How do we connect in a changing world? Retooling to make real relationships the central operating principle


We network and transact more than ever, but meaningful relationships are being systematically undermined and displaced by fast and feeble connections.

Shifts in technological capability, in ideological influences, and in managerial models and protocols have diminished the quality of our lives, reduced our collective capacity and eroded the efficacy of our agencies and services.


Growing relationship centred development with three streams of work:

Open Knowledge Bank – Sharing what we know   on how relational principles work in business, on what delivers deep value in public services and on the community activities that generate enduring relationships.

Open Framework for Relationship Centred Design – Developing a community of practise jointly building and applying the principles of relationship centred design along with instruments for co-designing and matchmaking.

Open Platform – Cultivating first a conduit for information. Next a forum for collaboration. Ultimately a catalyst for growing the field.


VIDEO: The You and Me Principle

October 9, 2018

How relationships change the world and where to go with what we know. Film of lecture by David Robinson


Connecting Well

David Robinson is Shift’s founder and a community worker in east London. He is currently exploring new work on social isolation at the Marshall Institute. This is the first in a series of blogs.


Case Studies

As part of the Relationships Project, we’re collating a series of case studies from a range of sectors and contexts that demonstrate the benefits and workings of relationship-centred design. See below case studies from the private, public and non-profit sectors.

Whilst we hope they help build a case for prioritising deep-value relationships, we recognise that – especially at this early stage – we are still learning. We therefore welcome comments, insights, critiques and ideas for case studies from people and organisations across sectors. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch at


Grow Well Cardiff

Grow Well Cardiff shows how relationships formed around shared interests and common goals can improve wellbeing and lead to significant savings on statutory services. Read the case study.

Appliances Online

Appliances Online has built a multi-billion pound white goods company founded on excellent relationships with its customers. Read the case study.


Timspon has built a loyal staff of ex-offenders, showing how investing in relationships based on trust and mutual value reap rewards for all involved. Read the case study.


Do you want to get involved? We'd love to hear from you
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