Rhod Ellis-Jones is a business, social innovation and communication strategist with diverse experience delivering advice and services to major private and public companies, governments and non-government organisations. He leads Ellis Jones’ cross-disciplinary team.
Rhod’s key areas of professional interest include shared value and social impact strategy, social innovation, behavioural research, identity and purpose-led communications.
Originally an earth scientist, Rhod began working in issues and crisis management consulting as an entry point to the strategic communications discipline. Soon after, he worked as a speechwriter and political advisor to two lord mayors of Melbourne. He established Ellis Jones in 2008.
A passion for strategy and complex problem-solving led to the foundation of a research practice. Soon after, Ellis Jones established a design studio to ensure the integrity of strategy execution and to challenge contemporary visual design practice.
In 2012, Rhod began steering Ellis Jones to its present position as a multidisciplinary social impact consultancy. He worked with leaders in Europe and the US to develop and establish shared value as a strategy and design framework in the Australian context. He also founded the Shared Value Project, now an incorporated not-for-profit with activities in Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand.
Since 2013, he has coached and facilitated shared value training for corporate and not-for-profit leaders. He has also designed and led masterclass programs with sector-specific focuses (energy, aged care), and features annually as a guest lecturer at the Melbourne Business School (MBS) Asia-Pacific Social Impact Centre.
Under Rhod’s stewardship, Ellis Jones has developed a range of social innovation models, through co-design and behavioural research, working in aged care, disability, health, community services, environmental sustainability and arts contexts. His business transformation work includes operations, experience, gateway and service design.
Since Ellis Jones’ inception, Rhod has led the design of social mobilisation campaigns addressing important social and environmental issues. The agency has won international and national awards for its purpose-led campaign work. In 2018, Rhod led a national project with the Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Energy (DoEE) to co-design cross-sector solutions to Australia’s diverse environmental challenges. Outcomes included the department’s first ministerial partnership statement.
Importantly, Rhod has steered the transformation of Ellis Jones into a shared value enterprise, balancing social impact with business sustainability. Today, social purpose and a focus on social impact is embedded in the culture and practice of the agency, from employee recruitment to investments and strategic decision-making.
Rhod is a former board member of Chunky Move contemporary dance company and trustee for Vienna-based visual arts foundation, Blood Mountain. He is also on the board of two social enterprises, Change Never Ages and Good Thing.
Rhod holds a Master of Arts (Communication) from RMIT University and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Melbourne.