Introducing TDi's new CEO


After seven years building, piloting and growing TDi, Bessi Graham will be stepping down as CEO in December 2017, and Anthea Smits will be taking over as CEO.

With Bessi at the helm, TDi has achieved extraordinary outcomes, and we believe we haven’t even scratched the surface yet of what TDi will deliver over the coming years. As we move out of the early years and startup mode this is the perfect time for fresh leadership and new skills.

Bessi’s vision and commitment as a pioneer in the social enterprise and impact investment space has not only allowed TDi to flourish but has contributed significantly to the growth of the broader eco-system. Thanks to Bessi’s vision, TDi has been able to crack into a market in its infancy, and with her leadership we have found clarity and a method that allows us to make a real difference to communities around the world. 

Corrine Proske, Chair of TDi’s Board said that “I have seen firsthand the need for TDi, to bridge the gap between the for purpose and for profit worlds. Not many people have been able to achieve this, so it is no insignificant feat that Bessi has managed to build a sustainable business in a sector that has for so long been reliant on grants and philanthropy to keep it afloat. I can say with confidence that this would not have happened if it wasn’t for her extraordinary personal effort and sacrifice, and uncompromising vision for TDi”.

We are so excited to introduce TDi’s new CEO, Anthea Smits, after a succession plan that we’ve been working through with our Board for the last two years.

Anthea joined TDi in March 2015 as Deputy-CEO after a diverse career in both corporate and community organisations. Anthea is both a seasoned entrepreneur and impact investor and combines an incredible work ethic with a love of people that allows her to deliver remarkable results in all the work she does. Anthea’s experience at building organisations and teams in both a domestic and international context positions her perfectly to lead TDi into it’s next stage of growth and development.

Bessi is looking forward to some much needed rest and relaxation and will be exploring new opportunities in 2018 that continue to build the impact investment market and broaden the horizon of what’s possible.

Please join us as we thank Bessi for her extraordinary work and wish her all the best on her next adventure, and congratulate Anthea as the incoming CEO of TDi.

As always, please let us know if you’d like to have a coffee and chat about doing good and making money.

– TDi Team.



Case Study: Family by Family

Opportunity

In 2010 the South Australian Government asked the Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) to design a program that would reduce the number of families needing crisis services, and keep more kids out of the child protection system. Many families were moving through the state care systems at an alarming rate and ultimately, too few families were thriving.

In 2016, social enterprise TACSI engaged TDi to collaborate on the project, and ultimately to turn a truly great pilot program into a sustainable and scalable social enterprise.

The 'Nitty Gritty'

The TDi team worked side-by-side with TACSI to design a six-month process to identify, test and validate how to scale Family by Family.

Together, we identified 20 government stakeholders to interview across Australia and internationally to understand what their priorities were within child protection and the early intervention space. We also interviewed 15 not-for-profits (NFPs) using the same approach. We wanted to understand if they would be interested in becoming certified providers of Family by Family. What were their priorities for families? What did families need? Where were the gaps?

Following all of our analysis, we designed a certification and capability building service offer, which would provide NFPs the support and mentoring to deliver Family by Family enabling the program to scale and spread across different contexts, and ultimately allow more families to thrive.

Working with TACSI, we tested this with the same NFP audience and returned a second time to test price and begin negotiations. Capitalising on the momentum of these conversations was key.

After the interviews, TACSI and TDi workshopped the model over several sessions. We spent a lot of time deliberating on price and value to find the right balance, as well as understanding the cost model, and the scale that would deliver market rate returns.

"It was an absolute privilege to work with TACSI because as an organiastion, they think so deeply about how to create change in the world. There was a wonderful synergy between their design expertise and TDi's ability to explore growth, scale and sustainability for the business".

- Anna Moegerlein, Senior Consultant

Outcomes

TACSI is now in the first stages of incubating the social enterprise and rolling out the certification and capability building model in partnership with the South Australian Government and South Australian NFP Uniting Communities.  At scale, it will provide Australian and international NFPs with the opportunity to build capabilities to deliver the program, become certified providers of the Family by Family program and address child protection issues in a fundamentally different way. The model is set to deliver financial returns to TACSI and its partners to reinvest in community services and social innovations, and to support thousands of families in Australia and around the world to thrive, not just survive.