via the development of viable social enterprises.

She has a keen interest in co-designing and social innovation for impact and scale, and the opportunities this presents to inform and support broader systems change.