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TACSI, Australia

The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) exists to help find new ways of tackling Australia’s most pressing social problems like child abuse and neglect, Indigenous disadvantage, and the challenges of ageing and caring.

Introducing TACSI

The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) champion the people, methods and ideas that have a positive impact on the lives of Australians. They want to create systems that work for people and to develop practical ways for governments, social agencies and communities to work together and get results.

Why TACSI joined the Global Council

Australia is far away! That means the amazing work TACSI is doing is not well shared and learnt, and simultaneously, there aren’t enough opportunities for TACSI to learn from and connect with their global peers. They feel disconnected to the international social innovation community.

Working Together

  • Co-hosting SIX events: To help position and connect TACSI internationally, we hosted our 2012 SIX Summer School in Australia, bringing more than 50 international social innovation leaders to South Australia to meet local actors. TACSI was also a core partner in the 2017 SIX Wayfinder in London, where 150 thought leaders from 36 countries came together to discuss the future of social innovation
  • Staying connected through curated global knowledge and connections: our personalised reading and connections help TACSI stay connected to global trends and activities
  • Regular bespoke support: Though regular phone catch ups, we keep the TACSI team up to date informally with new trends, organisational changes, and the information ‘between the cracks’ that everyone needs to know
  • Global learning exchanges to influence innovation policy: For example, through SIX, TACSI CEO Carolyn Curtis took part in a 10 day long learning visit across Canada to share the TACSI methodology with local actors and policy makers. In 2018, the CEO of McConnell Foundation in Canada will go to Australia on a similar visit to share with key actors in government and philanthropy

Key Outcomes

Through being part of the Global Council:

  • TACSI is seen as a global leader in co-design and service design, legitimising what they do to a local audience and sharing their methodology to it can be replicated globally
  • TACSI is able to attracted new talent from across the world to join the TACSI team in Australia
  • Carolyn Curtis sits on the SIX’s Executive Board, enabling her to ensure that Australia is represented in SIX’s work, and have an influence on our future work and direction
  • Throughout 2018, SIX will be replicating the activities of The Funders' Node in Australia, and kicking off by co-organising a retreat which will bring international foundations to Australia and explore the following questions: 
    • How can funders be more rigorous in risk-taking to have a bigger impact?   
    • How do funders manage perceived and real tension between accountability and risk taking?
    • What is the role of philanthropy in promoting risk taking within the organisations they fund?
    • What risks can we take to drive systems change and solve the big complex social challenges we face around the world?

Hosting the SIX Summer School has been one of the greatest highlights for TACSI. We often feel a little isolated in South Australia so having the opportunity to bring people from around the world together to share both our home and our work was wonderful. It has taken time for TACSI to demonstrate that Social Innovation is not an added bonus, it’s a necessity - hosting the SIX Summer School helped raise the profile of this much needed conversation and supported TACSI to forge strong, lasting relationships with like minded people and organisations across Australia and the globe. I sincerely hope in the years to come you will see many similar events and the summer school itself hosted in Australia

Carolyn Curtis, CEO of TACSI, Australia, 2012