Social Change

Social change research makes sense of human progress, from the local scale to the global, enabling governments, businesses and communities to respond in ways that benefit and strengthen society.

Our research focuses on four key areas: health and social policy and practice; mobility, migration and security; digital transformations; and, work.

In the social sciences and humanities, impact is best understood as influencing a set of connections that we need to design into research and collaborations from the beginning, by listening to and working with collaborators outside universities.

While, for example, working on the beginnings of the Digital Asia Hub, a Hong Kong-based think tank incubated at Harvard University, we have seen how impact can be built into an international research network from the beginning, by involving a diverse group of academic, civil society, and private sector partners.

Julian Thomas

Our Vision

Julian Thomas, Director, RMIT Social Change ECP

We will work with our research partners to improve public policy and social outcomes and to inform public understanding of social change. 

Creating impact in the community

Social Change affiliated Research Centres and Networks

Key application areas

Community and social services
Small and large NGOs
Health, disability and aged care services
Local, state, federal and international government
Justice and legal insurance
Migration and settlement services
Technology and telecommunication industries

Research and innovation priorities

Transformations in health and social policy and practice

How can we understand and help shape possible futures for health and social support? This includes exploring:

  • how to design the best quality service systems and infrastructure to meet the needs of individuals and communities, and
  • how to contribute to new forms of primary intervention (for instance, in relation to gendered violence)

Transformations in mobility, migration and security

What are the economic, cultural and social implications of increasing global mobility and our changing experiences of place and displacement? This includes understanding:

  • the impact relocation and migration has on social identities, networks and political communities, and
  • how to improve public policies and practices in migration, settlement and related areas

Transformations in digital society and economy

What are the social, economic and cultural consequences of automation and digital transformations in industry, government and everyday life? This includes asking how to:

  • improve digital inclusion
  • stimulate an innovative and vibrant economy, and
  • protect and extend users’ digital rights

Transformations in work

What are the consequences of the changing nature and political economy of work, income and employment in Australia and at the global level?

How can we improve working lives and wellbeing by opening up access to decent work opportunities?

Contact us

Contact Social Change
Professor Julian Thomas
+61 3 9925 3992
Contact Research Capability at RMIT

Connect with RMIT Research

If you're not sure how you can best work with us, our team can explain what's possible and put you in touch with the right person. 

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.