What is Losing Control?

Losing Control is a  peer-led network of over 700 individuals from across sectors who want to share power more equally as a way of unleashing social change and can support each other to implement ways of working that share power more equally, that are collaborative, grassroots-led and participatory.

We seek to do this by:

  • Providing opportunities for network members to explore themes of power, relationships and collaboration and connect with each other in person or online
  • Drawing in and sharing the skills, expertise, and insights from network members to shape and run the network 
  • Providing spaces and opportunities for network members to support, challenge and learn from each other in practical ways and in a spirit of openness and vulnerability

We focus on three broad and 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?

Our principles

Honest Conversations

We encourage honesty, humility, and vulnerability so that stories are shared openly “warts and all” to  get into challenges and unanswered questions, not just good news stories.

Practical Insights

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, not just talking about it.

Inclusive Network

We commit to inclusivity, diversity, and accessibility across the network and work hard to include people from all sectors, experiences and backgrounds.

Powered By You

We commit to sharing power and responsibility: Losing Control is peer-led and shaped by its members.

Our history

Individuals, organisations, businesses and foundations are searching for new strategies to improve their effectiveness. We need to let go of traditional ‘command and control’ organisational models and standard campaign techniques in favour of methods that focus on flatter hierarchies, dispersed leadership, collective decision-making and grassroots participation.We need to lose some control. Losing Control started as a one-off event in Oxford hosted by the Social Change Agency and Practical Governance in April 2017.

Building on the first event, Losing Control 2019 in Birmingham brought together more than 300 participants. At the event, we heard from people who have been at the forefront of accelerating social change, for example by adopting more inclusive decision making, creating collaborative campaigns, promoting genuine diversity and giving those with lived experience a voice. We explored strategies and tools that could help people to do this themselves such as online tools, new governance models, storytelling and movement building strategies.

Ignited by the need, the success of our two Losing Control events and a deep belief in our shared philosophy, Losing Control is a network powered by YOU. This community enables you to connect, inspire, learn and debate about how to lose control in an open, honest and practical way.

Join and shape our network; contribute or host a Losing Control Network event; 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.