We bring to life stories of what could be, working with communities to design and implement homegrown solutions. Join forces to make, test and spread transformative practice and policy.
What implementation involves
We make solutions that
Shift the relational basis
Power divides are baked into the modern welfare state. Lots of existing service provision is predicated on the professional-client dynamic, where expertise and help flows in one direction. We try to create solutions predicated on mutuality rather than hierarchy. That means we develop roles where the relational basis is one of co-learning and shared vulnerability. See how Meraki does this.
Draw on community assets
So much of the welfare state operates under the presumption of resource constraints. Help and care is rationed according to urgency of need and restrictive eligibility criteria. We try to create solutions predicated on abundance rather than scarcity. That means we develop interactions that identify and leverage community member’s time, talent and treasures. See how Kudoz does this.
Bridge silos & rewrite scripts
Welfare services are typically organized by demographic and diagnosis: young people, seniors, unemployed, mental health, and so on. All too often how the system sees people becomes how people see themselves: old, disabled, homeless, sick. We try to create solutions predicated on self-identity rather than system identity. That means we develop tools & products that foster reflection and growth. See how Real Talk does this.
We draw on
We design and test new kinds of practice and policy, collaborating with people on the margins to reimagine who and what they interface with, and how that moves them closer to where they want to be. This looks like co-creating interactions & user journeys, spaces & environments, roles & relationships, tools & materials, rules & protocols, and more.
We recognize that the social challenges we’re trying to address are held in place by systems. For new solutions to stick, they must disrupt old patterns of belief and resource flows. So we map system dynamics, experimenting with how to shape the invisible stuff like culture and the visible stuff like information and money.
Systems are made-up of people. To be effective, new solutions must shift (1) motivations & attitudes, (2) skills & behaviours, (3) environments & opportunities. Inspired by human development theory, we pay attention to the conditions and mechanisms of change at the individual, community and societal level.
For solutions to rebalance power and tackle marginalization, they need to amplify fresh voices, strengthen local capacity, forge new political alliances, and foster resiliency. All along the way, we try to recognize and leverage community assets and enable bottom-up leadership.
Prototyping solutions helps to:
― Hold space for learning by making, failing, and trying
― Give power to communities to figure out what works
― Create tangible new practices and policies
― Bring about measurable shifts in outcomes
― Create examples and bright spots for systems change