Contribute to Systems Change


These resources will help you to identify key system leverage points and opportunities where your resources and influence can be used to collaborate with others to contribute to the resilience of social and environmental systems.

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Systems Change Lab

This open-source data platform monitors global progress across major social and environmental systems and identifies transformational shifts needed to protect both people and the planet. The platform uses an interactive visual to highlight progress against climate, biodiversity, and equity targets (among others) and identifies the key forces that are driving positive and negative impacts on each topic. The platform identifies indicators that can show where change momentum is growing and waning, and features a dashboard that shows how systems connected and highlights where coordinated action is most needed. This tool is a good entry point for junior change agents, executives, and other professionals who want to build their understanding of interrelated natural and social systems and the trajectory of actions affecting them.

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The Dawn of Systems Leadership

What are the core capabilities needed to enable meaningful cross-sector collaboration? In this article from SSIR, Peter Senge and his co-authors help explain how to develop these competencies by sharing stories of leaders who have made a difference in navigating complex systems.

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Unlocking the Power of Partnerships

This report aims to highlight the potential strength of effective cross-sector partnerships in delivering against broader societal sustainability goals. KPMG have supplemented their own experiences with one-to-one interviews and research to put forward a framework of eight factors that should be considered when creating, operating, and sustaining collaborative partnerships.

Creating partnerships for sustainability cover

Creating partnerships for sustainability

The article discusses how long-term sustainable collaborations with other organisations (both public and private) can help businesses tackle complex environmental and social issues. Through research with businesses, government, and NGO leaders, authors Albani and Henderson provide seven ways that businesses can successfully collaborate.

Blueprint for Responsible Policy Engagement on Climate Change cover

Blueprint for Responsible Policy Engagement on Climate Change

Despite the clarity and availability of scientific research, policy action on climate change has fallen short of what is needed. This resource from Ceres will help you to establish systems that address climate change as a systemic risk and integrate this understanding into your company's direct and indirect lobbying on climate policies. Designed primarily for the governance and legal departments of companies, this Blueprint builds on existing resources and provides concrete recommendations for 1) assessing the impacts of climate change to your company, 2) systematizing decision-making on climate change across the company, and 3) acting to align lobbying with public, science-based climate policies. Many of the guiding principles here can also be applied to other social and environmental issues that impact your company.

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Business Led ESG Collaboration: How-to Guide for Business

This guide was created to help you understand and act upon opportunities for collaboration on key sustainability issues. It introduces and unpacks five phases and eleven steps towards implementing a successful ESG collaboration, and highlights critical success factors and barriers. This guide acts as a road map for leaders and sustainability change agents, and is a good starting point for companies that are exploring the business case and practical process for collaboration.

Although this guide was created for Canadian business audiences, the lessons are applicable across all regions and industries, as well as for non-profit organisations and governments.

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Responsible climate lobbying: The global standard

This global standard was created to provide a framework to ensure that companies' lobbying and political engagement activities align with the goal of restricting global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. It includes an investor statement in support of responsible climate lobbying as well as an appendix of 14 indicators of responsible climate lobbying, which outlines requirements among policy and climate change-related commitments; governance; and actions. This standard is an excellent starting point for any business currently engaged in direct and/or indirect climate lobbying as well as businesses actively considering participation.

Decolonizing Wealth: What If Money Could Heal Us? cover

Decolonizing Wealth: What If Money Could Heal Us?

This article from Edgar Villaneuva explains how wealth - if distributed fairly - can be used to disrupt rather than perpetuate and exacerbate systemic inequity. Beyond funding priorities and tax code concerns and other critiques, Villaneuva levels his gaze at colonialism and the insidious ways in which it influences philanthopy and wealth management, allocation, and spending. He contends that white supremacy, white saviourism, and internalised oppression are preeminent and problematic throughout giving, lending, and investment decisions, and that these issues must be understood and addressed before equitable contributions to systems change can be achieved. This resource - as well as his book - will help you to understand these issues so that you can provide more equitable access to resources for marginalised and vulnerable communities.

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Collaborating with the Competition

One of the best ways for businesses to obtain external sustainability knowledge is to collaborate with their competitors. Collaboration helps businesses advance their own sustainability initiatives while increasing their capacity to tackle industry-wide challenges. This article breaks down the concept of competitor collaboration and explains how sustainability leaders, executives, and NGO professionals can work together to overcome complex industry-wide problems. It also addresses some of the challenges that can arise from collaborating with the competition, including how much information you should share and how to implement collective decisions within your own organisation.

Radical Collaboration to Accelerate Climate Action cover

Radical Collaboration to Accelerate Climate Action

This accessible guidebook highlights seven practices for effective, cooperative, and inclusive collaboration (as well as seven pitfalls to avoid). This is a good priming document for ensuring that team leaders and members involved in collaborative efforts share the same process vision.

Although this guidebook is centered on climate action, the practices and recommendations are applicable to collaboration on any sustainability-related issue.

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Sustainability Through Partnerships

This report offers a comprehensive summary of how collaboration is key to unlocking sustainability. The report starts with the premise that no single organisation or sector has the knowledge or resources to "go it alone," and explores the nature and characteristics of different types of multi-sector partnerships before offering a model for the creation of cross-sector partnerships. The report ends with a series of focused recommendations and good practice for different groups (Business, NGOs, Government, and Communities) engaging in partnerships.