How we change the world

In this report, Good Things Foundation's theory of change lays out what we’ve learnt about how we - and the centres we’re working with in the Online Centres Network - are having an impact.

Read more about Good Things Foundation’s Social Impact Theory of Change. We centre our work around the three key ways we make change happen on individual, community and societal levels.


Negative experiences with public services (education, health, housing, social services and the police) have a damaging legacy, leaving people feeling powerless to control their own future.

Stepping through the door of an Online Centre can be daunting. Past experiences of support and learning often cast hard shadows over how people feel they will be perceived. When you’ve been told you’re no good, you have no future, you can’t learn, why should you trust anyone? But stepping through the door of an Online Centre is different, you’re not judged and you are with people who are like you.


Online Centres support people with multiple complex needs. They’re experts in knowing how to
negotiate the complex systems in which people have to operate. They also change, influence and
build them. They make up the social infrastructure of communities.

They’re a place and a reason for people to connect with other people in their communities. They open spaces and organise activities for people from different backgrounds to come together.


Changes in social attitudes and behaviours are notoriously hard to engineer. They can take several decades and multiple stimuli. Equal marriage and recycling have both taken a combination of campaigning, incentives, nudges and regulation to get to where we are today.

This is about developing socially conscious responses, which seek to change not only the experience of a person within a system, but the system itself – and not only change the system for the good of that person but change the system for the good of everyone who experiences it.