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collaborative change

Collaborative Change is a multi-disciplinary approach to social innovation, driven by the power of participation. It is being applied by public, private and third sector organisations to develop insight, trigger innovation and measure impact within hard-to-reach communities. 

Across the globe, commercial and public organisations of all shapes and sizes are waking up to the power of participation. Co-production, co-design or creation; crowdsourcing, open innovation or social media, the realisation is dawning that participation holds the key to more inclusive, effective and sustainable innovation
—to commercial growth and social justice.

Nowhere has the power of participation more potential for impact than in the context of social innovation. 

  • Public sector organisations seeking to reduce inequality and raise aspiration
  • Social enterprises seeking to develop business models based on community need
  • Charities seeking to better meet the needs of their constituents
  • Brands seeking to have a positive impact through their business activities.

Participation for innovation is not just a political fad or a marketing flavour de jour, it is an evidence-based process that is proven to deliver a wide range of direct and indirect benefits. Our resource pages house a growing body of research detailing the innumerable benefits associated with participatory approaches across our 3 core strands of activity:


  • Better identifies real needs that are ignored or serviced unsatisfactorily
  • Avoidance of reliance on traditional self-reporting techniques
  • Responsive to the complexity that characterises the real lives of real people
  • Establishes insight within a holistic context of family, community, society
  • Builds relationships between organisations and communities
  • Promotes trust and cooperation
  • Gives communities and individuals a stake in the output


  • Interventions, products and services that respond directly to the real needs of a community or market
  • Buy-in and diffusion from early-adopters and lead users
  • Market or community ownership over the output to drive greater sustainability
  • Indigenous Innovation—owned by the people who use it


  • A more accurate gauge of impact


Collaborative Change is an award-winning team of researchers, strategists and designers dedicated to positive social change. As a specialist unit within social research and design consultancy The Hub, we developed the Collaborative Change approach through delivery of a vast array of social behaviour change projects across the UK and beyond. In November 2011 we launched Collaborative Change as a separate entity to work exclusively with like-minded public agencies, charities and brands that share our values.


Collaborative Change is a tried-and-tested approach to innovation, driven by the power of participation. It is based on the simple principle that effective, sustainable change must come from within – the individual, the community, the organisation. Based on our team’s experience of a vast range of research, design and evaluation projects with hard-to-reach communities, Collaborative Change is built around 5 core principles: engage, motivate, empower, trust and ownership.


Collaborative Change brings together co-design, social research and behavioural science to drive Indigenous Innovation—innovation defined, developed and delivered by those who use it. The outputs of a participatory process are by their very nature more inclusive, effective and sustainable and the process itself secures buy-in from early adopters, stimulates word-of-mouth and transfers ownership.


As a proprietary system of concepts, tools and processes, it can be commissioned, taught and embedded. It can be used to research, design and measure. It delivers actionable insights, effective interventions and rigorous evaluation. Our collaborators could be consumers of a brand, residents of a community or members of a corporate team. The innovation could be a behaviour change intervention, a brand strategy or an organisational change programme.

Collaborative Change is being is applied as a catalyst for innovation in a wide range of contexts:

  • Research & Insight
  • Behaviour Change
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Community Engagement
  • Organisational change
  • Team building
  • Employee Engagement
  • Innovation / NPD
  • Training


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