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Changemakers - Andrew Young

4 June 2012 at 10:38 am
Staff Reporter
Andrew Young, chief executive of the Centre for Social Impact, is profiled in Changemakers - a regular column which examines inspiring people and their careers in the Not for Profit sector.

Staff Reporter | 4 June 2012 at 10:38 am


Changemakers - Andrew Young
4 June 2012 at 10:38 am

Andrew Young, chief executive of the Centre for Social Impact, is profiled in Changemakers – a regular column which examines inspiring people and their careers in the Not for Profit sector.

The Centre for Social Impact brings together the business, government, philanthropic and social (Not for Profit) sectors, in a collaborative effort to build community capacity and facilitate social innovation. Its ambition is to help build an Australia which is renowned for its professionalism and competence in delivering community benefits and social innovation. CSI brings a sense of urgency to the task of building a civil society that is open, inclusive and sustainable.

What drew you to the Not for Profit sector?

Twelve years ago I was a strategy consultant with an international strategy consulting company. It was a fantastic place to learn and I made some long-lasting friendships with others in my peer group there.

When I made the decision to move into a role with “more meaning”, two partners from the consulting each sat me down and asked me to explain what I was doing:
? One sought to change my mind – with the advice that I was ruining my career
? One sought to better understand my motives – with the view that there were others at the company from my generation who had similar motivations, and the company risked losing more of us unless it responded to these motivations.

In hindsight, both had a point, but I hope more one than the other! Many from my small peer group at the consultancy now have leadership roles in community and/or sustainability and I think that my generation (and the one following) is much more interested in roles that deliver positive social impact and not just financial return. At the same time I’m not sure that the “social impact” space is yet winning the war for talent or that it is recognised (by the private sector) as a place for great career development.

For as long as I can remember – I’ve known that I wouldn’t be completely fulfilled by a role unless I could be proud of what I/my company “made”. I’ve also known that I am driven by accomplishment and achievement. Working in Not for Profit roles is rewarding for me on both fronts.

What do you like best about working in your current organisation?

The opportunity to be a part of big-picture change.

I think we have an unprecedented opportunity to create a vision for the future of social impact in Australia – one that I think includes (among others) a stronger focus on social outcomes at the heart of organisation missions, credible and transparent measurement and reporting of social outcomes, growth in the strength of sector management and leadership, effective social innovation and frameworks for cross-sectoral collaboration and drivers that support and reward these things, including new funding models.

CSI is already doing some great work in these areas.

I consider my greatest achievement to be…

That’s easy. My family – my wife Shannon and my two girls Gemma (4) and Phoebe (2½). They’re all amazing.

What are you reading/watching/listening to at the moment?

My wife and I were given (on DVD) series 1 of “The Wire” – a police drama based in Baltimore. We put off watching it but are completely hooked (and have bought series 2-5!). While it can be fairly full-on, it’s really well written and explores the positive and negative values of “both sides” of crime in a community with significant social and racial issues.

I’m also reading The Magic Faraway Tree with my kids!

Favourite saying…

“I’ve always said there are three kinds of people – those who can count, and those who can’t . . .”

Also one from a friend of mine, “common sense . . . isn’t”.

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