Why we do what we do

And our approach...

stone sculpture. The stones are placed side-by-side in an arch. They are holding each other up

In 2019, over countless cups of coffee, we couldn’t get away from the fact that a different approach was needed to overcome the entrenched problems facing the social sector.  Despite having secure jobs and steady bills, we decided to take the leap and do something about it – and so the Collective Impact Agency (CIC) was born.

We do what we do because we believe that the current system (health, social care, welfare, charities, local government, education) is simply not working for the people who need it the most.  There are countless challenges - a fragmented social sector, weak individual organisations competing for resources, massive scale and diversity of challenges, too great a focus on 'delivering services' - so the Collective Impact Agency exists to make ‘the system’ work better for people and communities.

We believe that the best way to achieve that is to help organisations and people work together better.  We work as ‘system stewards’ to drive change at the system level through collective actions,  build alliances and train people in our ‘anti-leadership’ methodology.

Our approach

The approach we bring to our work is grounded in compassion, generosity, and optimism about the power of ordinary people. We believe in learning constantly, and in encouraging ourselves and others to be brave enough to try things even if they haven't been tried before. We believe that relationships are the key to solving problems, and that relationships take time to build and need to be nurtured. we believe that the constant focus on 'results' encourages short-termism and gets in the way of both learning and building strong relationships.


Our approach is also grounded in research, in particular that of Carol Dweck, Johnathan Haidt, Martin Seligman, and Toby Lowe.  Toby is a collaborator of ours and we are excited to help him roll out the 'Human Learning Systems' approach.

Here are a few of the principles that inform our work:


  • Believing that there is a more human way to work to help people live the best lives they possibly can.

  • Supporting others to have the courage to think differently and work differently.

  • Getting things right for the people first, and creating the conditions for people to feel motivated by their work.

  • Putting clients’ needs at the centre of everything the organisation does.

  • Valuing and trusting staff.

  • Taking the work seriously, but not yourself.

  • Focusing on trying new things and ensuring we are always learning.