Statement from Kristy Muir

Centre for Social Impact

Statement from CEO, Professor Kristy Muir – August 6, 2021

As CEO of CSI, I’m really proud to have led a cross-institutional team through significant transformation and achievements since January 2017. Over this time, we developed and delivered a 5 year strategic intent that has enable others to achieve social impact.

We reset the organisation’s finances, governance, leadership, legal agreements and culture. But most importantly have worked in collaboration with governments, corporates, not-for-profits, social enterprises, philanthropy and communities to better understand complex social problems and how to create conditions for a better society (through rigorous allied research and evaluation), to significantly increase social impact leaders of today and tomorrow (through scaling the education of undergraduates through to Board Directors), and to create mechanisms that help to catalyse social change (through the development of new tools, guides, resources, collaborations). We have grown our team Nationally, at UNSW, Swinburne and UWA, significantly scaled our reach and lived our values, but I’m most proud of the many demonstrable moments of influence across sectors.

I’m looking forward to what comes next for CSI’s next phase and what will be an exciting and impactful future and want to take this opportunity to thank the Chair, Professor Peter Shergold, the CSI Board, Advisory Councils and the CSI team. It’s been a pleasure to work in collaboration with you all. I’m privileged to remain as a Professor within the Centre for Social Impact and UNSW Business School, where I will primarily focus on continuing to lead Social Impact Leadership Australia (SILA) and teach the CSI/AGSM Governance for Social Impact executive education course.

Deciding to leave the CSI CEO role has not been an easy one. But CSI’s future is strong, with a great leadership team in place, and I am and remain driven by how I can best make a difference to the people and places around me.

The Paul Ramsay Foundation provides an incredibly exciting leadership opportunity to work with Professor Glyn Davis, the PRF Board and team to help meet its bold strategic plan – to end cycles of entrenched disadvantage. This newly created Chief Alliances Officer role will enable me to work at the most senior levels across the sectors, to build coalitions and develop strength and capability in policy, advocacy and practice to help end cycles of entrenched disadvantage.

Breaking intergenerational disadvantage is an incredibly complex problem and it cannot be solved alone, quickly or with simple solutions. Change requires strong alliances with people, communities, charities, other organisations and governments to make progress.

This role presents an ambitious challenge and opportunity with its explicit focus on addressing some of the systemic causes of long-term exclusion (e.g. early childhood development and school readiness, young First Nations people in contact with the criminal justice system, and women and children experiencing domestic violence).

There is an opportunity to help evolve how PRF approaches and works with others, given that effective systems change requires deep engagement with government, the not for profit sector and others at a range of levels to influence policy, practice and funding. This is an opportunity to work systemically, collaboratively and with humanity and humility.

For me, this opportunity brings together the three decades I’ve spent understanding, working and advocating for social purpose; the two decades I’ve spent as an applied social policy academic to better understand complex social problems to help children, families and communities thrive; and the last five years as CEO of CSI gaining a deeper understanding of and working with and across the social purpose ecosystem, teaching and applying systems thinking and helping to catalyse positive social change. It enables me to draw and build on my insights and practice of philanthropy (as a grantee, grantor and collaborator) and to apply my expertise and love of adaptive leadership and building coalitions with people across sectors for shared social progress.

Breaking cycles of disadvantage is one enormously complex challenge and I look forward to working with others on how we collectively make progress.

Professor Kristy Muir, August 6, 2021

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