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.

Portrait of Lisa Given

Our vision

Professor Lisa Given, 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

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ECP Post-COVID-19 Restart Initiatives

Along with harnessing existing research networks and projects to respond to COVID-19, RMIT’s Enabling Capability Platforms (ECPs) launched five cross-platform initiatives in June 2020 to address various key areas for post COVID-19 recovery. 

Social Change affiliated Research Centres and Networks

Digital Ethnography Research Centre

Centre for Urban Research

Social and Global Studies Centre

Centre for People, Organisation and Work

Blockchain Innovation Hub

Workforce Innovation and Development Institute

Health Transformation Lab

Business and Human Rights Centre

Centre for International Development

Centre for Innovative Justice

Centre for Cyber Security Research and Innovation

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Concept Paper Series 2019

The Enabling Capability Platforms initiated Concept Papers aimed at supporting the development of ideas for major interdisciplinary projects to address significant challenges requiring a truly interdisciplinary team to make substantial progress.

Dr Serene Ho’s Concept Paper titled ‘Thinking About Treaty Spatially’ is now available to view. The paper explores spatial implications of treaty for land and geospatial professionals for building a shared future.

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 Digital Society

What are the social, economic, and cultural consequences of digital transformations in our communities, workplaces, and in everyday life? This includes exploring:

  • How to improve digital inclusion, address digital biases, and use technological interventions for public good
  • How to harness new technologies to stimulate an innovative and vibrant economy
  • How to foster adoption of digital innovations in our homes and workplaces

Transformations in Quality of Life

How can we understand and help shape possible futures for human health, well-being, and overall quality of life? This includes exploring:

  • How to design the best quality service systems and infrastructure to meet the needs of individuals and communities
  • How to contribute to new forms of primary intervention (for instance, in relation to gendered violence or climate change)
  • How to harness our social and cultural institutions to support learning and human connectedness, across the lifespan

Transformations in Global Mobility

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

  • How to foster international connections in a post-pandemic world
  • How to manage the impact of relocation and migration on social identities, networks, and political communities
  • How to improve policies and practices in migration, settlement, and related areas

Transformations in Research Practice for Social Change

How can we understand researchers’ needs and capacity for engaging in collaborative, interdisciplinary, and impact-focused research? This includes exploring:

  • How to prepare researchers and organisations for community-engaged practices that support adoption of innovations
  • How to measure success of community engagement, research translation, co-design, and other impact-related practices
  • How to design and support open research practices appropriate for various disciplines and impact contexts (e.g., communities; governments; workplaces)

Contact us

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. 

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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 - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

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.