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Content Starts AIME’s Impact Book for a Fairer World

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Welcome to AIME’s Impact Book for a Fairer World


  1. Introduction: On engineering a network of unlikely connections  – Jack Manning Bancroft
  2. The Diary: Journey through an emerging impact vision – Irmin Durand
  3. The Foundations: From proven impact to an evolved change logic – Adam Davids 
  4. The Conversation: The philosophy and the evolution of the philosophy – Kabir Dhanji, Adam Davids, Irmin Durand, Hannah James, Ben Knight, Jack Manning Bancroft
  5. The Weaves: Threads from knowledge holders

Doug Hume and Nick Perini, Social Ventures Australia

Roseanna Leddy, Champions of Change Coalition

Erin Chemery, UNESCO

Kristine Dery, Macquarie University

Ed Stevenette and Pauline Laravoire, Learning Planet

Tyson Yunkaporta, Deakin University Indigenous Knowledges Systems Lab

Greg Hutchinson, Bain & Company

  1. Interlude: A moment in the imagi-garden
  2. AIME’s Impact System: Key project investments 2022-2025
  3. References

1. Introduction: On engineering a network of unlikely connections


Welcome to AIME.

We believe human beings are decent, and that the systems we have inherited were designed for a small group of people to be inside the margins and many outside the margins.

The margins were defined in large majority by the colonial empires of the British, French, Portuguese, Spanish and other European nations  in the 17th & 18th centuries.

Value was placed on economic wealth – measured by money. Knowledge and relations were within the walls of those considered citizens of the empire. Indigenous populations, women, those with disabilities, almost every group not white, male and Catholic were driven outside the margins, to be murdered, persecuted, have human rights removed, and not be included in the established order from those in control of the land by conquest.

In the 19th and 20th centuries many human beings were released from persecution to enter modern society in many of the colonial countries. 

One of the problems is there are still inherent flaws in where we place the value of knowledge and who draws the margins – they are inherited from these powers of centuries before us that defined societies intentionally to exclude.

Therefore, as many nations grapple with the next movement beyond human rights, we believe one of the biggest local and system-wide opportunities is to simply network in unlikely fashions. In fashions that erase inherited lines of exclusion and intentionally include.

All of us, wherever we wake up, can choose to cross the street, with mentoring as a bridge, and enter schools and engage with those outside the margins as tutors. This is our work grounded on planet Earth, grounded in relations—AIME tutor squads, the first step between today and tomorrow, where humans from uni students to corporates to organisations to everyday citizens step up and give the gift of their time to mentor and tutor kids from outside the margins, sharing knowledge and time without expecting anything in return, making a bridge to 100k kids, and in doing so changing the way networks work, where value is placed, the lines of the margins, the exchange mechanism, creating a more interconnected relational web beyond ‘our own’. We aim for 1000’s of AIME tutor squads to be activated globally with JOY (Just Organisations and You), and AIME will help those tutor squads network together to share and grow in the process.

For those interested in the systemic models at large, we believe our best play is to create a parallel system where we can model how society can work differently, where people enter, create unlikely connections with each other and exchange time, knowledge, and opportunities, where we plug intelligence from outside the margins back into the system and build a fairer world. Our system is called IMAGI-NATION and we are incredibly thankful to Tim Berners Lee and co for the invention of the Internet, which allows us to place many more highways in different directions to create accelerated pathways of exchange between those inside and outside the margins. 

So one foot on earth, one in imagination, we feel that’s a solid way to approach networking in unlikely connections.

It is with this that we enter the AIME door. Do we have values for mentors and those entering the network? Yes, we do. We have 18 values for citizens to connect with to become mentors and they are below.


We embrace Indigenous systems design thinking and my work with Tyson Yunkaporta and the Indigenous Knowledges Systems Lab has really helped inform this work. We ground our systems work in relations and a process of emergence.

Think of us as the engineers of new bridges across the earth in the form of mentoring bridges powered by JOY, and the engineers of a parallel system which centers the intelligence from outside the margins. We believe we will prove to be one of the most valuable labs on planet Earth, up there with Building 20 and co. We are not setting out to win Nobel prizes, we are setting out to create a fairer world, we are obsessed with pushing into tomorrow, and you better believe we’ll experiment, explore, tinker till we get there. We will endeavour to be powered by unlikely connections, unlikely connections by a factor of 5 in fact, to create communal circles of human beings, networks grounded in relation, embracing emergence, and looking at the biggest possible picture to ensure our energy is well spent in design, system implementation and network upgrades to build the world of tomorrow.

And these will be the points of the compass by which we navigate impact:

Networked by Unlikely Connections. This network success is collective, it’s bringing together minds and beings from inside and outside the margins. Home for the misfits.
Hackers. We hack for good, we go to the edge of the idea, with a hacker’s mindset. We don’t get overwhelmed by the weight of the problem. Everything is learning, everything is growth, failure is embraced, speed is embraced, trying is the impact, effort.
Meaningful Connections – Not interested in huge audiences. We don’t want a big following, we want meaningful relations. We are happy to have a TV show for 5 people, in fact, we are inspired by that. We are happy to work in the face of gamified designs that always make us feel like we are not enough. We are enough. We are not chasing reputation from short judgements, we are not interested in awards, we are here to connect and to chase a fairer world, and bring all that we can every day to make that happen.
Joy. If we don’t enjoy the ride, what’s the point of our gift of life?

Welcome to our impact book, grounding us in our tomorrow. I’m deeply thankful to Kabir Dhanji, Irmin Durand, Hannah James, and Adam Davids for helping author and design this piece. To our guest thinkers that you’ll meet along the way. To those involved in the AIME network over the last 18 years, including the first cohort of 25000 Indigenous kids and 5000 university student volunteers who proved the efficacy of our unlikely connection bridge building and it’s positive impact on society. And finally to you, with JOY – Just Organisations & You – we can and will change the world.

Much love

Jack MB

AIME CEO & Founder

2. The Diary: Journey through an emerging impact vision 

Wednesday 26 January 2022

Four of us gather across three continents, two oceans, four time zones. 

We’re setting out to form a new vision of impact, a new way to think about and analyse the mark our work leaves on others, on ourselves, the change we make. A new frame around the very big picture of what happens when we share story and value everyone’s intelligence, when we exchange time, knowledge and opportunities, when we create free tools for free minds. How this shifts the dial on inequity.

There’s a legacy and there’s current practice around tracking impact at AIME. We are not novices. There is understanding, there’s experience and there are systems and tools. Many years’ worth of data and stories, evaluations, reports. We have done the work, we have evolved our thinking, we have changed some of the things we do and how we do them. And now we’re envisioning something new about what impact means for AIME. It’s a natural process of evolution.

There’s the scoreboard that measures tangible change in specific areas like school completion, transition, employment and social mobility. That translates and proves the work we do to those who speak that specific language of impact. We can and should strengthen our scoreboard system to show and tell more of what we and those we bring along with us want to know. 

In parallel, we want to capture the energy, the joy and the true deep meaning of connections within a network of relations, knowledge and exchange. The experiences that leave a profound mark. That instant of neurones lighting up and connecting in new ways, when something sparks, something clicks into place, and a shift happens that has deep ripple effects. Real and powerful moments, yet hard to measure, unless we can imagine and design a new language and a new methodology for evaluating them.

Adam, Hannah, Irmin, Jack–we’ve all been thinking, talking, sketching, writing, plotting, envisioning what the world of impact looks like for AIME. True to form, ideas have grown and taken shape and shifted into new forms for all of us over the past weeks and months. Now we’re going to connect the roots of our thinking into a single stream of consciousness: a book that looks at AIME as a network of relations, knowledge and exchange that creates meaningful connection between those inside the margins and the world’s marginalised youth. That lays out the tools, relations and actions we’re working through and the impact touchpoint for each one. That tells the how and why of designing a social impact frame for our work.


Monday 22 November 2021

A conversation with Jack about a new impact approach for AIME. Over the years, we have talked through where we want to get to with story, knowledge, connection, highways of exchange, free tools for humanity, imagination and so much more. All this has now arrived here: we need a new story of social impact.

The impact frames we have in business and governance and other spaces leave way too much out of the picture when we apply them to social change. We need a frame that can hold the wider, deeper, more complex layers of social impact. And if that frame doesn’t exist, we’re going to build it.

As we have this conversation, Adam is deep in work on an impact logic, building into a new impact framework for AIME. The question: when, where and how does real change happen in AIME’s universe? He’s outlining an impact philosophy, looking into what indicators, goals and milestones could be, building out a critical change agenda for both mentors and mentees. And he’s reflecting on how our inputs towards system change–relations that value everyone’s intelligence, free knowledge and tools, and the exchange of time, knowledge and opportunities–unlock imagination, lead to shifts in beliefs and values, attitude and behaviour, and ultimately to changes in education, economic and social arenas.

Hannah has long been doing the work around our tracking systems, building and strengthening, getting down in the weeds or zooming out on the full landscape as needed, gathering the numbers and stories that have been our impact language up to now. She knows the systems we have and the systems we need, what’s working well, what’s not up to scratch. She’s looking at how we integrate impact thinking into all project design and implementation, and how we make data and case studies more accessible and easy-to-use in our systems. She has a thoughtful, pragmatic approach on how to make the systems do what we need them to do for the impact story we want to tell.

Jack is sketching out with Tyson and Johnny a system-wide approach to change that can accelerate the exchange of time, knowledge, opportunities between those inside and outside the margins, and allow for social and economic mobility across the earth without boundaries or limits to movement. The idea is to evolve from social intervention models built on the principles of traditional capital investment to models that are adaptive, have cellular intelligence, move in relational worth and can enrich those involved in the intervention. This kind of complex systems thinking, they argue, can shape models of organisational and system design that can build a more equitable world.

And in my case, I’m visualising the ‘promised land’ we want to get to with impact, distilling the story around it, pondering how we go about mapping a relational network like the one we have in mind. Starting with the two meanings of the word impact–the dictionary tells me this is when one thing comes (forcibly) into contact with another thing. Like a big bang, or two pieces of flint striking each other and creating a spark. Also, when one thing has a strong effect on someone or on something else. It leaves a mark, a footprint, an impression. Something visible, tangible.

This is where I see us heading: an intelligent impact ecosystem that is able to sense, track, value and elevate ‘impact’ in all its forms–the sudden spark, the deeper shifts and the ripple effects of change that occur among people in our IMAGI-NATION network over time, through one-off touchpoints, more complex connections or both. An impact brain frame–left brain, right brain–designed to get our philosophy and goals, theory of change and critical pathways, tools and processes, our storytelling and our energy working seamlessly together. It’s the structure and navigation system around all aspects of our work. It’s how and why we gather and analyse the numbers and stories that are crucial signals of the health and wellbeing of the network. It’s how we map the relations, exchange and knowledge across the network, and how far that relational effect travels from the first connection we make. It’s how we make use of all these parts to bring out the complexity of how and where change happens within IMAGI-NATION, how we gauge the true return on the time, energy, effort and love we invest. And it’s a model that challenges existing impact measurement systems by bringing in nature’s designs, the value of relations, and local and Indigenous knowledge systems.


Friday 19 November 2021

Three days before the call with Jack, Friday night musing, having no inkling Monday’s conversation is on the horizon. I write this:

I used to wonder if we could really claim that in one moment of mentoring interacting with a kid, we had changed their lives. I was nervous we were claiming too much. And then something clicked for me. I thought back to conversations with my own mentors, to a passage I read in a book that stayed with me, to a teacher or a friend saying one thing that unlocked a door inside me, sparked a shift, etc. I thought back to people saying to me “You said this to me at this moment and I’ll never forget it, it changed this or that for me.” To the experiences that have left a profound mark. And it dawned on me: that’s where our impact begins, that one day in the midst of Failure Time or an O Week lecture or an activity or conversation, something will strike a kid’s heart or mind and boom! Something moves. We don’t control it; we create the space, bring the tools, turn up, stand open and it happens. 

And now, our idea is to follow the next 10 or 20 or 100 steps after that initial connection to see just how far the current from that first spark travels in people’s lives.

What triggered this thought process for me? A mentoring moment.


Friday 12 November 2021

A letter to Martin Lotti, VP and Chief Design Officer of the Jordan Brand at Nike. Martin has been my mentor as part of the Mentor in Residence program we run at AIME, where knowledge holders from all walks of life and professions come in as mentors to our staff. For three months, we meet once a month for an hour of conversation and exchange that immediately has a profound effect on me. We come from very different worlds, different paths through life, circles that wouldn’t ordinarily overlap, yet the connection is instant and the learning is mutual. I write him a letter to say thank you: 

For helping me to recognise and acknowledge my dreams and ambitions. For enabling a space for me to see, hear and meet myself in new ways or in ways I had forgotten. For teaching me to look to my North Star, to define myself and where I want to go, yet to allow the journey to flow freely; and to be less afraid. For conversations that made me see new ways to challenge and grow myself…

If 3 x 1 hour of mentoring can give me so much, I imagine how much value the exchanges that happen in a network like AIME can bring to all those who engage in those exchanges. The ripple effect of unlikely connections with people and ideas, stories and experiences, ways of doing and being that are different to who and what we know.


Monday 29 November 2021

Over the days and weeks that follow, conversations, written pieces, design sessions on evolving how we measure meaningful change. Questions, reflections, goals:

But how do we measure that? The ripple effect of an unlikely connection, of a focused mentoring experience, of engaging in a social network for good? The weight of that first connection in relations going forward? The effect of highways of exchange between those inside and outside the margins? 

And how do we value knowledge? Or energy? Or new ideas? Or the cumulative intelligence of a collective of people we don’t usually hear from? Or smiles? Or a feeling of self worth and hope where there wasn’t before? Kindness? Humanity?

Life is complex, and everything is interconnected. Yet in our governance, business, government, corporate, philanthropic reporting frames, we don’t have impact systems that value natural design, relational worth, and Indigenous systems thinking.

We want to bring to the world a new way of looking at measuring social impact by focusing on the meaning and value of the relational exchange between human beings. We want to evolve the impact conversation in the social space from a linear predicted frame, to a new co-designed way of measuring relations, connections, and network.

Within 10 years, we want to see a change in the way the world views social impact and people networking in meaningful ways that demonstrate the solution to the current ‘network poverty’ that people from outside the margins face. 


Tuesday 7 December 2021

Listening to Fritjof Capra on Tyson Yunkaporta’s podcast The Other Others talking to Tyson and Jack about his systems view of life. The episode is called Processes of Emergence. I learn there are four characteristics of life essential to all living systems: that life organises itself in networks; that life is inherently regenerative, inherently creative and inherently intelligent. That the process of knowledge is embedded in the relations between living beings, between all things. That in the Indigenous world view, all things are living, sentient. That emotions play a critical role in the formation of consciousness. 


Monday 24 January 2022

Reading Facing Mount Kenya, an account of the Gikuyu people written in 1938 (during colonial times) by Jomo Kenyatta who would become the first president of independent Kenya decades later. I discover that in the Gikuyu system of tribal education, children learn through their experience of life in a community, in relation to the people around them and to their natural surroundings. 

This passage jumps out at me:

The striking thing in the Gikuyu system of education, and the feature which most sharply distinguishes it from the European system of education, is the primary place given to personal relations. Each official statement of education policy repeats this well-worn declaration that the aim of education must be the building of character and not the mere acquisition of knowledge. But… character is formed primarily through relations with other people, and that there is really no other way it can grow. Europeans assume that, given the right knowledge and ideas, personal relations can be left largely to take care of themselves, and this is perhaps the most fundamental difference in outlook between Africans and Europeans… We may sum it by saying that to the Europeans, “Individuality is the ideal of life,” to the Africans the ideal is right relations with, and behaviour to, other people.”

It is an unlikely connection: an African anthropologist writing about his people in 1938 and an Austrian-American physicist yarning with two Aboriginal thinkers about a systems view of life in Australia in 2021. Different times, different worlds, different subject matter. Yet both sides bring the spotlight back to relations, connections, and network–the three lenses through which we want to look at impact—and this makes an ever stronger case for an impact frame that draws from natural design, relational worth, and Indigenous systems thinking. 

Wednesday 26 January 2022 (WIP)

In reading, workshopping ideas, questioning, listening, even misunderstanding, I am reminded that the more we learn and share and discover, the more we sense how much more there is to learn and share and discover. That intelligence isn’t held in a single place, that everyone has something of value to contribute, that we always learn more by asking questions.

So we set out to ask questions, discover viewpoints and gather knowledge that can help shape, strengthen, enrich the work. 

We wanted to know… 

We hope you enjoy, 

Irmin Durand

AIME Head of Impact

3. The Foundations: From proven impact to an evolved change logic 

It was the summer of 06’ – AIME just starting out – when I saw a group of approximately 15 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students waltzing around my university campus like they owned the place and being led by this charismatic young black fulla called Jack. 

I defined AIME as unusual then and my definition remains unchanged.

As one of just three Indigenous commerce undergraduates studying at UNSW at the time I was yet to find my feet among the masses of Australia’s ‘finest’ private school graduates – whose parents were judges, surgeons, and partners in law and accounting firms. I was just this kid that grew up between rural and urban Australia in a family that idolised the Black Diamonds (Aboriginal sports hall of famers).

Sixteen years later and after graduating university, pioneering not-for-profits, collaborating with institutions that promote equity and becoming a Fulbright scholar I accepted an opportunity to close the loop about what I saw in the summer of 06’ and I agreed with Jack to spend some time examining the AIME’s vision to create a fair world and offer some considerations for the organisation to navigate its way through and make an impact.

To get started I asked Jack to tell me (1) how would you summarise the impact of AIME since I first saw you in 06’ and (2) what theory do you have about AIME’s impact going forward?

Jack said to me, “Here’s what we’ve done…”

Over a 12 year period AIME’s focus was to test whether the model was effective in alleviating educational inequity. From 2016, the focus extended to look at networked inequity, with a mission to create network equality. The following is a research and evaluation snapshot of the work that has proven AIME’s ability to make an impact

Liam Milner can you embed this PDF somehow?

Progression & transition of AIME mentees, 2017 (KPMG)

Australian universities’ research partnership: AIME mentoring works to improve educational engagement and outcomes for Indigenous young people

“The Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) significantly and positively impacts Australian Indigenous high school students’ aspirations to finish school and continue to further study, training or employment. AIME is not read as a classic intervention program for raising aspirations. Instead, AIME builds upon the cultural wealth of participants and adopts an approach that seeks to inspire individuals rather than remediate them.” 
Harwood, V., McMahon, S., O’Shea, S. et al. Recognising aspiration: the AIME program’s effectiveness in inspiring Indigenous young people’s participation in schooling and opportunities for further education and employment. Aust. Educ. Res. 42, 217–236 (2015). 

KPMG: “Mentee impact – improved education and employment outcomes

“[T]he 2017 AIME program has positively impacted educational progression and attainment, with resulting direct (i.e. improved employment and earnings outcomes) and also indirect benefits (i.e. improved health, criminal justice system and community outcomes) flowing from this positive change.” KPMG, 2018

Australian universities’ research partnership: ‘No Shame at AIME’: Listening to Aboriginal philosophy and methodologies to theorise the ‘removal’ of shame from educational contexts

“Shame is a ‘slippery’ concept in educational contexts but by listening to Aboriginal philosophy and Country, we can rethink its slipperiness. This article contemplates how multiple understandings of shame are derived from and coexist within colonised educational contexts. We focus on one positive example of Indigenous education to consider how these understandings can be challenged and transformed for the benefit of Indigenous learners. We discuss a mentoring program run by and for Indigenous young people that is successfully impacting school retention and completion rates: The Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME). AIME has a rule, ‘No Shame at AIME’, with the view to minimising shame as a barrier to engaging with Western education.” 
McKnight, A.D., Harwood, V., McMahon, S., Priestly, A, Trindorfer, J. (2018). ‘No Shame at AIME’: Listening to Aboriginal philosophy and methodologies to theorise the ‘removal’ of shame from educational contexts, Australian Journal of Indigenous Education. Online first:

Then Jack said, “Here’s my theory…”

The focus of AIME’s work over the last 6 year period has zeroed in on networked movement. With the illumination of a number of potential problems to address. That inequity for a young person can be educational attainment, but it can also be inequity of the mind, an inability to have a free thought, to explore different horizons, to engage in new ideas, to shape new narratives – namely the process of imagining. 

