Melbourne Business School Centres Social Purpose Centre

Social Purpose Centre

Unleashing ideas and leaders for sustainable social impact.

<span style="color:#005490;">The Social Purpose Centre brings to life Melbourne Business School’s own social purpose of unleashing leaders and ideas for a sustainable future by growing the impact of social purpose organisations and strengthening the for-purpose ecosystem.</span>

The Social Purpose Centre brings to life Melbourne Business School’s own social purpose of unleashing leaders and ideas for a sustainable future by growing the impact of social purpose organisations and strengthening the for-purpose ecosystem.

The Social Purpose Centre is generously supported by Melbourne Business School and the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust. It exists to help not-for-profit and other for-purpose organisations to grow their impact sustainably. We work with for-purpose leaders to help address their challenges at an organisational and ecosystem-level.

We take a strengths-based approach recognising that not-for-profit and social-purpose organisations have deep expertise in understanding and addressing complex social issues. We also aim to leverage Melbourne Business School’s strengths, including our relationships with business and access to human capital to help organisations realise their social purpose goals.

The Social Purpose Centre’s focus is on developing leaders who work to tackle social inequity and disadvantage to create a better future for all.

"We define social purpose as a strategic commitment by organisations and their leaders to generating a positive social impact."

Social-purpose organisations in Australia

Social Purpose Centre - Primacy of purpose

There is no agreed or regulated definition of a ‘social purpose organisation’ or the ‘social purpose sector’. However, these terms are generally conceptualised in practice and in the academic literature as organisations that exist to advance a social cause or charitable purpose irrespective of their business model, tax, and legal status. A large proportion of Australia’s social-purpose organisations are not-for-profit entities, but a growing number of for-profit entities also fit within the ‘for purpose’ or ‘social purpose’ sector.

Our Objectives

Our objectives include strengthening and supporting not for profit and other for-purpose organisations to grow their impact sustainably, recognising the deep expertise that exists in for-purpose organisations, and leveraging Melbourne Business School’s strengths to support and enable impact and sustainability.

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Growing social-purpose leaders​

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Building evidence based knowledge

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Developing the ​enabling ecosystem​

Our Goal

"As a Centre, we are trying to help leaders create social and financial value, which is where we can play a powerful convening role. We are in a unique position where we engage with many different sectors of the economy and society to foster an environment where people feel comfortable having difficult conversations to find creative solutions to thorny social issues.”

 

Will Harvey

Our People

Will Harvey - Director

<span style=color:#005490;>Will Harvey is a Professor of Leadership at Melbourne Business School. He is an International Research Fellow at the Oxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation.</span>

Will Harvey is a Professor of Leadership at Melbourne Business School. He is an International Research Fellow at the Oxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation.

Will has held the roles of Director of Education at the University of Bristol and Associate Dean of Research and Associate Dean of Global at the University of Exeter. He has worked at the University of Oxford, the University of British Columbia and the University of Sydney.

Will researches on reputation, talent management and leadership within organisations and has worked with leaders across the world in a variety of sectors including banking, consulting, defence, education, energy, finance, government, healthcare, insurance, manufacturing, social enterprises and retail.

He has recently published the book, Reputations at Stake, with Oxford University Press. His work has appeared in journals such as Harvard Business Review, Journal of Management Studies, Human Relations, Management Learning, Work, Employment & Society, and the British Journal of Management. He is currently co-editing The Oxford Handbook of Social Purpose.

Libby Ward-Christie - Executive Director

<span style=color:#005490;>Libby Ward-Christie is a recognised leader in Australia's social purpose ecosystem. Prior to joining Melbourne Business School, Libby was Director of the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University of Technology and a member of the Centre for Social Impact National Executive.</span>

Libby Ward-Christie is a recognised leader in Australia's social purpose ecosystem. Prior to joining Melbourne Business School, Libby was Director of the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University of Technology and a member of the Centre for Social Impact National Executive.

Libby brings a wealth of experience in applied social purpose research, education and engagement. Her specialist knowledge spans social entrepreneurship, social finance and philanthropy, impact measurement and evaluation and for-purpose strategy and governance.

Libby has an MBA from Melbourne Business School with Dean’s Honours, a BA (Dean’s Honours) majoring in geography, a first-class BSc (Hons) degree majoring in ecology and a MLArch with Dean’s Honours, all from the University of Melbourne.  She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a recipient of an Melbourne Business School Alumni Award for her work with social-purpose organisations. Libby is currently undertaking a PhD focusing on social entrepreneurship.

Libby's achievements demonstrate an ability to bring the worlds of community, business, philanthropy and government together to innovatively and sustainably address disadvantage, informed by rigorous research and evidence. She has extensive networks across Australia’s for-purpose ecosystem and the ability to engage people from all sectors toward collective social-purpose goals.

"Social purpose recognises the importance of a strategic and long-term commitment made by organisations to act as a positive social force."

Kate Taborska - Centre Manager

<span style=color:#005490;>Kate has extensive experience in talent acquisition, human resources management and organisational development in various industries. She has a proven record of success in delivering results and fostering strong partnerships within organisations such as Deakin University, City of Monash and Deloitte & Touche.</sapn>

Kate has extensive experience in talent acquisition, human resources management and organisational development in various industries. She has a proven record of success in delivering results and fostering strong partnerships within organisations such as Deakin University, City of Monash and Deloitte & Touche.

With her administrative and operational background, Kate is well-versed in optimising processes, delivering tangible results and elevating efficiency that resonate with an organisation’s goals and vision. Her experience is complemented by a diverse skill set encompassing stakeholder management, system management, project coordination and strategic implementation.

Kate brings a proactive, highly motivated and customer-focused approach to her work, ensuring the overall success of the Centre’s initiatives.

