Philosophy and Approach

The Centre for Social Change provides access to the knowledge, skills and resources people need to work with communities to create positive change. We do this by experimenting with, learning from and sharing insights about the many social, economic and environmental alternatives that generate wellbeing around the world. In so doing we aspire to learn, grow and become more conscious of ourselves.


Our Approach

Our approach to working with communities is influenced by our backgrounds in the Social Sciences, Education and International and Local Community Development. While we draw on a mix of theories and techniques from these different disciplines, the same set of principles, values and beliefs guide our work across different contexts. These include:

  • Healthy planet, healthy people – As we are inextricably linked to the natural world, a viable future means living within natural limits, cycles and flows.
  • Valuing diversity and respecting differences as the basis for resilience and creativity.
  • Valuing relationships and processes as important as outcomes.
  • Building on strengths – Starting where people are at by building on the resources, knowledge, skills and networks they have available to them.
  • Action learning – Embracing uncertainty and curiosity as the starting point for working in different contexts.
  • Co-Creation – Working within a participatory framework to facilitate collaboration around shared visions and mutual respect wherever possible.
  • Playing with power –  To expand choice and the opportunities for positive action, we experiment with the multiple, shifting and relational nature of power in creative and strategic ways.
  • Honouring and learning from the knowledge and wisdom of groups historically marginalised from the mainstream, particularly Feminine and Indigenous ways of knowing and being.
  • Change starts with ourselves – We aspire to be the change we want to see in the world. This includes reflexive practice to examine our own subjectivity and positionality in different contexts.
  • Ahimsa – Practising non-violence in our thoughts, words and actions.


What Motivate Us

We are often asked about what keeps us motivated, so we thought we would share some thoughts that convince us that a more positive future is possible:

  • Each of us contributes to our shared reality, thus we all hold the potential to make a positive difference through every choice we make.
  • Many people making small changes leads to significant impacts. We get to choose whether those impacts are positive or negative.
  • Change is happening all around us and as it is rarely linear, we never know when the tipping point for widespread shifts will occur.
  • People are ingenious at generating both social and technological solutions to address pressing social and environmental challenges when they want to.
  • History is full of examples of when societies have made massive shifts, whether technological (like putting the first person on the Moon) or social (like ending widespread slavery).
  • Most people will choose a more just and sustainable way to live if they are aware of the alternatives, and have the knowledge, skills, resources, opportunity and systems in place to do so.

To learn more about our work, please click here.


Training & Events

The Centre hosts a range of Training and Events, for more information please click through here.