Adaptive strategy, values, and theory of change for a social enterprise collective.


We refer to this work often in the Executive Team and with the Board, and it has wide acceptance. Thanks so much for your help on the strategy! We could not have done it without you.

- Nicolas Porter, CTO, CERES

Project info

CERES Strategy


CERES is a social enterprise collective with an annual turnover of over $20m. Spread across four locations, their businesses include an urban farm, nursery, food delivery, two cafes, and a grocery. They also provide a home to a range of community groups and serve as a gathering place for dozens more. Their purpose with all of this work is to 'help people fall in love with the Earth again.'

CERES approached Hinterland when looking for a values-aligned external facilitator to design and lead a process to update their theory of change, values, and strategic plan.

CERES was after a comprehensive process involving the board, executive, team managers, and external stakeholders.


After consulting with the CERES board strategy working group, Hinterland designed a six month, two-phase process to create an adaptive strategy for CERES. 

Creating an adaptive strategy requires balancing deliberate plans with a strong understanding of who you are and what you stand for to allow an intelligent response to opportunities and challenges that emerge along to the way.

The process for CERES included internal and external discovery, a sense-making process with staff and board members, and a consolidation, prioritisation, and storytelling process.

Executed during the uncertainty of the pandemic, a significant number of workshops were conducted over zoom, making extensive use of breakout rooms and interactive digital whiteboards (Mural). One attendee commented that it was the best online workshop they had ever attended.


One year later, CERES have continued to use the work we produced together on a daily basis. We developed new language to help describe what CERES is (a Home, School, Farm, and Market), language for how CERES makes a systemic impact, and a set of organisation-wide values.

CERES used our work to create a public booklet that describes how they make change. You can view that here.

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