Transforming Systems Forum – Strategy, Evaluation, and Leadership
From reform to transformational change across places, scales and systems

We know there is an urgent need for transformational change – and that this is an opportunity to create a more equitable future which we all share and are a part of. 

Some say we are in the opening chapters of the ‘long emergency’ – living with disequilibrium from increasing complexity, environmental instability, interlocking crises, and intergenerational social inequities (Mark Cabaj and Liz Skelton). 

We know we need to think, be and act differently from all parts of the systems we work in. 

This forum is a call out for leaders who are using this disruption as opportunities for creating more equitable transformative change. It is for anyone asking the questions:

What does systems change and transformational change really mean? How can I use my influence for transformative change? What principles should guide our work and how can I apply them in my context? How can our efforts be more effective and aligned? What conditions enable and sustain change? What does ‘success’ look like? How do we know we are making progress?  

About the 2023 Transforming Systems Forum

This is an opportunity to join a growing network of people who are learning, experimenting and harnessing their collective powers to transform systems in the Australian context. The forum will build on the Transformational Leadership and Evaluation online learning network in 2022 and Deep Collaboration work, hosted by Collaboration for Impact (CFI).

The two days will be facilitated by CFIs Mark Yettica-Paulson and Anna Powell alongside partners, Mark Cabaj (Here to There and Tamarack Institute) and Jess Dart, Clear Horizon. 

You will also hear from and learn alongside people across different parts of the system – community leaders including people directly impacted by inequitable systems, field builders, researchers, evaluators, philanthropists, public servants and the community services – about the nexus between strategy, evaluation and leadership for transformational change.

Download Forum Flyer here

Learning Process

Across the two days you will have opportunities to co-create insights and practical application of evaluation, strategy and leadership for your change efforts. Together, we will:

– develop clarity on how transformative change, as part of intergenerational efforts,  can happen for greater equity and inclusion in the Australian context

– establish a shared language and principles across the spectrum of transformative change archetypes – from incremental – reform – systems change – systems transformation  

– locate ourselves within these archetypes of change and as part of intergenerational efforts explore how strategy, evaluation, and leadership shows up differently in each archetype and what this means for our own and collective change efforts

– examine what and where is the innovation in how we think about and apply transformational strategy, evaluation, and leadership.

Those leading, partnering, funding, evaluating or participating in systemic initiatives or wanting to influence transformative change, including through community-led place based change. This will include people from federal, state and local government departments; leaders of not-for-profits; peak bodies and intermediaries; philanthropy; evaluation organisations and consultants.

The Forum will be interactive and involve plenary sessions, workshops and facilitated reflection. As part of the Forum we will invite input to how the group would like to continue deepening the learning and experimentation together to harness the collective intelligence of this growing network. 

Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June, 2023
9am to 4.30pm

Melbourne Business School (venue is adjacent to main building)
168 Leicester Street
Carlton Victoria 3053


This forum has a capped capacity, so early registration will secure your forum participation.

Venue location to be announced shortly.

Price per person, group and org:

Standard / Government/ Corporate / Large NGOs $900 (+GST)
Small NGO/ Not-for-profit $810 (+GST)
Community Organisation / Individual Student / Group discount (bookings of 3+) $720 (+GST)

Get in touch for package offers, large group discounts and tailored sessions for your organisation.

Please read the Learning Program: Terms and Conditions before purchase.

For queries, contact

Forum Facilitators

Mark Yettica-Paulson

An Indigenous leader from the South East Queensland and North East NSW regions, Mark Yettica-Paulson was formerly the Strategic Business Manager and key presenter for Australians Together’s workshops and presentations.

As Collaboration for Impact's Deep Collaboration Lead, Mark leads groups and initiatives where First Nations and other Australians are leading change together. He brings decades of wisdom from his career in leadership development and community education across the corporate and government sectors. He is also a co-author of Lost conversations: Finding new ways for black and white Australians to lead together launched in November 2014.

Anna Powell

Anna Powell is the CEO of Collaboration for Impact. Since her early career working with global networks and movements for change in active citizenship, gender justice, peace building and economic justice, Anna has led thriving collaborations and organisations both internationally and in Australia.

With a background in psychology and working at large scale systems change, Anna has hands on experience creating collective change processes that strive to be equitable, truthful and transformative. This has included leadership roles in the education system, philanthropy, community-led collaborations, research and national field building organisations.

Mark Cabaj

Mark Cabaj is the President of From Here to There, a consulting company, and an Associate of Tamarack - an Institute for Community Engagement. He possesses extensive experience as a policymaker, philanthropist, and activist, with a particular focus on evaluation.

Mark has been instrumental in promoting the practice of developmental evaluation, merging his firsthand knowledge across these roles. During his time studying the Solidarity movement in Krakow, Poland, in 1989, Mark witnessed significant events that marked the end of communism in Eastern Europe. He chose to stay and actively contribute to the region's rebirth, serving as an Investment Advisor in Poland's Foreign Investment Agency, the Foreign Assistance Coordinator for Grants in the Ministry of Privatisation, and the Mission Coordinator for the United Nations Development Program's inaugural regional economic development initiative in Eastern Europe.

Returning to Canada, Mark held leadership positions, including Executive Director of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network. He also played a pivotal role as part of the founding team of the Tamarack Institute and served as the Executive Director of Vibrant Communities Canada. Mark's consultancy specialises in strategy, learning, and evaluation, focusing on addressing complex challenges.

Dr Jess Dart

Dr Jess Dart is the Chief Evaluator and founder of Clear Horizon, a specialist evaluation firm
and B-Corp. Jess has over 30 years’ experience in evaluating and designing social change initiatives in Australia and overseas. She is passionate about developing real world evaluation and strategy for people, place and planet. In particular, she works with systems change interventions, large scale strategy and social innovation.

Recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Evaluation award and Fellow of the AES, Jess is perhaps most well known, as co- author of the Most Significant Change (MSC) guide. MSC is a story based approach for collecting and participatory analysis of impact stories. The guide is now translated into 8 different languages

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Our calendar for the 2023 Learning Program is evolving so keep checking for more details.