‘Inequity is having no network’ is the premise of AIME’s last 6 years and future decade of work, to look at how to provide the ultimate pathway for a young person from outside the margins, a stage, and a network that moves, that removes ceilings, and accelerates potential pathways of exchange.

AIME’s model of networking is based on a human hand, 5 digits, and exploring what happens when we take one unlikely connection with a person and multiply it by a factor of 5, and then create a network around that group of 5 unlikely connections. 

The goal of this phase of AIME’s work is to access the intelligence from outside the margins, the intelligence generated by this way of relations and networking, and feed that intelligence back into other systems, through tools, and models of relations backed by research. The final focus is showcasing AIME’s imagination and unlikely connections in action and the impact of the network’s actions that lead to an alleviation of educational inequity for 100K marginalised youth per year by 2025.

Challenge with inequity isn’t the intelligence of our Indigenous brothers and sisters. It’s a lack of economic and social mobility – a lack of network. 

As Dimagio and Garret from Harvard and Princeston respectively reflect in their paper on network effects and social inequity, “[G]iven that high-SES [socioeconomic status] persons adopt healthy behaviors and associate with other high-SES persons, their networks of social support, influence and engagement promote health and widen disparities.” Similarly, Freese & Lutfey (2011) suggest that network effects may contribute to the greater capacity of high-income people to exploit advances in medical science, causing such advances to widen rather than reduce inequality in health outcomes. Gamoran (2011, p. 112) concludes from a review of the literature on school tracking (a form of induced homophily) that “tracking tends to have no effect on overall academic performance or productivity, but it tends to widen the dispersion of achievement, that is, it increases inequality … .” Sociologists are not alone in these intuitions: In a review of work in economics on social interactions, Durlauf & Ioannides (2010, p. 459) assert that “endogenous social interactions help amplify differences in the average group behavior.”

My analysis / response

It’s become clear to me as someone that witnessed AIME in action before it had an office and paid staff that the program has been through many transformations and in some way it had come full circle – evident through its programs around the world that are often run without an office and by volunteers that have the conviction to create change for marginalised youth.

AIME has tried many things, won at many things and failed at many things but importantly I sense the organisation craving answers to fundamental questions that will help it address the broader systemic issues that create inequality and not settling for the status quo.

In my published work about the critical factors for not-for-profits to build long-term sustainability and impact I discuss why it’s important for organisations like AIME to have a vision that is compelling to stakeholders. I agonise about this point when I think about the future of AIME because from a practical point of view I believe one of the great challenges the organisation will face in the future is how it is going to appeal to stakeholders whilst the systemic impact it’s trying to make may not be easily understood.

The operating environment for not-for-profits like AIME sometimes requires the organisation to do a kind of dance in order to maintain the status quo and keep its stakeholders happy with the type of impact it is making in terms that are simple and fit common definitions.

I’ll break it down.

The status quo for not-for-profits

When we imagine a world without inequality between diverse groups our thoughts tend to jump to a world without social, economic and education gaps between people. Below are some common definitions –

  • Social: living standards, occupation and representation in leadership
  • Economic: rate of employment and level of income and wealth
  • Education: school attendance, grades, rate of graduation and level of education

These definitions offer convenient measures in present society and for institutions to identify who in the community is marginalised and the support they might need. They provide social entrepreneurs, diverse groups, and sponsors with a lens to observe issues and are used to inform program design, execution and impact reports that address gaps between people inside and outside the margin. 

Benefactors of not-for-profits (such as financial sponsors) often have the conviction to support programs based on motives to share their privileges which may come from feelings of guilt, fixing past wrongs or sometimes because they will look bad if they don’t. In any case they tend to expect programs they support to show impact through these common measures which then forms funding KPI’s and often becomes the core goals of the organisation. Programs are incentivised to build and communicate evidence in closing gaps defined by common measures because they can attract further investment that can be used to increase operations and serve a few more people.

Beneficiaries of not-for-profits (people that fall outside the margins) tend to have a minimum expectation that the programs they participate in will alleviate certain issues for themselves personally. The mere discourse around these measures can stir up disappointment among marginalised people and fuel resentment towards society for being unjust and therefore building expectations of programs to address the issues in a way that can help every person within the same marginalised group – not just those people that the program can financially afford to support. 

As much as the discourse can be discouraging to marginalised people they can also fuel hope and motivation to create a better future and be used to reinforce their engagement with programs.

Balancing the expectations and ideals of beneficiaries and benefactors create a tricky operating environment for not-for-profits especially when it comes to program design and impact reporting. Impact reports that only discuss how a program positively impacted the immediate beneficiaries is the status quo and can create financially sustainable operations because sponsors are more easily able to calculate their potential return on investment and justify their financial contributions. But what about the remainder of the population who the program couldn’t serve?

Potential consequences to making system level impacts

Common measures of inequality can identify the existence of a problem but they do not automatically identify the root cause issues. If a root cause issue turns out to be systemic such as institutional racism but is not addressed – the solutions implemented by not-for-profits might only be temporary or act as a band-aid. 

When systemic issues are not widely understood, society tends to place the onus of responsibility squarely on marginalised people to undertake some form of development or fixing in order to improve their circumstances and outcomes. More harshly, when society is led to believe that the system is fair but evidence shows that it isn’t, privileged people can mistakenly view marginalised people as a burden or a liability in the community. 

These trends sow division and place a strain on the relationships between diverse groups which can reverse the work of not-for-profits. One way to notice the consequences of such a division is when we see society disobey its most basic and important functions such as maintaining good relationships across diverse groups, sharing knowledge and exchanges between people. 

Programs that are fixated solely on improving their beneficiaries and satisfying the status quo – may be overlooking the root cause issues and opportunities to address the system. Root cause issues usually require a deep introspective analysis into the systems that sometimes knowingly or unknowingly perpetuate the hardships marginalised people face. Developing a genuine understanding of these issues may require consideration of the behaviours of some main influencers in the system such as institutions, policy makers and decision makers. 

Making an impact in the current operating environment for not-for-profits can be deceptive because it’s possible for a program to make a genuinely positive change for a select group of people (beneficiaries with direct access to an intervention) but at the same time turn a blind eye to the underlying systemic root causes which unaddressed can continue negatively impacting those people within the same marginalised group. In these cases, justice might only be a temporary solution while the root causes might be repeated in the future.

Perhaps Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was expressing the importance of not overlooking systemic issues when he proclaimed that Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

My perspective about AIME’s Impact Universe going forward

Independent research beginning in 2013 substantiates the impact AIME made in closing education gaps with Indigenous high school students. Subsequently, AIME became widely recognised as an Australian success story and the largest movement for Indigenous education equality engaging more than 25,000 high school student participants and 11,000 university student volunteers.

Perhaps the primary reason why the community rallied behind AIME and to a large extent continues to is because of the organisation’s potential to address education inequality with Indigenous youth in Australia and a general view in the community that education is the cornerstone to increasing social and economic mobility. 

AIME has transformed since 2013 and has a renewed vision to create a fairer world for marginalised youth including but not exclusive to Indigenous high school students in Australia. The organisation remains committed to empowering marginalised youth through the education system because it believes it can also help promote positive outcomes defined by common social and economic measures.

AIME professes that its work with marginalised youth to date has been positive but will only be a temporary fix if it does not address the underlying systemic issues that create an unfair world in the first place such as –

  • The strength of relations between diverse groups
  • Knowledge sharing between diverse groups
  • Meaningful exchange between diverse groups

Whilst AIME began as a program that worked exclusively with school students to promote personal development – the organisation believes that equally as important is creating change among more privileged groups including university students, teachers and executives/decision makers because their actions or inaction creates positive or negative impacts at a systemic level. As a result AIME delivers programs to engage these groups.

AIME’s experience working with marginalised youth in more than 52 countries around the world have also distilled beliefs around imagination as a critical factor that promotes free thought and assisting people to move from outside the margin into the margin. AIME also believes that imagination is accelerated by developing unlikely connections (relationships with people that they wouldn’t usually engage with due to barriers created by social norms, time, space and culture). 

AIME’s reach & audience

As AIME delivers more and more deliberate work to address the systems that create an unfair world – marginalised youth will engage and benefit from these efforts in several ways:

  • Direct engagement: when marginalised youth engage with AIME activities or stimulus, e.g. participating in an event or watching its video content.
  • Indirect engagement: when marginalised youth engage with someone that had direct engagement, e.g. participating in class led by a teacher who was inspired by AIME video
  • Ecosystem effect: when marginalised youth benefit from a system level change that was inspired or encouraged by AIME, e.g. a new government policy.

Measuring the impact of AIME’s direct engagement can be achieved by instituting point in time surveys in the medium to long-term after participants engagement is complete. On the other hand measuring impact through indirect engagement and ecosystem effects will be more complex because there will increasingly be beneficiaries of AIME that do not directly engage with its staff or ambassadors and instead benefit from some systems level changes the organisation led.

AIME’s reach must therefore be an important consideration for the organisation to measure and evaluate its effectiveness and may need innovative techniques to substantiate its impact, e.g. leveraging publicly available data that offers macro trends among its constituents or leveraging first hand testimonies by participants or people with broad exposure like school principals.

The important point to summarise is that AIME’s constituents should consider the impact of the organisation as broader than just the individuals who directly engage the more and more its programs seek to address systemic change.

My theory

Table 1 summarises my perspective about the various moving parts within AIME’s impact universe and a change logic that captures the organisation’s beliefs and sample measures to monitor impact.

Table 1

The model proposes lead and lag indicators of change to distinguish between those that AIME believes are pre-requisite (lead) and the outcomes that occur after (lag). It is important to the organisation not to impose Lag Indicators as a main attraction which happen in the medium to long-term after AIME’s programming is delivered and to not detract from the underlying root causes that often requires restructuring of systems such as what the Lead Indicators identify.

The underlying philosophy of AIME’s logic is to create a fairer world in a sustainable manner by harnessing the collective effort of everyone in the system to promote genuinely positive actions and outcomes instead of building a dependency on the organisation and staff in perpetuity.

Beginning with Systems Change – AIME believes that the root cause issues that create a divide between diverse groups and therefore creating marginalised communities and an unfair world are found in the breakdown of Relations, Knowledge and Exchange between people.

The collective effort of AIME’s activities and constituents can be traced back to Systems Change through how it generates meaningful Relations between people, offers deep and truthful Knowledge and the Exchange of time and opportunities between people in and outside of the margin.

AIME believes that in order to create a fair world, people must be engaged in Relations, Knowledge and Exchange with diverse groups other than their own otherwise they remain vulnerable to any barriers imposed by their environment like social norms, power imbalances, time and space – barriers that perpetuate inequality. The maintenance of such relationships is what AIME defines as unlikely connections.

The theory of Unlikely Connections x 5 is based on a view that a decentralised network of five people has a sum which is greater than the value of each individual part and therefore offers each engaged person with opportunities to contribute and benefit equally for as long as the network maintains its integrity.

AIME believes that Systems Change is accelerated when marginalised youth are engaged in Unlikely Connections x 5 because of the opportunities it creates in relational value and access to knowledge and exchange outside of their immediate circumstances. AIME also believes that Unlikely Connections x 5 can be accelerated by effective Systems Change due to the increased appetite and participation across diverse groups.

Personal Development can be seen as a linear process that is measurable by point in time evaluations that consider growth indicators such as what is proposed in Table 1. These ideas can offer a live indication of change as it occurs within people during/post their active participation in AIME activities.

All of the Lead Indicators are symbiotic and are not always linear. For example, some people may require an individual element of Personal Development prior to actively participating in Unlikely Connections x 5 and vice versa – an unlikely connection may be required prior to some elements of Personal Development can be fully realised.

Imagination is neither the end or beginning in AIME’s theory of change because it is the epitome of all movement. AIME believes that Imagination is the precursor to someone doing something different and outside of the present system which is riddled with barriers and limitations. AIME believes that imagination can be accelerated by all of the lead and lag indicators and vice versa.

Measures of Social, Economic and Education outcomes assist AIME in identifying who in the community is marginalised and therefore validating it’s target audience. It is important to note that these measures may not be the only ways of identifying marginalised youth as AIME operates in 52 countries and its constituents in each location have different definitions.

Social, Economic and Education outcomes are presented as Lag Indicators in Table 1 because AIME believes they will generally occur in the medium to long-term after the Lead Indicators demonstrate movement. These outcomes can obviously be affected at any time such as if a marginalised person wins the lottery – however AIME is fundamentally focussed on impacting the overall trends among diverse groups through systems change rather than the type of change that happens once off or by chance.

Using the frame provided by the Lag Indicators offers AIME with an opportunity to pursue quantitative analyses to identify trends among it’s diverse groups around the world and provide global insights and solutions to common issues that are of interest to marginalised people, social entrepreneurs and key institutions that are positioned to make an impact.

4. The Conversation: The philosophy and the evolution of the philosophy

With Kabir Dhanji

(I would love the call with @Kabir Dhanji to be REVED and then edited into this format and added to the doc – 

Kabir Dhanji is a warrior for dignity, fairness and a healthy planet.

A writer and self-taught photographer, with what he describes as a “skewed lens, that is constantly and forever learning to see and see again,” Kabir has spent his life telling stories with purpose. Because “the mind once enlightened cannot again become dark.”

Kabir has seen famine, conflict, and piracy in Somalia. He has witnessed civil war in Sudan and in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He has beheld political unrest, terrorism, cattle raiding, poaching and tribal clashes in Kenya. 

He has roamed with nomadic tribes through Ethiopia, Kenya, and North Africa, enthralled by their lives and the tales they tell. He has watched men ride the rodeo in the Australian outback and told their stories. He has ridden his surfboard along the coasts of Africa and Australia and written accounts of this.

His work is a panoply of storytelling – photojournalism, documentary and video series, writing, exhibitions. This work has appeared in The New York Times, Time, The Guardian, The Atlantic, The Times, Le Monde, the Wall Street Journal, The Australian, and the Washington Post, amongst other publications.

And Kabir has done much more. One thing he did was to co-found AIME alongside Jack, one of his best friends since their days at the University of Sydney.

On Wednesday 9 February 2022, he turned on video (a rare occurrence) for a call with Adam, Ben, Hannah, Irmin and Jack to talk, inter alia, unlikely connections, building a new social impact frame, shifting systems of inequity, and the heart of AIME.

This is a transcript of that conversation. You can also listen to the full conversation here.

