Today, we stand at a crossroads.

We have two options: be nimble and fundamentally change our systems to add real value to the world, or become superfluous and be forgotten - or worse, contribute to existing systems that are enabling mass-scale destruction and chaos.

What do I mean when I talk about "changing systems"?

Systems are all around us: at a micro-level, it can be a specific learning tool used inside a classroom. At a macro-level, it can be a cross-sectoral collaboration that results in a city getting access to clean street lighting at a large scale. What is common between these two examples is that they fundamentally shift the paradigm: children in that classroom will gain access to new skills that place them one step ahead of the rest at graduation, or a city will never again contribute to greenhouse gas emissions as a result of its street lighting. 

It's long-term. It's holistic. It considers the ripple effect of any action. It focuses on the well-being of people, communities, and the Earth. 

When we think and work systemically, we can verifiably create ripple effects that change the way the world functions.

That's all well and good. But what exactly do I do?

I create new systems in the sectors that matter the most: Education, Urban Mobility, Gender Equality, Criminal Justice, Food Systems, and more. I achieve this by bringing together diverse teams and stakeholders to embark on the following:

1. envision expansive new possibilities for our offerings/initiatives to create fundamental change in the world. 

  • Envisioning the future and working backwards / Blue sky brainstorming
  • Facilitating creative and nurturing spaces for leaders to express their visions and bond with each other
  • Cross-pollination of the best, most inspiring and impactful ideas 

2. re-design our current offerings to create sweeping ripple effects

  • Business Model Canvas for Systemic Change© 
  • Mapping all stakeholders in sector and identifying levers to find the most expansive, powerful, transformative, and rippling entry points for impact
  • Deep and systematic immersion in communities and human-centered design
  • "Lean" iteration of offerings, while co-creating with communities

3. transform entire sectors by codifying learnings, creating cross-connections, and replicating the good stuff

  • Codifying knowledge
  • Scaling replication hubs nationally or globally
  • Engage diverse stakeholders including policy makers, media, corporate players, and citizen groups
  • Setting up systems for long-term data aggregation, outcome measurement, and knowledge sharing

Star Point 

Systemic Change

Sector Mapping allows us to identify all of the players in a sector (or system), how they interface, and most potent areas for intervention. 

Envisioning frees us of all internal and external barriers, allowing us to imagine the worlds in which we want to live, and work backward toward tangible next steps, products, metrics, solutions, and collaborations.

Activating Levers answers the question: What is the most accessible entry point for the most expansive, powerful, transformative, and rippling impact that we can create? This step often results in the creation of a new program, initiative, product, or solution. 

Codifying learnings and iterating on the solution based on groundwork, perfects the social change mechanism and prepares it for replication.

Replication hubs seamlessly scale a social impact solution nationally or globally, actively involving communities in co-creation and continuous geographical iteration, and aggregate long-term data for deeper and wiser impact. 

©Nilima Achwal