Meet the team – Lauren Weinstein


What are you reading right now and why?

I like to have a couple of books on the go at once, right now I’m reading: Deep Work by Cal Newport to learn more about working conditions and styles needed to explore complexity and do our best social innovation work and Decolonizing Wealth by Edgar Villanueva because it’s essential when working with and receiving funding from philanthropy we reflect on where wealth came from and what allows it to accumulate.

Where’s home? Where do you live?

I was born in New Jersey, I’m living in Adelaide at the moment. Between, New Jersey and Adelaide, I’ve lived in Saraburi, Thailand; Baltimore, Maryland; Benin, Nigeria; Brooklyn, New York. Home will always be on little lake in rural New Jersey by the Appalachian Trail.

What were you doing before TACSI?

I was working in the international development space for Reboot, co-researching, co-designing and co-implementing initiatives to increase government accountability to citizens. I also was doing a lot of writing on the ethics of social design including co-authoring a journal article called Social Design and Neocolonialism.

What do you do at TACSI today?

I’m a principal at TACSI, focussed on our Disrupting Disadvantage and Furthering Self Determination action areas. I’m lucky enough to work on some fantastic projects that keep my mind intrigued and heart inspired. Right now, I’m working with Aunty Vickey and AMYAC to support community-led, self-determined approaches to disrupt intergenerational cycles of disadvantage in Coober Pedy.  I’m also working with Carolyn and Chris on a Systems Change Playbook for funders to understand the roles of philanthropy in contributing to systemic change. Before that, I supported the client experience design project with Family Safety Victoria to bring lived experience and ongoing client feedback into decision making about policy and practice and co-designed a new model of foster care with families: Co-parenthood.

If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?

I can’t pick one! The structures and mindsets that perpetuate inequity, disadvantage, and privilege. Unsustainable packaging and single-use plastic! Also, on a more trivial note –  the way we board planes – why not window seats first!?

What do you do outside of TACSI?

Arm balances and yoga, experimenting with Ottolenghi and Anna Jones recipes for my friends, and starting up a global learning collective for activists, social innovators and public servants.


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