About Eidos

The Eidos Institute, a social enterprise, is a network of partners dedicated to turning ideas into practical action to solve difficult social and economic problems.

Eidos seeks to change the way Australia's important social and economic challenges are solved. It works by using shared intelligence, research and collaborative problem-solving, an antidote to popularist slogans and simplistic answers.

When issues are complex and intractable, conventional measures are unlikely to work. It is time for fresh and unusual perspectives, tapping into the ideas of diverse people and organisations, who rarely connect with each other. Eidos links public and private sector researchers, policy-makers, social entrepreneurs, universities, not-for-profits, businesses, impact investors, practitioners and influential leaders.

Eidos is the place that makes these connections, and combines these diverse sources of knowledge, research, evidence and insights in imaginative ways and incubates them for practical action.

Since its inception formally in 2004, the Eidos Institute (Eidos) has engaged its partners in collaborative research and problem-solving that draws on Eidos' network of thought leaders. Initially, the focus was on universities and senior government departments around Australia and contributing to better public policy making.

Alert to new entrants into the 'open sourcing' of policy advice and to online and social media platforms and business models for wider community input into civic conversations, Eidos has evolved.

Beyond events and policy congresses, Eidos developed MindHive, an online crowd-sourcing platform providing services in ideas generation and curated solutions for clients. MindHive grew successfully with the support of government, university and business partners and philanthropists who shared Eidos' vision. Eidos piloted MindHive and built it to become investment-ready. MindHive was successfully commercialised and separated from Eidos as a stand-alone company at the end of 2017, with Eidos as one of its shareholders.

Eidos continues as a not-for-profit and a for-purpose organisation. Eidos has reinvigorated its core role as a connector and collaborator for critical thinking and fresh ideas to solve problems that matter. As Eidos evolves, it will continue to refine its goal and grow its network.

Eidos' Approach to Problem Solving

Eidos is pioneering diversity of thought and an evidence-rich way of addressing complex problems by shared intelligence and collaborative incubation of new ideas, with the aim of turning these into practical solutions. Eidos creates the space for imaginative problem-solving through the diverse ideas of ‘the crowd’ in a 3 step process of Conversations, Challenges and Connections. This approach aims to clearly define the problem, stimulate wide-ranging engagement, and actively seek out and test solutions.



Eidos Conversations ask and explore the big questions behind the problem, through face-to-face and online roundtables, events and hacks.

What’s different in Eidos’ approach is who participates in the conversation, and the collaborations that lead to fresh angles and a deeper understanding of the problem and its effects.



Eidos Challenges encourage, engage with and provide incentives for potential problem-solvers to draw out various imaginative and plausible solutions.

Eidos’ process is distinctive as it accesses wide-ranging expertise through the online crowd-sourcing platform, MindHive, and it partners with philanthropists and other donors to support a healthy contest of ideas for the best solution to emerge.



Eidos Connections support the problem-solver to bring the favoured solution to life through access to mentoring and relevant connections.

This is the critical stage of turning ideas into action. By introductions and mentoring, we help kick-start the research and reality-testing of the solution and its implementation.


Here's what's being said about Eidos

Case Study: Eidos' Inaugural Challenge on Social Procurement

In June 2017, Eidos, in partnership with the English Family Foundation, piloted its more focused problem-solving approach with a national Challenge on Social Procurement for growing the social enterprise sector.


Eidos, in partnership with Allan English and the English Family Foundation, hosted an Eidos Conversation addressing Social Procurement. The Conversation tackled a significant economic and social gap – enabling government and business to buy from social enterprises to grow the social enterprise sector. The Conversation brought together a diverse national group of participants at the Brisbane Powerhouse, to pull apart the challenge of social procurement and produce the right questions for the challenge to address.

Watch a 3 minute overview


The Challenge phase focused on asking how social enterprises in Australia can be made more capable and able to achieve higher impact. The English Family Foundation gifted Eidos $25,000 as a contribution to the identification of possible solutions and to support the successful problem-solver to undertake action research to make their idea a reality. Using MindHive's innovative online challenge platform, Eidos looked for solutions in new places. Participants were encouraged to go beyond single answers, thus enabling themselves and other innovators to collaborate together to develop richer, multi-dimensional solutions.This inaugural challenge concluded in December 2017 with judging by the Eidos Research Committee and announcement of the successful proposal. A key part of the process was continual engagement as solutions to the Challenge were offered by participants, including a final Roundtable of participants with the Research Committee and Eidos' network of partners.



The successful proposal was LendForGood, a crowd-lending platform to support the growth and fill a financing gap for small to medium social purpose enterprises. LendForGood is a crowd-lending platform designed to allow retail/small investors to participate in supporting the acceleration and growth of small to medium social purpose enterprises through a distributed risk model. The LendForGood Platform provides short term trade finance loans to accelerate the growth and development of small and medium enterprises that pursue and transparently demonstrate positive economic, social, cultural and/or environmental impact in the Asia-Pacific region. This proposal is a joint initiative between a crowd funding platform, StartSomeGood and Red Hat Impact, an impact business advisory and lending firm. The Connections phase, which commenced in January 2018, uses a flexible process to enable the solution to develop. In the case of LendForGood, this involves supporting the team to build and test a minimum viable product for the crowd-lending platform, together with the development of a Business Plan for LendForGood which can be used for capital raising purposes. The Connections Phase was successfully completed in September 2018.

The Eidos Team

Who We Are

Narelle Kennedy

Narelle Kennedy AM is a pioneer of research into the realities of business innovation, particularly its human dimensions. Her work has provided the evidence to allow all organisations to innovate, not just high tech elites. Narelle operates her own research and consulting company, The Kennedy Company Pty Ltd. She founded and led the pioneering, business-backed research think tank, the Australian Business Foundation as CEO for over 15 years.

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Timothy O'Brien

Timothy spends his time connecting, developing and facilitating purpose based strategy, innovation and cultural change. He believes in the power of business as a force for change and leveraging the capabilities of individuals to develop powerful ideas. Timothy is a systems thinker, innovator, designer and loves creating change with others. Timothy has held senior strategy and advisory roles in both Australia and the UK.

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Carolyn Ballinger

Carolyn has a distinguished public service career, having held senior directorship positions in the Western Australian and Victorian public services, including in Victoria the Environmental Protection Authority, Department of Consumer Affairs, the Alpine Resorts Commission, the Department of Planning and Environment, the Department of Local Government and the Department of the Treasury. While in the Western Australian Public Works Department, Carolyn was awarded a Churchill Fellowship for study overseas. She has been Chair of National Health and Medical Research Council and Standards Association of Australia committees, and President of the Australian Acoustical Society. More recently, Carolyn has run her own company, consulting on the strategic sourcing of human resources services.

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Ryan Menner
Community Liaison Officer

Ryan is the Eidos Community Liaison Officer, and is based at the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (QUT). In this role Ryan pulls together the enthusiasm and intellectual capital of the EIDOS community, to turn ideas into action. Beyond this role, Ryan has teaching commitments in Economics and Policy at QUT, and is also undertaking a Masters of Philosophy, looking at prosocial behaviour.

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