JackSo everyone, I think the purpose of this is a conversation. Kabir and I have known each other for 20 years and spent a few years running concerts and doing different things at Sydney University before AIME started and always had conversations about what to do, how to do it, why to do it, where to do it. And I think that’s really what we’ve been trying to work through in the process in parallel of thinking about the power of our impact and what that can do. So that’s the purpose of today’s gathering. So maybe before we get into your hands, Kabs, we can just go around and introduce who’s here for people who might be reading the transcript either tomorrow or in a long period they’re reading it. So I’m Jack Manning Bancroft. I founded AIME 18 years ago and I’m CEO.
BenGood day. My name’s Benjamin Knight. I’ve been at AIME for a year now. I work with Jack with the design studio and super passionate about everything that we do.
JackAnd what’s your backstory, Ben? What’s your backstory?
BenThe three things that I would like to identify with is backpacking for five years and volunteering in lots of countries working with the government and not finding myself there, but still doing a lot of incredible work in indigenouscommunities. And then working for a startup charity called Orange Sky andfinding my feet in terms of my voice and my communication style.
JackAwesome. What are you interested in with this call?
BenWith this call?
JackYeah, the impact conversation that we’re having.
BenI think especially on the back of what I said, working with Orange Sky has just taught me that impact is not linear and there’s not one way to understand how something can affect one person’s existence versus many people’s lives. So Orange Sky always talked about the kilos of laundry that we washed, but the impact-
JackWhat does Orange Sky do?
BenOrange Sky supports people experiencing homelessness with washing and drying. But the most important thing that they do is sit down and have conversations with people that are doing it tough on the street and don’tnecessarily have a place to connect with people in a way that they feel is ameaningful relationship or conversation.
JackNow, Kabs, I know your role here is journalist host. So I’m going to come to you in a moment. Adam, Irmin, Hannah, do you want to introduce yourselves?
AdamI’ll go for it. Pleasure to be here. Name’s Adam Davids, proud Aboriginal man, descendants of the Wiradjuri people in Central New South Wales. Interesting hearing you talk, Jack, about organizing concerts with Kabir all the way back when I’m pretty sure I was at one of those concerts. I do remember you running around with headphones at [inaudible 00:03:28] and wondering, wow, this is a pretty well organized event. Didn’t remember Kabir at the time, but those days sort of make me think back to the transitional period I was going through into at the time in university into a bachelor of commerce.
And the experiences that I had as a student were a real privilege. They weren’t opportunities afforded to people where I came from and grew up in, in the country, New South Wales and urban New South Wales in Australia. As it would all happen upon graduating university, opted to go and work in the nonprofit sector and ignoring all the advice that people had given to me about going to work at a major bank or a professional services firm or chasing money. But rather sort of going where my heart taught me that the impacts needed to be made and joined an organization called CareerTrackers, which is a partner of AIME and creates internships for indigenous university students. 10 years working with CareerTrackers taught me that the private sector and institutions can make an impact in areas where the governments have historically struggled. But also led me to working internationally, collaborating with nonprofits around the world particularly in the US where I did a Fulbright exchange.
And I was troubled with the question that became, I think in many ways, themotivation for why I’m interested in this conversation on impact with AIME. And that question was, why is it that programs for Aboriginal people don’t survive very long? Growing up in the community, there were always programs coming and going at the blink of an eye promising really great stuff, bold visions and then you wouldn’t see them a couple of weeks later. And so spending the time in the US to look at what’s the secret sauce to make this stuff stick? What’s the secret sauce to make this work sustainable and make a profound impact? And the subject of that work I wrote about. And for me thinking about AIME as one of, I would say, a handful of organizations that I really cared about in a period of time where I decided to try to take a break from everything. 
JackSorry about that.
AdamJack and AIME were very persuasive and decided to cast my attention to thischapter that the organization’s entering into in its vision to create a fair world. And always in the back of my mind I’m thinking about how do we make this stuff stick? What’s the secret sauce to make this stuff work for a really long time for generations and to make irrevertible impact? 
JackYeah, it’s so fascinating as I’m sure we’ll get into in terms of building, but the… There’s some really interesting, powerful doorways into very gnarly sort of slippery slide world. And one of them is around sustainability I reckon is a really interesting piece of sustainable impact in the nonprofit sector. When commercial growth, I would say, doesn’t follow natural laws. It’s very unnatural. And when you think about a lot of the work that the nonprofit sector’s trying to do is solve problems and social problems. So if you’re trying to solve it, you’d want to hope that you do yourself out of a job you’re not sustainable. But maybe the lessons or the learning sustains and that it goes beyond your time of sort of leaving the space. I think that’s interesting, and I’m sure we’ll bounce around. 
But working out when you are trying to make a paradigm shift, even in our tiny ecosystem, which is not as big as a universe. But when you ignore established advice like you did leaving university to go somewhere different, which isn’t tested yet, and how you then build an impact playing around some areas which are new ground and ignoring established advice. And where does established advice come from? And what’s its intention? And then what is the opportunity of kind of going into new areas? 
JackIrmin and Hannah, do you want to introduce yourselves?
IrminSure. So I am Irmin and I am joining this call from Nairobi not far from Kabir Dhanji. I am currently working in impact with AIME. I’ve been at AIME for three years now. Woohoo. Longest time I’ve ever sat in one job in my entire, very long existence. And I’m very excited about thinking of a new vision of impact. I don’t really have a head for numbers. I was very good in school. I was very good at maths and was involved in maths olympiads and all of those kinds of things, but I don’t have a head for numbers. I’ve got a head more for stories. I’ve got more of a heart for stories. My life started in what is considered to be the smallest, poorest village of one of the smallest, poorest islands in the Caribbean. I didn’t experience things like running water and indoor plumbing much until I was about eight, nine years old. Electricity was quite something.
And sometimes there was no food and sometimes there wasn’t much in the way of clothing either. And so that was the first nine years of my life. But I remember something making, I guess, now that I look at it with the 2020 that hindsight vision gives you, I remember experiencing a life changing moment. I realize now that it was life changing. I started school very, very, very early and school in my village was one room with one teacher and all the children of every age were in. That was more of a place to keep children during the day than actual school. So sitting in the back of the classroom as my older sisters were learning to read and write, I learnt to read and write really very early, I was just supposed to play in the back as other kids do. Which means I started to read very, very early.
And at age around six, I remember reading The Lion, the Witch and theWardrobe. And I didn’t understand it very well because I was still only six and I didn’t have all the vocabulary. I remember the drawings, I remember the pictures and the story of these children coming into this fantastical world and the little girl trying to tell her older brothers and sisters, and they’re not really believing her. And that story really, really struck me. I’ve been, I guess,enthralled by stories since then. I was always a reading child and a readingadult. And story is very, very, very important to me. So now when we look atimpact and we say we would like to have a bigger, broader frame of impact, we would like to understand what all of those other moments that have an effect on people’s lives that sometimes they don’t even realize in the instant. How do we map that? And how do we see that?
When we think back to our own lives and where we’re coming from and howour lives have evolved and how our pathways have wandered through different landscapes, there are always moments in those journeys, whether it’s a fleeting moment or whether it’s a longer part of the journey that changes something for us. And sometimes it’s a chance encounter. And sometimes it’s something that’s been engineered. Sometimes we can count it. And sometimes we genuinely cannot count it. Sometimes we can’t even really count it. So I’m really interested in how all of that can come into the story of the change that we create. So that’s why I’m really excited about this vision here.
Kabir is smiling so I know he’s going to take apart all of this. But just to say if I can back up to the beginning of the story, how I landed up with AIME is actually through Kabir. I met Kabir at a party one evening in Nairobi. He made me fall off a deck and sprained my ankle, and then he disappeared. And then a couple of weeks later, he called me and said, “Oh, we’re starting this magazine. It’s going to be crazy. It’s like a runaway train, and I’m going to be the madman driving. Do you want in?” And I said yes. And then he connected me on the Skype call with Jack one Saturday afternoon when Jack was still living in New York. When we had a conversation, I thought I understood what Jack had said. When I got off the call, I was like, “I don’t think I understood anything, but, yeah, I do want in.” And here I am.
HannahSimple as that, Irmin. My name is Hannah James. I’m coming to the call from Noongar Country on the beautiful west coast of Australia. And I came to AIME… I actually have no idea how I came across AIME. People have asked me this question so many times, and I can’t for the life of me remember. But I do remember reading the mentor and getting my application in very rapidly prior to getting on a bus to go to a festival. And I must have done good job, because I landed the gig and spent a couple of years running the program. I run it here on the west coast. And I’ve been part of the impact team for the last two. So similar to Irmin, this is the longest I’ve been in a role. Actually, that’s not true. I worked at a music store for five years prior to this, but nothing else has been able to pin me down for this long.
And my interest in impact really came from, I mean, a lot of things. I had a very non-linear path. I kind of dipped in and out of university and pursued some things that I ended up finding pretty hollow, like advertising and marketing. I went and worked in that music store for five years and loved getting to support young people when they rocked up on their first day to their brand new job. And I think that’s the first time that I ever got to become a mentor. And then I went back to uni and I studied sociology and anthropology and international relations. And I wanted to run away and do that big backpacking journey. And while I was away, I saw the complexity and the emptiness of a lot of the development sector. And it really made me angry and upset, but kind of turned my eye to my own backyard.
And I came back to Australia thinking I was going to go into academia, but not wanting to kind of commit to that when I really wasn’t sure what the world of academia in a development context was or what it meant to be a part of that. But something that I did know was AIME and that came across my desk and it seems like a very pure opportunity to support something that was doing great work alongside some young people. And that is how I stepped out of doing an honors and all that sort of thing and stepped straight into the crazy world of AIME.
And I think I’ve probably learned a darned sight a lot more being here than I would have if I pursued that other pathway. So I think I’ve always really been excited about, yeah, how can we measure the benefit of the program without empty box ticking? How can we communicate it to people in a way that makes sense to them and brings them along on the journey, but also strengthens the way that we make decisions and go about our work on a daily basis so we can keep making the biggest possible impact that we can through our day to day? So excited. Let’s do it. 
KabirAnd I suppose that leaves me at the back of the class where I first met Jack atuniversity. What seems and feels like a very long lifetime ago, but not so long. My name is Kabir Dhanji. I’m a conflict photojournalist based in Nairobi, Kenya. Born and raised here. I had a great privilege of going to university in Australia where I met Jack and the early days of AIME were, I think, it’s fair to say partially born out of some extended conversations that Jack and I had at university about the inequality. And pertinent to this conversation that we’re going to have today is that coming from a continent basically drowning in different degrees of poverty, I couldn’t understand how a country with so much wealth like Australia could have one people who are so specifically marginalized. And I think it’s out of that, that I said to Jack and Jack knew already that something had to be done to fix this because it simply wasn’t right given that so few had so much and so many had so little. And so it started there and then, now a global organization.
I’m supposed to make a declaration of full disclosure. So Jack is one of my best mates, but that won’t stop me asking him the biggest, baddest, hardestquestions I can find. And Irmin is a very, very close and treasured friend also. 
And I’m very excited about this conversation today because I’ve given my life to telling stories, other people’s stories. And through those stories, trying to show the world that a great number of injustices occur for people who don’t have as much as we do. And there are things that we can quite easily solve and fix, and we can and should, the same things that we have that everybody else is entitled to. And that’s me in a nutshell. And if it’s all right with you guys, I’d love to get this conversation underway. 
I have a number of questions that were drawn from some of what everybodyhas written. But I think the best format on which we can run this is anybodywho feels like they want to jump in at any point, please do. I’ll ask a questionand anyone who feels like they’d like to take it, can take it. If I have something specific to ask somebody, I’ll ask and we can go from there. And just as soon as somebody’s finished then anybody else wants to add anything, can jump in. I think today’s conversation is about, for me and for anyone reading this or listening to this or watching, this to try to understand more fully the ideas that have been developed, why you’re thinking about things, the way that you’re thinking about them and how they can be practically implemented and learnt from as part of a broader discussion and plan.
So I think I’d like to start with Jack if I may. And it’s a bit of a broad question, Jack, but I want to really understand how from you as you see it from where AIME began, how would you say or how would you describe how AIME works philosophically? 
JackWell, I think there’s sort of two… The design iterations of it is you learn more as you’re kind of doing it, but the fundamental beginning point was there arepredictive narratives and predictive networks, which have been designed, which are supported by a lot of players. They’re supported by people in Australia in that context, supported by Aboriginal and Torres Islander people who are filled with this storytelling arc, which says you can only be an athlete or an artist, or you’ll be disadvantaged. Filled with a cycle of low expectations and filled with a lack of highways of exchange out. And I think that’s a very important second point, which I’ll come to, which is the evolution of the last six years. The idea that the highways have to be out are wrong, I think. And I think that’s central to what we’re trying to look at exploring with this impact piece. 
What we’ve done over 18 years is just keep extending the network. And part of what we designed early was a two way exchange in that network. It was anexchange of intelligence. It was a university student going into an experience in a suburb where they didn’t have any intelligence, where they didn’t have any skillset. They might be the most powerful people on campus or in their suburbs in their own backyard, but they had no knowledge and no intelligence of that way of life in the suburbs, in the same city as them. They had no understanding of the intelligence of that person they were talking to and where and how they’d been raised and the way that they’d grown. And in doing that, they got smarter; it was an exchange of intelligence. And for the kids, they got to learn via exchange of intelligence from these guys. 
And for the most part, that’s what they already got. That’s what TV shows do.That’s what the news readers would be reading stories from inside the margins, from the lens from inside the margins, the way education systems and curriculum are being designed. A lot of it is inherited by a certain demographic more often than not. White people more often than not, White men for most of the time. So we’re going through a generational shift. But that discourse of intelligence from inside the margins, that had been fed already. What was missing, I think, was the valuing of the intelligence from outside the margin. So we’ve kind of scaled that. And originally it was one to one in terms of trying to build a system like a bridge in a system. But if you visualize two cities and you build a bridge between two cities, in a tale of two cities, that was the bridge we built. 
And over 18 years, we just built another city. So we’ve built a bridge into ourcity, which is just a whole playground where everyone from the two cities cancome in, they can go to our university, they can go to our TV network, they can go to our radio channel, they can go to our library, they can engage in our digital nation that we’re rolling out this year. So you have a full system-wide piece. And the two parts, which I think are critical to how we think about impact, is the doorway into the house is so far back in terms of the assumption we bring. So the assumption that inequity is a problem to solve, that people who face injustice or inequity, that we have to get services from inside the mainstream to them so they can then be got out and brought into this way of life, I think, is really dangerous and potentially flawed as a fundamental idea. 
When you start to look at what you can do if you lift up the value of theintelligence of those people outside the margins and tourism sort of starts toscratch the surface of it, but it’s the start. It’s like, show us tourism of something that happened for the last couple 100 years, but don’t talk about today and don’t share your intelligence and talk about how it can reshape the way Web 3 works or metaverse works or how we can actually design virtual worlds, which have equity to it based on indigenous knowledge mapping systems that sink in with how we move with the sun, with the moon, with the land, with each other, with relations. Don’t talk about that. And that’s the missing piece. I think university and all the interventions that go out and get Aboriginal kids or get people from outside the margins to go into universities and get degrees. 
Cool. And why don’t we go out and go to different knowledge systems, whichhave been around for 60/80,000 years and get degrees from there and valuethose degrees economically? And then you start to have multiplicity of learning. So I think part of the pressure point and challenge with economics is it’s just at what point in the ecosystem do we place value? So we place value on the Stanford degree. We don’t place value on the 60,000 years of systems thinking. We place value on the 60,000 years of systems thinking. There are suddenly an economy around it. Universities are built in places, people want to go there, people want to learn from the systems. The intelligence is lifted up. That I think is the battle and the challenge. And I think showcasing an impact system that focuses on the network value and exchanges of intelligence is at the heart of our work. 
KabirI’m going to just ask a follow up question and I’d sort of like everybody to weigh in on what Jack has said. I think that what I’d like to ask is, how much of this change that needs to occur or what isn’t working is based around amisunderstanding of what currently exists and people’s inability to interpret the value of what they don’t know? 
JackYeah. I mean, the most amazing thing about human beings is our actionshappen before we even move. Our actions happen in our imagination. Weimagine the story, we create the story, and then we go and actually project that story like a projector in a cinema, onto the people around us. And our energy sets off a set of interactions and relations and we exchange and we dance. And that’s the relational connection that we pass on via a variety of communication methods. And when you’re a dominant player in the projector screen of a cinema of life like a teacher, if you walk in and say, “Poor kids have to be fixed,” and that’s the central story, or it’s 95% of your story, that’s your door into the house. You’re kind of walking in with this sense that these people are less worthy than you. That they don’t have intelligence and that they have to find their way to your way. 
And that, I think, is the amazing opportunity. So much of it is actually in ourheads and the narratives we cast for others. And if we can imagine ourselvesinto others’ shoes and the way they view us as others, we start to build thisempathetic capacity to start to find our way into others’ intelligence and others’ worth. And I think that becomes… I mean, I really hope that that’s… Part of the movement of progress of the 21st century is we can move past people having to scream so someone will listen to them into genuine intrigue. Because if I want to learn, I want to learn from all the sources of intelligence so I can be as smart as possible. 
So if the biggest untapped source of intelligence is sitting outside the marginsand the human thought experiments today, then maybe I’m going to really…And I think language that sort of emerged out of the states and in somedifferent areas around checking assumptions of privilege and some of theseconversations, what they are signaling is that, and I think in something likechecking your privilege, that language can freeze an actor inside the margins.So, okay. Yeah. Someone’s inside the margins, they’ve checked their privilege, they understand that they’ve got a good life. And then what? But if it’s check your sources of intelligence, then we’ve got ourselves a ball game. Adapt to short sources of intelligence, find sources from more unlikely connections, network in unlikely fashions, change the way the system works from inside out by thinking about who’s around you and who you surround yourself with, then we’ve got ourselves a really interesting playground. 
So I think part of what’s exciting is a lot of it is mental narrative mapping, which is generational. And a lot of it has been built into a number of the ways we tell our stories. But back to Irmin’s point, it is actually storytelling, and it’s the narratives we tell of each other and of ourselves. And I like to think that human beings are fundamentally decent. I think there’s a few cats throughout human history who defy that. I think there’s some people who are out for grabbing power. I think there’s people who try and divide. But I think in a space route, human beings are decent. And just how we network and then how we connect with each other and the stories we tell of each other, they’re the playgrounds, which I think are up for grabs, which we try and focus our work. 
I’ll get some water while everyone else talks. I’m still listening.
KabirGreat inputs.
IrminYou wanted people to jump in on this one, Kabir?
IrminOkay. There’s something that I’d like to jump in on. Something that Jack saidabout the lens through which we view people. And sitting in a position ofprivilege or within the margins and looking at those from outside of the margins as needing to be fixed like poor kids or kids at the back of the classroom need to be fixed. And I would actually just like to extend that analogy to the gender space actually. And it might seem unrelated, but every single thing is interconnected. I was recently speaking to a human rights lawyer. And she focuses on gender and gender based violence and violence specifically against girls and women, but not only. And we were in a bus in France. And on the screen in the bus was something for women at night, if you feel unsafe in the bus or if you feel that you’re going to be unsafe in the street, you can talk to the bus driver and the bus driver will stop the bus at any point that you want them to late at night in between any stop that you like so that you can get home safely.
But there were so many conditions to all of that and there was so much around it. And both of us were a little bit… We felt uncomfortable about it because we were like, yet again, the person who is the victim or who is at risk or who is in danger or who is experiencing a threat or who is coming from outside of that central point of safety and privilege and all of that, the onus is yet again on that person to prove their point, to prove themselves, to be made to conform and to behave in a particular way to ask for this, to ask for that. Rather than those who are within the more comfortable space of being safe, being the power holder, thinking themselves there is something wrong in this situation. And it is up to me, or it is up to us who are sitting here to move and to make the other person feel safe number one. And secondly, to get others to understand that this is an unacceptable way of behaving in a humane society.
So again, we just felt, as we were talking about that, I thought very much about our approach here and very much what Jack just said of what if those of us or those who are sitting within that space of privilege and of comfort and having these systems in the world designed around their spaces of privilege, what if they shifted their positions of privilege? What if the onus was on those people? Not the onus so much, but the responsibility and action was taken from there to say, “No, actually we’re sitting in a space that’s not right for everybody. What if I shifted? And what if I gave up a little bit ofmine or what if I tried to see this differently?
What if I tried to see this woman on the bus at night not as a victim that I canattack or somebody that I need to step in and save? What if I were to turn itagainst people from… Well, not turn it against, but turn the lens in another way from people amongst my own group of more privileged and more powerful and say, well, why don’t we behave a little differently? Or why don’t we approach this a little differently?” 
So, yeah, I just… It’s not the same thing, but again, I think that the systemsthrough which we think and how we shift our positions is what enables others to be able to shift theirs. And that there’s a lot within that sort of systemized education space, the systemized economic space that does need to shift and does need to look outside of itself to say there is a lot more there that we can actually open up to and we can actually eventually learn from. And all of us as a human race are going to get a gain from.
JackAnd there’s a billion… I think the challenge is it has to be… I think human beings are decent and I think we’re self-interested. So I think that’s the tension point. I don’t think that there is a pure altruistic human being. I think there is elements of altruism, but at its heart, helping other people feels good. It’s selfish. It’s the most selfish I’ve ever done in my life. I can go to sleep at night really well. I have good engagement. I get to live in a great way in the world. So in that example in France, I think when we frame it up with oppositional forces or we fix people in their spaces, whether it’s people inside the margins or outside the margins, or the people who are privileged or people who aren’t privileged, or the woman walking on the street and the bus as the system. Okay?
If these are our actors, then what do we move? And that just becomes all of us together. It’s not a moment of going, “You are to blame for everything with this. You are forever the problem to be fixed.” This is fluid. This is changing all the time. So, yeah, we’ve got this, what’s working? This isn’t working. And if we could accept a level of responsibility for things that aren’t working and then move on. We’re going to design and we’re going to bring in all of these firefly lamps that have been spun out of MIT’s media labs. And it’s going to light up these streets in these sections, which make it really tough for women to walk home through this section. 
And then we’re going have, I don’t know, 5 billion female bus drivers, and we’re going to have this and then we’re going to have this. And the bus are going to drive from… I mean, being in New York in that subway system a fascinating social design because everybody’s on it. You have the with people who are living on the streets and everyone in between and everycar. And, yeah, I don’t think there’s necessarily definitive rights in a right but it’s definitely important for us to just clock when it’s not working and try something and then keep trying to improve it and keep trying to improve it.
And I think in the schooling system, I do believe there’s some stuff that we’veseen, which are really simple things that you can change. Kids sitting at the of the classroom, turn the classroom around. Move your desk to the back of aclassroom. Let the kids sit there. Done. One move. Next move, change color the room. Next move, change the patterns of what have been established sothere’s unexpected connections. And in doing that, we’re starting to sendsignals to other people who it’s not working for teaching different. So there ways that we can send signals to people who aren’t being communicated to finding ways to adapt our established patterns, I think. And that’s what’sexciting in classroom because you’ve got to fix room and you’ve got everyonegenerally sitting in the same places. So you’re like, okay, move the room bring different people into the classroom blah, blah, blah. 
KabirSo I have a question for Hannah based on something that you had written,Hannah, is that, why do you think that we’ve let the ecosystem in generalsocieties people off the hook?
HannahYeah. I think that when interventions are focused around the individual, it lets the system function that perpetuates the inequality that exists in the first place by focusing on that person. So I think when I was talking about that, one of the things that I’m trying to do at the moment is that we’re still working alongside young people to give them that stage and break down those doors for them to show that they aren’t a problem to be fixed and show that they are the solution and give them that confidence and opportunity, which to me is the intervention. And then the rest is trying to shift the system so that this intervention doesn’t need to exist anymore. So that AIME doesn’t need to exist in a sense to provide that support to young people. And I think, yeah, it is letting off the hook. It’s like trying to treat the symptoms without treating the source when you focus too much on the group that’s been marginalized rather than the system that’s done the marginalizing.
JackAnd the beauty of systems, the scary thing when you are like… If you sit in any “want to change the world conferences” or education conferences, at a certain point, generally about three o’clock in the afternoon after there’s been the keynote speakers and then they open up the floor, someone says, “We just need a whole new system.” And everyone cheers and that’s the solution. No, we don’t need a whole new system. We just need to color very tiny nodes into the network. We shouldn’t tear down all the buildings we have. The universities, the schools, all of this infrastructure, a lot of it is really helpful for a lot of people. A lot of it has lifted up economic, wealth and opportunities for heaps of people. For heaps of people outside the margins, there’s been progress. There’s a lot of what capitalism has done that’s created progress. There’s a lot of what democracy’s done that’s created progress. There’s a lot of what communism’s done that has created progress. There’s lots of  progress that’s been made since 80,000 years ago in human life. In advancement of technology, of health and wellbeing. 
Then there’s some areas where just some really gnarly elements in the network where it’s just not that healthy, and it can be a lot healthier. And what’s exciting is human beings work in organizations. Organizations inter circling is the system. So it’s human beings. Individual human beings then in groups that then fill a system. So it’s not one big untouchable other galaxy. It’s within the Milky Way. It’s within planet earth. It’s within this  atmosphere. It’s grounded to the ground. It’s not up in the sky and we’re looking at it every single day in the people next to us, in the buildings next to us. 
And what I think we’re working on is very tiny activations. Like Irmin when you said electricity was a hell of a thing to see at eight. Just a bit of a shock into some areas and not huge seismic shifts, just a little tweak because people are decent. A lot of White men who are 75 years old, who’ve grown up in certain backgrounds and certain styles have never learnt about patterns of diversity, have never learnt about different knowledges and different thinking systems. So if we can approach those people in a way that gives them tools to adapt and operate in a different way, they will do it. Things will change. If we isolate people who don’t understand and because they’ve never learnt in a certain way, then we start creating divisions and more and more divisions. 
And a lot of our, particularly our two or three of our major social mediaplatforms globally, are just preying on that. They’re preying on divide andconquer. They’re preying on the confirmation bias. They’re preying on if you don’t know, then attack and tear the other person down. And that divisioncreates more and more disunity. And it creates all of these siloed spots wherethe network is weak because we don’t have nodes together to exchangeintelligence and information. And really fundamentally, we started sketching the same year as Facebook. And I believe AIME has been a responsible socialnetwork, one by one, one by one, by one conversation by conversation,interaction by interaction. 
We’ve tried to just find each other’s decency, learn from each other around world and grow. So I think that’s the exciting thing about a system is it’s in organizations. And I think there are little tweaks that can make significantchanges because a lot of people, a lot of teachers, turn up every single day want to help kids. Most kids want to try and learn and most parents want to do well. A lot of people try and we’ve got a chance to keep learning. 
IrminI think also just in the same vein as when we focus on a system as opposed toindividuals, I think also another thing is quite often we tend to focus on wrong. What’s wrong, what’s wrong, what’s wrong and what needs to change make it right? And a few years ago, I was at a University of Cambridge school on shifting education systems actually. The focus was specifically onAfrica. And I met a professor then, she was interested in some of the interventions that we were working on at the time when I was working acrossAfrica again, in gender equality and education. And basically what she was doing was just researching into all of these different initiatives. What is What is it that helps the positive outcomes to happen?
