Visual representation of the 17 icons representing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

ECOSavvy is a sustainability consultancy specialising in systemic change facilitation.

We create impact by supporting ecosystems of change-makers amplify the influence of their initiatives to achieve systemic changes faster.

We are dedicated to accelerating the transition to a net zero future and the achievement of the UN SDGs.

ECOSavvy is purpose led. Our income is derived predominantly from trade; our profits are invested in further achieving our purpose.

    Specialists in Systemic Change Facilitation

    We are passionate about:

    • ​speeding the economic transition of Queensland towards a net-zero and regenerative, circular, wellbeing economy
    • protecting nature
    • supporting a successful referendum for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament
    • ensuring access to affordable housing
    • circular fashion
    • progressing towards a universal basic income in Australia

      Change-agents working within government agencies; government or philanthropically-funded organisations; for purpose businesses and social enterprises; corporates undertaking environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives; not-for-profits; and community initiatives may benefit from having their initiatives assessed.

        Diagram showing traditional linear thinking compared with systems thinking

        Recognising that the big challenges facing society are not simple, or even complicated, but complex has led to the emergence of a specialist field of expertise, complex adaptive systems leadership theory.

        South Australian firm, Wicked Lab has been prominent in developing, promoting and enabling its use.

        ECOSavvy uses Wicked Lab's Systemic Change Assessment Framework and award-winning 'Tool for Systemic Change' to amplify the effectiveness of programs and initiatives working to solve complex challenges.

          Complex Adaptative Systems Leadership Theory

          “Taking a complex adaptive systems approach is a game changer. It dramatically improves the chances of organisations who are acting to cause change, being successful in that.”

          Complexity Informed Impact Assessments

          Undertaking complexity informed impact assessments on a solution ecosystem can identify both gaps and replication in efforts. This can enable better allocation and distribution of resources, so that the changes society so urgently wants and needs, can be realised sooner.

          Principally, the goal is NOT for each initiative to achieve impact in all 36 characteristics but to ensure that through the collective effort of diverse initiatives working in the same geographic area on that challenge ('the solution ecosystem') that all 36 characteristics are being actioned.

          An example of the output from Wicked Lab’s Tool for Systemic Change.

          ECOSavvy offers complexity informed impact assessments.

          A complexity informed impact assessment is a structured conversation with your initiative's program manager, evaluating your initiative against 36 characteristics that are known pre-conditions for complex adaptive systems change occuring.

          Each of the 36 characteristics is marked in Wicked Lab's 'Tool for System Change' as being achieved or not and opportunities for enhanced impact are identified.

          Program managers, and those they report to, benefit from developing an increased understanding of their program's ability to produce systemic change, insight into how small tweaks in program activities can increase the likelihood of change occurring and validation of program impacts.

          Additional insight is achieved when multiple initiatives working to solve the same or a similar problem, in the same geographic area, are assessed. 

            As the old systems begin to break down, 

            the opportunity to design new ones emerges.

            ECOS = OIKOS (greek) = our economy & how we live

            dodecohedron = transformation

            Our Why

            ECOSavvy’s founder, Sandy McCathie grew up in Adelaide, South Australia – the driest state in the driest continent, a place where respect for our environment is engrained because of its fragility. 

            After graduating from university with a BScHons, she relocated to Western Australia to work in environmental management in the Pilbara, as well as in hydrological mapping and resource efficiency in Perth. 

            In 2002, she married Dean, a Queenslander and they lived in Townsville, North Queensland for 14 years, where they grew a family and in 2004, founded ECOSavvy which became an award-winning sustainability consultancy supporting sustainable housing and urban design in the tropics. Later there were roles in climate change advocacy amidst a background of climate change, severe cyclones and warming oceans that impacted our urban environment, Great Barrier Reef, livelihoods and mental health.

            In 2016, we moved to Adelaide where I enjoyed working as part of a passionate and dedicated group of people around the vision for a Carbon Neutral Adelaide.

            In early 2020, we relocated back to Queensland, this time to Brisbane, and I 'paused' to re-evaluate what meaningful work for me, would look like.

            Having years of experience seeking to promote sustainability actions, it had become overwhelming clear that individuals, organisations, businesses and government despite often wanting to do otherwise, make choices that are largely determined by money. And, it struck me, that acting sustainably would remain beyond our reach until our economic system rewarded sustainable behaviours. 

            This realisation was followed by extensive exploration and learning about how we create social change and what changes might be needed to create a compassionate, fair and thriving world, what a new economy might look like, how we can cause systemic changes, and the changes required within ourselves to do this work.

            Let's talk

            Sandy McCathie
            + 61 (0) 409 294 798


            3/240A Latrobe Tce

            Paddington (Brisbane) QLD

            AUSTRALIA 4064

            Thank you for connecting. Looking forward to speaking with you soon.

            I acknowledge that the land I live and work on is the traditional country and homelands of the Yuggera and Turrbal Peoples of Meanjin who land has never been ceded.   

            I pay my respects to Elders past and present.

            Acknowledgement of Country