report

Choreographing New Practices for Social Change

S.Schulman

In Choreographing New Practices for Social Change, we share our emergent reflections from two years of trying to increase social sector capacity to experiment. We offer a series of case studies and actionable strategies that are grounded within a new theoretical framework.

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From 2014-2016, Metcalf Innovation Fellow Dr. Sarah Schulman and her team at social design agency InWithForward experimented with new methods to spur behaviour change and shift practice among 400 Canadian social services professionals. They observed that the typical instruments for changing professional practice, which focus on strengthening an individual’s skill set, often proved unable to spur broader change.

Using the metaphor of the theatre, Dr. Schulman proposes that strengthening the capacity of groups to design new plays, rather than training individual actors, could offer the most promising foundation to establish practices that are both supportive for clients and sustainable for organizations.