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CATALYSING CHANGE is a programme for public sector innovators in the SADC region. We are requesting your help to find the extraordinary candidates that we know are out there.

THE PROGRAMME. Catalysing Change strengthens capacities in social-ecological resilience, navigating complexity and systems, and transforming our approaches to changemaking. Our focus is on the public sector, where innovation is needed and desired, but at the same time, established structures can work against change. And, we seek to build anti-colonial knowledge and practices and learn together within the context of African knowledge systems. You can see all the details here.

WHO WOULD BE INTERESTED? Anyone working in the public sector in any of the 16 SADC countries, who is innovating to address a specific wicked problem—that is, a complex, multi-dimensional problem that persists over time—and is curious and passionate about how to overcome the structural barriers that make things difficult.

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We have found that participants greatly benefit from going through the programme in pairs or triads, as this facilitates immediate application of their learning in their work. For this reason, we recruit in two rounds:

  • Round one, July 18–August 26, 2022. At the end of this round, up to 15 participants will be accepted into the programme, and will be invited to nominate a partner to go through the programme with them.

  • Round two, September 19–October 21, 2022, for partners and other new nominees. At the end of this round, up to 15 participants will be accepted into the programme.

  • Round three, October 28–December 9, 2022, for partners and other new nominees. 

You can nominate at any time and we will fit nominees into the proper round.

Note: Participants must currently be working on an innovation that seeks to solve an intractable problem in their space.

Participants are nominated by peers (like you!) throughout their networks. Individuals can also put their own names forward. Once they accept their nominations, they are given access to a very short self-directed online module that introduces key concepts. In addition to the content itself, module one has the further purpose of giving nominees a deeper understanding of the programme, to know whether it is for them. Even if a participant decides not to apply, they will have the opportunity to benefit from the learning module. Any participant who completes module one, including three required, very short assignments, can apply for the programme. Up to thirty participants will be accepted.

Nominees who cannot find a partner with whom to work can still apply for the programme. Each participant, including nominated partners, will be accepted into the programme based on the merits of their individual application.

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Once accepted into the programme, participants will engage in an approximately seven-month process that includes:

  • Online resources and preparation tasks.

  • Two online modules with live lectures and dialogues, interaction with other participants, introduction of practical tools, and more.

  • Tailored work with an assigned facilitator on assessing and strengthening their innovation.

  • Coaching-upon-request applying the tools and concepts in their work.

  • A final homework assignment, focused on applying their learning in their work.

  • Networking sessions with other participants and with alumni of this and other similar programmes.

  • Access to bonus online modules.


Benefits to participants and their organisations (to list a few) include:

  • In-depth learning of social-ecological systems, resilience, and complexity, which are increasingly recognised as must-have foundations for 21st century work and changemaking.

  • Practical approaches based on cutting-edge research.

  • Access to world-class researchers and facilitators.

  • An open learning process focused on exploration vs. correct answers and on real-world application underpinned by vanguard theory.

  • Professionally edited session recordings and slide decks for easy review.

  • Forever access to all session recordings and materials, all inter-modular resources and tools, and bonus online modules, through the participant's area of the website. 

  • Access to a growing network of alumni of this and similar courses, who are dealing with complexity, systems, and transformation.

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MODULE 1 + APPLICATION, (current round)

DECEMBER 2, 2022: nomination deadline.

DECEMBER 9, 2022: module one completion and application deadline.

DECEMBER 12-16, 2022: accept/decline.

Nominees could expect to spend up to 3 hours of self-paced work to complete module one.




  • Nov 2022–Feb 2023, online prep work.

  • Feb 3, 2023: course intro and networking session.

  • Feb 6–10, 2023: module two online.

  • Feb 11–Mar 24, 2023: intermodule learning and innovation assessments.

  • March 24, 2023: module three intro.

  • March 27–31, 2023: module three online.

  • April 1–May 12, 2023: intermodule learning, final innovation assessments, final homework assignment, final open Q&A session.

  • May 12, 2023: Certificate session and good-byes.


Alumni share the value of the programme in their life and work.


The programme is fully paid. Participants bring their time, their commitment, and an innovation that they're working on. And we all bring openness, curiosity, and mutual learning.

  • Reach out to your nominees to let them know about the programme and that you wish to nominate them. You can send them the link to this page and to the about page, so they can learn more.

  • Send your nominees’ names and email address to us here—and that’s it! We will reach out to them to confirm their interest and admit them to module one and the application process.

  • For questions about the programme, reach out at any time to our Programme Manager, Loretta, at

  • Or just use the big buttons, below!

Not quite ready yet? Want to share this page with potential nominees first? Just copy the page URL, above, and send it on.

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