Executive Education with UNSW Sydney

CSI is excited to partner with AGSM@UNSW Business School, NAB, and JBWere to present Governance for Social Impact, a 2-day executive education course designed to facilitate an examination of the social impact ecosystem and how to exercise and lead effective Board governance for social purpose organisations.

Next intake: 26-27 March, 2020

For more details about the course please read the information below which includes course fees and available scholarships. For further enquiries please contact Francesca Pinzone.


This leadership course aims to give participants an understanding of how to lead for social impact, including the practical implications for the roles and responsibilities of Board Directors across four key areas: social impact and social purpose organisations; strategic impact in the social purpose ecosystem; optimising strategy for social impact; and effective leadership for social impact.

Find out more and APPLY NOW via the AGSM website.

What you’ll learn

Moving beyond the essential legal and financial board responsibilities to focus on governing for social impact, you'll understand what it means to govern with a ‘mission-first’ agenda, including how to:

  • avoid mission drift;
  • operationalise mission through matching intended impact to appropriate approaches and models of funding, scale, collaboration, innovation and risk.

Understand how to govern in a complex social ecosystem, including how to:

  • apply systems thinking to strategic decision-making;
  • identify the ecosystem’s key actors and levers and diagnose an organisation’s need to work with others;
  • collaborate effectively with different sector organisations;
  • analyse emerging trends and likely disruptions to the ecosystem;
  • innovate for strategic growth;
  • recognise, assess, negotiate and apply appropriate funding levers;
  • think systemically about risk, risk appetite and risk mitigation.

Understand the role of Boards in optimising an organisation for social impact, including how to:

  • use social impact measurement to know whether an organisation’s strategy has ‘made a difference’;
  • ensure beneficiaries remain at the heart of strategic decision-making;
  • keep an organisation focused on, and accountable for, social impact.

Understand how to exercise effective leadership while governing for impact, including how to:

  • exercise adaptive and mindful leadership;
  • navigate risks while tackling innovation and scale;
  • manage crises and unintended consequences.

How you’ll learn

  • The learning materials and activities designed for this course aim to enable participants to discover, critically analyse, and apply in practice the knowledge, frameworks and tools for effective social impact governance.
  • The intensive nature of this two-day course requires participants to have read the selected Required Readings in advance of attending.


Governing with a mission-first agenda

We look at the social purpose obligations of NFP Boards as they relate to the Charities Act 2014, and we ask, what constitutes social impact? What does success look like? We explore development of a Theory of Change and look at a case study on staying on mission.

The Social Purpose Ecosystem: Systems Thinking

We look at the different actors at play in the system affecting the types of problems you are trying to solve. We look at how systems behave, and explore feedback loops, agents, and levers in the system.

Funding models and scaling for impact

We will use the ecosystem approach to consider whether and when to innovate, which funding model options apply, and whether and when to scale. We also explore collaborations, and why, when, and how you should collaborate.

Course fees

Depending on the structure, size and turn over of your not-for-profit organisation the course fees range from $2,860 to $1,715. The course fee for participants from for-profit organisations is $3,575.

Four full funded scholarships are available. Please see the scholarship details and application process below.

Course participants will also be awarded two AGSM Certificate in Executive Management and Development points on completion of the course and a Digital Badge on submission of post-program work. These credits can be used towards MBAX - AGSM’s next generation online MBA.

Feedback from previous participants

· The program ‘exceeded expectations’ of 88% of participants

· 98% of participants said their understanding had improved

· 95% of participants said their skills had improved

· 97% of participants had gained confidence as a result of this course

· Standalone Net Promoter Score of 90.7

· For the combined JBWere and CSI delivered program, this course received the highest positive feedback of all their leadership programs, including 13 years of Harvard courses

Participant testimonials

“Full agenda of highly relevant theory in structure practical application. Great facilitation of collaboration and transparency.”

“Kristy has a great energy - constructively critical, knowledgeable and passionate about the social sector and social impact. It can be easy to criticise and judge the social sector from the outside and Kristy doesn't generate the raising of our defensive hackles!”

“Absolutely exceeded expectations, it was a real cultural experience working with high level experience and skills.”

“New, innovative and contentious while being extremely relevant.”

“I didn't know what to expect. The concepts presented were novel (to me) and powerful."

Featured presenter

Professor Kristy Muir
CEO and Professor of Social Policy, Centre for Social Impact

Kristy Muir is the CEO of the Centre for Social Impact. She works closely with government, not-for-profits, corporates and philanthropic organisations to help understand, measure and find innovative solutions to some of society’s most intractable, complex social problems.

She is a Professor of Social Policy within the UNSW Business School, is an academic representative on UNSW Sydney’s Council, a Non-Executive Director of ARACY, the chair of Allan and Gill Gray Philanthropy, a member of the Gonski Institute for Education Board, a member of Our Community Director's Council, and a member of the NSW Premier’s Council on Homelessness.

Kristy has won almost $12 million in competitive external funding and has undertaken dozens of research and capacity building projects with social purpose organisations to help improve social impact. Her work focuses on children, young people, families and communities and explores the intersection between different social domains (e.g. education, employment and social participation, wellbeing, disability, mental health, housing and financial resilience), funding models and approaches.

She is published widely in policy, sociology, social work, history and public health journals and in publicly accessible forums, such as TEDx, The Conversation and The Mandarin, and featured in the Guardian as a ‘Changemaker’. Kristy is an invited representative on key leadership committees across sectors and her research has had a significant impact on policy, social investment, organisations and practitioners.

Kristy has a PhD in social history, is a graduate of the AICD, an alumnus of the Sydney Leadership Program and, before joining academia, she worked in the not-for-profit sector.


We are delighted to be making four scholarships available to Non-Executive Board Directors on registered not-for-profits boards in Australia.

These scholarships have been supported by Allan & Gill Gray Philanthropy Australasia and will cover the full cost of the course fees for the Governance for Social Impact 2-day program, delivered in partnership between the AGSM and the Centre for Social Impact UNSW, on 26-27 March, 2020.

Eligibility criteria:

  • You are an Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia
  • You currently hold a position as a Non-Executive Director on a NFP Board in Australia
  • The organisation must be a registered charity

To apply, please send an email to Francesca Pinzone including:

  • A one page submission, with your bio and the reason why you would like to be considered for a scholarship to attend this program
  • A letter/email of support from a not-for-profit leader (for example, a fellow Board Member or an executive from the NFP you volunteer with)

Scholarships are awarded based on the calibre of applications in a given period and are awarded on the basis of merit.

Each applicant will be assessed on their demonstrated leadership and engagement in supporting, developing and contributing to better outcomes in the social purpose sector.

Successful applicants should outline their ability to apply and scale program learnings after completion of the program. If suitable recipients are not identified scholarship funds may be reserved for future applicants.

Scholarship applications close on 18 February, 2020.

Recipients will be informed by 26 February of the outcome.

Please note: Late applications cannot be accepted.

For enquiries about the scholarships or course please contact Francesca Pinzone.

Find out more and APPLY NOW via the AGSM website.


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