Industries Civic participation, Sustainable cities and communities
Services Branding, Content, Experience, Web

Unleashing a festival of possibilities

Centre for Social Impact

Developed by the Centre for Social Impact, the Social Impact Festival is a celebration of social good initiatives and the limitless possibilities they represent in Australia. Bringing together more than 200 cutting-edge international and local speakers, community leaders, artists, and organizations, this multi-faceted festival goes far beyond talking about the issues confronting our society and provided the conditions for citizens to co-create the future they wish to see.

Their Challenge

Centre for Social Impact, a national research institute, had a vision of addressing community apathy in finding solutions on social issues across Perth, Australia: Indigenous representation in government, sustainable energy, and food security for people experiencing homelessness. Unlike Melbourne and Sydney — communities regularly participating in activism — Perth’s community has historically been apathetic towards civic participation. In a short six-week time frame, CSI asked DrawHistory to relaunch its festival, rethink their audience messaging and bring their vision for the community alive online.

Our Strategy

DrawHistory created a brand identity that was immediately accessible to more than just those ‘in the know’, but more widely stakeholders around Australia. The new Social Impact Festival brand invites each group to share and connect about the critical issues and important ideas impacting their lives and those around them. We worked with the CSI team and volunteers for two consecutive years to not only configure their communications but build their capacity to spread the word throughout the event.

Project Leads

Jeffrey Effendi

Founder & Chief of Innovation, DrawHistory

Angel Chen

Chief of Strategy, DrawHistory
Reverse-engineering the conversation

In facilitating workshops with leadership, we identified that the festival needed to completely rebrand. The festival, in its previous iteration, carried specific perceptions we didn’t want for a festival: theoretical and institutionally-driven.

We needed to simplify the message: the new Social Impact Festival is for everyone, everywhere, ready to catalyze change.

In speaking with and sharing observations from previous attendees, partners and volunteers, we helped CSI gain insight and data of people’s experiences. This knowledge, paired with our own design research, helped crystallize their belief that the festival should be as inclusive and as pragmatic as possible. The idea of shifting people’s perceptions of a “social impact festival” became our core remit.

An identity to drive collaboration

Centred around the core attributes of Unifying, Purpose-driven and Catalytic, the patterns, icons and colors all mix to communicate what the festival is about — a community of big possibilities.

In both Year 1 and Year 2 iterations of the brand, we made sure that the festival team was able to take ownership of their brand elements and create something uniquely different each time, whether for social content or event collateral.

We also implemented a rule to guide the team in combining our brush strokes, representing action, organic shapes, representing community, and hand-painted textures, representing a joint effort, to communicate this brand.

Gallery (01)

The rebrand propelled attendance by 2X.

Our rebrand and roll-out helped double the festival’s attendees from 2,000 to over 4,400 in a year. With a refresh the following year, attendance again increased to over 6,500 people, making it one of the largest social impact-based festivals in the Asia-Pacific.
Community Outcome

In the two years we helped CSI, we made sure that the festival team and partner organizations (other community organizers, activists, civil society organizations) were able to promote their own events.

In developing a toolkit that community organizers could use to promote their events, the festival saw a 300% increase in attendance year-on-year. In Year 1, attendees jumped from 2,000 to over 4,400 — and by Year 2, this number rose to 6,500 with 94% of guests surveying positively of the events.

With the help of the rebrand, the festival became one of the largest social impact festivals in the Indo-Pacific.

Claire Stokes Co-Director, Social Impact Festival, Centre for Social Impact

"DrawHistory has great values alignment. You get what we're trying to to do and are committed to making a positive impact as well."


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