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Sustainable Development Goals

ThinkPlace is supporting the Sustainable Development Goals and driving positive change to enable, educate and empower Indigenous Communities

In September 2015, the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development were endorsed by the UN General Assembly.  Many ThinkPlace projects are making positive contributions towards achieving these goals.

ThinkPlace has been involved in a range of projects working with Indigenous communities to drive positive change in Australia, New Zealand and the US. Our projects have explored opportunities to build sustainable communities, improve access to education and health, and support economic growth.

We walk beside Indigenous communities to co-design an approach that is culturally and contextually informed

A key focus of all our work is to co-design with community. This supports the development of culturally informed processes, tools, systems and services, which will be more successful in driving positive change in people’s communities.

Recently, we worked with Tamworth TAFE and the Aboriginal Lands Council to build capability and enable a local team to make sense of the complexity of barriers to education and employment. This led to the development of a set of solutions that actors across the whole system could contribute to.

The core design team listened to people’s stories to understand some of the barriers to education and explore the opportunities to overcome these. This project considered how we might better engage a whole systems approach to recognising and overcoming barriers, and how we might create safe, meaningful learning pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth. This was achieved through building the capability and frameworks required to identify students’ needs, make sense of their needs and co-design courses that respond to their needs.

The goal was to build a strengths based focus for education and support personal development, culture and skills development that is meaningful. This project identified how institutions and community stakeholders can help empower students to understand their interests and strengths and to help them find a purpose for their learning.

Shifting stakeholder perceptions to embrace collaborative processes

By understanding what happens on-the-ground, our projects have created the opportunity for sensible, place-based solutions. Aligning effort and resources and involving those in the community in decision making leads to better impact at the community level.

Earlier this year, we explored opportunities to co-design digital tools and business processes with local communities, service providers and government agencies working in remote, regional and urban areas of Australia. The project took a human-centred and whole-system approach to building effective information flow and knowledge sharing capability within community and government.

We find communities and service providers readily embrace collaboration because they see the value of engagement. This cultural change builds confidence, capacity and whole community thinking.

ThinkPlace aims to develop local solutions for local challenges with local people

Our projects make positive impact because we recognise that the source of wisdom and knowledge sits with Indigenous people and their communities: the people who are living in the day to day complexity and who understand the context of their communities.  Harnessing this wisdom through co-design with Indigenous communities enables and empowers people to control change that directly impacts them.  They know what will work within their community and what change will make the most positive impact for their people.

ThinkPlace is passionate about creating public value and working with our partners and clients towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

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Nina Terrey
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