Cover art for podcast Unleashing Social Change

Unleashing Social Change

45 EpisodesProduced by Becky MargiottaWebsite

Each episode we interview a badass social change leader and learn the ins and outs of what they're doing to make the world a better place. This podcast will help you feel optimistic that we can make a difference and give you practical tips about how to go about doing so in a big way.


Episode 17: Parvathi Santhosh-Kumar, StriveTogether – “From Proof Points to Systems Transformation”

Episode 17: Parvathi Santhosh-Kumar, StriveTogether – “From Proof Points to Systems Transformation”


The myth is that systems are broken but every system is in fact perfectly designed to get the results it gets. So in order to get different results, and true equity, you’ve got to change the design. StriveTogether came to Skid Row School many years ago and met and even exceeded their goals, but then their second goal was not about growth but about changing more deeply and actually achieve systems transformation. Sometimes the numbers keep growing and they may look impressive, but are they reflective of the deeper, longer term changes you seek? In this episode, Parv discusses changing from proof points as an end goal to a milestone along the way. Every child should be put on the path to their fullest potential. In involving everyone in the system, sometimes there are the unusual suspects who also need to be engaged in bringing about change. In the end it is the collective movement of all of these parties to create lasting transformation.


  • Learn about the Cradle to Career movement
  • Changing the paradigm to the entire community working together
  • Identifying the gaps and racial disparities we are trying to close
  • Being impatient, results based leaders
  • Values changing from being implicit to operationalizing them in theories of action
  • The importance of collecting the correct data
  • Ensuring that values are both internal and external facing
  • Having a constellation of bright spots
  • From proof points to the goal posts moving to systems transformation
  • In most places your vantage point of who needs to be involved opens up if you truly explore what is needed for children to succeed
  • Challenges are way bigger than any one sector can address so aligning toward a common agenda is what brings about the results
  • The collaborative improvement approach
  • Involving those close to the problems in designing solutions
  • How StriveTogether uses Dan Heath’s rider, elephant, path 
  • Leveraging different levels of policy change through the community infrastructure
  • Coaching, convening, codifier of learning and investor roles within StriveTogether to build capacity
  • The role of positive peer pressure, creating cohorts and learning from each other
  • Not jumping to solution-itis but truly using some time to identify what are behaviors, mental models or systems problems
  • How to stay comfortable in the uncomfortable
  • Activating and motivating others to create ripple effect of change




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