So she was saying, for example, instead of focusing on what is it that keeps girls from the rural settings out of school, let’s switch that and focus on what are the conditions within a school or within a community, within a country that enable girls from the furthest rural reaches who have no shoes to be able to go to school and stay in school and go all the way through? And right then it was really around being in school, retention and transition. And over the years, she did this research. And I found that really interesting to focus on what are all the things that we are doing right, that we can do more of to enable more of these positive outcomes in different communities and in different ways? And so, yeah, she did eventually come back to Kenya and set up this really cool school called Children In Freedom. 
And they just a few months ago won the ReimaginED Education LiberatoryAward. But basically what she did was she pulled all of her years of research into designing this particular kind of school for kids outside of the urban centers. And that’s just really reaping rewards, I guess, in a certain kind of sense. I think that’s very much part of what we’ve done with AIME is we’ve pulled together what are the things that unlock? What are the things that spark? What are the things that open eyes or create space? And we’ve pulled those together and said, “Well, these can work in any of these settings.” And that’s what makes it, I think, our model, the model that works within the schools in any case. That’s what gives it so much potential, I guess, and makes it scalable and all of that is we’ve put together a bunch of interventions that can work in loads of different spaces, regardless of what kind of context or what the barriers or the inequalities happen to be, I think. We’re working on what works as opposed to doesn’t work. 
JackThat frame is like optimistic network design. And if you think about your body or focusing on the elements of your body that are doing really well, like most of my body right now is working incredibly well. Until I get a cut, I will then focus on the cut, which will be tiny in my body. I have a small cut on my thumb. The rest of my body is doing unbelievable things right now. And it’s all working incredibly, but I’m not acknowledging consciously any of the work or effort or the intelligence of my body that’s working in the system. So by illuminating in the network the heat spots that are working, it’s like a river that’s flowing really effectively saying, “Let’s look at what we can learn from that river, not from the rivers that have run out of water.” 
And Jimmy Allen with Repeatability, his whole model is he looks at 100organizations around the world he thinks are going to change the next 100years. And his focus is on the three brilliant things that individuals ororganizations do and enhancing them and building them up. And I think that is also an interesting design when you come to a frame like inequity, that youchase the lowest common denominator. That’s the expectation from a sort ofcommercial perspective is people will say, “Well, but what about the poorest kid in the poorest place in the worst part of this? Or I read this new story where this thing happened to this person. Or this is the worst thing ever.” 
But what about all of the incredible people that are doing unbelievably? And if we can just enhance through optimistic network design, enhance their agency by simply connecting them to other people that are doing that and help open up their ability to amplify what they’re already doing. AIME’s work always… I was there in 2005 and walked into the first room. Yeah, we made some workshops, we didn’t do anything. The kids did it. The uni students did it. We as people contributed to an experience, but really what we did was just put two active participants through optimistic network design together, put heat spots around them where they were activated in a way that they would see each other and that connection positively and let those positive forces multiply. 
And that, I think, is part of the art of positive network design is enhancing design around decency and enhancing the heat spots where it works. And where that gets really dangerous is when there’s not, what we’re doing now, measurement, trying to understand the impact of that, because then you can just move. If it’s just only focused on the positive, it can become a very, very dangerous movement because it’s just about glorifying the things that work and never exploring the failings or taking responsibility for things that don’t work. And we have a lot of responsibility in this network of what we’re doing.
And I think a lot of the Web 3 conversations around Bitcoin or decentralization is sort of like, “Oh, you got to get in early if you take a risk and then you get your money with Bitcoin, but then it’s all decentralized and we’re going to leave it up to everybody else.” So the people who have made money from Bitcoin early are not taking any responsibility from the other people that follow and building a support system around people where it might not work out. And I think for us as an actor in this place, building supports, building structures, ensuring that there’s accountability and responsibility. If what we do has a negative effect, and we learn from that and we adapt, and we still focus on optimistic network design. So you have to have both, I think. You have to understand the flaws, understand the areas where you’re not at your best, adapt from that. But, yeah, I think that example is an incredible case study of what happens when you fire into the modes and the network, the positive potential and you put actors together and you get out of the way. 
KabirJust building on that, Adam, perhaps you could jump in here and explain a little about how you think because you talk a lot about natural design. How you think what AIME has done is more naturally designed and why it works. And then perhaps I could also just tap in Benjamin for a moment just to sort of talk about why things like Orange Sky and doing small things for people makes such a big difference and what AIME does is that difference. 
Adam Yeah, for sure. And I’d like to pick up on something that Jack just said beforeabout the dangers of being, let’s just say too overly positive or disingenuous…There’s the risk that you become disingenuous, right? When you paint a blue sky picture of, hey, look, you can get over the mountain top. That’s what it looks like on the other side. We have no problems getting there. If you’re from a marginalized community, you know that getting there is just not going to be simple and it’s just not going to be easy oftentimes. And so for me thinking about the things that has been discussed so far and systems change, I feel like is AIME’s kind of pursuit to tackle some unresolved issues that have a long, long history. And not just settling for the really surface level areas of change that in the last 50 years we’ve come to know and love. Things like education, things like economic development, social mobility, and things like this. 
But actually if you think back from our culture’s experience with the Europeans’ arrival and the treatment towards Aboriginal people on the continent of Australia and the disadvantages that were created in, let’s just say, the first 100 days, there was no question about how you don’t have a high school education, you don’t have a university degree and therefore you are now marginalized. Actually, I think what AIME’s unraveling is some root cause issues through its experience of having done this work for 18 years. And some of those root cause issues are to do with the human condition. They are to do with the relationships or lack thereof, relationships between people inside and outside the margin. And I think it is a noble pursuit to address these issues, but at the same time, because they are unresolved, they’re not unresolved for no reason. 
And the dance that programs like AIME have to do is to be really genuine with the people that you’re serving and not to come across disingenuous. And like, hey, this is all just going to be fine. It’s going to be easy. Here’s the deal. But actually providing leadership on the issue. If I really think hard about themoments in various societies that reached a breaking point, I think of Apartheid South Africa life. I think about segregation in the United States and how Aboriginal people were put on missions. There was a deliberate separation of people, right? And for me, that was a symptom that there was a breakdown in relationships. People didn’t know one another, they didn’t trust one another, they didn’t value the intelligence of one another. Usually the oppressor towards the person that they were oppressing. And so unraveling those things is going to require great leadership. It’s going to require great courage in order to do those things. 
And for those reasons, I think, it’s a noble pursuit for AIME to tackle. And if Ithink about AIME from its kind of beginning, when I first saw Jack waltzingaround campus with high school students at universities and witnessing him, I assumed back then doing it just out of his own time, out of his own goodwill, not being paid for it. And other people like yourself that were involved were doing it out of a volunteer mechanism. You were doing it because you saw a hole, you saw a gap, you saw an issue that had to be resolved, and you used the tools available to you to try to resolve it. Now over time, of course you learnt things and you remodeled and you transformed and you try to find the most raw true root cause issue that you needed to resolve. AIME has identified quite a big one that I think impacts a whole lot of people. And I think if it can be resolved, then that would be a pretty good gift to the world. 
JackYeah. And I think that’s the key in this phase, I reckon, Adam, is there is enough evidence that something we’ve done works, right? There’s independent research from a variety of different places. There’s awards, there’s credible people on the record and there’s not a lot of data that’s been looked through to say, “Okay, some of these guys [inaudible 00:54:38] to design stuff going to works.” And I think what we’re trying to do is be a lab for humanity with the audience that we’ve got that brings together people from inside and outside the margins, then feed that intelligence back in via tools and knowledge to help other organizations be more effective, to help other nonprofits around the world be more effective, to help other businesses run with stronger relational currencies. So that as this wave of bringing people from diversity into businesses comes, that they’ve got more than just awareness PowerPoint to show that they’ve got some complex algorithms and system based in deep thinking. 
I think that’s also the intent behind the impact piece. We could probably coast for the next five or 10 years without doing too much extra impact work, but we really want do it. The reason why we want to do it… We did an interim and annual report in 2005 when it was a student project. Why we wanted to do it then was, should we even be doing this? Does anyone want us to do this? That was sort of phase one question, but now it’s like, well, if we’re going to do this and we’re doing something of value, we have a responsibility to share that for as many people in the wider system around the world that can take these tools yesterday because this is a challenge that we should have made a bigger bites into quicker. 
And there’s more opportunity for us to make some quick wins, to move the dial, to get more people inside the margins and more people from inside the margins outside the margins and build that intelligence exchange. So I think phase one is impact approved, does AIME work? Phase two is to share the tools, knowledge and systems within this network outside into other organizations, both the things that work and the things that don’t. So we hopefully be good mentors and pass on that knowledge, so people don’t make the same mistakes and then they can also climb ladders quicker and learn from the enhancements of what we’ve found on the ground. 
KabirJack, if I could just ask you, coming back to sort of the impact piece, because the fundamental conversation here is that change needs to be made and thatdifferent people have different ways of making change. And that AIME has away of doing it, which it believes has a certain ability to shift the agenda and the thinking in a way that can help a lot more people. So in terms of the impact piece, I think that the two questions I have is, how does AIME change the story in a way that allows more people to consume it and make it understandable and therefore has a greater impact? Because obviously aim does exist at the moment and it just hasn’t been able to move that along. And is it just a question of understanding, or is it a question of story, or is it how that information is presented? What’s the missing piece of the puzzle here? 
JackWell, I think we’re working through it. So we’re 12 years in Australia and then another six years in Australia and now six years globally with a pandemic and with trying to work out how to build a system. So you you’ve got to reach. We use an analogy that our organization is like a rocket ship and there’s the team working for it. The rocket’s got to reach orbit at some point and what its orbital space is. And then it starts to move around. So we’ve now built the system. We had to build the system and now we’ve got a system built. Then there’s some really simple things we can do with that system. We can see what’s going on in the network at AIME and we can learn from that knowledge and share that knowledge. 
And that’s really the body of work for us to work on. There’s people that will beengaging and fundamentally at the core of our work it’s relations. It’s saying thathow we network is a bit busted, and if we can borrow from indigenous systemsthinking and from intelligence from out side the margins and add a big dash of kindness, a lot of imagination. And then we reckon we’ve got ourselves thecapacity to design relations in different ways. So one really specific playground tool is we’re building imagination as a digital nation that we think is going to provide a case study for how the metaverse can be designed, learning from inequality that’s been created through economic models, through societal design in the real world. And adapt and bring in that intelligence from indigenous systems thinking and from people outside the margins and design a more equitable playground where more people have in their intelligence value and where intelligence from outside of margins is valued. 
Now that’s a promise of the virtual world. It’s been around since 1977, we’vehad virtual worlds or grounds. The danger of the metaverse movement is thatit’s the same people that design the systems and the banking institutions anddifferent things we’ve got at the moment, which are 2/3/400 years old against 67,000, 70/80,000 years of human intelligence verses a number of of millions of years of intelligence on planet earth. Billion year old proteins that find their way into our bodies that help generate our work of whatwe’re doing. So I think there’s an opportunity to bring some of the mostmarginalized intelligence center stage as we try and navigate things like climate change, which I navigate, how to build societies with automation munching up 50% of jobs in the next 20 years according to these guys, Frey and Osborne from Oxford. 
Are we going to end up in… If we end up in a universal basic income world, you want to make sure we’ve got some good relational tools to have a deeper sense of connection and satisfaction with just being in relation to each other. The productivity and work doesn’t have to define everything. And we’re entering that era with very interesting playgrounds of automation here on planet Earth, a whole new virtual world evolving and in an existing world that we’re inheriting, which has got big screams and cries from the natural world to say something’s out of balance. So I think we play there. We role model in that metaverse place how to do something as equitably as we possibly can design. It might not be perfect, but it’ll at least be designed with people who haven’t been in the room before, especially a lot of these major network designs. 
The second thing is around organizational health. So we can just very simplyprovide a tool for organizations, which we’re testing at the moment, calledUNCx5. We’ve got an algorithm based on the digits in a hand, which we think is the ideal team size, the ideal balance to a team and the ideal activator in the network. Because if you have five people, we think that’s the ideal team size. And then if you follow unlikely connections as a design formula for who’s in that team, then that starts to build against inherent bias. And some of the challenges which makes people isolated from those decisions or from societal [inaudible 01:01:59] within those small units. So systems are units of five interlinked all the way up until we get to our 7 billion people. That’s a system. So what we’ve got to try and shift is those very small design models, which bring us together in ways. 
And at the moment, the opportunity, I think, is that a lot of the rooms of those five are very homogenous groups. So how do you design it differently? And then the third one, I think, is around nature and around natural laws, which I think fits into a big bucket of knowledge. And it’s just, can we help accelerate indigenous systems thinking intelligence from outside the margin, which is synced in with more natural laws to help all of us understand more effective ways to live happier lives? That surprised. I mean, the beauty for us is that there’ll be these byproducts that our network will help mentor 100,0001 kids. It’ll have positive outcomes, which will effectively be the sort of social enterprise element of this big laboratory of knowledge that we’re trying to help develop for systems at scale. But I think, yeah, the prize is in those three playgrounds of what we’re modeling for major systems players at this major moment in human life. 
AdamCan I zero in on something? Just really quickly to your question of how can AIME or is AIME looking to create this kind of change. And if I’m thinking really practically, and I wrote about this in my theory for AIME, is the kind of attitude and behavioral change needed for people with influence, people kind of deemed inside the margin and even more practical. I’m thinking about a news headline that came out last year, earlier in the year, about the CEO of Wells Fargo, which is one of the top banks in the US, who was challenged with the question of why has the bank never had a black CEO or executive or board member to that nature? And the response was, “Oh, because there’s a lack of talented candidates for those positions.” Which is quite an outrageous thing to suggest. 
And it kind of, for me, speaks to if someone like that was to undertake sometype of change by way of their beliefs, their values, their attitudes andbehaviors, boy, what that could do to open up the conversation of equity for agroup of people who are marginalized in and of itself. And to the points, I think, that were made previously by Irmin and Hannah about the onus ofresponsibility being on those who were marginalized to go from some form ofimprovement, which, yes, in many ways we all need to make developments. But to zero in on how AIME can affect the type of change is by engaging with these people, right? Jackie talked about engaging with the seventy year old retiree executive. They have an important part in the system, right? And so how does AIME engage with that cohort to create the type of change that I’ve just mentioned? I think is a really important practical aspect of AIME’s work going forward. 
KabirAnd so I think my next question, and this is to all of you, and perhaps we’ll start with Jack again, is based around that we live in an amazingly complex world compared to where we began as a species. How do we navigate the distractions in order to try to get to where we believe we, or you believe we’d like to be? Because the distractions are so very many in so many places, and as you discussed earlier, I think everybody has mentioned that individuals have their own self-interest at heart first that doesn’t make them necessarily good or bad people, but where they feel that those align. And we live in a world where social media very much dominates large part of the agenda. And there are a number of other distractions, whether it’s bureaucracy of life or life itself, depending on how well off you are or aren’t. How does a model like this, how does the storytelling, how does the impact navigate through and past these distractions to make change? 
JackYeah. Well, I think you just talk to people one by one is the simplest way toeffectively meaningfully engage in relations. And that means it might take time, but that’s what we’ve been doing. We’re in 52 countries after six years of starting globally. It’s okay if it takes time to share knowledge. That’s what it should take. And that’s why when you look at models like modern monetary systems or modern legal systems, modern business, modern tech firms, the growth rate is unnatural when compared to arcs of human life and existence before. So systems should have space to emerge. And I think we share Capra’s the conversation withFritjof Capra and Tyson in this impactbook for people to look at, because it’s emergent, it’s creative, it’s intelligent,it’s networked. And so if we honor those systems as we’re moving throughexperiences, then it also can take time. 
So I think there are ways that we can effectively showcase opportunities forpeople to learn from this. And I think part of what the body of impact does is it goes to the audience of people we’re working towards are the people that are making decisions in very small rooms. And so an impact system and working on research and working on independent thinking and working with Bain & Company or Deloitte or whoever it might be, that is influencing the key CEOs that I was talking to, or the key presidents or prime ministers in nations who are learning from certain places and certain spaces. So if they’re taking knowledge from imagination, the network, as well as from Stanford’s Business School as well as from the New York Stock Exchange and the latest Business Inquirer, trends on Web 3 from Silicon Valley and someone from Paris and someone from Dubai, if you’ve got another knowledge lab, which is as valued as MIT media labs, which is driven by the intelligence infusion from people from inside and outside the margins, you’ve just got another valuable source. 
I think we will as creatures, yes, there’s lots of information that moves around, but we still seek quality and we still seek depth and we still seek connection and we still seek relation. And social media groups have been disruptive, dangerous, brilliant, unbelievable connectors. Have built platforms, which are unbelievably powerful, have bought a great amount of wealth and opportunity that lots of different people wouldn’t get them and have made heaps of money. So I think part of what the opportunity is when you follow the money like media organizations that are for major profit are dangerous entities because they have agendas. And the job of a mentor is to try and, I think, guide as objectively as one can with all the limitations in the human mind. And that’s why I believe our network when stacked up against a Facebook or some of the others, is that, well, we’re not here to make money, we’re here to share all the knowledge that happens when we network together in relational fashion. 
So, yeah, I think you have to be tactical a little bit. You have to be able tocommunicate effectively and honestly. And we’ve got some good skills withcommunication. And if you’ve got worth, people will find it. And if you share the tools, it might not be now, but our intent through this impact works. So I said earlier in a short conversation with Adam, I’m like, “This is about making sure that we get it out of the AIME bubble. That it’s there.” And if someone picks it up in 500 years, great. We don’t need the return right now. This is about putting something into the system because it’s the right thing to do, because we’ve learned knowledge. And you let it sit there and whoever wants to do whatever they want to do with that, part of that’s not in our control because we’re not all powerful and all controlling of humanity. We just have a [inaudible 01:10:49] and we hope it’s helpful. And we hope it helps the system. And we hope it improves a lot of [inaudible 01:10:53]. 
BenI was thinking of part of a quote by Ian Curtis where he talks about existing in the best terms that he can and the future being well out of hand. I always come back to this spending time with prisoners for a long time and this wordresilience and an acceptance of what has been and what will come. And I think that can be true as well for people that are controlling those social media platforms or tech companies that have sort of put themselves in a position where they’re successful. And it’s well out of hand now for them to try to look at things differently because that’s their existence and that’s what it’s. And then there’s the young kids that are going through school and sitting at the back of the classroom and sort of accepting that that’s how things are and that’s what’s going to happen. 
And the opportunity, I think, and the responsibility that we have is tounderstand what has worked over the last 18 years and provide that to theexecutives of those social media companies to say that these are opportunities that you can try. There is imagination that you can use. There are tools that we have that creates an opportunity for you to change things you can provide opportunities for and to. And then at the same time, if the young kids are engaging with that same opportunity and creating the willpower and being mentored in a way that supports their imagination and have confidence enough to speak with those people and feel like they’re allowed to and they’re accepted, then I suppose we have a part to play there because we do have the tools. We do have the resources. We have the history. And we do have evidence of really great things happening for people when they are willing to step outside of their current feeling of acceptance and move into a feeling of confidence and willing to understand what else they can do next.
KabirIrmin, Hannah, Adam.
JackI need to go get in a car. Thanks for talking to me. Hope it’s interesting for those of you reading it. Hope we did what we said we were going to do. Bye.
KabirBye, Jack.
HannahYeah. I think the thing perhaps when you said distraction and how do you not be moved by that is really about [inaudible 01:13:56] tuning in and listening, I think, deeply and authentically. And doing so in a number of different ways, which is really in my mind to put my practical hat on for a second is really where the design of how we look at our impact then comes into play. How do we collect the stories or where we’ve been successful, where others have been inspired, where we’ve failed, how do we listen and interpret the data and the information points that we have so that we can make the decisions to keep doing the things that are working and to change the things that aren’t? And how do we, I guess, listen to the right voices around us to share those things in a way that fits in that can still challenge them to do things differently, but is accessible to them so that they can take it into their spaces. So, yeah, that’s what I’d say. 
IrminOkay. Your question, Kabir, was, how do we do this work when there’s such an overload of distraction in the world right now, right? And how do we, I guess, connect deeply, have deeper and more meaningful conversations, I guess. Is that what’s behind your question? 
KabirYeah, very much so. It’s to say that even if have all these great tools and thesegreat ideas, and we’ve had many great ideas over the history of time and many great things have fallen off the path or never happened or never beenimplemented. So is there a plan? Is there a thought for what AIME hopes to do is not drowned by the distraction? 
IrminOkay. All right. Okay. So that’s, yeah. I was understanding a slightly differentquestion. Well, quite a different question actually. 
I feel that it’s actually a very hard question. It’s really the crux and I think also one of the questions that we are wrestling with a little bit in the impactdocument that we’re working on. Is that, yes, we have the vision and, yes, wehave the philosophy. And how do we concretely go about putting this into place and ensuring it goes forward and turns into the overall impact frame and the approach and the practice that we want to have? That’s not an easy thing, to be honest. And I think it’s a question of our own… I don’t like to use the word discipline, because it’s so loaded, but I think it’s up to us to keep looking to our north star and to keep trying [inaudible 01:17:21]. I don’t think we necessarily think or operate in a linear fashion. 
So what we’re talking about here is looking at impact through a different lens, from a different perspective or within a different frame. And I think if we are approaching our work with a very sort of linear lens, that means that we’re still looking at it from the position that we are trying to no longer look at it from. So I think it’s up to us to understand how we can bring together a pretty linear approach and a pretty meandering approach. The point is if we have a north star, no matter how we meander through different moments of this journey over time, we will eventually get to where we’re going. 
It’s just to know how fast do we want to go? Is the bend in the river, is that adistraction or is that a learning opportunity or is that a way of designing more naturally? So it really depends on what we mean by when it comes to our work and getting this particular sort of impact frame done and this new way and new… Well, not necessarily new systems, but adapted systems to our new impact vision. Distraction, does that mean all of the things that we’re doing? Is that too much? Or is it that we need to design a frame to be able to take all of that into consideration and not see them as distractions, but see them as the organic way in which we work and that will eventually lead us to being able to value the change that we want to value? 
I don’t really know. I don’t really have an answer. It’s questions. The way wework and the fact that we do so many different things, is that a distraction or is that a strength? If we’re saying we want to get to a particular point with this, do we need to take a linear approach or do we need to allow that kind of very, that less linear approach that we take? So it’s really that. It’s how are we looking at ourselves as well? How are we looking at the way [inaudible 01:19:32]. How are we looking at the outcomes and the way that we work? And are we looking at it still through the more sort of regulated kind of lens or are we looking at it through this new lens that we’re saying that we would like to develop? 
AdamI’d like to make a final comment before I dive off to answer your question, Kabir. How do you navigate through the distractions with what AIME’s trying to do? I think for me, it’s about having unmistakenly clear definitions of what it means by change. There was some kind of dancing around kind of imposed concepts of change. And I wrote about these of social education and economic development among marginalized youth. But as AIME now approaches system levels change and talks about things like imagination, like unlikely connections that Jack just spoke about and things like personal development. I think there needs to be a very, very clear view of what those are that transcend time, space and cultures. Because AIME is tackling these issues at a global level, they need to appeal and they need to be relevant to whatever person is going to pick up this sort of toolkit that AIME talks about putting power in their hands of people that want to create change and providing it in such a clear manner that gives them the chance to do that without distraction or changing definitions or changing measures or changing directions because that’ll always happen. 
And so I think for some of the elements that AIME talks about, they are, from my observation, uncharted territory. How do you look at the imagination growth for people that come from marginalized groups and draw parallel between like-minded people in other countries around the world? What do we mean by relations from a traditional Aboriginal wisdom context? And how does that relate to a group of people in Nigeria who speak different languages and who have their own traditions and custom and wisdoms, what are the parallels between those two things? I think having a very clear definitive position on what those elements mean beyond borders, I think, will be a really important part of how AIME pushes through beyond the distractions. 
And I think for those listening, for those stakeholders, and AIME included, is just instilling your conviction and your belief in the method that AIME leads in the same way that it did when it first brought to life the concept of mentoring for indigenous students in high school is instill your belief in it, even though it might be untested in some ways. You have to give it a good royal crack, give it a chance to breathe, give it a chance to learn, give it a chance to fail and take away from it the lessons that are necessary for going forward rather than changing shop every couple weeks.
Thanks for the conversation, guys.
KabirThanks, everyone. Ben, are we all good?
BenYeah, totally good. Unless we need to do some kind of closing performance or theater. Irmin, are you up for the challenge or? 
IrminNo, my closing performance in theater is just really to thank, Kabir. Thank you, Kabir, for your time. And thank you for all the questions that do make us think about what we’re thinking, what we’re doing, what we’re seeing. That’s another aspect of the collective intelligence. If you could send through well, possibly to Hannah myself, or to the entire group, your list of questions because obviously it wasn’t quite enough time for everybody to dig into the questions. But I think that the questions that you ask are very important for us to work with as we go forward trying to shape this document. So if you can send this them through, then we can, in the way we shape the document, try to address those questions possibly a little bit more. 
BenYeah, I’ll get the… You go, Kabir.
KabirSorry. You go.
BenWell, I’ll get a transcript and then we’ll punch it all out into one whole place with the recording. And then we can start to think about how the copy gets written up and then what sort of options we have for the video to be used in audio. Yeah. 
KabirI think the one thought that I would leave you guys, girls and guys, humans,people, species, given that I’m an alien, is that when I think about big historyand I think about it a lot and what we do and how we do it and why it matters. When we look at the evolution of species before we even got to places that are currently known as Australia or Kenya or anywhere else like that, existence was much simpler on a number of levels. And something that Jack talked a little bit about that we got to a certain stage and we started to add complexity. We wanted more things. We removed in many ways some of the big risks of life and we added pleasure and safety and security and a number of things that we believe to be essential, which is, I think, very well encompassed in the Charter of Human Rights. 
And I think my question to you guys, or what I’d leave you with to ponder, is to say that, yes, we have these things, and, yes, we have changes that need to be made. But our ability to make them palatable and consumable in the same ways that systems have managed to ask people to do things, which they have done, will, I think, ultimately be the difference. And if we can find that, if we can figure out what that is, if we can ask somebody or if somebody doesn’t have to think, and it’s obvious to them because of the way the story is told, because of the way they feel, because it’s communicated, because they understand the impact of it. If they can do that thing without thinking, and if we can even unlock a fraction of a fraction of that, then I think we’re going to make monumental steps forward. Have a great evening, lady and gentleman. And have a lovely day, Ms. Durand. 
IrminThank you very much.
HannahThank you. Nice to see your face, Kabir Dhanji.
KabirIt was forced upon me. I didn’t get a choice, Hannah.
IrminOnly by force with Kabir. Only by force. Take care, guys.
BenBye, guys.

