Our team helps social changemakers unlock change

Lara Stephenson

Co-Founder of Social Good Outpost and Co-Director of A2ELP
BCI, Cert IV Small Business Management

Lara Stephenson is an ‘Impact Designer’, social entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Social Good Outpost. Her work spans design and communication, through to impact measurement and digital support. Lara finds clever solutions for her clients and helps organisations working in social impact to get frameworks around their mission and impact.
Lara has worked with social enterprise, non-profits, and government, in areas including Digital Maturity, civic technology, research, service design & digital design. Her passions lie in supporting women-led organisations, and she is a mentor for women starting out in business through Global Sisters, as well as through Social Good Outpost's 'Design for Good' program.
As Co-Director of the Australia-ASEAN Emerging Leaders Program (A2ELP), she brings together young social entrepreneurs from across ASEAN and Australia and supports their leadership journeys.

Dr Elise Stephenson

Co-Founder of Social Good Outpost and Co-Director of A2ELP
PhD, BAsIntSt, BComn, BGovIntRelHons(I), GAICD

A 2022 Fulbright Scholar and 2014 New Colombo Plan Alumni, Elise is a researcher, strategist and entrepreneur who has been awarded for her social impact, gender equality and entrepreneurial impact by Google, Deloitte, Energy Australia, the United Nations Australia Association, Foundation for Young Australians, and others.
She was the curator of the Young Entrepreneurs & Leaders Speaker Series, one of the lead youth projects run as part of DFAT’s Australia now program in ASEAN and Malaysia, involving running 76 events across the region over three years.
Alongside her entrepreneurship, Elise is the Deputy Director of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership, a researcher in the National Security College, ANU, and an adjunct at Griffith Asia Institute, where her research focuses gender and sexuality diversity, public diplomacy, national security, and international affairs.

Women designing for equality

We are a women-led team, often working with women-led organisations. We use Feminist design principles of equality, inclusiveness, and accessibility, and take the time to understand situations from many points of view.

Research-backed design

Our aim is to create design and digital solutions that engage and are mindful of the people they are for. We do this through research and conversations with people, and following best-practise standards.

We're purpose-led too

Our Social Enterprise model helps under-represented groups with strategic mentoring for their design, communication and impact. Our work supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals of 4. Quality Education and 5. Gender Equality.

A little of our story

Learn more of the background behind Social Good Outpost and our journey.

2016 on…

Social Good Outpost was formed in 2016 by sisters Lara and Elise, bringing together our skills and interests in design and social change. Elise had been one of the organisers of Australia’s first youth-run social enterprise conference, IMPACT Youth Social Enterprise Conference in 2014, while studying at Griffith University. At this time, while Lara was running a creative design studio, The Grazing Elk, and we initially ran a pilot program of Social Good Outpost under that business, to test our idea for a social enterprise design studio.

We both saw the impact that good design could bring to non-profits who were doing incredible work – and what the lack of good design meant for them. (Their websites looked like the organisation was closed; their contact forms didn’t work; and their branding was still using 90s era web-safe colours of eye-watering purples and greens). We saw organisations changing people’s lives and communities without the knowledge, time or resources to properly dedicate to good communication, professional online presence, or up to date branding and logos. So, we dedicated our first year especially to helping non-profits get up to date, get out of the 90s, reclaim their brand colours, get high resolution logos, establish a website that was usable and maintainable by them, and feel in charge and empowered to keep going with their communication.

In the process we helped our early clients to launch initiatives like DFV Work Aware, gain increase in visibility for Women, Peace and Security reports and recommendations, start legal services programs for women, run educational programs for women in business, and bring a sense of vibrancy, life and action to long-neglected design spaces.

Our key working with women’s organisations on topics of gender equality, feminism and women’s rights was working with clients who we shared life experiences with and could design pieces with context and understanding. This work bridged a gap where previously these organisations did not typically approach traditional design agencies – and those agencies did not have the lived experience to design sensitively for the needs of the organisations.

We designed Social Good Outpost to be a social enterprise from the beginning, and offered clients sliding scale pricing as our way of providing professional design at affordable prices for the community and non-profit organisations we worked with. We feel proud to be an early adopter of social enterprise, and learnt about its effectiveness, potential, and the sensible management of pro-bono vs market rate services from the beginning. 

2019 on…

In 2019, we brought another ‘wing’ into the organisation: Social Good Outpost Curates. This wing was lead by Elise, focusing on international public diplomacy, programs for young people and topics including gender equality, climate change, LGBTIQ+, future policy, and building relationships between Southeast Asia and Australia. Our work in this area has been primarily with the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australia-ASEAN Council. We were brought in to run the first youth-focused ‘Australia now’, which was ASEAN-wide in 2019, where we brought speakers and guests to different parts of ASEAN to engage, learn and share with audiences. This work has grown from here, and one good place to learn more about this work is our report on the Young Entrepreneurs Leaders and Speakers Series, which we ran from 2019 – 2022. You can read more and see photos of that program here.

In 2019 we also became an accredited social enterprise under Social Traders. We went through the B Corp Certification process, in order to learn best practices and how to support clients going through B Corp certification.

2020 on…

In this year of change we took stock of where we’d come over the past 4 years and where we were going, as well as importantly, who we loved working with. During 2020 we selected social enterprises as our key clients for the communication design part of the business, and realised that the most important work we did with them was around strategic design and helping clients have clarity around their purpose and direction. So, we focused in on helping social enterprises take the next most effective step for them, during this time where social enterprise is growing fast and support and awareness is also growing. 

2021 on…

We were awarded our next big program with DFAT and the AAC in 2021, with the adoption of the Australia-ASEAN Emerging Leaders Program (A2ELP), a program initially launched in 2016 by Julie Bishop as then-Foreign Minister. We took over the reins of the program during a time of travel restrictions, and ran it for the first time online over 3 months, bringing 15 young social entrepreneurs between 18 and 35 years old together to learn business and leadership skills and form strong relationships between countries.

2023 on…

In 2023, we were absolutely thrilled to run a special edition of A2ELP, bringing the 2022 and 2023 cohorts together in Australia, now that there were no travel restrictions. We were also selected to run A2ELP in 2024, which further grew and developed this valuable program for social entrepreneurs and young leaders across our region.

We continue to work with social enterprises to help get their messages out in clear and memorable ways through graphic, web and communication design.

We're here to help

Reach out if you'd like to talk through an idea, a problem you're solving or to just say hi.