Dr Fiona McKenzie has dedicated her career to designing and supporting systems change initiatives and founded Orange Compass in 2018 to support change makers on their journey to transform systems and build better futures.  Her work crosses a wide range of issues from housing and health through to early childhood, regional development, wellbeing and the energy transition. Fiona’s practice is informed by her qualifications as a human geographer, with a PhD on innovation and expertise in both public policy and academic research. She has a rich tapestry of 20 years’ experience across academia, business, government, non-government sectors including supporting numerous United Nations collaborations and advising organisations for impact in Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. A sought after speaker and author, Fiona is also a Contributing Editor to ‘The Journal of Awareness-Based Systems Change’.

The longer version!

Dr Fiona McKenzie is the Founder and Director of Orange Compass, a consultancy dedicated to supporting change makers on their journey to transform systems and build better futures. The Orange Compass team deploys its experience and expertise to help change makers navigate complex systems, identify leverage points, create the conditions for collaboration, hold the space for dialogue, and to go beyond innovation to sustained transformation. Prior to this, Fiona was the Co-Founder and the Director of Strategy for the Australian Futures Project, where she led the design and implementation of a range of unique programs including ‘Social Innovation Labs’ on early childhood development and agriculture. She also worked with Collaboration for Impact to create Australia’s first digital knowledge and learning hub for systems change and collaboration, Platform C.

Fiona works with selected organisations as a strategy adviser, researcher and facilitator. She is respected for her ability to rapidly synthesise complex topics for decision makers and co-design systems change processes with stakeholders. She is skilled in conducting qualitative research and interviews, facilitating dialogues, undertaking system mapping, and developing qualitative scenarios of plausible futures. Through her career, Fiona has accumulated more than 20 years of experience working with a range of academic, corporate, government, non-government, and intergovernmental organisations including UNDP, UNEP, UN-REDD and WHO.

Fiona’s academic background is in human geography. Her main focus is innovation and collaboration – how to strengthen the decision processes of individuals and groups across diverse networks and systems to unleash solutions for more sustainable long term outcomes.  In 2011,  Fiona completed a PhD on farmer-driven innovation in Australian agriculture. From 2012-2013, as a Research Associate at the University of Sydney, she helped to establish and pilot a participatory model of farmer engagement – designed to encourage on-farm innovation and stronger knowledge networks – in a cocoa growing community in West Sulawesi, Indonesia.  This project was funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research and was conducted in collaboration with a range of Indonesian organisations. During this time, Fiona was also a lecturer on Sustainable Development at the University of Sydney.

Fiona has published on a wide range of topics and is a sought after speaker for her insights into today’s wicked challenges as well as trends shaping the future such as digital disruption and the fourth industrial revolution. For book chapters, reports and papers produced as a result of Fiona’s work, please refer to the publications page. If you have a project you’d like to discuss, please refer to the contact page.