Join the movement for 21st Century Social Change

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For people who want to let go of power to unleash social change

Honest Conversations

Practical Insights

Inclusive Network

By You

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  • The first Losing Control events had profound impacts on many of our partners and on our own organisation so we’re excited to make a long-term commitment

    Joe Doran
    Lankelly Chase Foundation
  • Losing Control will help our partners to expand their network, learn from each other, build relationships and collaborate to devolve power to local communities

    Fergus Arkley
    Power to Change
  • Losing Control will support the grassroots groups of lived experience that we are working with to amplify voice whilst at the same time help our internal shift to a new way of working

    Sarah Campbell
  • We are pleased to be a part of Losing Control, joining other people passionate about collaborating and challenging the conventions of how we get things done.

    Sally Byng
    Barnwood Trust

Losing Control with a movement promoting the voice of lived experience: Expert Link

Losing Control with a national charity campaign network: MS Society

The Losing Control Story

Losing Control started as a small one-off event hosted by the Social Change Agency and Practical Governance in April 2017.

Over two days more than 100 participants heard firsthand from people who have been at the forefront of accelerating social change for example by adopting more inclusive ways to make decisions, creating collaborative campaigns, and promoting genuine diversity and the voice of lived experience; explored a range of strategies and tools that could help people to do this themselves such as online tools, new governance models, approaches to storytelling and movement building strategies; and then worked together to support 10 social movements to find their own path to Lose Control

At the end of that event we knew we were on to something and we’ve been working hard to bring you Losing Control 2019 and beyond; events, resources and the network.

This is just the starting point.

Ignited by a deep belief in shared our shared philosophy, Losing Control is a network powered by YOU.  Join us.

Come to and contribute to the event, join and shape our network, add your own resources and use the existing ones so we can support each other to tackle the practical challenges and discuss the difficult questions that arise when trying to let go of power.

The Losing Control Philosophy

Social change in the 21st century requires a different approach. The world is complex and its challenges urgent. Individuals, organisations, businesses and foundations are searching for new strategies to improve their effectiveness and pace of social change. There is more and more talk about building movements, purpose, collaboration and partnerships, systems change, co-production, community control, and leadership of those with lived experience. Underneath all of these is a desire to change the unhealthy and constraining power dynamics.

We increasingly need to let go of traditional ‘command and control’ organisational models, business as usual, and standard campaign techniques in favour of new methods that focus on flatter hierarchies, dispersed leadership, collective decision-making and grassroots participation.

At the the heart of this are strong networks, relationships of trust, shared resources, well designed organisational and decision-making tools & processes, a shared sense of values and purpose, and a genuine commitment to different leadership, diversity, inclusion and equality of voice. We need to lose some control.

Losing Control will be the place where people come to connect, share their ideas, get support and inspiration, learn from each other and debate the big questions that surround this agenda in an open, honest and practically useful way.

Honest Conversations

We want to create an environment where everyone can be their true selves as individuals with vulnerabilities, not with any labels or status. We will encourage participants to share their stories openly ‘warts and all’ which get into the challenges and unanswered questions, not just the good news stories.

Practical Insights

We want people to join the network and come to the event with a sense of purpose, with a challenge or an opportunity. We commit to ensuring what you get are practical tools, insight and connections that you can apply in the real world – and from people who have actually been there and done it, or are living it now not just talking about it.

Inclusive Network

Our network is diverse, equal and peer led. No one will be excluded because of price, all speakers will fully participate in the event or network themselves, and we are committed to making sure that all content is accessible, clear and always grounded in real life examples.    

Powered By You

We want the event, network and resources to be powered by you. Tell us what you’d like to see, host a session, join and shape the network. For example, at all our events we support people to choose the sessions they are interested in, leave a session if it’s not right for them, host their own session in advance or even ‘off the cuff’ on the day, or just take time out if that’s what you require.


Losing Control 2019 will bring together change makers from all kinds of backgrounds, sectors and positions to discuss and create bottom-up and collaborative approaches to social change.

Losing Control 2019 will focus on three overlapping themes:


Who is included or excluded from decision-making? What impact does that have on effective management and leadership?  How do you stay genuinely accountable to your mission and your community? How do we ensure those voices that are often ignored get heard?


Why is building trusted relationships so important to losing control? How might you go about it?  Can you rely on trust? What role does organisational culture and values play in advancing social change? What impact does uneven power have on relationships?


Why is collaboration so important to social change? What are its challenges and opportunities? How do we ensure those with real life experience of social issues are included as equals within any collaboration? What formal and informal ways are there to share leadership and influence well?

Losing Control is powered by YOU with all our content suggested, facilitated and led by people from within the Losing Control Network.

Losing Control Network

Losing Control The Event, 2019 is open to everyone, but for those unable to make the event or who are searching for something a bit deeper we will be maintaining momentum through the Losing Control Network.

The network is your space, created with you and by you –  from the annual event itself, the network events in-between, face to face, and online training and who knows what else. The power is in your hands.

We want those that come to the event and join the network to have access to:

  • ​Practical tools, support and inspiration needed to let go of power to spread social ideas and impact more widely and more quickly
  • ​Peer-led learning groups from a genuine diversity of backgrounds that will support, challenge and learn from other.
  • Professional and personal development tailored to what you say you need during the events and network discussions.
  • Unexpected connections that you never knew you needed until now.

Join the network

Blogs & Resources

Coming soon!

We are currently collating a wide range of useful blogs and resources. Sign up to get email alerts or contact us to add suggest other resources you think we should highlight and share.

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By clicking submit, you acknowledge that The Social Change Agency and Practical Governance will use the information you provide on this form to get in touch with you regarding Losing Control and will provide updates by email about events and other information related to the Losing Control movement. For more information about our privacy practices please visit here for Practical Governance and here for The Social Change Agency. By clicking submit, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

For any other questions about Losing Control, please get in touch with Karen@thesocialchangeagency.org