For the first time in a few, very strange years, we’ve taken a moment to draw breath and reflect on the last 12 months, before pressing on with purpose toward the partners, projects and potential that lie ahead.
This was a year of re-emergence and renewal. We had survived, and in reality, thrived. A team of driven and passionate people continued to creative positive change and deliver meaningful impact under considerable pressures. It was time to take back the initiative, and lay a positive path for the year ahead.
That looked like strategic and intentional growth, gearing our thinking and practice to scale impact. Inviting other passionate, empathetic and intelligent professionals into our team. Embracing the opportunities presented by client relationships, built on performance and trust, to go bigger and bolder. Seeking complex societal and systemic problems, on which to apply our acumen and methodologies as an integrated, multidisciplinary team. On reflection, it went well.
It looked like this by the numbers:
- 7 new hires
- 4 EJ babies
- 62 clients
- 116 projects
- 5+ major awards
Issues that face everyone, everywhere.
FY21-22 marked the maturation of our applied multidisciplinary approach to tackle significant societal problems. Sustainable transition continued to frame previously siloed behaviours around energy, waste, consumption, circularity and environment as facets of the ‘greater whole’. Mental Health at work (or under/unemployment), at home, and in society continued to receive the visibility and investment that is desperately needed, particularly in the wake of the pandemic and long-term lockdown impacts.
Projects with the City of Banyule, City of Stonnington, City of Glen Eira and others, worked to transform behaviours around waste, reducing landfill, recycling contamination, and harnessing the power of food and organic waste. New conversations with commercial waste businesses (soon to be revealed) have begun to close the loop further.
Continuing work with the National Mental Health Commission, Beyond Blue and WorkSafe Victoria provided the opportunity to meaningfully contribute to the response to Australia’s mental health crisis; tackling barriers and stigma, and in improving access to support for all Australians.
Most importantly we continue to measure the impact of the work, and the results are encouraging. It is clear, however, that there is always more work to do. We are thankful for long-term, trusting relationships with clients in which we learn and refine together, amplifying impact with each new phase of activity.
There was external validation too with several projects collecting industry awards and commendations including:
- IABC Gold Quill Awards – Award of Excellence: for our work with the Victorian Disability Worker Commission on their disability worker registration campaign
- The Communicator Awards – Award of Excellence: for our work with Energy Safe Victoria on their ‘Be sure’ gas heater safety campaign
- Premier’s Design Awards – Communication Design Finalist: for our work with Yüme on evolving their brand identity
- Premier’s Design Awards – Communication Design Finalist: for our work with Oho on their brand, website and marketing strategy
- DRIVENxDESIGN Gov Design Awards – Gold Award: for our work with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and the Consumer Policy Research Centre on the Energy Affordability Training Partnership to reduce energy costs for vulnerable consumers
- DRIVENxDESIGN Gov Design Awards – Silver Award: for our work with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning on their Waterways of the West community consultation and engagement toolkit
Team growth and renewal.
A COVID-normal outlook has meant changes to our team in the last year. We fondly farewelled alumni as they took on new challenges, new careers and new locations. There was an EJ baby boom, with four freshies inducted as ‘(very) junior consultants’. Planning for the EJ early learning centre is well underway.
We’ve taken the time to celebrate community and relationship. The importance of connection to each other and to the communities we live in. From a piñata party that verged on therapeutic catharsis, to a ‘partners, pets and pals’ night, we’ve reconnected and found the joy in those we work alongside…and the people, ponchos and pooches that love them.
Change presented an opportunity to welcome new members to the team. Matt, Jess, Adam, Liv, James, Fede and Sara. All bring significant experience and acumen with diverse skills and are united by purpose; to move people and change the world, for good.
Together, this refreshed Ellis Jones team is scaling impact by taking on larger, more complex challenges than ever before with connected, multidisciplinary responses. Clear, critical thinking backed by proven, rigorous methods.
Fresh eyes have brought new perspectives, and a gamut of experience has helped create new tools and processes. We look forward to sharing them with our clients and their teams over coming months.
The year ahead will contain challenges for all of us. Domestically rising inflation, cost of living and energy prices put those already on the margins further at risk. The global economic outlook is also decidedly pessimistic. In June, the World Bank cut global GDP growth projection from 4.1% to 2.9%, and research suggests that business sentiment about the second half of 2022 is comparable with the early stages of the pandemic in 2020. The accelerating impacts of climate change are being felt from Taree to Tyneside.
This makes the business of generating positive social impact more pressing and vital than ever. Shared value as a lens on growth, innovation and impact has never been more relevant to mobilise capital to areas of greatest need, and amplify results globally.
We’re well equipped and motivated to support clients and collaborators in reframing problems, creating lateral connections, thinking bigger, pivoting, and seizing opportunities the new financial year will bring.