In our society, we often identify a cohort of people that have a problem. Perhaps these are people who are 'socially isolated.' Our way to deal with this issue is to surround that cohort with services to 'fix' them.
While social services are essential to the democratic project, there are serious limitations to the kinds of change our systems can create. Further, the challenge that any cohort faces can almost always be expressed as a symptom of bigger challenges in our broader society.
Social isolation, for example, pathologises and personalises a challenge that is in fact structural and societal. We have changed the ways we live, work, and relate to each other so dramatically over the past four generations that our structures in society actively separate us instead of connect us.
For Hinterland, the most interesting opportunities are working with broader society. We believe in taking a bigger lens that locates the problem in our broader structures and behaviours.
Hinterland is led by Ryan Hubbard and backed by a diverse set of partners with shared values and complementary skillsets.
Ryan is a trusted advisor for social and environmental change organisations across Australia.
He has more than a decade of experience in design, strategy and facilitation. He has advised non-profits like the Clean Energy Council, Fred Hollows Foundation, and the Australian Conservation Foundation, social enterprises like CERES and Gather My Crew, and government agencies from Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland, and WA.
Ryan’s work has been featured in local and international publications including Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and the Atlantic.
As an educator, Ryan has run training and development for thousands of professionals in leadership, human-centred design, systems thinking, and social change.
Outside of Hinterland, Ryan is a States of Change Fellow on their global faculty, an associate at the Australian Centre for Social Innovation. He’s also the founder and director of Nature Festival in SA, an annual celebration of our love of nature with more than 350 events across South Australia.
Ryan studied complex systems as part of the third class at the Olin College of Engineering, and he studied human-centred design as part of the inaugural class at the Austin Centre for Design, which was specifically founded to apply creative problem solving to big, stuck social challenges.
Outside of work, Ryan enjoys mountains, mandolins, and chocolate milkshakes.
Hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up.
We believe in taking a stance, getting involved, and building alternatives.
Our liberation is bound up together.
"If you have come to help me you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” - Aboriginal activists, 1970s.
We start with a mindful pause.
We believe in moving from a place of strength, possibility, and kindness, not from fear or 'not-enough-ness'.
We are always learning.
We continually seek outside inspiration, always reflect on how we can improve, and believe in cross-pollinating insights from our partners.
Longer tables, not higher walls.
In a culture that valorises a ruthless individuality, kindness and generosity can be radical acts.
We've worked with a bevy of great clients.
Our projects have been mentioned in...
And our work has received global recognition.