Collaborative Systems Change

Collaborative systems change is an approach to transparently mobilize a diverse set of actors in order to collectively imagine and create positive, systemic change. This change can occur in existing systems, or it can be used to create new, more inclusive systems where they do not exist otherwise.


Collaborative systems change seeks to counteract the dominant paradigm for development, which focuses on top-down solutions implemented through hierarchical institutions. Rather, collaborative systems change recognizes that there is no one big answer to complex problems, but instead a plethora of smaller efforts working in harmony that culminate in widespread adoption of new ways of thinking and doing. Collaborative systems change organisations are “honest brokers” who build networks of invested players that, with integrity, move forward a common agenda to tackle persistent, large-scale social problems.


As a collaborative systems change foundation, we will incubate projects which embrace this strategy at the core of their implementation.


Five Tactics for Collaborative Systems Change Brokers



The first task of brokering collaborative systems change is to democratise the playing field and convene the actors who are invested in the outcome in a process of co-creation. Collaborative systems change brokers seek to bring in all voices, regardless of power or size, and provide shared spaces for understanding and collaboration. 



The collaborative systems change broker has a bird’s eye view of the system and can connect the right people and organisations who are working in complementary ways. Brokers also act as central repositories of knowledge, providing materials and resources that guide and inspire actors toward the ultimate goal.        



The collaborative systems change broker helps to co-create an overall strategy toward a “North Star” goal, a seemingly unattainable goal that motivates a group of diverse actors to work together. The broker also co-creates programming at national and local levels, always emphasizing that partners’ and stakeholders’ ownership over their own change efforts.



Traditional change efforts save celebration to the end of the process; collaborative systems change brokers use this powerful social tool to not only celebrate milestones, but the process itself. Brokers of collaborative social change create ongoing celebratory activities—such as award ceremonies and customary events—that move the process forward and keep participants motivated and involved.     



Collaborative systems change involves many different change efforts, adapted to various contexts, happening concurrently. Collaborative systems change brokers therefore play a vital role in supporting efforts to research and measure the impact of change efforts so that local adaptations can maximize their impact and learn from one another.

Collaborative Systems Change can be leveraged faster through the use of technology, This technology is developing at an incredible pace, with the fourth industrial revolution taking shape around us, we must respond and make use of the opportunities these developments offer to bring about desired change.


Therefore, we embrace collaborative systems change. This approach assists us in transparently mobilizing a diverse set of stakeholders in order to collectively imagine and create positive, systemic change. This can occur in existing systems, or it can be used to create new, more inclusive systems where they do not exist otherwise.


Shared Change


The philosophy of shared change is fundamental to all our projects. One Family Foundation embraces the motto,sharing is caring. If we all shared just a small amount we could radically change the world.

A simple sum of dividing the total global GDP of USD 87 trillion by the world population of 7.2 billion, shows clearly that by sharing equally, global poverty could be eradicated. The stark contrast between the $12,000 per annum each person could earn rather than the USD 360 which many millions have to survive on today, indicate that there are resources enough. 


We accept that we cannot leave this to the billionaires to change, but with the inequality crises worsening, it is essential that this disbalance is rectified now. The richest 1% already own 50% of the wealth. With 82% of the wealth created in 2017 going to the super rich 1%, whilst the 3.7 billion poorest on earth received nothing, we at One Family Foundation want to encourage everyone to share a little of what they have. We aim to create a more equal playing field and by doing so, tip the balance towards equality.


This approach is a break from the conventional development model of giving to the large foundations, who dictate their priorities to the smaller NGO’s and social enterprises. Shared change is about the coming together of likeminded people who care about change and believe it can come about one action at a time.

One Family Foundation ©2020

Fiscaal nummer: 856680874. KvK-nummer: 66742838.