There’s no time like the present to make a positive lifestyle difference, and a group of Griffith academics will be highlighting exactly that with their game-changing research during the two-day Change 2018 event at South Bank this month.

Presented by Social Marketing @ Griffith, Change 2018 highlights how leading change experts from around the world have developed lasting partnerships to engage people and organisations to deliver change for the better.

With more than 100 participants registered, Change 2018 will include keynote speeches, networking opportunities, groundbreaking ideas and two one-hour workshops for every delegate.

The event promises to inspire Founders, Entrepreneurs, Directors, Managers and Officers teaching delegates new ways to create, implement, and evaluate successful change initiatives.

As one of the event’s keynote speakers, Social Marketing @ Griffith Director Professor Sharyn Rundle-Thiele will discuss the need for organisations to change the way they practice, moving beyond the mere act of reinforcing the notion that change is good to actually altering practices to more effectively deliver change over time benefitting the communities served.

“I planned this event to equip delegates with the tools and thinking needed for their practice,” Professor Rundle-Thiele said. “Change is a challenging area to work in and great care needs to be taken at every step if we are to effectively engage people and organisations to embrace the change needed.

“We want social change practitioners to centre people at the heart of everything they do, and Change 2018 delivers practical techniques that delegates can immediately start to apply.”

Professor Rundle-Thiele has led multiple projects over the past 24 months, includingWaste Not Want Not, a food waste reduction program educating people about how to most efficiently use the food they have in their fridge to create nutritious, delicious meals, and Leave It, a program based in the Redlands to help reduce native wildlife deaths in the region by implementing training programs for dogs, their owners and their trainers.

Some of her Social Marketing @ Griffith team –Dr Joy Parkinson (Senior Lecturer), Dr Timo Dietrich (Lecturer), Dr Julia Carins (Senior Research Fellow) and Mr Ville Lahtinen (Research Fellow) – will also will deliver keynotes showcasing projects they lead. Among topics to be discussed are the role of gamification and case studies outlining changes in areas such as obesity and healthy eating.

Dr Parkinson champions wellness and healthy behaviours. She is playing a leading role in Queensland’sMy Health for Life program, which aims to see 10,000 Queenslanders complete a lifestyle behaviour change program over three years in the hopes of reducing their risk of developing chronic diseases.

My Health for Life was based on consumer-centred design research led by Dr Parkinson and Diabetes Queensland. The program has already seen sustained changes in behaviours such as increased fruit and vegetable consumption and increased physical activity.

Dr Dietrich, a gamification expert, has led the delivery ofBlurred Minds, a one-day alcohol and drug education program in Australian secondary schools to thousands of students. The program, which includes the use of VR goggles to simulate a house party scenario, is delivered in a fun and interactive manner, teaching students about the realities of drug and alcohol consumption.

Dr Carins leads a social marketing program to improve eating behaviour in such a way that not only individuals benefit, but society at large. Engaged in a collaborative research agreement between the University and the Defence Science & Technology Group, Dr Carins’ Go Food project delivers eating environment changes to support better nutrition and eating habits.

Originally from Finland, Mr Lahtinen is undertaking several social marketing projects. His PhD project involved the design, delivery and evaluation of theViisi Per Päivä (Five a Day) campaign, which got young subjects excited about tasting and eating different fruits and vegetables.

Griffith’s social marketing gurus are joined by invited industry experts who offer a wealth of experience in delivering change. Leading academics including Professor Gerard Hastings, Professor Alan Tapp, Associate Professor Svetlana Bogomolova (Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science), Professor Linda Brennan (RMIT), Associate Professor Ross Gordon (Macquarie University), Professor Rebekah Russell-Bennett (QUT) and more will share their recent advances.

Change 2018 willbe held from 25-26 October at Griffith University’s South Bank campus.

See Social Marketing @ Griffith’s website for more information, and see below for the full list of speakers and event partners.


Natasha Akib (Community Engagement — Digital Storytellers)
Luke van der Beeke (Co-founder, Marketing for Change)
A/Prof Svetlana Bogomolova (Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science)
Penny Burke (Director, Essence Communications)
Melanie Butcher (Director, The Social Deck)
Prof Linda Brennan (RMIT)
Dr Julia Carins (Senior Research Fellow, Social Marketing @ Griffith)
Matthew Cox (Director, Logan Together)
Peter Cunningham (Strategic Director, Redsuit)
David Defranciscis & Scott Robinson (Sugar Cane Growing Changers)
Dr Timo Dietrich (Lecturer, Social Marketing @ Griffith)
A/Prof Ross Gordon (Macquarie University)
E/Prof Gerard Hastings (Founder, Institute for Social Marketing)
Dr Amantha Imber (Founder and CEO, Inventium)
Mr Ville Lahtinen (Research Fellow, Social Marketing @ Griffith)
Dr Joy Parkinson (Senior Lecturer, Social Marketing @ Griffith)
Prof Sharyn Rundle-Thiele (Director, Social Marketing @ Griffith)
Prof Rebekah Russell-Bennett (QUT)
Prof Alan Tapp (UWE-Bristol)
Joan Young (CEO, Colmar Brunton)
George Zdanowicz (CEO, Enhance Research)