5. The Weaves: Threads from knowledge holders

Over two weeks, we asked partner organisations to join us in a series of 1-hour group conversations and share knowledge and perspectives that can enrich our thinking.

Jack explains it like this:

The goal of what we’re trying to pull together is an impact book that can help drive for us the behaviors, the designs and then the thinking of how we’re going to effectively think about the energy that everyone is putting into the network, of the work that we’re doing, and what comes from that energy and how we try and measure what that looks like and learn from it. And then hopefully share those learnings to keep improving things. 

We’re having five to 10 conversations with some different ecosystem partners that we work with in different stages. The main purpose is to kind of go on a weave and see what happens with the different threads, and see if we can learn some stuff that can help inform what we’re trying to do.” 

These pages share some nuggets from rich conversations with these knowledge holders, with links to full audio and transcripts throughout.

Doug HumeSocial Ventures Australia“There’s a temptation, as a consultant, to need to posture as though you have the answer. So bias number one is knowing that you don’t have the answer.”
Nick PeriniSocial Ventures Australia“We need to be thoughtful and mindful of not just reverting to the quick and easy metrics so that we feel that we’re getting immediate returns on our investments.”
Roseanna LeddyChampions of Change Coalition“Seeing the real subtle movements of change that you can have with power by working within the system and then choosing when you step out and start to shake things as well, and knowing that you need both those things.”
Erin ChemeryUNESCO“If energy is created then something else happens after that. And then something else happens after that… We’re trying to figure out just this sort of impact model. If I interact with AIME, what is the net change to my life?”
Kristine DeryMacquarie University“The interesting idea around impact is to put a value on that space in between. We always measure productivity based on how many things, how much we can do in a certain amount of time, but imagine if we started to think about productivity as actually being some of the blank spaces.”
Ed Stevenette Learning Planet“My entry point is probably a consistent insecurity: I always find the meaning in my work from the things that are really difficult to measure.”

Pauline Laravoire Learning Planet
“Although community building and unlikely connections are really powerful, I feel that AIME has something even more powerful in its focus on youth.”
Tyson Yunkaporta Deakin University Indigenous Knowledges Systems Lab“People are happy to measure their effects and put in their reports the traditional metrics, but that’s not why they’re funding AIME. People are helping AIME because they feel it.”
Greg HutchinsonBain & Company“There are people who I can think of through life who I didn’t really have much of a connection with until it became clear that they were interested in social equity and social justice, and that overrode everything. It overrode different personalities, different backgrounds, different whatever, because it was a shared value, and to me, it’s values that drive behaviors…”
Doug Hume and Nick Perini, Social Ventures Australia

Monday 21 February 2022

SVA is currently working with AIME on the design of Mentorclass, a series of 222 mentoring lessons, as an impact piece to engage teachers over 10 years.The AIME x SVA relationship goes back to 2008, when AIME was in its early days. SVA’s remit was to pick eight organisations out of the about 40,000 non-profits in Australia and help them scale over five years, to take an idea in its inception, add a network to it, provide capital, and the return on investment would be social change. 

Full audio Full transcript

Impact stories that have stuck
NickWhat I was really struck by was the work that James Heckman had done on the impact that is created for investing in young people. Investing in children and families at day zero, and the impact that that has over the course of a life. I thought that was just such a profound framing of the issue. It makes intuitive sense that you invest early and that changes trajectories, but it was also something that was surprising in that we needed to do so much work, so much effort needed to be invested into even just getting that clearly defined and understood.
Inspiring economic / macroeconomic / microeconomic / societal design
DougThere’s the cornerstone of the brilliant and beautiful idea which is that it’s a false distinction between our being able to chase money and I suppose the free market, without also achieving good. So I think that that idea, and that kernel of an idea that you can do good within the realms of capitalism, which rules the day, is still something that inspires me and it has been successful. We’re seeing more and more organizations chase purpose through their work. And that, I suppose, is an example of using the tools of capitalism, of the economy and how it’s structured to try and achieve change.
Lessons, challenges, biases in thinking about how to design the doorway into the house
DougOur work is littered with bias, and I feel every day by leaning into some of the work that we do, we’re challenging those biases… There’s a temptation, as a consultant, to need to posture as though you have the answer. So bias number one is knowing that you don’t have the answer, and then looking just to listen to those that you’re working with and the end beneficiaries that you’re looking to serve and champion, and just hearing those solutions that are right there in front of you… Constantly finding a way to challenge the biases and world views of others and be humble as we come to that conversation is something that sits with me.
NickOne of the biases I still wrestle with is where the knowledge comes from. I think we’re trained particularly in the Australian schools, universities context that knowledge and power is held in particular parts of the community, in particular parts of our economy and in our cities and regions… But yet, you’re working with organizations that are quite often coming from outside that traditional structure to challenge understandings, to challenge practice. That’s something that we are needing to wrestle with and how we support those organizations to be successful… Success as judged by the outcomes that they’re able to create for their communities that they’re serving.
Relational mapping systems / impact systems 
NickEven if we’re looking at this question of relations, even if we’re looking at this question of engagement between individuals and communities and the like, we try and enforce it to some form of common unit or common metric that we can understand and can interpret it in. And so that, when we are talking about measurement, does seem to be something of a common tendency, albeit there are different ways and different, I suppose, emphases getting placed on the importance of relationships, on the importance of systems and how those systems do work with and within one another to create a set of outcomes. Where they tend to focus or be used though is to inform planning, or is to inform strategy so that you know how to intervene. And yes, you could also I suppose use them as something of a tool to better understand the changes that are resulting from your work. But at least in my context, I haven’t seen them used for that purpose.
DougThere’s a growing and deeper understanding that to change the root causes of issues, you need to rattle the conditions that hold them there. And so there’s more looking at what are the reinforcing energies that keep a system in place. So that could be policies, it could be biases, it could be knowledge, it could be relations. And then organizations are mapping that and thinking, “Okay, which of those are right for change? Where can we concentrate our energies to break or disrupt those patterns?”… It becomes a more binary measurement of that intervention. But the underlying theory is certainly acknowledging more and more the importance of those connections and relations.
Walking between multiple methodologies / systems, flexibility and space for emergence
NickMore and more over the past five, 10 years, communities and different players in Australia talk about systems change. And more and more you see it also in the kind of US example and elsewhere, is all right, we do need to think about impact. We do need to think about measurement differently. This idea that you can be focused, from a systems change point of view, on a set of population metrics that in many contexts are going to be 10 plus years away that you’d be able to observe them in the data… And so we need to be thoughtful and mindful of not just reverting to the quick and easy metrics so that we feel that we’re getting immediate returns on our investments. Because actually at least in the systems change context, a lot of that desired change might require seven years until you’re seeing the real populational level impact.
DougThe talk of place-based initiatives that drive change is very topical at the moment. There’s a number of place-based initiatives around Australia being pointed to as disruptive in unsettling, entrenched, disadvantaged for lack of a better term. And generally speaking they’re saying, “Hey, trust us. We have a hunch that if we pull everyone together in this community and just really focus and get everyone working collaboratively, we’ll change the population in 10 years.” And that’s a big pitch to funders, and they’re really asking government to fund that. And so what they’ve had to do, and there’s been some interesting work that we’ve kind of been on the periphery of, is say, “All right, for funders to back that they’ve said, ‘Tell us exactly what your theory is as to how you’ll get there.'” And you guys are kind of doing this… And then to satisfy their funders, they’ve developed the framework that says, “Okay, if we believe that we’re heading here in 10 years, this is where we want to be. In the interim, we think that these steps need to happen, and then here’s evidence that we’re progressing on those steps…” There’s an example I could send through by Clear Horizons. They set up a framework that they invented from scratch to evaluate a 10 year Horizon placed-based initiative. And they invented it from scratch and then have then used that to demonstrate to funders, “Hey, we’re not there yet. We’re not going to know for ages. But I can prove to you that we are on track with what we set out achieve and/or we’re missing it on a few marks.”
Final thoughts
DougI see parallels with work in that kind of systems change evaluation space, and just want to recognize how hard it is, the thinking that you’re doing, and that it’s not easy to measure that change. There are very few organizations that are thinking about evaluating systems level change. Systems change is more recent in the discourse, the last few years, and evaluating it is really different. Being able to tie that ambition to your programs, and marry and identify some meaningful indicators is hard work. I think it’s great that thinking’s happening.
NickThere’s this idea of prove and improve, and getting clear about where and when are we wanting to focus on that effort and that energy to be able to prove either to ourselves or to others the change that’s being created? But equally, where and when are we wanting to understand the impact that we’re creating so as to improve?… That idea of prove and improve is also I think important because what types of data, what types of stories, what types of questions we’re going to be asking will hopefully vary depending on which of those we wanted to look at.
Roseanna Leddy, Champions of Change Coalition

Monday 21 February 2022

Champions of Change Coalition works with CEOs of large organizations, who are predominantly male, on an agenda of working with power to drive system change and gender equality. A key question is when working with leaders with the aim of driving change, how to actually measure both the activity of work and the impact of the work and how to develop that into a tool that leaders can use to drive their work and think about the progress they want to focus on.

