Community Lab

Theory-of-change Stacking-colour

What is the Community Lab?

Through the Community Lab, we seek to connect, convene, catalyse, and (where appropriate) coordinate priority projects that enable the Give Where You Live Foundation to increase impact across the G21 region. 

The Community Lab works with community partners and community members to imagine, design, and implement new solutions to complex problems. Through a commitment to true co-design approaches, we seek to understand what the strengths and desires of the community are, and how we can collectively seek to achieve these. 

In line with our Partnership Impact Fund, we seek to prioritise projects which contribute towards one or more of the following: 

  • Taking a systems-change approach to addressing the underlying causes of inequality and inequity (including support for key research and advocacy). 
  • Supporting the delivery of key work which contributes towards place-based change, in particular: 
  • Building social capital and supporting people to shape their own community; or 
  • Enabling and catalysing the social economy and community wealth building. 
  • Supporting co-design initiatives that seek to elevate community voice on critical issues which matter to them, and partner in the testing and trailing of solutions. 
  • Support to innovate and catalyse new ideas through ideation and experimentation. 
  • Ideation: Starting with posing a problem and supporting the development and testing of an idea. 
  • Experimentation: Assisting an emerging idea to be further developed and tested. 
  • Contribute towards key outcomes of other Give Where You Live change initiatives such as Feed Geelong and G21 Region Opportunities for Work, and which do not fall within standard annual grant rounds. 




Why the Community Lab?

Our Theory of Change articulates the varying resources and roles we use to help create a fairer G21 community. Whilst the grants we provide to local community partners are critical for ensuring that all people are given equitable opportunities to thrive in our community, we also know that broader challenges continue to exist.  

Through the Community Lab, the Give Where You Live Foundation seeks to shift and change the conditions which hold some of these problems in place – we seek to try something new, gain new or different insights into issues, and challenge the status quo. 

With a commitment to true codesign, we acknowledge that we all hold different perspectives and views of the world around us. We cannot truly understand an issue if we don’t actively seek to understand, listen and learn from diverse perspectives and views. Critical to this is valuing three fundamental perspectives – those of people with lived experience of the issue and community; those which can bring research and evidence of what is working and what is not; and the unique role that our First Nations people hold within our community. Through the Community Lab and co-design approach, we seek to partner with varied organisations and communities, with a commitment to learn together and seek a better-shared understanding and view of our world.