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The ThinkPlace team

ThinkPlace is the Social Change Maker of the Year

At ThinkPlace we exist to make social change. It's what we do.

So it was a huge thrill to be awarded a Telstra Australian Business Award in the Social Change Maker category.

The award - at the ACT Finals - means ThinkPlace now progesses to the national awards finals in Melbourne in September.

Competition is tough for the nation's most prestigious business awards. Across Australia, 10,000 businesses entered the 2018 awards.

Entries in the ACT alone rose by 82 per cent.

And the awards ceremony, held at the National Gallery of Australia, showcased some truly inspirational businesses and stories.

"This is amazing for our business," Founding Partner John Body said. "It is going to allow us to have even more impact and to tell our story to more people."

Amid a standout field of inspiring social change makers the judges were glowing in their assessment.

“If everyone in the world thought like ThinkPlace the world would truly be a better place,” they said.

John Body and Nina Terrey
The Telstra Business Award was accepted by ThinkPlace Partners John Body and Nina Terry at a ceremony at the National Gallery of Australia.

What we do

ThinkPlace is a global design network that spans eight studios in five countries  worldwide.

Founded in Canberra in 2005 it now extends to New Zealand, Singapore, Kenya and the United States.

ThinkPlace designers marry expertise in design thinking, co-design and human-centred design with a world-leading understanding of how to achieve transfomation and meaningful change in complex systems.

What's that?

The world we live in is complex. ThinkPlace works with forward-thinking, innnovative clients in government, the private sector and NGOs  to tackle complex problems that can otherwise appear intractable.

Working to deliver an outcome for one part of a system can have unintended negative consequences for another part. Stakeholders can have needs that differ so much that they appear oppositional. 'Fixing' one problem without understanding the broader context can cause other problems to erupt somewhere else.

At ThinkPlace we thrive in this complexity. It is what makes us different. We work at a systems level, able to bring people together for strategic conversations that create lasting value, understanding how the different parts and people in a system interact with each other.

But we also operate on a deeply human level, zooming in to include the people who will be affected by change in the transformation of the systems, projects and processes that they will have to navigate and participate in.

Where we work

This approach has been successful in leading large-scale projects for governments and government organisations, including major digital transformations, as well as cultural and organisational transformations.

It has made us leaders in what we call "innovation amplified" -- co-designing innovation labs that unlock the ability to see and reach for a better future for organisations such as CSIRO and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

And it is allowing us to create social good on a global scale. We are working with USAid and Johns Hopkins University on the world's largst public health inititaive, using behaviour change to tackle health problems ranging from Zika virus in the Caribbean to HIV in Africa.

And we're partnering with global philanthropy leaders to tackle malnutrition in developing nations around the world.

Why we do it?

ThinkPlace has adopted the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals as our guiding sense of purpose. These span hugely-ambitious targets such as ending hunger, tackling global poverty, addressing climate change and building sustainable communities and environments.

Every project that ThinkPlace undertakes must ''move the needle'' on at least one of these goals.

It's how we know that we are making a positive contribution with the work we do. ThinkPlace is a fast-growing company with a global presence but also a global outlook. We are excited to be expanding because it means the impact we create is expanding also.

It is profit with purpose. And it will continue to drive us.


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