Full audio Full transcript

Showcasing impact
Whether it’s numbers, whether it’s stories, data and impact measurement is incredibly important for everything that we do, whether it’s in business, whether it’s in a social context. Sometimes we really shy away from actually understanding what that means and the complexity within it that comes from a fear of it being not perfect or not representing exactly what’s happening. I see that because people can be really afraid of what it looks like and afraid of the impact of measuring certain things and what happens. And I think just acknowledging that at the start is really great.
We’re seeing a rise in ESG. We’re seeing a rise in kind of an understanding of a deeper, nuanced understanding of metrics and things that drive impact. And ultimately, though, that relies on us being a bit innovative and really pushing the boundaries of what data we can collect, how do we analyze things? How do we put together structures of impact?
Trying to influence the system from within and having some fun with it
One of the things I feel I’ve developed is seeing the real subtle movements of change that you can have with power by working within the system and then choosing when you step out and start to shake things as well, and knowing that you need both those things. Exactly, like from a gender perspective….
One of our biggest measurements of value globally is GDP. And for a long time, simply because of production boundaries and economics, which have predominantly been dominated by men, we excluded women’s traditional work in the house because it is of little or no value in the GDP rules globally. And Marilyn Waring wrote some great work on that. And there’s interesting papers on the GDP value of breast milk and of reproduction. And then you go, “Well, should we even be considering it in those terms of value anyway?”
There’s a real danger in change if we think that us as individuals or us as an organization have to encapsulate everything at every point in time. And I guess to some extent, have a bit of a humility around the role that we might play. And actually that’s a really beautiful, liberating possibility because it acknowledges real diversity, and we all might have our part to play. And so being okay with the fact that you might have one role to play and someone else might have another role to play, and we both do our bits is quite a nice freeing out concept in terms of data because there is no neat bow. There is no neat, tidy package. And to think that there is, is I think an inhibitor of change.
I’ve been connecting with Suzanne Biegel who’s been leading work around GenderSmart and Joy Anderson from Criterion Institute in the States. And they both do work around gender lens and investment. And some of their work is really how do we re-look at systems of capitalism? How do we reengage the concept of finance to actually drive benefits for women? How do we bring finance and gender-based violence together and what does that look like?… I remember reading one thing about Suzanne. She’s like, “You need both the people working within the systems and the people outside of systems…” I’m super excited that even if I have a long goal of where I’d love to see gender and finance going and the way in which we use data and the way we interpret data, a lot of that is going to come down to a social shift that also needs powerful people to be driving this forward…
Substantiating, measuring and communicating change in attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors
We are doing some work on the concept of power right now… In my view, power isn’t necessarily good or bad, but obviously power can lead to things that are good or bad. I think we all kind of intuitively know when you have the opportunity to be over someone or to make decisions or to drive change, that’s quite an intense kind of opportunity for someone and what guides you and how you use that and what does that look like, right. And so I think it speaks a little bit to when perhaps someone that has been marginalized or is part of a group that might be seen as marginalized gets into positions of power, how will they act? And what sits behind that that will lead those decisions? And how do we think about what drives cultural change and the ways in which we can create systems and structures and norms that actually drive good power behaviors versus others? And obviously that’s a very, very complicated thing to do.
And so you don’t want to just see that there’s representation, but you want to think about what are the other metrics, which is what you’re asking that could measure that sense of inclusion and a culture that actually brings out the best in that diverse group rather than perpetuates a previous culture or a culture that might say, “You are there, but you are not actually included to be part of it…”
And for us, it’s how can we unpick that? What can that look like? Obviously engagement surveys aren’t perfect, but what are people’s responses to does it feel like an inflexible and inclusive workplace? So what are the stories people are telling us and the ways we can capture that in surveys? What are the behaviors or the outcomes we might expect in an environment that doesn’t have that openness and change in culture? What might that look like and how can we start to dig in to see the change? 
But simply, I guess even saying, do we still make decisions in the same way? Do we still have the same processes to achieve the outcomes that we’ve set for things that we want to do? Do we see any measurable change in what drives culture…?
And that’s just one lens that might help to think through, “Well, if we are wanting a change in mindsets or behaviors, but we are not changing any of those things, and there’s no demonstrated impact change on those activities, how could we expect that there’s a cultural change…?” You might change representation, but not actually change how we do things, right.
Relational mapping and indices 
If we’re putting numbers out there or indices or things like that, there’s also the invitation to make it less scary or make it not as ambiguous so that actually the value of the index can be utilized by different people for different means as well. And know the limitations of it too. Again, I think that the thought process that any of these, you can somehow neatly tie things up in a bow, that they aren’t going to be living and breathing and have an evolutionary kind of perspective as you work through, this limits you.
There are different people you’re trying to influence or help or educate or illuminate or drive to change, and being okay with the fact that they might need different things and they might need different ways of getting it. And some people might check the numbers and the detail and the data and show me the statistics. And others might come along generally with more of the story and the illumination or the diving in on those little raindrops or so forth. 
Connective tissue of relations, knowledge and sharing time together
I wondered with your impact framework, who are your different audiences, and do you see that there are different messages or different measures for those different audiences to help them from the context that they’re coming from understand or move forward so that the goal of bringing ultimately together? In gender finance, sometimes we talk about the role of translators between the gender equality field and the finance field. And actually, we need a lot of people that know both languages so we can start to come together. But also we need to kind of recognize where people are at to help them feel safe and validated to come along the journey. Do you think of different audiences who impact framework? Do they have different measures that you would emphasize or talk through or a different framing of that…? Maybe I need to be challenged too in my way of thinking of this.
Erin Chemery, UNESCO

Thursday 24 February 2022

AIME is a member of UNESCO’s Global Education Coalition. The Coalition is a grouping of 200+ partners, including ed-tech companies, big-tech companies, NGOs and CSOs, contributing to ensure recovery, resilience and reimagining of education systems in response to COVID-19. The Coalition wants to equip 1 million young people with skills for employability, help 1 million learners benefit from remedial learning in STEAM, provide 1 million teachers with remote learning skills. AIME is exploring MentorClass as an opportunity for teachers within UNESCO’s Global Teacher Campus.

Full audio Full transcript

AIME’s vision to create a fairer world as seen from UNESCO’s point of view
I think part of your growing pain is going to be figuring how you fit into global architectures, whether that’d be the global architecture for education, or the global architecture for gender, inequity, and some of the other things that are afoot, under the umbrella of the SDGs. Because you come up many times throughout the year in various things like, “Who’s doing mentoring?” I’m like, “Well, AIME is definitely doing mentoring.” And they’re like “How?” And I’m like, “Well, they’ve got TV shows, and they’ve got on campus stuff and…” It’s really hard to do an elevator pitch on you I guess is my point… When I run into partners, they very often can tell me how their work fits into the sustainable development goals, whether that’s education or something else. So, that would probably be my one recommendation. Is that as you go through this process, you map that. Maybe a little clearer, from a communications perspective… Especially because your model is so different and broad compared to what we’re usually used to seeing.
“How easy should we make it? Shouldn’t this be difficult to understand for a moment?” Navigating complexity and simplicity as measurement systems
I think you can probably have both messages. It’s just a matter of crafting what that is. The system thing resonates, but there is an outcome to what you’re aiming to do. Right?… You need things to be easy to digest for investors to understand it, both in an initial pitch and also in a more detailed conversation. And so I wouldn’t sacrifice the complexity because I think there’s also value there. Because you have obviously over the years built up this breadth of a network or system and assets. So I wouldn’t discount it for the sake of being simple, but maybe taking the conversation up a level… “We are a system for… and our end game is… And we do that through…” I think that’s an easier way because I come into the conversation with a traditional, “Okay, what are they doing?” viewpoint. But if you take me out of that and you say, “Okay, we start the high level” then it helps me to frame it more in my mind.
Sharing AIME’s knowledge and the tools that can influence a whole system to think about how education works
You’ve already shifted my focus. So this is like a user experience interview. I framed you in my head as impacting marginalized youth. But now you’ve pulled me back over into impact coming from sharing that experience with policymakers. And I think that can coexist, obviously. But again there’s something in the storytelling here that’s going in a lot of different directions… If you could figure out what the main linear channel is, which is like “It’s a system, through these various different touchpoints, we impact the lives of marginalised youth to accomplish X.” And then with that experience, we then also impact indirect beneficiaries, I guess you might call them. Which would be policy makers through knowledge sharing… From a user or an audience member view, that would help me.
IMAGI-NATION {University} as a lab for the world, for UNESCO, for major organizations
The way I’m understanding it through this call it’s more like a tree. So you have this system that’s core to what your business is, your core reason for being. But then there are offshoots or indirect products. But there are other ways that then impact the environment, the ecosystem, the external networks to your network…
I think you’ve got where I was stuck. And I think you’ve already come through on how to unblock that.
Testing, tracking, capturing energy
So energy exists in the moment but then energy either builds or it tapers off. It’s really hard to sustain energy. So that makes it hard to do any sort of measure for impact. My initial thought was okay, well if energy is created then something else happens after that. And then something else happens after that. And then something else happens after that. And I was wondering if it would be possible to somehow measure because we’re trying to figure out just this sort of impact model. If I interact with AIME, what is the net change to my life? And presumably that would mean that there’s more of this sort of interconnected energy happening in my life. And that might happen through different places? Either it’s I become more inspired after a TV program or I become energized or inspired after an interaction with a mentor. Or I become energized or excited after impacting as a mentor of someone else’s life. 
Building a normal startup, if we were testing this, we would do user interviews. And we would also do maybe surveys, even before that just to get some baseline data. And then we would start building into this system, the digital product these metrics around connections… So that would be one way through the systems that you’re building digitally because you do have some of these tools. The question is whether you can make a model that would capture that engagement. But then you also have offline interactions. So I’m struggling on how you would measure that. 
My best guess right now with my view of the world today would be through selected interviews or like anecdotal user feedback interviews and or questionnaires. It’d be interesting to know how if you look at your life before interacting with AIME and you look at it now, how much closer are you to your goals than you were before. And maybe you are a seven and you feel like there’s still more that you can do but you’ve accomplished a lot. Or maybe you feel like you’re a three and that would be one way maybe of capturing the energy. The thing is, surveys and user interviews, it’s little analog. So the question is how to build that into the design process you’re building for whatever products you’re building. Sort of thinking into the future but I really like this idea of energy.
And also the sustaining of energy. It’s difficult to sustain energy. If you use the alumni example, I look at the schools I went to. I went to a really, really fun MBA program. And the alum, the sort of interactions we had, we were flying all over the world to meet each other the year after, multiple times. And we would ring each other when we had problems. That is now 15 years ago I guess. So now it’s really rare and COVID kind of broke it off. I would love to have that energy back but it’s really hard to get it going because now people have families and COVID and they’ve moved on into their professional life… That’s a global example but obviously in a local community you would have the same thing. So it’d be interesting to see how because obviously once you start building this asset of people that are aligned to your viewpoint of the world and contribute to it, you want that to keep going. So one thing would be how do you have this sort of lifetime energy sustainment?
And I don’t know what the answer is but I think there’s something there about giving back. I think you receive but then there’s something about giving back to the system that’s very rewarding to create because if I use the example of my alumni experience, I received and I gave to my community but now they’ve all gone away. So how would I receive energy from that community? Again, I would give back to those that are going through the experience now. That would be probably the right way to do it. 
Have people in the global policy dialogue space identified a gap that what we’re measuring and how we’re seeing impact is not quite enough and we need a wider frame?
I was on the Global Education Monitoring Report team for a long  time. I remember those conversations being really difficult. The problem of the Global Education Monitoring Report is that they are tasked to monitor our progress on education. Huge, right? How would you, and you have to narrow down that somehow. And so in the development of the sustainable goal for education, for example, SDG4, they worked on and the Global Education Monitoring Report was involved in the creation of these indicators. It was a negotiation process, a two year long, very long negotiation process to figure out what those and so there’s like seven, I don’t know indicators within education because they know that they can monitor that because there’s data to collect on it. And so it’s an assumption and an exception that there’s a lot outside of those indicators that we’re just not able to capture.
But of course the community wants to capture that because there’s a lot of knowledge in what’s not coming through in the indicators. But the indicators are a way to at least do a bare minimum of tracking. And that’s what I would call it is like the bare minimum. Countries signed up for SDG4, they’re committed to it. And so now we need to see what progress they’re making and this is our best way of doing it, but there’s a lot happening outside of those lines. 
The way that I see us picking up those examples is through a lot of the dialogues that we have, the policy dialogue. We had this policy dialogue forum Kigali in December and that was focused on teachers and teacher policy… I think that’s where your voice would come in, more in the dialogue part. 
Kristine Dery, Macquarie University

Monday 28 February 2022

Kristine Dery is  exploring a research project with AIME around a kindness currency and the future of banking. She is Associate Dean Post-experience programs and Professor of Work,Technology and Innovation at Macquarie Business School and former Academic Research Fellow with MIT Sloan Center for Information Systems Research. Her work and interests centre on understanding how large companies can transform their workforce for the digital era and create employee experiences that empower people to be the best they can be.

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What impact work have you seen in your career or worked on, which has been able to provide people with a very accessible doorway into the house?
The MIT Media Lab was incredibly exciting when it was started, and it’s remained an incredibly exciting place… because it provided a place to play that nobody else fitted into in the university. That was its whole reason for being: that anybody who didn’t fit in fitted there. They had all these different things happening, none of which were necessarily related to each other, and that didn’t matter. They could all learn from each other.
Now, it lost its way because it started to chase more and more dollars to fund what it was doing. And in the process of doing that, forgot about what made it great in the first place and forgot about the ethical structures that sat around it, and started to receive money, as most of you know, from someone who was particularly unethical, which was Jeffrey Epstein. And that nearly created the undoing of the entire Media Lab, created the undoing of the guy who ran it. And unfortunately, it’s got a long way to go to recover from that. 
Now, I think it’s a really good lesson. We’ve got to be careful that we’re always, always what we started out to be, which is this open place of learning that anyone can play in, and particularly people who don’t fit anywhere else.
Now, at the same time, as I was at MIT, I became really fascinated by a building called Building 20. Building 20 was a garage, if you like. It was an old beat up building that was created out of postwar materials, because that was all that was available at the time. And it was set up to solve a particularly difficult problem, which was how did America influence the war by being able to take this little startup called Radar and see if they could scale it to the extent where it could actually influence the outcome of something that was going to solve a world problem and change the direction of the world for all time. So they set up this building and people came to it from all around the place, physicists initially, to solve this one problem. 
The building was made up of temporary wartime materials so it didn’t matter what happened to it. So they started cutting holes in it and doing things to it that you would never be allowed to do anywhere else in the university. And they created an extraordinary place for people to play, not unlike the Media Lab… They solved the problem of Radar in a very short period of time… two years… 
But after the war, as everybody flooded back onto campus, there wasn’t enough space for everybody. And so Building 20, that was meant to be pulled down, stayed alive, and into it went a whole lot of other people. And they were people like Naom Chomsky who was a philosopher, people who were doing work around music, people doing work around linguistics, people who didn’t belong together, much in the same way as the Media Lab. But they didn’t fit anywhere else, so they shoved them into Building 20. And this building, by this stage, was falling apart because they’d been cutting so many holes in it and doing so many things to it. But out of that building came nine Nobel prize winners. And I say that because we’ve never been able to replicate it since, at MIT. Somehow we lost the secret sauce. We lost the thing that made it really special in the beginning.
Now, you ask yourself the question, well, why is that? What is that secret sauce? And it’s the same question that the Media Lab had to ask itself? What makes us special? And how do we make sure that we trap that, or we understand that and we don’t lose it as we get bigger or as we become more institutionalized?
I share those two stories because both of those places had enormous impact, and don’t have that same impact today. Building 20, I think, was special… because it brought together all of these really unsuspecting people in novel ways. It made their work really transparent. They could see each other’s work… It wasn’t hidden. Their work was all transparent and available for everybody to come and play with and make suggestions around. And everyone was invited. Everyone was part of it, of the conversation and whatever they wanted to add.
I think that was one reason why they did so many extraordinary things. They created their own rules. And that makes me think a lot about AIME. I’ve observed you being really amazing at saying, “Well, why is… It doesn’t have to be like that. There could be a new rule. There could be a new way of looking at these problems.” But how do you preserve that to make sure that you continue to have that sort of impact and don’t become institutionalized in the views? Those two stories have influenced me a lot and I think about you in that same sort of context in many ways.
Designing with space for emergence and for entropy
I think this idea that we keep having impact is not realistic… Building 20 died. It got pulled down. And people mourn and there are plaques for it, and people come together that were part of it… and all of that kind of thing. And that shows to me how successful it really was. But the Media Lab, you have to ask the question, should it have died? Was the reason that it went out and sold its soul because it was looking for something that really wasn’t there in the first place? So I think having this mode of constant regeneration is a really good thing, and having some space to think about where the next areas of impact are is a really good thing.
I think… always holding that little bank of space where we can think and where we can evaluate and come up with new ideas is just incredibly precious and important.
Return on relations & an impact measurement of ‘the space in between’
The interesting idea around impact is to put a value on that space in between. We always measure productivity based on how many things, how much we can do in a certain amount of time, but imagine if we started to think about productivity as actually being some of the blank spaces.
Lessons from following the energy currents, good vibrations, good relations
I think you know when you have the right balance, because you start asking different questions, things… have a different meaning, and you start asking different questions to get different insights. When you’re asking the same questions as everybody else, then you’ve got a problem. You’re not finding that energy and you’re not seeing the gaps and you’re not understanding what you don’t know. It’s when you start asking different questions and you start posing those questions in different ways to get different insights. We’re not very good at asking questions, I’ve discovered. 
There are so many unexplained things. There’s so many loose ends. And this is not a defined science. This is not clear cut. We don’t know… What we do know is that there are ways of creating different types of thinking and we need technologies to enable us to look at data in different ways, to churn around data, to give us new insights, to enable us to do things differently. 
What is the essence of impact? And how do you construct it?
We talked, earlier in the year, about when New Zealand was measuring sense of wellbeing as opposed to GDP, these buckets of wellbeing. How well are our citizens? How healthy is their state of mind? What does mental health look like? Is everybody being fed?… They’re pouring those things into the bucket to say, “Well, GDP is over here. That’s one way of thinking about it, but all of these things are actually what makes us a great society. And so let’s measure those things and see what that bucket looks like.”
If I go back to Building 20, I think they valued different things. I don’t think they chased publication. I don’t think they chased grant money, which is what we do in traditional universities. They chased opportunities to make a difference and they set their sights really high. Bose, for example, which came out of Building 20. Bose ended up being a very successful business, but what was the essence of Bose was that they believed that there were opportunities to create sound and different ways to understand sound, to understand music… They had a much more altruistic view on what they were trying to achieve. Now, a business came out of it, and that generated a whole lot of opportunities to do new and more interesting things, but they came there to seek different truths.
AIME as an imagination lab for testing ideas and to expand thinking and connectivity at scale for kids from outside the margins
We are about to launch a project at Macquarie, which is with one of the big banks. And it’s about what is the future of banking? So that’s a big question. What do young people want from banking? Who’s being left out of banking?… Banking’s always been a very finite narrow world of suits and ties and white men… If you throw away all the boundaries, what would good banking look like? What do we want it to be on a blank canvas? Now, that would be a really interesting project for some of your kids to look at.
Ed Stevenette and Pauline Laravoire, Learning Planet

Tuesday 1 March 2022

AIME and Learning Planet are co-designing a 10-year project tracking organisations who are bringing imagination and action together to transform education. The idea: bring together 10 organisations working on one big idea to transform education, track their journey and impact over 10 years, gather knowledge from their innovations and intelligence to plug back into education systems to create change. AIME and Learning Planet have had a growing collaborative relationship over the past two years through IMAGI-NATION {TV}, the #LearningPlanet Festival, the Learning Planet Youth Empowerment Circle and more.

