Join a movement for 21st Century Social Change

Events | A Network | Resources

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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Why am I Losing Control?

  • 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
  • I am coming to Losing Control because I am keen to learn new ways of devolving power, as well as empowering citizens to take on some of our greatest societal challenges. I look forward to sharing my skills in developing movements, as well as learning from other likeminded and committed individuals

    Anna Day
    Centre for Social Change
  • I am a parent, resident and community volunteer who feels quite powerless most of the time, especially when faced with people in power who fear change, or residents who feel their only power is in keeping things the way they are, even if they situation is less than ideal. I would love to learn and improve my own communication when it comes to approaching communities and institutions with a suggestion of improving something collaboratively

    Heike Feldpausch
    Local Volunteer
  • I have been working as a volunteer to build resident-powered organisations for the last eight years. I’d like to share experiences & learn from others

    Simon Redding
    Monkey Park

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

Losing Control with a national charity campaign network: MS Society

About Losing Control

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 Agencyand Practical Governance in April 2017. More than 100 participants 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; and worked together to support 10 social movements to find their own path to Lose Control.

Ignited by the need, the success of our first event 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; come to and contribute to the 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.

Honest Conversations

We will encourage participants to share their stories openly ‘warts and all’ and get into the challenges and unanswered questions, not just the 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

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

Powered By You

Tell us what you’d like to see, host a session, join and shape the network. At 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, or just take time out if that’s what’s needed.


Losing Control 2019 brought 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 focused 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

Join the Losing Control Network

Sign-up to the Losing Control Network to receive email alerts so you never miss an update!

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