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.
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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

Will Harvey

<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

<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.
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Kate Taborska

<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.

Contact Us

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