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Unlikely connections, heat spots in network mapping and emergent design versus controlled design systems
EdIn Learning Planet… I like to see myself as a facilitator of the experiences, the smaller experiences that we’re trying to put together, the smaller collaborations, the smaller, meaningful conversations. So I’m always trying to make sense of how do you create the meaningful in the small, within a bigger system… how do you facilitate experiences that help people make sense of the individual, local and global challenges that mean something to them? I feel there is a challenge there of how we make the connections on these different levels to actually feel grounded in wherever we are based. And so my starting point with that was looking at purpose building pedagogies. That’s another project that we have going on at Learning Planet Institute around, what are different ways that you can help young adults find their purpose? What are research back strategies? And… how do you then connect this to the local and the global? I guess my entry point is probably a consistent insecurity honestly: I always find the meaning in my work from the things that are really difficult to measure.
Activating a club to keep pushing the limits of imagination / looking at the accelerators
EdWe are trying to set up practically circles, collaborative circles in the community. I don’t know whether they have or actually will be based on a completely robust, detailed theory of change. It’s more identifying where the need seems to be in the community and trying to set up collaborations that follow their own kind of unique journeys and things can emerge… An imagination club or circle… can be a holding space, almost like a common space, to any collaborations that emerge… It’s focused purely on imagination, and I feel like that would be so powerful, for any other form of development. 
What resonates around AIME’s world of impact?
PaulineIt reminds me of a couple of sessions I’ve had as a member of another community called Nexus. What Nexus aims to be is a network of people managing networks, and it has been quite useful to find a small group of people, that actually were sharing the same challenges in terms of trying to generate impactful projects and impact overall from building a community and managing a community. And they have quite interesting facilitation processes in terms of unlikely connections, as well as trying to make sure that each and every one of the interactions that happen can actually be practically and very concretely helpful. So they, for example, run this peer to peer coaching exercise, where you come with a problem statement and then another three, four people that are there, in the core, become your 30 minute consultant on that particular problem statement.
Over the world, we see that there’s more and more communities, or want-to-be communities of organizations trying to consolidate effort, and it’s a challenging task… I have a feeling that although community building and unlikely connections are really powerful, I feel that AIME has something even more powerful in its focus on youth and making sure that education becomes very inclusive and accessible to everybody, no matter the background… I don’t have access to or visibility on your resources, the amount of people you have access to, but I feel that the amount of impactful stories that you build up through empowering these youth, all over the world, is so part of your DNA and so part of who you are, and I wouldn’t want the AIME network to lose itself away from that initial focus. Because it’s so impactful and powerful in itself that I think it makes your strength.
EdI was trying to have in mind what are the things, if I was to boil down what I understand or feel connected to AIME on, what has really resonated for me… it’s been always acknowledging the land, from where you came. I’m European, white, British. Until the first conversation I had with AIME, I’d never even thought of that question, which has provoked so many internal questionings and reflections since then, and actually thinking and trying to understand that, and I say that as a former history student… That was visceral in me. 
Around hacking spaces and seeing the fun and the challenge in hacking… what I’m learning is there are often real pain points in building networks. You can spend a lot of time being frustrated with the systems in which you’re working and the systems that you want to break through. And I’ve felt like I’ve connected to AIME’s… I get the impression in some ways it seemed like a game… in terms of the joy of what you’re doing, but also in terms of, “Well, there’s a space here that we need to hack, let’s just go ahead and do it.” And that’s been quite helpful as almost a reassurance and as an energy giver, in the work I’m trying to do, which is really at the intersection of some very bureaucratic institutions and some very agile fast moving spaces.
I was struck by taking part in IMAGI-NATION {TV} And not for one second did I think of, how many people may be watching this conversation. It was all about, the people that I got to discuss with and it just so happened to be shared online… That completely inspired our World Tour sessions at the Festival. It’s inspired a lot of my work sense of really pushing and challenging, whenever we’re talking about the numbers of people that we want to attract, to always have that in mind: for what, why, and what’s the meaning that we want to attribute from it?
I’m looking at the moment, how you identify meaningful content that you’re absorbing, because I’m realizing across podcasts, social media, conversations, there are so many data points that you’re gathering, a day. I found what was quite meaningful [in the impact book], is that there are these little moments of saying, “I read this, or I considered this today, or I thought of this.” And that felt like moments that would often otherwise… be missed or not documented. That made me think again around, what is it that we actually want to help people to capture, in conversations? 
There’s an incredible lady called Nariman Moustafa, who runs an agile learning center in Egypt, as part of the Sonic Network and is a founder of Ecoversities with Manish. One of the things she spoke really passionately about… is the biggest strength of a facilitator is to have the nerve to allow things to go wrong. And to actually understand what you mean by allowing things to go wrong. And that also impacts who you give space to and who you actively take space from, and what is your relationship with the space that you’re occupying. And ever since she said that, that’s been my big reflection on, what do we mean when we talk about co-creating with people? What do we mean when we talk about success? Is part of success, knowing the spaces and having that strength to go take detours on the route. So we are not just turbo charging towards impact, but we are knowing and identifying the moments and the spaces where we can actually say, “Yeah, let’s allow this to unravel in order to then weave back together again.”
PaulineEd you just aerated so many items of AIME’s DNA, but interestingly, nothing was referring to youth… Of course, all of these items are so important, and I couldn’t agree more with what Ed was sharing, but it might be showing that maybe everything that you build and you continue to build on top of what you already have as a starting journey. Maybe it could be meaningful to redirect this universe that you’re creating, to redirect this community and this ecosystem that you’re building, towards your primary beneficiary. Because to me, this is where your impact is powerful is to give back to these youth, that you started your journey for.
Tyson Yunkaporta, Deakin University Indigenous Knowledges Systems Lab

Wednesday 2 March 2022

Tyson Yunkaporta’s work creates spaces where we can explore and connect Indigenous thinking and systems and adopt an Indigenous complexity science lens to develop new approaches to some of the world’s biggest challenges. He is currently working with AIME and Ethic on a solution to embed Indigenous systems thinking and intelligence from outside the margins into accessible actions for major leaders of systems in government and corporations globally, as well as evolve the social impact model to one that illuminates the power of emergent, participatory, co-design and is able to measure relations, connections and network.

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Understanding energy in partnership/alliance ecosystems
JMB says the dreaming energy is supernatural power that can only interact with natural systems that have limits, embedded negative feedback loops, otherwise you end up with mushroom clouds coming out of Einstein equations. I’m paraphrasing here. An unnatural system running on limitless desire simply can’t access that supernatural energy. But at the same time, he says, there’s a tension. There is critical work to be done on energy and modern systems, but how can we help them develop healthy ways when they seek only to extract from us for unhealthy purposes? How can we do this work in the knowledge economies of empires in institutions that kill the relationships holding our knowledge? He embraces the tension though, because that’s where he lives. Finding potential energy there in what he calls Jalgnay, which is his people’s word for the invisible substance that gives rise to a spark.
Making the change that needs to happen
To look at actual systemic change rather than a coat of paint, it takes a lot of doing across a lot of disciplines, which makes things complicated.
I think as individuals and communities we’re already there. We’re a species that has that patented into us. No hierarchies in cooperation, collaboration, that’s what we do as a species. We already have that. All of this evil and all of this inequity is not arising from some dark place in our hearts, it’s not arising from the bigotry of one group or anything else, it’s purely systemic. So I don’t know. It’s not about changing hearts and minds, it’s purely about changing a big experimental economic system where the experiment has gotten away on them and they don’t know how to stop it. And that’s the trick. If I had the answer, I’d be doing it right now. I wouldn’t be talking to you.
Measuring the systems change that AIME is making
AIME offers all those metrics and does the dance that it has to do for that. And anybody who’s funding AIME is happy to have those metrics because that’s what they can show in the quarterly meeting, et cetera, so that they’re getting bang for their buck and to justify continuing. But the success in those metrics and what can be measured that way is not why they’re giving the money to AIME at all. It’s more of a heart thing. I think you don’t have to spend much time in communication with AIME to see that there is something else going on and it’s in that relational side… There’s some kind of X factor there at play and people want to see where that goes, because I guess that’s where the hope lies as well.
That X factor… that’s Indigenous kinship and Indigenous relatedness. The way our relationships are built in that really dynamic space in between people. And we have a relational way of being that is very difficult to define and even more difficult to measure. But… it’s really clear that AIME is built on those principles and that everything that’s done, even if not explicitly so, is modelled on Indigenous relational structures and relational discourse… So that’s a really strong X factor. 
I guess that next big step is to be able to scale that to the level of a digital nation for which we have algorithms for that Indigenous kinship and how it works… That’s completely what we’re trying to put together. And through that more active Indigenous research in the labs around that, because then you’ll have something to be able to measure the effects and to track those, or you’ll have numerical indicators through that tracking of the network effects on the website. You’ll actually have statistical things you can see and measurements that will show those really strong indicators… So you’re actually trying to build that into the structure and the algorithms and the neural nets that will be supporting and running this IMAGI-NATION.
We’ll actually be able to measure the network effects of having strong links, like fewer, but stronger and high quality links online rather than quantity of links, and our relationships that have that kind of accountability within them. We were just talking this morning about a really desirable knock-on effect of that would be it’s much more difficult to spout disinformation online if you’re accountable to people that you actually have strong relationships with for that disinformation. If you have half a million followers then one week you can say that COVID’s a hoax and they’re fudging the numbers and nobody’s dying at all, and then five minutes later you can say, millions of people are dying from COVID and they all could have been saved if only they listened to us and let us use Ivermectin. And you are not remotely accountable for those contradictory messages or the damage that you do there and even the lives that you damage through sprouting that. 
But that’s much more difficult if your core interaction in that space is based on five very strong unlikely connections. Not just people who are similar to you, but the ones who are dissimilar from you and who in all likelihood you would never have any chance to meet. So I think it resolves a lot of the tensions, and a lot of the problems, a lot of the alienation and everything else that comes from social media use. 
So it’s not a social network, it’s a relational network. And right down to the metrics that we are using to measure it, we’re finding different units of value in there. So in social networks measure value in terms of eyeball hours, because that’s what they can trade to advertisers and to agencies that want to use people’s data. But the value of this network isn’t eyeball hours, it’s… imagination minutes… And it’s about the quality of the exchange and then what happens that connects that back to the real world.
For the measurement, we’re going to have to build that on some better tools… Johny Mair has had quite a bit to do with it and he’s pretty good at making tools that measure things that usually aren’t measured, for example. And of course we’re having our African hackathons to put together the neural nets that are grounded in kinship thinking for how to make all that work. And the math we’re interested in is the equation for theory of the adjacent possible, but then all the innovation math that’s come out of that more recently, out of Italy that’s looking at the way those different combinatorials form and the more complexity those relations form, how that produces innovations over time and all that sort of thing.
But it’s measuring the knock-on effects that is going to take more chaos theory than we can handle on our own though, so that’s the thing. But I think, like I said, people are happy to measure their effects and put in their reports the traditional metrics, but that’s not why they’re funding AIME. People are helping AIME because they feel it, they feel that benefit that you’re only getting qualitative sort of feedback about the power of that relationality, which we’re still going to have to find ways to measure.
I don’t think what Adam’s looking for is the sexy dance, the inspirational stuff, it’s more he seems to be inspired by the challenge of finding a way to measure the immeasurable. And we’re really into that.
Greg Hutchinson, Bain & Company

Thursday 3 March 2022

For more than 10 years, Greg Hutchinson has been a friend of AIME and coach, mentor and advisor to Jack, sharing the lesson that a problem well framed is a problem half solved. Now, he’s thinking about a project analysing systems thinking, Indigenous systems thinking, relations, kinship mapping by looking at 1,000 IMAGI-NATION {Ambassadors} as a focus group over time. He has spent his career at Bain & Company solving problems with and for leaders around the world. 

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On framing the problem / solution (esp. for decision-makers)
Whenever I read something which is articulating a vision or something that is truly profound as this is, I first of all read it as me, and then I go back and reread it, thinking about who are all the audiences that actually might read this and depending on who those audiences are, it doesn’t change the content, but it can often change the presentation… How to communicate an idea to a client depends very much on the typology of the individual. So not just the role that they’re playing in this particular case, whether they’re a philanthropist or a government agent or whatever, but actually on the individual… 
If you go to some clients, or decision-makers, I guess, they don’t want to mess around. They just want to know, “Okay, what’s the problem we’re trying to solve and what’s your answer?” And they’ll then decide whether or not they think, “Yep, that looks right, and I know that all the data analysis is there, so now let’s move forward to what do we do about it.” 
That’s part of the universe which just likes that give me the question, give me the answer and move on. There are others who hate that… So the first group is called, if you like, inductive thinking. The second group is deductive thinking, which is tell me the data, tell me how you’ve organized the data into a logic, a theory of change, and then tell me what the answer is to the question… I’m not interested in your answer until I’ve actually seen the data, seen the logic, the theory of change, seen what the combination of data and logic actually brings, and then I’ll decide whether or not I’m with you. 
And it’s interesting that you can have exactly the same data, exactly the same logic, exactly the same problem definition, exactly the same answer, but depending on the individual, if you go inductive, it’ll either work or it’ll be a train smash, and vice versa with deductive individuals.
And you might want to experiment with both, because I think there are some audiences who will respond well to one versus the other.
My guess is even amongst the five of you, the six of you, sorry, including Ben, that there are probably some who are more inductive and more deductive, and so that’s why it’s often useful to just flip the logic tree just to see whether or not it works. 
On unlikely connections & the power of story
I come from a mathematical background. So for me, it’s all about the numbers and logic and the data and so forth, but the truth is that through working with Jack and others, who are really exceptional leaders, who have helped me to understand that actually people don’t remember numbers and actually people are rarely convinced by numbers unless they’re kind of weird and geeky like me. Stories are the things that actually stick and they stick for me as well. So if you’re able to find a way for an inductive person, start with definition of the problem and then bring it to life through a story, then I think that would also really help now. It’s your end trade. But it took me a long time, as Jack knows, to come to terms with imagination and with unlikely connections eventually…
It was early one morning… about 4:00 in the morning… I was thinking about AIME and thinking about conversations I had with Jack, and trying to think about unlikely connections, and it suddenly occurred to me. I just traced back from my own life and realized that I was a product of parents who grew up in The Depression, who had nothing except the good fortune to be born into a family where genetically they started with high IQ, but from then on, everything was basically self-made, but they had a hell of a good start because it was a stable family, but it was in The Depression and then it was in the war, and so they were deeply immersed in World War II and all of what happened after that, but had a passion for education, they had a passion to help their three children to achieve the best that they wanted to and could do, could achieve, but they had no money and no formal education and so on and so forth.
So it’s a story you’ve heard a thousand times, I’m sure, but by that stage, we lived in a stable country that actually had a pretty decent education system and a government that actually was thinking rather than the ones we’ve had since then, and so the net result was that myself and my two older brothers actually got a very good education and also great opportunities. So unlikely connections, well, the first is actually who your parents are. That’s an unlikely connection. The most important decision in life is choosing your parents well and it’s the one thing that you actually never get to choose.
And then as I trace through my own life from then, there were just a small number of unlikely connections that actually profoundly changed… not many, but a small number of really significant connections… It just took me a long time and 4:00 in the morning finally to get that clarity, and I think at that point, I realized that actually life is not fair, it’s profoundly unfair because everything that’s happened to me in my life is not the product of my hard work, it’s the product of good luck, nothing more than that. So if there’s a story which could bring unlikely connection to the imagination to life as a problem definition that, I think, could potentially really cause this to sing.
On the tension between data & story
What I respond to well is actually the data and then the story that brings the data to life, not the other way around. So if I hear a story and then hear the data, then all of my brain is, “Is that story right, or am I actually being manipulated?” Because here’s the data. And often when you get the data, like you say, you can interpret in different ways. So you need the second and third level of the data, at least for someone who’s intensely skeptical and critical in the way of thinking… if a story speaks to you, it’s not just because it’s compelling, it’s because it’s actually consistent with the facts. It doesn’t have to tell a whole story, but it has to tell the core part of the story about, in this particular case, what outcomes actually look like and to personalize that. Some people just relate to the story and that’s nice, but personally, I think it’s dangerous, but I think therefore you have a moral and ethical obligation that when you do tell stories that it’s consistent with the facts. 
On connection through values
There are people who I can think of through life who I didn’t really have much of a connection with until it became clear that they were interested in social equity and social justice, and that overrode everything. It overrode different personalities, different backgrounds, different whatever, because it was a shared value, and to me, it’s values that drive behaviors…
Mobilizing networks requires a set of aligned incentives, which are derived from aligned values.
On evolving
I think probably with imagination and unlikely connections, it feels like a leap, but actually it’s an evolutionary change… The fact that now AIME operates in lots of different communities in lots of different parts of the world, that actually will drive innovation because AIME will fail faster if it doesn’t innovate because it’s in environments now which are unfamiliar, different, operate in different ways with, again, a whole diversity of views… One way to think about AIME is like an innovation hub where AIME was started as something that never had been done before. It is entirely innovative and it’s evolved rapidly over the last 16, 17 years in ways that couldn’t have been predicted on day one and shouldn’t have been because they would’ve only slowed down that evolutionary process. And now what you’re doing is to… inject a lot more energy into that evolutionary process by actually stepping outside the places where you’re comfortable, changing operating model or evolving operating model, not profoundly change, but evolving it, and also being fundamentally different and picking up and going to new places. 

6. Interlude: A moment in the imagi-garden

Within the IMAGI-VERSE lies a garden that has inspired how we think about our impact frame. It’s a place where we can imagine, create, play, share, reflect… imagine.

Let’s pause our deep thinking, analysing and weaving, and stop here for a moment. 

Liam Milner, the designer of this imagi-garden, invites us: “A swing is waiting for you in the IMAGI-VERSE. Just close your eyes, hear the ocean, birds in the trees above, and you’re swinging back and forth.”

As we swing, consider the big old tree we’re swinging from. A fruit tree. Consider the wonder I gain, as the gardener, when I see that first little shoot break ground and know that my actions have helped this to happen. Consider the life that happens in the small universe of roots, trunk, branches and leaves; the birds and insects that gather, feed, shelter and multiply. Consider the absolute joy of kids climbing to the top or playing on the swing, the pleasure of napping in the shade or picnicking in the grass at the foot of the tree. Consider the sight and scent of little blossoms and then ripe fruit waiting. Everything that is experienced, learnt, exchanged by gardener, by kids playing, by passersby, by birds and insects and soil–year in, year out, season to season. The effect it has on them today and beyond, the effect it has on others through them. All this is part of the return on the time, energy, effort and love invested in growing this tree. The relational aspect of the tree. Meaningful, yet so often unmeasured. 

And now expand that view to the entire garden. Take in all the elements, the entire ecosystem of the garden. Imagine the interconnectedness of everything in the garden, the touchpoints and interwoven pathways of everyone who comes through it. The network effect of the imagi-garden, greater than the sum of its parts. 

Before we leave the garden, an offering of knowledge and inspiration from Kabir Dhanji on the history, technique and joy of gardens:

  1. The history of land plant evolution is a complex and fascinating topic spanning half a billion years. The movement of plants from water onto land facilitated the subsequent evolution of animals by altering the atmospheric concentration of oxygen and providing food and habitats. Without the greening of the planet, we would not exist.
  2. Gardens, as opposed to the wilderness which they attempt to mimic, in part, tend to be more organised, or organised with a thought and reason. They can, where nature cannot, be more easily organised and moulded separate to the natural ecosystem on an expedited timeframe.
  3. They are smaller, even when large, compared to the landscape.
  4. Garden construction and design was the beginning of what is known as “landscape architecture”.  It began in West Asia and spread westward into what is Europe today.  By the way, the word, “garden” comes from the Old English word, “geard”, which means “enclosure”.
  5. From Persia, with “Darius the Great”, came a growing emphasis on gardens with beauty.  It was said that he had a “paradise garden”. This type of garden comes from the old Iranian culture where land was enclosed inside a wall for many reasons. The paradise garden has an enclosure wall of some sort around cultivated land. The land could be wild. It could be well tended and fussed over. It could also be a watery greenery. But it was all done for a purpose and thought about by its owner for a long time. The idea of the paradise garden wasn’t just to go food. This garden concept had a much more philosophical purpose. An axis of symmetry was very important to a Persian/Middle Eastern garden.
  6. Gardens became a refuge for the educated. Places where “higher” learning and reflection took place. In the East, Zen gardens appeared, and emphasized the concept of using a garden for reflection and increasing one’s own wisdom.
  7. The best gardens are those that make people happy and comfortable. 
  8. Traditional basic tools for designing a garden are:
    1. Sketch a plan
    2. Make way for new growth by removing deadwood
    3. Check the soil         
    4. Help acclimate plants before they go into the ground
    5. Plant
    6. Tend to the garden
  9. Line is one of the most important and useful of all design elements. No matter which types of line you use, be aware that lines lead the eye. Lines going away from you on the ground draw you forward. Horizontal lines on the ground slow you down. Vertical lines lead the eye up and out of the garden. Curving lines take the eye on an intriguing journey. All are desirable. It’s up to you to know where the lines will lead you or your eye and what you will see when you get there.
  10. Give your plants room to grow.
  11. Plant growth and geographic distribution are greatly affected by the environment. If any environmental factor is less than ideal, it limits a plant’s growth and/or distribution.
  12. In geographies where there are four-seasons, it’s worth considering that while flowers are a highly attractive attribute, many plants offer more than just blooms. Look past the flowers and use foliage, fruit, and bark for yearlong colour, form, and texture. Spring and summer may be showtime for flowers, but autumn belongs to the turning leaves of oakleaf hydrangeas and the fruiting branches of winter­berries.
  13. “A garden is a thing of beauty and a job forever.”
  14. A garden should respond well to the adjacent landscape and buildings. Some gardens are very introspective, with apparently little attempt to benefit from any surrounding views or features, and designed without consideration of the impact of noise, orientation, local climate and any other external factors. 
  15. All gardens can make a positive contribution to biodiversity.
  16. Gardening replenishes and protects the soil.
  17. Does the garden provide routes, ‘journey’s’ and surprises?
  18. Have practical considerations been designed in?
  19. I am not too sure that any single aspect of a garden’s design makes any particular garden great, perhaps only that it exists and that it is used, and continues to exist.
  20. Gardens should do no harm.
  21. Either directly or indirectly, most plant problems are caused by environmental stress
  22. If gardening makes us feel better, it also makes us into better people. It is a moral education, a school of life, instilling virtues such as pragmatism, patience, perseverance, reliability, and humility, which then transfer out into other spheres.
  23. A garden is a microcosm of the outside world. Gardeners are acutely aware of the rhythms and cycles of nature: which flowers are in their prime, when to plant out the seedlings, when and how and how much it last rained. Just as music is time made audible, so the garden is “time made visible”.
  24. “Gardens are our teachers.  A single flower, grass, or tree is geography, science, mathematics, art, economics and more.  There is a gardener in all of us, especially when tragedy is at our doorstep.”
  25. John O’Donohue once said, “The human soul is hungry for beauty.  We seek it everywhere – in landscape, music, art, clothes, furniture, gardening, companionship, love, religion, and in ourselves.  No one would desire not to be beautiful.  When we experience the beautiful, there is a sense of homecoming.”
  26. “My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece” ― Claude Monet


Between the garden ↑ and the roadmap ↓

How do we link it all together? 

