Theory of Change

A theory of change is a type of general plan for an organisation in which long-term goals are defined and then mapped backward to identify necessary preconditions. It’s useful as a way for the organisation to clarify exactly what is needed in order for it to achieve its mission.

In the case of Feasta, with its multifaceted and interconnected goals, it is also a helpful communications tool as it places the individual strands of Feasta’s activity (climate, currency, commons, land value tax, basic income etc) within a broader context that may not be obvious otherwise.

Feasta’s theory of change is modified each year (or more often if necessary) as circumstances and goals change. This is the third edition. Please bear in mind that its current form doesn’t fully communicate various nuances such as the interrelatedness of some of the actions we are pursuing (e.g., monetary reform relieving the pressure on the economy to expand and thus also reducing damage to the climate and biodiversity) and the vital importance of acting in partnership with other organisations.

Below is an outline view of our 2021 theory of change. To see a more detailed version, please click on the image and zoom in to read the text (your cursor will automatically switch to zoom mode). It may take a little time to load.

This year we’re using ecological economist Kate Raworth’s idea of a ‘safe and just space for humanity’ within a Doughnut of Social and Planetary Boundaries as our desired outcome. We tilted the Doughnut on its side so that you can see the edges, which represent the ecological ceiling and the social foundation.

We’ve placed the Doughnut on three supports, representing six initiatives that Feasta members are directly involved in or advocate – sometimes through Feasta and sometimes through other initiatives. If one support is removed, the structure will fall over. This is because we think that all six initiatives, or something like them, are needed.The different preconditions – pilots, broader and global – in the layers below these supports act as ‘nutrients’ in the ‘ground’ which the supports are resting on.

While we were inspired by the Doughnut model, any errors in this theory of change are our own. You can find out more about what other groups are doing to promote the Doughnut around the world here, and in Ireland, here.

To download the detailed version of our theory of change, right-click on the image and select ‘download file’ or ‘save file’. To download the outline view, right-click on the image and select ‘download image’ or ‘save image’.

Like the Doughnut, our theory of change has a Creative Commons licence, which means you can share and adapt it as you wish so long as you provide attribution and use the same licence. We’d appreciate also if you could let us know that you’re using it, at [email protected] Comments and suggestions about it are very welcome.