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 two-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 date: 26-27 March, 2020


This 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 social impact.

Find out more and APPLY NOW via the AGSM website.

What you’ll learn

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 each class.


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.


· 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.


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

“Kristy has a great energy - constructively critical and knowledgeable/ 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.


Professor Kristy Muir

CEO and Professor of Social Policy, The 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. She 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.

For enquiries about the course please contact Francesca Pinzone.

Find out more and APPLY NOW via the AGSM website.


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