How do we bring all this complex stuff into a big picture that is simple and clear and leaves space for things to emerge? 

How do we anchor relations-exchange-knowledge in every area of work in our roadmap? 

How do we connect all the elements of the NATION to the different areas of our impact garden? 

What are we missing? 

What can we do without? 

And how do we bring all this thinking and learning to a grand finale that does justice to all the work that’s gone into this book so far?

What do you see as the ending for a book like this?

Help us write the next chapter. Tell us what you’re thinking down ↓↓↓

7. AIME’s Impact System: Key project investments 2022-2025 

AIME builds bridges powered by unlikely connections (TUTOR SQUADS)

To create more highways of exchange between those inside and outside the margins

To power a system which accelerates exchange between those inside and outside the margins (IMAGI-NATION)

To plug intelligence from outside the margins back into the system and build a fairer world.

Our goal is to connect young people with STORIES  to see the potential we all have, KNOWLEDGE for freedom of the mind, MENTORS for two-way exchange of ideas & knowledge, and a GLOBAL NETWORK for exchange of opportunities, wealth, ideas…

We make these unlikely connections through Tutor Squads and through the tools, relations and actions that make up our world of IMAGI-NATION. And we see measurable impact and relational value across all these touchpoints for young people outside the margins and stakeholders at large.

We’ll be delving into mapping relational networks across all our work and, over 12 months, follow the next 10 steps after that initial connection to see just how far the current from that first spark travels in people’s lives.

Considering how, when, where and why we talk about impact, we’ll look to develop measurements, mapping and an overall frame that can give us a full view of each of our key project (and energy) investments. For each of the contexts in which we currently tell AIME’s impact story, and for potential future use cases, we will want:

  • The measurements and case studies to give us a full data picture of each key project
  • The mapping to tell us about how each person builds relations within our network and values their IMAGI-NATION experience 
  • The frame to give us a view of the knowledge and intelligence from outside the margins that we’re gathering and activating over time to plug back into the system.

We’ll do this for our physical mentoring, for all {Uni} student streams, for all our digital mentoring and for our network at large.

For {Labs} in particular, we’ll track the direct participants in the show to start and then, over a 12-24 month period, we’ll look to measure the impact of the show on the whole school population and the region at large.

For MOAH podcast, we’ll track the original participants, the number of hoodies into the school, qualitative feedback from teachers, students and parents. And then we look over a 12-24 month period to see the impact of the hoodie on the school and the town at large.

Across our three impact avenues, we plan to generate stories and case studies, film and video content, formal reports and comprehensive tracking data that will feed into our annual book of unlikely connections, and into an array of global and regional reports that contribute to progressing important conversations around education and social mobility for youth from outside the margins.

Within 10 years, we want to see a change in the way the world views impact and people networking in meaningful ways that demonstrate the solution to the current ‘network poverty’ that people from outside the margins face. 

Key project investments 2022-2025

TUTOR SQUADSConnecting kids outside the margins with mentors via 1000+ Tutor Squads, with JOY (Just Organisations & You). Uni students, corporates, organisations, everyday citizens give the gift of their time to mentor and tutor kids in school.
Through Tutor Squads, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see uni students, corporates, organisations, everyday citizens…
1000 Tutor Squads from Hoodie Day to Hoodie Day
# Mentors # Mentees# Tutor Squads# schools# countriesCase studiesRelations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shift(Knowledge / intelligence to plug back into the system)
AMBASSADORSTraining via IMAGI-NATION {UNIVERSITY} to create change and reach 100K kids. Ambassadors will share opportunities available from AIME and the network with their community.  
UNIVERSITY STUDENTS (PHYSICAL MENTORING)University students in groups of 5 will run an AIME chapter of 100 mentors and 100 mentees per location. 
Through AIME student chapters, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see uni students…
100 students at 20 universities: 10 Aus 10 global
# Mentors# Mentees# Factory Days# Tutor Squads# School transition # Leadership PositionsCase studiesWeb profiles of all AmbassadorsPersonal development survey, university validated, AIME publishesRelations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shift(Knowledge / intelligence to plug back into the system)
NotesPhysical Mentoring will be a focus of the research project Sparking Imagination Education: Transforming inequality in schools. Initial insights available 2023. 
TEACHERS (IN SCHOOL MENTORING)Teachers take on the AIME tools in imagination and mentoring to their school community, while 1 student on the entrepreneur project as an ambassador.
Through IMAGI-NATION {Teachers}, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see teachers…We see schools…
100 teachers:77 Aus Indigenous focus 23 global
MentorClass # MentorClass lessons# students reached # other impact measurements TBC
Web profiles of all AmbassadorsRelations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shift(Knowledge / intelligence to plug back into the system)
Pop Up IMAGI-NATION {Factory}# Community engaged # students taking the stage # other impact measurements TBC
NotesAustralian Research Council as research partnerSVA as potential impact partner
SCHOOL STUDENTS  – {ENTREPRENEURS} (DIRECT)Students implement their own entrepreneur project for change, while a teacher from their school takes the AIME tools to the school community. 
Through IMAGI-NATION {Entrepreneurs}, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see teachers…We see schools…We see communities…
100 school students:77 Aus Indigenous focus 23 global
# school students#projects for change  # other outcomesPersonal development survey, university validated, AIME publishes.Case Studies – IMAGI-NATION live presentation videos / 1 week on IMAGI-NATION {Labs} featuring student project films.Web profiles of all AmbassadorsRelations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shift(Knowledge / intelligence to plug back into the system)
NotesImpact partner opportunity / TED Talk group?
EXECUTIVES (CO-CEO MODEL)Executives in groups of 5 from their organisation level the playing field by implementing the Co-CEO model and fast tracking talent from outside the margins. 
Through IMAGI-NATION {Executives}, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see organisations…
20 partner orgs:10 Aus 10 Globally
# Co-CEO’s# Using UNCx5 as organising principlePost-experience survey, 3-year post surveyWeb profiles of all AmbassadorsRelations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shift(Knowledge / intelligence to plug back into the system)
NotesImpact partner opportunity
CITIZENSHumans wanting to: 1) implement their own change project OR 2) run an AIME tutor squad
Through IMAGI-NATION {Citizens}, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see everyday humans…
100 citizens globally
# Students reached via Staff and alumni tutor squads# Outcomes for citizens TBCProfiles of schoolsRelations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shift(Knowledge / intelligence to plug back into the system)
NotesImpact partner opportunity
DIGITAL MENTORINGTools and platforms to connect young people to mentors and knowledge. 
DREAMSPACESchools connect with unlikely connections via IMAGI-NATION {Labs} Dreamspace to make their dreams for their school come true. 
Through Dreamspace, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see schools…We see communities…
40 Schools:30 Aus 10 global
# LABS episodes# schools# students involved / leading# teachers / principals involved# other outcomes TBCPre/post surveys6 months of {Labs} episodesDREAMS docoRelations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shift(Knowledge / intelligence to plug back into the system)
NotesParticipants, opportunities, case studies as a baseline. Revisit partner schools 6-12 months post production (TBC).
MAKING OF A HOODIE – SCHOOLSBuilds a mentoring bridge between a private and non-private school through MOAH podcast. School students take on a fundraising challenge, co-design a hoodie that represents their school and participate in a podcast about their experience.
Through MOAH, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see schools…We see communities…
40 School episodes18 This Hoodie episodes
# schools episodes# students involved# teachers / principals involved# Hero hoodie episodes# hero mentors involved# case studies# specific outcomes TBCYearly short interview doco per project – 16 HoodiesRelations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shift(Knowledge / intelligence to plug back into the system)
NotesEmergent impact activities likely inclusive of principal and student feedback/ semi structured interviews.Schools – longer impact project with research partners? To explore
MENTORCLASS222 mentor lessons for human kind produced from 2022-2032 to activate human intelligence from the outside in, and make learning relevant for everyone.
Through MentorClass, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see teachers…
5 episodes created with Professors11 interview-based mentor classes11 Cool Australia mentor classes
# episodes# schools# students reached# teachers using Mentorclass lessons# case studiesMini doco for each year’s class5-10 interviewsIMAGI-NATION {Labs} epsRelations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shiftARC Imagination Pedagogical Framework, partners USYD, UQ, SVA
NotesMentorClass will be a focus of the research project Sparking Imagination Education: Transforming inequality in schools. Initial insights available 2023. 
NETWORKThe online NATION where we model how society can work differently. 
Through IMAGI-NATION {Embassies}, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see communities…
# embassies# schools# students reached# connections# relations/partners# case studies# countries# specific outcomes TBCDocumentariesRelations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shift(Knowledge / intelligence to plug back into the system)
Through time spent in IMAGI-NATION, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see…
# imagination minutes spent on projectsRelations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shift(Knowledge / intelligence to plug back into the system)
IMAGI-NATION {LABS}Tapping into unlikely connections and intelligence from outside of the margins to help solve today’s challenges.
Through IMAGI-NATION {Labs}, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see…
# LABS episodes# schools# students involved / leading# guests // connections between guests# specific outcomes TBCPre/post surveysCase studiesRelations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shift(Knowledge / intelligence to plug back into the system)
HOODIE ECONOMICSThe economy that underpins AIME: elevating the exchange of time, knowledge and opportunity above money.
Through exchange of time, knowledge and opportunity, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see…
# secondment city # in kind support# opportunities presented# employers applying# individuals applying# secondments # duration of secondment – 1 mo, 3 mo, 6 moCase studiesPre/post surveysIMAGI-NATION {Labs} in current formatRelations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shiftJMB’s book on Hoodie Economics
NotesSee Kindness Currency / Hoodie Economics under emergent projects. 
JOBS & MENTORING MEETING PLACEOnline job board – Opportunity marketplace of jobs/scholarships/internships for those outside the margins, posted by stakeholders for a donation fee.
Through the Meeting Place, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see organisations…
# employers / stakeholders offering opportunities# jobs offered# mentoring offered (hours?)# students applying# jobs secured# specific outcomes TBCCase studiesPre/post surveysRelations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shift(Knowledge / intelligence to plug back into the system)
CLUB OF UNCX5A global club of relations where people from the for-profit and not-for-profit worlds let their experiences, knowledge and connections emerge. 
Through the Club of Unlikely Connections, we see…
9 x monthly sessions
# connections# sessionsBlogs?Relations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shift(Knowledge / intelligence to plug back into the system)
CULTUREWays of making space for exchanges of knowledge and opportunity with young people from outside the margins
Through fashion weeks, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see brands…

# unlikely connections made# Hoodie Economics# $ moved to fashion for good with AIME or other groups
Cases studiesIMAGI-NATION {Labs} episode every day, publishing conversations Profiled year on year on website and in annual reportRelations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shiftImagination
Through art galleries, exhibitions and classes, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see…
# Student Artists first artwork sold# Student artist case studies# Hoodie Day Corporate Hoodies – HOODIE ECONOMICS# Hoodie Day CampaignArtists’ profilesCase studiesRelations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shift(Knowledge / intelligence to plug back into the system)
Through XXX, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see teachers…
# Unlikely Connections# items donated# people / brands donating items# items sold# $$ raisedCase studiesBlogsOpportunity Value score out of 10 on opportunities each item made in the world for you and for others. That becomes the currency.
Relations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shift
(Knowledge / intelligence to plug back into the system)
FESTIVALS Making space for intelligence from outside the margins and accelerating exchange between those inside and outside the margins
FILM FESTIVALGAIME of Life campaign where kids can flip the script, take up self authorship and access opportunities for film careers.
Through the GAIME of Life film festival, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see…
# Submissions# kids involved # Selected for internships and clips madeBehind the scenes interviewsCase studiesRelations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shift(Knowledge / intelligence to plug back into the system)
NotesFilm festival partner – Industrial Light & Magic
WRITERS FESTIVALIMAGI-ZINE campaign – a magazine that is a mentor and that teachers can print and create their own with their students.
Through the IMAGI-ZINE writers’ festival, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see…
# Downloads# Schools# Kids works published# Featured in writers festival# Unlikely Connections from Writers festivalZine submissions from kidsCase studiesRelations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shift(Knowledge / intelligence to plug back into the system)
KINDNESS FESTIVAL20 hoodies from the kindness hoodie campaign featured at major music festivals to amplify a kindness economy where people can exchange festival tickets for acts of kindness.
Through the kindness festival, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see…
20 hoodies travelling the worldXX music festivals
# hoodies in circulation# people involved# countriesDoco on journey of the hoodiesStories of kindness / case studiesProfiling Via Sunday Kindness MonthlyGlobal youth culture / music magazine tracking/republishing Sunday KindnessRelations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shiftKindness Currency – via festival and Publicis App
NotesMusic festival partners – Fuzzy and Beyond the Valley
APPAREL / FASHION FOR GOOD Activated Hoodies to amplify campaigns, ideas or stories. 
HOODIE DAYWhere we rally people to the hoodie and mobilise them to run Tutor Squads in schools, thread communities together in action and create an interconnected relational web.
Through Hoodie Day, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see…
1500 corporate hoodie pre-orders1000 public orders1000 Tutor Squads
# hoodies ordered# countries$$ raised# Tutor SquadsRelations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shiftHoodie Economics
NotesPartner opportunity for university/firm to track impact.
KINDNESS HOODIEA hoodie campaign to inspire kindness around the world throughout the year (see Kindness Festival above).
Through the Kindness Hoodie, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see…
20 hoodies travelling the world
# Unlikely connections # $ moved to fashion for good with AIME or other groupsProfiling Via Sunday Kindness MonthlyIMAGI-NATION {Labs} to go deep every 3 monthsDoco on journey of the hoodiesRelations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shiftKindness currency
NotesSee kindness festival above.
MAKING SPACE HOODIEA global art initiative that features the work of youth from marginalised backgrounds on custom AIME hoodies.
Through Making Space, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see artists…We see art galleries…
Relations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shift(Knowledge / intelligence to plug back into the system)
HERO HOODIE (via Making of a Hoodie podcast)School students take on a fundraising challenge, co-design a hoodie that represents their school and participate in a podcast about their experience. 
Through the Hero Hoodie, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see teachers & principals…We see schools…
We see communities…
Relations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shift(Knowledge / intelligence to plug back into the system)
SEAWEED HOODIE A hoodie that raises funds for a seaweed farm, mentors kids and fights climate change.
Through the Seaweed Hoodie, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see…
$1M raised to build seaweed farm for Sydney
# hoodies sold# $$ raisedStories / case studiesRelations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shift(Knowledge / intelligence to plug back into the system)
RECLAIMED Artists giving deadstock clothing a new lease of life and raising funds to mentor kids.
Through XXX, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see…
AIME’s 1st fashion for good weekReclAIMEd website10 brands
# brands activated# deadstock reclaimed$$ raised# stories / case studiesStories / case studiesRelations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shift(Knowledge / intelligence to plug back into the system)
CINEMABuild cultural knowledge tools that are joyful to engage with in the form of films. Tell stories that centre Indigenous systems thinking, emergence, relations, imagination and our values as lessons.
IMAGINE The first crowd-written, crowd-produced feature-length film — a live creation mentoring experiment in filmmaking for kids from outside the margins.
Through IMAGINE, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see…
Relations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shift(Knowledge / intelligence to plug back into the system)
DREAMSWhere do dreams come from? A research documentary.  
Through Dreams, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see…
Relations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shift(Knowledge / intelligence to plug back into the system)
NotesWeave into Dreamspace – longer research piece in parallel.
{LIBRARY}Our knowledge project for humanity
Through our mentor app, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see mentors…
# users in app using the system# mentors # mentees# mentoring hours# tutor squads run# connections# stories submitted# countriesDoco / storiesCases studiesRelations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shiftMentoringCore 10 research qs
Through our ‘how to’ resource, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see teachers…We see mentors…
Stories in the appRelations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shift(Knowledge / intelligence to plug back into the system)
IMAGI-NATION {Labs}  A laboratory of…
Through IMAGI-NATION {Labs}, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see…
# {Labs} episodes#connections (guests) # of collabs# specific outcomes TBCPre/post surveysCase studiesRelations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shift(Knowledge / intelligence to plug back into the system)
Through books, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see…
Hoodie Economics – JMB
# reads on site / app / via {Uni}Relations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shiftHoodie Economics
Through our website, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see…
Website built externally
# core 10 questions# links to all digital spaces# of actions taken# downloadsBlogRelations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shift(Knowledge / intelligence to plug back into the system)
CHILD SAFETYGetting as close to best practice / leader in this space as possible 
Through our child safety policy and practice, we see youngsters from outside the margins…We see organisations…
Quarterly child protection drills – trail in {Uni}Quarterly LABS episodesSurveys?Relations / networkImaginationKindnessEnergy / joyMindset shift(Knowledge / intelligence to plug back into the system)
NotesJoin national / global coalitions of child safety
KNOWLEDGE PROJECTSPartnering on longitudinal research projects that answer our key impact questions
IMAGINATIONWith #LearningPlanet – Building knowledge for the world around imagination
IMAGINATION EDUCATION PEDAGOGICAL FRAMEWORKWith ARC, USYD, SVA – Developing an Imagination Education Pedagogical Framework to address educational inequality that can be used by schools and educators.
RELATIONAL VALUEWith Indigenous Knowledge Systems Lab – Developing a relational tool that people and institutions can use to measure the value and strength of their relations.
MENTORINGHow to be a mentor’ resource base, curate meaningful knowledge, 18 values, ultimate citizens.
AMBASSADORS IMPACTWith Bain & Co – Analysis of systems thinking, Indigenous systems thinking, relations, kinship mapping within group of 1000 ambassadors 
KINDNESS CURRENCYWith Macquarie Uni / IKSL – Hoodie Economics / kindness currency and the future of banking

8. References (WIP)

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