Intensive innovation training for elite policy-making teams in Australia and New Zealand.


We have flipped the positive to negative feedback ratio on our project from 10/90 to 90/10 over the past six months.

- Participating policy team

Project info

States of Change


Started out of NESTA in the UK, States of Change is a global organisation supporting government agencies to operate more experimentally, more effectively, and more ambitiously. 

In 2019, States of Change wanted to run a project-based learning experience for policy teams across Australia and New Zealand.

“Hinterland brought not only their considerable subject matter expertise on design and innovation; they also brought incredible warmth, patience and generosity to the learning experience. It was a genuine pleasure for facilitators and learners alike.” - Brenton Caffin, Executive Director, States of Change


Hinterland designed and led the facilitation of a comprehensive 6 month program for 8 teams from QLD, VIC, WA, and New Zealand. It was delivered alongside Brenton Caffin and international collaborators including Cassie Robinson (UK), Penny Hagen (NZ), and Andrea Siodmok (Policy Lab, UK).

The program was spread out over five week-long intensive training sessions. Between sessions the teams applied the learnings to live policy projects.The curriculum blended human-centred design, systems thinking, and skills around leadership organisational change.

The curriculum blended human-centred design, systems thinking, and skills around leadership organisational change. The curriculum was applied to live policy projects that the teams were working on.

Draft outline of one of five week-long intensive trainings.


Participants reported increased confidence in creating effective change. One team said the program "exposed us to a wealth of ideas, processes and stories; all of which contributed to and built upon our collective wisdom."

Some of the most commonly reported outcomes among teams were:

  • Refined project purpose and problem framing
  • Clearer lines of inquiry and connection to immediate and longer term actions
  • Increased team/community cohesion and collective ownership of ideas and solutions

They also said:

  • “It gave me a feeling of hope and excitement for the project that I didn’t have previously.
  • “Templates and tools we were given were really handy and helped us …breathe life into previously difficult and overwhelming projects.”
  • “The depth reached through the reflective practice is something that was profound for me and others.”
  • “Thank you. I have a fancy new toolkit, vocabulary and the confidence to start and influence conversations. I didn’t save the world, but it did change me.”
Paper prototyping policy interactions during one of the intensive workshops.
States of Change teams on our field trip to Stradbroke Island
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