About Us

Our Approach

At Counterpoint we work across three broad practice areas that privilege research, foresight, and finally, engagement and advisory. We conduct cutting edge social science research and always use a multidisciplinary approach.

Research – Making Sense of People in Context (what makes them tick?)

Whether you’re looking to craft a policy or a set of talks, plan a strategy for a new service or simply bring a community closer together, you will need to understand the intricate, powerful, and sometimes unpredictable dynamics that shape a place, a moment, a group.   This is true for the far away, just as it is for the local. Some of our most faithful partners need help deciphering the place they thought they knew best.

We shine a light on the institutions and habits that most newcomers overlook, and that ‘natives’ (to a place, or an organisation) no longer notice.

We speak to emerging actors, listen to new conversations via new networks and tools, and help you make sense of a place at a particular time.

This allows us to understand why and how people mobilise; Why they may be angry over one policy and not another;  Or why they are ready to agree to one trade-off, but not not another.  And how you can expect to work with them and count on them as participants in change.

We use different approaches (qualitative research, data scraping, qualitative surveys, and deliberative workshops) to help us understand behaviour from a variety of angles (from ethnography to neuroscience, from psychology to anthropology). Add to this our familiarity with popular culture, our close connections with policy-makers, and our social media and data skills–and the result is a rich and rewarding understanding of the complexities of human choice and action at a given point and time.

Foresight – Understanding Dynamic Change, Preparing for Strategic Volatility*

Our research is supercharged by a network of the world’s most innovative and experienced foresight professionals, who build upon our insights to help you prepare for accelerated change. Curious how home schooling and remote work will impact the future of government communications? Worried about the unexpected consequences of meme movements and social media on community mobilisation? Ready to manage the impact of deep fakes and computational propaganda in the policy environment?

Our foresight work amplifies our core research in two ways; first, by helping you identify and prepare for change before disruption occurs and second, by helping you make sense of unexpected changes and fast-moving situations while they occur. This ensures your work is both more robust to change as well as more effective during change.

We help you ask the questions that really matter, creating a context for understanding novel situations and preparing for strategic surprise. We combine rigorous analysis with creative techniques that uncover new opportunities and risks before they happen, helping you chart their interactions and dynamics so that you can act effectively in the face of rapid change. We craft scenarios and tell stories that bring the future to life, empowering our clients and partners with greater confidence and insights.

Strategic Advisory

Relationships and narratives are at the heart of our work: we privilege them as a way in, as a research and diagnostic tool in our in-depth ethnographic work or our framing workshops. But we also value them as a product: for instance when we help re-establish a set of relationships through a new narrative or when we help communicate a complex policy message, either to or from the public.

We use our methods and our cultural and social knowledge to bridge divides, to build relationships and to craft the kinds of conversations and narratives that enable our partners and clients to elaborate policy and implement change.

Our advisory work can take several forms.

  • We have a wealth of experience  delivering targetted briefings to leaders in the policy, political and corporate world.
  • We are adept at crafting the right roundtables and workshops for the audience you are trying to reach–or for your own people.
  • We can advise on policy framing and narrative construction with your communications team.
  • We can help craft the right conversations with supporters, mediate with detractors, or broker introductions.

Find out more about our work and projects.