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Participatory Design in Social Change

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Event description

The BCC is pleased to welcome guest speaker Dr Taylor Willmott, an award-winning researcher and Lecturer at the Univeristy of Adelaide, to present this special workshop - Participatory Design in Social Change, where participants will learn to differentiate between meaningful and tokenistic engagement.

Participation is a fundamental human right; however, evidence reviews suggest current definitions of ‘participation’ and its application vary considerably. Many so-called participatory approaches do not meaningfully engage people in the design of programs that are intended for them. Uncertainty persists regarding why and how to engage people in program design, leading to criticisms of exclusivity and tokenism. Understanding how to differentiate meaningful from tokenistic engagement is critical in ensuring programs are developed with and not for people. 

This workshop will provide an overview of recent reviews evaluating participatory design application in social settings. Strengths-based co-design will be demonstrated as one approach that can be used to meaningfully engage participants in program design and evaluation.

The workshop will run for 1.5 hours, with opportunity for Q&A.  Light refreshments will be provided.

This is a subsidised event, presented to share knowledge and help build capacity and capability within local governments, non-profits, charities, academia and social enterprises.  

Course details

Date: 8 December 2023

Time: 9.00am - 10.30am (arrival from 8.45am)

Cost:  $50 +BF General Admission
           $35 +BF Charities and Students

Tickets are non-refundable, but can be transferred to another attendee by contacting us at

About The BCC’s special events

The BCC employs a multi-disciplinary approach to address health, social and environmental challenges. Over the years, we’ve worked proactively to establish a global network of academics, institutions and professionals who share our passion for affecting positive change. The purpose of our events is to harness and share the knowledge that resides in our network and facilitate the cross pollination of ideas. We want to build the capacity of others to develop policies, programs and services that result in positive impact for people and planet.

We are grateful to Taylor for partnering with us on this event.

Dr Taylor Willmott is an award-winning researcher with expertise in behavioural science, economics, social marketing and human-centered design. Currently a Lecturer in Marketing (Research) at the University of Adelaide, Dr Willmott engages in partnered research to tackle complex wicked problems such as climate change, violence and chronic disease. Her research has attracted more than A$1.3 million and has been published in over 50 peer reviewed journal articles, conference papers and reports. She has delivered sector engagement and professional development workshops reaching over 6,000 people, facilitated more than 50 co-design workshops, trained peer leaders to support capacity building, and led youth advisory groups in local communities. 

In 2023, Dr Willmott was awarded an Emerald Publishing Real Impact Award in recognition of her efforts to drive the impact agenda, including directing a podcast series translating insights from an Australian Research Council funded Discovery Project (collective engagement towards social purpose). She is the creator of the TITE four step theory application process and the MATE taxonomy of participatory design, and she leads a suite of Design Thinking training programs.

Feedback from other training and special events

"The BCC are incredible social marketing practitioners and researchers. We learned so much about social marketing frameworks and how to apply them to our work. A really fun, engaging and practical workshop!"

“This was one of the most informative sessions I have attended in my career – fantastic information.”

“A great speaker who knew a lot about the topic. A wealth of knowledge. Thank you!”

“It’s great to hear about research in this field, but it’s also great to connect with others working in this field, as after all, we are all here in the best interests of (in this case) young people.”

“Great to be among such brilliant minds, thanks for the opportunity.”

“Great to bring together a bunch of people interested in behaviour change interventions. Thank you.”

“Very inspiring. Thank you. I feel motivated…”

For further information on The BCC, its services, upcoming training and events, please visit

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