Systems change:how will we know it is working?

Systemic impact refers to the widespread and often profound effects that an action, event, or change can have on an entire system or ecosystem, rather than just isolated or localized consequences. Understanding systemic impact is crucial because it helps us grasp the interconnectedness of different components within a system and the potential ripple effects that can result from any intervention or change. This proactive approach helps prevent negative outcomes that could harm individuals, communities, or the environment.

When addressing social issues and dealing with global challenges such as climate change, pandemics, or economic crises, recognizing systemic impact is crucial. It enables coordinated efforts to address the interconnected factors contributing to these issues and allows us to design interventions that address root causes and systemic barriers, rather than merely addressing symptoms.

Systemic impact has been gaining ground in the philanthropic sector who is starting to expand further its impact lens further, exploring systems analysis as a tool to help them do so. Stone Soup has started working with clients in that direction and we present our first publication on this important topic, Systems change: how will we know it is working? This first publication, elaborated by principal consultant Leonora Buckland, shows how we have done it and the lessons we have learnt along the way, hoping it can inspire others who wish to expand their outlook on impact, from an individual to a collective, systemic one.