Growing Capacity from Within

Ultimately, Changing Minds services come together to create and increase capacity in our communities; capacity to, specifically, address youth mental health, but also more broadly, to support the community to adapt and innovate in ways that create lasting change in the areas that matter most to the people who live, work, love, play in and constitute this amazing thing we call community.

In other words, Changing Minds intentionally seeks to empower people in such a way that substantial, lasting social transformation can be achieved and from the ground up.

What is Capacity Building?

In the simplest terms, capacity building is the process of increasing an individual’s, community’s or organisation’s ability to do the things they want to do, and ultimately to do them better.  The United Nations defines it as “the process of developing and strengthening the skills, instincts, abilities, processes and resources that [individuals,] organisations and communities need to survive, adapt, and thrive in a fast-changing world“.  There’s a sense in which capacity building is an ongoing process of growth that enables adaptation to take place as the world around us changes.   Capacity building also plays an important role in the practice of community development.

The Aspen Institute (2009) have identified the following 8 outcomes of community capacity building:

  1. Expanding, diverse, inclusive community participation
  2. Expanding leadership base
  3. Strengthening individual skills
  4. Encouraging a shared understanding and vision
  5. Strategic community agenda
  6. Facilitating consistent, tangible progress toward goals
  7. Creating effective community organisations and institutions
  8. Promoting resource utilisation by the community 


How We Build Capacity

These 8 outcomes can be translated into 5 distinct actions, exemplifying the objectives of Changing Minds as a catalyst for change.  These actions constitute our simple plan for building capacity within the community:

  1. Increasing the skills and confidence of individuals, collectives and organisations
  2. Improving the way communities make decisions and solve problems
  3. Creating a shared vision of the future and having a plan in place for getting there
  4. Implementing practical approaches and strategies for creating change
  5. Promoting inclusion, equity and including the voices and stories of those with “lived experience” in all our conversations.

Our Service Delivery Strategy

The services Changing Minds delivers are represented by 4 overlapping areas.  They are:

CONSULTATION: Delivery of program, service and enterprise design and development consultation services to supportthe development of new initiatives, scaling of existing programs and projects and the introduction pro-community approaches to service delivery and organisational operations.

TRAINING: Delivery of a carefully curated suite of applicable, cutting edge social innovation, enterprise, design and innovation related training programs, supported by international partnerships with leaders in the social enterprise and impact training space.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: Creating opportunities for existing organisations and grassroots operators to engage with their community, to better understand the community’s needs, receive direction and stay abreast of current trends and issues. As an organization we also regularly and intentionally engage with youth, including youth with lived experience of mental health.

INNOVATION: Driving innovation by supporting our constituents through creative solution finding approaches, researching, importing and adapting cutting edge solutions from around the globe and developing our own in house solutions that support our constituents to address the issues that matter most to them and supporting social innovation.

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