The village of 100: Designing social change at a time of complexity

The Village of 100 combines the immersive learning approach of  The Social Change Agency with the psycho-sociological experimental approach of The Experimentalists.  

To launch our new collaboration A Village of 100 guest blogger and fellow collaborator Dr Marc Bush, Managing Director of The Experimentalists, explains to those working in social change and the not for profit sector why the old methods of working don’t serve those who they are aiming to help anymore.  

At a time when public policy, funding, markets and relationships are going through significant change, it is natural to be anxious about how best to take your social cause forward and to navigate the complexity a new environment.

Many of the companies, charities and campaigns we have spoken to over the past months feel paralysed between competing social problems their clients are facing and eroding confidence in their ‘tried and tested’ methods. Others have told us about their excitement in pursuing opportunities; using emerging trends as a springboard for a new strategic direction, to disrupt their place in a market and sector, or to roll out a new programme.

Neither approach necessarily sustains a positive benefit for the community the organisation or campaign is serving.

Those who stand their ground, soon find the impact of their interventions plateauing, trailing off or are coming under increasing scrutiny. Those who leap into a new direction tell us that after a time they have lost the purpose of their social cause or have too quickly invested in interventions that ended up replicating or undermining an existing programme of activity.

To support organisations in the design and testing of social interventions, we are drawing on the broad movement building and system design expertise of The Social Change Agency and combining it with the technical and practical knowledge The Experimentalists have in designing and running micro-experiments.

Our ‘Village of 100’ is an immersive and creative training day where participants can explore how to achieve social change when resources are increasingly stretched and your purpose is obscured by wider social, economic and environmental factors.

This day will give people much-needed space and exposure to different perspectives on how you can intervene in society and markets to bring about positive change for marginalised groups and to promote social causes. Participants will discover how best to navigate complexity, develop negotiation skills and design social interventions.

The Village of 100 combines the immersive learning approach of  The Social Change Agency with the psycho-sociological experimental approach of The Experimentalists.  

You can find out more about the event, experiential outcomes and information on how to book here.

Dr Marc Bush has a background in health, social care, mental health, disability policy and autism research. In addition to founding The Experimentalists, previous roles have included being Director of Policy and Intelligence of Healthwatch England and Head of Policy at Scope. He tweets @Marc_Bush.

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