Informed by Science.

Driven by Data.

Inspired by Humans.

Learning for Purpose is an independent, non-partisan, national initiative to build capacity, culture and capability of For-Purpose organisations.

We leverage organisational science and modern analytics to help For-Purpose organisations attract, retain, develop, and motivate the best people so they can make Australia even better.

Through our research, analytics, and learning opportunities we transform Not-for-Profit sector thought and practice towards the evidence-based leadership of people, work and organisations.

The initiative is led out of Curtin University, School of Management in collaboration with the Not-for-Profit sector, social enterprises, universities, government partners, industry and philanthropists.

WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO

The Learning for Purpose initiative was created because everyone in Australia benefits from those 600,000 For-Purpose organisations that address social disadvantage, education, well-being, community cohesion, sports, biodiversity, artistic creation, cultural heritage, and more. This sector employs 1.3 million people and motivates about 3 million volunteers, and our reliance on them continues to deepen.

The leadership of this workforce has a profound effect on the purposes and people they serve. Meanwhile, public reforms, growing demand, and increased competition require Not-for-Profit organisations to become more efficient, increasingly innovate, and deliver ever greater impact. They way forward is not to make everyone work harder, but help people, leadership and organisations become smarter.

RESEARCH

To improve the impact and efficiency of the For-Purpose sector, our research is designed to make work better. We conduct studies and reviews that examine what works, for whom, why and at what cost.

By leveraging decades of organisational science and advanced analytics, we share credible and useful evidence to transform thought and practice of leaders, funders, and policy makers.
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ANALYTICS

We build resources for humans. Today’s best leadership takes advantage of organisational science and people analytics to strategically align work practices and organisational culture that aid objectives, sustainability and impact.

Get actionable insights from your workforce data to help optimise your time and funds. Let evidence inform your decisions that reduce costs and increase productivity.
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LEARNING

The right knowledge, skills, and abilities make For-Purpose employees and volunteers more effective in their roles, and this facilitates organisational sustainability and impact.

By using the science on learning to put the latest evidence into practice, we design, deliver, advise, evaluate, and help resource activities that build the key capabilities you need.
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LEADERSHIP

Our integrated team melds expertise in the science and management of people, organisations and work within the For-Purpose context, and lot’s of practical and positive spirit. We are excited by what we can accomplish together, and not afraid to question convention and tackle wicked challenges.

Dr Ramon Wenzel, Director Learning for Purpose

Ramon Wenzel, Ph.D., is the Director of the Learning for Purpose initiative to research and realise the potential of For-Purpose organisations and their people. He is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Management, Curtin University.

Ramon draws on human psychology, organisational management and data analytics to improve the effectiveness, evaluation, re/design and transfer of all forms of formal and informal work learning including training, leadership development, and action learning.

Ramon spearheads a national team comprising a wealth of expertise, experience, networks, and dedication.

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Prof Paul Flatau
Director Centre for Social Impact, University of Western Australia

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Prof Sharon Parker
Director Centre for Transformative Work Design, Curtin University

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Prof Karin Sanders
Director Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, UNSW

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Dr Tim Bednall
Senior Lecturer, Management, Swinburne University

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Dr Renu Burr
Associate Professor, University of Western Australia

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MILESTONES

Productivity Commission Report
Pilot Study
Origin Foundation Funding
Report on Social Return on Education and Training
Continued Research Funding
Action Learning for Purpose
Not-for-Profit Workforce Study
National Research Roadshow

Productivity Commission Report

2010 | The Australian Productivity Commission released its report on the "Contribution of the Not-for-Profit Sector". It is found that the Australian Not-for-Profit sector is large, diverse, and socially and economically significant. The wider understanding of the sector's role and contribution is considered "poor and deserves attention". The report highlights "increasing workforce pressures" and the "need to strengthen the capacity" and to "address future workforce needs".

Pilot Study

2013 | A pilot study is developed with the Australian Scholarships Foundation to systematically examine professional development offerings relevant for the Not-for-Profit sector and test pre- and post-training levels of key competencies and confidence, among other measures.

Origin Foundation Funding

2014 | Origin Foundation commits to and generously supports a program of ground breaking research on the Social Return on Education and Training in the Australian Not-for-Profit-Sector.

Report on Social Return on Education and Training

2015 | The landmark report on the Social Return on Education and Training studies is released. It is the first systematic examination of opportunities and challenges relating to the professional development of the Australian Not-for-Profit workforce.

Continued Research Funding

2015 | The Australian Research Council partially funds the continuation of the Learning for Purpose research agenda until 2018 through a Linkage Grant that involves EY and the Australian Scholarships Foundation. Australian Executor Trustees give further support to the Australian Not-for-Profit Workforce Study.

Action Learning for Purpose

2016 | The first Australian Action Learning Program for the Not-for-Profit sector is developed and offered for free through the proud support of BHP Billiton and in collaboration with WACOSS. Two cohorts comprising 25 Not-for-Profit experience accelerated individual-organisational development to realise a challenge for greater impact.

Not-for-Profit Workforce Study

2017 | The Australian Not-for-Profit Workforce Study is underway. It is the largest ever research study on and for all levels of Not-for-Profit employees and volunteers. It is designed to share freely the most effective means for making Not-for-Profit work more developmental, healthy, meaningful, and productive.

National Research Roadshow

2018 | Our roadshow brings the research to the people. Proudly hosted by EY in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. We share early findings and highlight leadership implications to more than 550 Not-for-Profit CEOs, GMs, HR Directors and those responsible for People and Culture. The insights suggest upward potential to improve the design of work, better address professional development, and lift the health and wellbeing of the workforce across the nation.

PARTNERS

The challenges we tackle require to work side-by-side with experts from the Not-for-Profit sector, social enterprises, universities, government partners, industry and philanthropists. Making a meaningful impact at scale requires deep collaboration and partners that facilitate opportunities, data and resources. Join us.

Partners from the past, thank you!