Our Story: The Population Change Institute

At PopChange, our mission is to accelerate positive outcomes for communities disproportionately impacted by systemic inequities.
We work in three core areas to increase the effectiveness and sustainability of place-based population change initiatives--and to support equitable, resident-led social change.

Strengthen Capacity

We provide hands-on, context-specific coaching, training, and technical assistance to those leading place-based population change initiatives to build and enhance the six collective capacities required to achieve population-level outcomes.

Strengthen Networks

We facilitate shared learning and connection among practitioners, researchers, funders, and government agencies engaged in place-based population change initiatives. By working together, and with us, sites increase their individual and collective impact.

Strengthen the Field

We create the conditions for effective strategy and thought leadership for the place-based population change field to uplift communities’ efforts and outcomes and encourage investment in these efforts at scale.

Our History

Place-based population change initiatives offer a promising path to better outcomes for people, children, and families. Yet the work itself is challenging:

  • Existing frameworks and approaches for community change don’t quite fit place-based initiatives, requiring innovation to implement them effectively. 
  • Efforts often focus on process and outputs at the expense of outcomes, while a lack of data and measurement practice hinder understanding what actually works. 
  • In a world seeking big results quickly, there is little patience for the time and intention it takes to center resident voices and to authentically support and resource communities to address the complex challenges they face. 

The Population Change Learning Community--a group of practitioners, researchers, and funders working on place-based population change--formed in 2014 to address these challenges. What emerged was a deeper understanding of the conditions for success for place-based population change initiatives, leading to better outcomes within the diverse geographies engaged in the learning community. 

PopChange Institute was founded to leverage the work of the Learning Community and build the movement for place-based population change. Working side by side with leaders and communities, we spur field-wide collaborative learning and problem-solving--to realize the power of place-based initiatives.