An Overview of the PROSOCIAL Process

Think about all the small groups to which you belong – work teams, community groups or clubs, even families.  Some groups get important things done in the world, way beyond what any individual could achieve alone, while also giving their members meaning, joy and satisfaction. Other groups seem to limp along, maybe putting up with undiscussed conflict, lack of clear purpose or roles, inequitable workloads, or struggling to make decisions efficiently and effectively.

Margaret Mead once famously said “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Whether you are a facilitator, leader, work-team member or community member trying to mobilise change, your best chance of improving the world is through your capacity to create groups around you that are life-giving, purposeful and effective.

PROSOCIAL is a process for building life-giving, collaborative groups based upon the Nobel prize winning work of Elinor Ostrom and the science of behaviour change. When we do PROSOCIAL, we help groups rapidly develop a clear sense of purpose and trust and we teach them about the 8 core design principles needed to help any group work more effectively.  The design principles help us to assess what is working well, and what is not working so well, and they help groups work out what needs to be done next.

This is a series of blogs on each of the steps in the PROSOCIAL process. Click on a link to learn more about the step:

  1. Opening survey of group functioning
  2. Individual ACT matrix work
  3. Using the Group matrix
  4. Using the 8 core design principles
  5. Action planning
  6. Closing survey of group functioning.

PROSOCIAL is also a network of researchers, facilitators, activists, and thinkers who want to help society be more inclusive, equitable and purposeful.  You can learn more about our work and our development team at

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