Change Elemental joins changemakers across organizations and movements to collaboratively learn and re-imagine strategies and systems to remake our world.

Growth and change toward love, dignity, and justice is complex. It involves a necessary and strategic cycle of learning and unlearning, shaping and reshaping, and trying things out in a clear direction. At Change Elemental, we see ourselves as humble participants in this cycle, always in dynamic relationship with our clients and peers who shape our learning as much as we shape theirs.

To understand and catalyze the conditions, capacities, and strategies that advance transformative change, we design and facilitate powerful, creative, and dynamic capacity building initiatives that grow our partners’ ability to implement and work dynamically with their strategic frameworks.

We design research, storytelling, and learning projects that center co-creation, equity, and partnership with communities impacted by injustice. Our understanding of data and our approach to data collection embrace and lift up the many ways in which people experience and make meaning of our world, including cultural and ancestral wisdom and artistic ways of knowing. Our approach includes guiding groups in emergent learning practices, and we often utilize methods of active experimentation and reflection to spark change.

We also co-create, facilitate, and participate in multi-stakeholder networks, convenings, and communities of learning and practice. Through these convenings and communities, participants learn with and from each other about what is working and what might work to create change and expand our collective practices of the elements of transformative change toward justice. Central to our approach is deep and authentic relationship building that centers equity, as well as bringing our whole selves to the work. We have featured some of these efforts below.


  • Co-create and facilitate multi-stakeholder, cross-movement programs that foster learning, create space for individual and collective inner work, and consider power dynamics and the ways in which they influence participation
  • Facilitate learning approaches and capacity building programs with networks, organizations, and funders that integrate the elements of a thriving justice ecosystem
  • Design storytelling and learning projects that utilize emergent learning principles and center equity
  • Design and conduct research projects that center the many ways in which people make meaning of and experience the world to deepen and expand understanding on today’s most complex problems, the systems upholding them, and on potential solutions

Learning Projects

Navigating Change Initiative

Launched in 2021, the Navigating Change initiative was developed by Aurora Commons and Change Elemental in partnership with the Ford Foundation’s Civic Engagement and Government program to explore how groups in the civic engagement field are building

John W. Mack Movement Building Fellows Program

Change Elemental has had the honor of designing and facilitating the John W. Mack Movement Building Fellows Program in partnership with the Weingart Foundation since 2019.  Mack Fellows lead us toward an equitable and thriving Southern California that c…

Mixed Metaphor: A Hybrid Approach Toward Liberatory Infrastructure for Arts & Culture Organizations

Leveraging a Network for Equity (LANE)

Once upon a time, across kitchen tables, front porches, conference tables, performance spaces, and workshop sessions, a big conversation was happening at the National Performance Network (NPN). The network was in a quandary: BIPOC-led and BIPOC-serving art…

Northstar Network

The Northstar Network was a home for long-term power-building (personal, organizational, and movement) grounded in analytical rigor and inspired by radical hope for a feminist, multi-racial democracy. Coming together in the midst of climate, democratic, a…

Group of people smiling at the camera

Intermediary Design Lab

Launched in 2019, the Intermediary Design Lab was an 11-month cohort that brought together fiscal sponsors and donor intermediaries to reimagine their work in serving constituent-led groups that do not have formal 501c3 and/or 4 tax-exempt status and are often led by youth, people of color, members of the LGBTQI community, immigrants, and other historically oppressed groups.

Network Weaver Learning Lab

Launched in 2017, the Network Weaver Learning Lab was an 18-month program that created a space for leaders to develop their thinking and practice, and to explore and experiment together on ways to advance the movement to end relationship-based violence.

Image of a dry tree seen in water

Change Elemental Governance Experiment

About this time last year, our board was reflecting on living into our vision of a world with love, dignity, and justice and the elements of a thriving justice ecosystem. At the same time, Change Elemental staff were letting a million flowers bloom – through new partnerships and networks, work in communities of practice, and commitments to strengthening our own organization.

Photo of Lab participants at the final convening

Network Leadership Innovation Lab

The Network Leadership Innovation Lab grew from a realization that social justice leaders and organizations are increasingly building movement networks that enable them to increase power over time and attain long-term systemic change on levels that no organization alone could achieve and sustain.

photo of 5 people: Eugene Eric Kim, Jodie Tonita, adrienne maree brown, Elissa Perry, and Alison Lin. Not pictured: Mark Leach.

Engage, Experiment, Emerge (E3) – A Creating Conditions Lab

Engage, Experiment, Emerge (E3) was a project initiated by Change Elemental (then Management Assistance Group (MAG)). We call it a Creating Conditions Lab because its aim is to support and grow conditions that enable social justice actors (including MAG, our clients and partners) to create transformative progressive change.

“This is a critical time in our history as a movement, where our ability to advance change requires a look at the root causes of violence and the complex systems and perspectives that prevent us from creating sustainable change. This is not possible without a space to engage in courageous conversations around our own relationships with race, class, and power.”

Maricela Rios-Faust, Human Options
Headshot of Marciela, hair wavy, smiling at the camera, wearing a grey blazer and white shirt