9 Design Principles of Platforms for Systems Change

Through ASPIRe we have distilled Design Principles that unlock the potential for exponential impact.


Align towards better outcomes: System Leadership

Help stakeholders in the system define and aim for a better set of outcomes than is currently being achieved. 

Drawing of a hand holding the sun

Create open public goods

Make scarce resources of knowledge, technology, expertise, connections, and data openly and abundantly available.

Drawing of a human head

Empower with data and knowledge

Capture, analyze and share data and insights in ways that enable all stakeholders to make better decisions, and anticipate and solve problems effectively. 

Hand pressing a star shaped button

Unlock agency

Design solutions that allow for freedom of choice and ability to act, particularly for the groups whose participation was earlier limited. 

Three hands come together to reflect teamwork

Distribute the ability to solve

Create solutions that engage diverse stakeholders to solve the problem at scale in their contexts. 


Drawing of a diamond

Enable open value creation

Create conditions that allow for individuals and institutions to be connected in networks to co-create and exchange value openly.


Circles with outlines of arrows

Seek rapid evolution

Design systems that can learn and evolve quickly in response to new and/or local challenges and opportunities.


Nodes on a circle

Catalyze interactions

Create new ways for stakeholders to connect and exchange value, and become the self-propagating network of people and institutions that spread change.


Growing plant

Cultivate the change offline

Societal change typically requires a change in the behaviors of large numbers of people. While digital platforms allow to scale certain interactions quickly on a unified infrastructure, local leadership and engaged networks and culturally accepted and inclusive solutions are essential for behavioral change to take hold at scale.