Advisory Board

We are pleased to announce our advisory board comprised of a diverse mix of experts whose valuable insights are instrumental in shaping the future of our Centre.

Their extensive knowledge and experience across various domains will ensure a holistic and strategic approach to our initiatives and challenge our thinking.

Simon Lewis - Advisory Board Member

<span style=color:#005490;>Simon is an experienced board member, trustee and non-profit director and former senior executive in the trustee and family office sector.</span>

Simon is an experienced board member, trustee and non-profit director and former senior executive in the trustee and family office sector.

He established advisory firm GoodWolf Partners in 2019 to support families, foundations and organisations shifting their strategy and resources to participate in a more generative and distributive agenda, and help build out our social economy. This includes establishing and advising charitable foundations, blended business models like for purpose and social enterprise, and for purpose organisations dialling up their impact and effectiveness.

Simon is a Trustee of the Reichstein Foundation, Chair and Co-Founder of the Australian International Development Network (AIDN), Chair of the Australian Outward Bound Development Fund. He is also a Fellow of the AVPN and AVPA Impact Investing Fellowship. He holds a Senior Executive MBA (Melbourne Business School), MA (Oxon) and a BBusSci (Actuarial, Cape Town University).

Caroline Cox - Advisory Board Member

<span style=color:#005490;>Chief Legal, Governance and External Affairs Officer Caroline leads a team of more than 450 professionals globally overseeing Legal, Governance, Climate Change & Sustainability, Ethics & Compliance, Community & Indigenous Relations, Communications and Corporate Affairs.</span>

Chief Legal, Governance and External Affairs Officer Caroline leads a team of more than 450 professionals globally overseeing Legal, Governance, Climate Change & Sustainability, Ethics & Compliance, Community & Indigenous Relations, Communications and Corporate Affairs.

Caroline was previously a Partner at Herbert Smith Freehills specialising in cross-border transactions, disputes and regulatory investigations. Caroline is a longtime advocate for diversity and inclusion and community contribution.

She is Vice-Chair of the General Counsel for Diversity and Inclusion, Chair of the Australian Institute of Company Directors Legal Council and a Board Member of the and the Australian Corporate Counsel (ACC) GC100, and the Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce (CACC), and a member of Chief Executive Women.

Lisa Boothby - Advisory Board Member

<span style=color:#005490;>Lisa’s career has focused on supporting the development of sustainable organisations. Her focus and passion lie with organisations that have a strong social impact.</sapn>

Lisa’s career has focused on supporting the development of sustainable organisations. Her focus and passion lie with organisations that have a strong social impact.

Her early experience was in management consulting with the Strategy Group in Accenture, she worked throughout Australia as well as parts of Asia and Eastern Europe. Lisa held the position of Executive Director at Social Traders, where she worked for 10 years helping to grow and develop the social enterprise sector in Australia.

Lisa is currently the Chair of The Future Evidence Foundation, a ‘SaaS’ (software as a service) social enterprise in the scientific evidence sector. She is also providing advice and mentorship to several social enterprise boards.

Lisa holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne (Hons. Economics) and a Master of Business Administration from the Melbourne Business School. She is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

Juanita Pope - Advisory Board Member

<span style=color:#005490;>Juanita Pope leads the Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) as Chief Executive Officer.</span>

Juanita Pope leads the Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) as Chief Executive Officer.

At VCOSS, Juanita works with community organisations, politicians and policymakers to tackle profound societal challenges, while also advancing new and innovative ways to empower local communities and create wellbeing for all.

Prior to joining VCOSS in 2023, Juanita spent a decade at Justice Connect's Not-for-profit Law program, and worked in legal and consulting roles assisting for-purpose organisations to improve their governance and performance. She has also worked in corporate practice and at the Federal Court. She has expertise in advocating for better regulation and laws affecting the sector and defending charities’ rights to advocate.

Juanita holds a Bachelor of Laws (with Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Australian Studies and Cultural Studies) from the University of Melbourne.

Mark Levy - Advisory Board Member

<span style=color:#005490;>Marc is the founder and chair of Right Lane Consulting. He has played leading roles in management consulting projects for around 100 organisations and advised 80 CEOs.</sapn>

Marc is the founder and chair of Right Lane Consulting. He has played leading roles in management consulting projects for around 100 organisations and advised 80 CEOs.

Marc has completed transformational work across several industries, notably the social and public sectors, professional services and financial services, on strategy, operating model, growth and governance projects. He contributed to reviving a major global sport in Australia and has worked as a strategic advisor to several award-winning, not for profit super funds and their peak bodies.

Marc holds business degrees from Monash University and the Melbourne Business School and a PhD from the University of Melbourne on a topic relating to economic and social participation policy.

Alyssa Cameron - Advisory Board Member

<span style=color:#005490;>Alyssa is an economist with nearly a decade providing economic and public policy advice to Government, the not for profit sector and industry.</span>

Alyssa is an economist with nearly a decade providing economic and public policy advice to Government, the not for profit sector and industry.

She is currently working as a Principal Policy Analyst at the Department of Treasury and Finance, Victoria, where she has provided policy advice across infrastructure, social housing, and transport. She previously worked at Deloitte Access Economics where she provided advice across several other industries including health, energy, and tourism./p>

Alyssa is the Victorian Chair of the Women in Economics Network (WEN), where she works with a passionate group of women to promote female economists and advocate for gender equality, particularly within the field of economics.

Alyssa studied Commerce and Economics (Honours) at Monash University. She is currently completing her MBA at Melbourne Business School where she was awarded the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust Fellowship for 2023.

Contact Us

If you're interested in finding out more about the Social Purpose Centre, please contact us